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Norwich music business continues to thrive

PUBLISHED: 09:19 26 September 2011

Celebrating ten years of Burning Shed, an independent record label founded by Tim Bowness ( long hair ) and Pete Morgan pictured at their headquarters on Thorpe Road, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

Celebrating ten years of Burning Shed, an independent record label founded by Tim Bowness ( long hair ) and Pete Morgan pictured at their headquarters on Thorpe Road, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

There has been much publicity surrounding the difficulties facing the music industry.

A few large record labels dominate while questions of how to successfully make money from the increasing demand to download music remain unanswered.

However, quietly working away in Norwich, a company that is being run “by artists for artists” is about to celebrate 10 years of continuous growth.

Burning Shed was set up as a mail order business when musician Tim Bowness received 400 orders for a special edition CD after sending out 2,000 leaflets to a mailing list.

Together with Pete Morgan, who ran Noisebox Digital Media, the two have continuously grown the business and today it sells recordings and merchandise across the world. It also runs online stores for bands and music labels from its base in Thorpe Road.

Mr Morgan, 45, said that the idea was to help give control back to the artists as many specialist bands had seen their work reissued without getting any money for them.

Using their music connections, the business partners have seen their base of bands and labels continue to grow organically and they are now searching for bigger premises as demand on their services grow.

Mr Bowness, 47, said: “We are bucking the industry trends in two ways. The first is we are a music company that has consistently grown for 10 years.

“The second is that people are continuously told that downloading is the future, but we have exclusive downloads for cult artists and it is the vinyls that have seen the increase.”

He said that he felt there was a reaction against the download culture with many people wanting a physical copy of the music.

Mr Morgan added that this was not just men in their 40s rediscovering bands they like in the 1970s and 1980s either, but that teenagers are also proving keen to buy vinyl copies of their niche artists.

Among the artists they sell products of include Porcupine Tree, No-Man and Anathema, while the labels they represent include KScope and Peaceville.

On Saturday, October 1 Burning Shed will be marking its 10th anniversary with an exclusive gig at The Curve, in The Forum, Norwich.

The gig is part of Norwich Sound & Vision 2011 and will see performances from Slow Electric, Nosound, Ex-Wise Heads and Marvin Ayres.

Guitarist Andy Butler and designer Carl Glover will also be contributing to the show.

Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets, which are £12, are available on the door or in advance from www.burningshed.com

•Is your business celebrating a special milestone? Contact reporter Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email richard.wood@archant.co.uk

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