A Badge of Friendship, The Podcast at TVD

We’re delighted to debut a brand new podcast at TVD today which will find a home in this spot weekly. “A Badge of Friendship” comes to you from the London PR firm of the same name—”one of indie London’s best loved organisations,” as the NME noted a little while back.

Each week ABoF’s Claire, Paul, and Ed will take to FUBAR Radio’s airwaves, and to get a sense of what they’ve got in store for their broadcast we chatted them up in advance of show number one which you can stream below. (And if you’ve stopped by for Shell Zenner Presents, you can find her a day earlier, now on Wednesdays.) —Ed.

Tell us about your new show on FUBAR Radio.

Claire: Our new show—A Badge of Friendship—is all about new music and undiscovered gems (that aren’t necessarily new!) There are also lots of fun features too—”Pass The Cheese,” “World of Weird,” and we’ve got some great guests lined-up for the next few months—Armando Iannucci, Vennart, Torche, comedian Dave Hill, Idlewild, and lots more.

Paul: It’s another outlet for us to help promote up and coming bands but it is also a platform to talk about bands and labels who inspired us to get into music in the first place. In the first episode Claire chooses Dischord Records. So that gives an indication of the type of stuff we will have on the show.

What do you hope to achieve with the show?

P: I think the idea is to have fun. It really is that simple. Of course, we really want to push the type of bands who may not always be getting the love they deserve and to help push new music as much as possible. However, if we can have a laugh, play some good tunes, and pull in a few listens along the way then our job will be done!

C: I’d personally love to create that feeling I used to get when I walked into a record store, looking to discover new music. I hope our listeners are open to all sorts of genres and always hear at least one thing that’s new every week. As people, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we want to have a little fun with the show too and get across that music is fun and it’s not always about serious chat and analysis. We love music, it’s our passion and we want that love to come across on the show.

How did A Badge of Friendship start?

C: Paul and I met in Glasgow and moved down to London together. We began promoting DIY shows in London for all sorts of bands—Sucioperro, The Twilight Sad, Enablers, Antelope, Jeffrey Lewis—but eventually decided to become a PR company working with all sorts of bands and labels big and small. We’ve been going as a PR company since 2009 and haven’t looked back since.

P: We always knew we wanted to work in music—even when we were working in terrible call centres and various day jobs in the media. Doing it “our way” was important to us so, we started putting on shows around London, DJ-ing club nights, and eventually thought “let’s take the plunge,” quit our day jobs and started doing this full-time as a PR company. This way we could use our contacts to push smaller bands to the bigger magazines and websites rather than have them play in front of small crowds where everybody lost money. The rest, as they say, is history…

What have been your highlights at A Badge of Friendship so far?

P: I think when we first started to penetrate (ooh er!) the bigger magazines. It happened early on with one of the first bands we took on. A band called Ex Libras. They are a fantastic band but, with them having a tiny budget and us being a newly formed PR company, it was lovely to see them being reviewed and featured far and wide and their album doing incredibly well. From there we didn’t look back and we knew we definitely were capable of achieving what we set out to.

C: It’s a hard one but I reckon every time our bands get a feature online or in print still makes me feel super happy. That’s our job after all and every bit of press we can get for our bands is appreciated. It’s getting harder and harder for small bands and labels to get heard above the noise so we do try our best. Aside from this, appearing in NME was weird but cool and I never thought that would happen—my teenage self would have been quite excited about that.

How do you find out about new music?

C: We’re lucky that bands and labels usually contact us if they want to join the ABoF roster. We get a lot of things that aren’t to our tastes too of course, but for the most part, I think folk get what we like from looking at what we put out online and we’ve had some brilliant links come through to us since we started. Aside from that, I think the good old-fashioned way is best—ask your friends what they’re into, check out who’s supporting your favourite bands, and read about new music online and in magazines.

P: Word of mouth is the best way I think. We work with a band, do a good job, and they recommend us to their friends band and so on… We do also happen upon bands and approach them but, as we have steadily grown, we normally have bands sending us bits and pieces to consider. It then comes down to what we like personally.

What are your non-ABoF roster recommendations?

P: The Twilight Sad’s album last year was incredible I thought. Other than that I love anything from Sun Kill Moon / The Red House Painters and Deftones to Faraquet, Minus The Bear and, er, Hall and Oates! It’s a bit muddled.

C: I absolutely love Hawk Eyes and if I can find a way to play them on our show I will! I’m also loving Gaz Coombe’s latest solo record Matador and I keep going back to it. Also anything on Dischord gets me every time or my all time favourites—Slint. I’m also partial to a bit of loud, nonsensical metal.

Finally, tell us why we should check out the A Badge of Friendship show on FUBAR Radio?

C: We’re 100% passionate about music, new music, music of all kinds! The show reflects our varied tastes and if you want a laugh as well, I highly recommend you tune in. It’ll be informative and fun!

P: You will hear good music and lovely Scottish accents (apart from our assistant Ed’s).

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