In this column, we explore new love and old love, love that we know will last forever.
As Banquet Records celebrate putting on their 2000th show, we salute Kingston’s lynchpins for reaching such a massive landmark and thank them for the mind-blowing memories.
With London just a short train ride away, Kingston has never been the easiest place to attract bands to. For a whole raft of reasons, so much importance is placed on shows in the city and that’s often meant tours bypassing the surrounding towns.
Nonetheless and thanks to the almost unbelievable efforts of Banquet Records, Kingston is currently home to a music scene that every town in the universe should envy. Even with so many odds against them – that challenge of grabbing anyone’s attention when the bright lights are just a few miles to the north-east; the trial of finding venues to host gigs when the country’s councils seem intent on destroying every decent live music space; the hardship involved in putting on high-quality events that a skint generation can afford to attend – Jon Tolley and his team have created something very, very special.
Because of Banquet Records, growing up in Kingston is a dream for rock fans. Banquet’s impact is such that they’ve absolutely changed people’s lives. Whether we’ve had the privilege of attending the numerous in-store performances – Cage The Elephant, Jimmy Eat World, Pvris have all played in Banquet’s little shop – or any of the explosive gigs – Funeral For A Friend, Papa Roach, Bring Me The Horizon amongst a zillion others – at the threatened Hippodrome venue, we people of Kingston have been treated.
Clearly, Banquet Records are not in this to get rich. Loving emo may be great for the soul but it’s not so fantastic for your Porsche-purchasing plans – it’s pretty evident that team Banquet do all this for the goodness of it. For the good of us. And we thank them for it.