Small Pond Records have always done things their way; supporting bands that they genuinely want to succeed. Thus, their very own festival, Bad Pond Festival, now bigger and better than ever, was a showcase of the alternative side of the music industry and a perfect encapsulation of the Small Pond ethos. Whether it was math rock, indie, pop, or psych, it was a celebration of the bands on the outside of mainstream music, and it had a real community feel of bands supporting bands. Ultimately, it was a diverse and interesting array of acts over two fantastic days and two unique stages, which were staggered in stage times meaning you could catch every single band you wanted to.
Suitably for an occasion which was initially inspired by the Free Comic Book Day in North America back in 2007, the superheroes that run our local independent record stores came together for Record Store Day. Whereas most retailers would do simply anything to get one over their rivals, this felt different – Brighton’s four indie stores seemed to operate in a friendly and collaborative manner, with a lot of effort put in to avoid event clashes rather than direct competition. Between them, Resident, Vinyl Revolution, Bella Union and Rarekind (as well as a special event at Brighton Dome organised by Spectrum in celebration of local artists) made sure that the whole of Brighton could join in the celebrations of the biggest day in the independent music store calendar.