UK indie labels in trouble after stock burned by rioters

PIAS warehouse fire
London's Burning- could this be the end of the UK underground music scene?

With thousands of records and CD’s in the warehouse the labels lost lots of stock – which is a hell of a body blow in the middle of the recession, and the ongoing downloading problems the music scene faces. The last few years have been a nightmare for the record labels with a crash in sales after pirating of music swept across the scene, and the loss of large amounts of remaining stock could tip several labels into bankruptcy and make it even more difficult for alternative music to be heard.

The last few years have been tough for the smaller labels with the advent of the internet pirates and the recession and this fire could have tipped many labels into bankruptcy.

Will this ‘bovver’ the rioters? doubt it, even if they liked this music they would be nicking it for free off the internet anyway…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Given this article links to my Pirate Party UK post, I think it’s worth pointing out that we were quick to deplore the violence that has erupted over the last few days. In fact, quicker than David Cameron. I’m as gutted about the PIAS fire as anyone.
    Still, actually this is the time to put aside our differences. We can get back to arguing about downloading and all the rest next week. But some of those slanging matches seem a bit petty right now. We need to be thinking about all the ordinary people who have lost their livelihoods- whatever business that might be in. We need to be thinking about the injured, and sadly, now the dead.
    Thankfully- as ever musicians have been inspiring- musician Sam Duckworth setting up the @riotcleanup account for example. The right response from all of us who are involved in, or care about music is to roll our sleeves up. Support our communities. Check on our neighbours. Get involved in the clean up if we can.
    Save all the rest for later.

  2. An attempt to address this issue – httpss://


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