Aren’t you tired of the same songs and voices on the radio? Yes, us too. So, we will tell you a secret – there is life outside the Top 40. The indie underground music is currently going though incredible renaissance – not only with bands and artists having something new to say – lyrically and musically. Promoters, managers and other industry professionals are trying new things, bringing new gigs and start projects that will soon revolutionise the music scene.
Sed Seddon is one of those industry professionals, who work tirelessly behind the stages and without much fanfare – but the bands he champions and the events he puts out can be summarised as trailblazing. We sat down with Sed to speak about his work ahead of massive two day weekender in Liverpool and Manchester he organised called A Northern Underground that will take place on 16th and 17th November.
You act as a booker, artist manager, industry influencer – please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?
Sed Seddon: Hi I’m Sed! I’ve played bass in bands for a long time and founded artist management company early this year. It`s what I love more than playing to be honest. I’ve been involved in lots of scenes in different places and different genres – from Wigan, Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool to London. I started out in heavy metal for about 20 years and now I found this beautiful underground scene that makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – discovering new bands consistently. More recently, I found The Novus, Kid Kapitchi and of course my new favourite band of all time – Avalanche Party who I adore.
As you mentioned you have been involved in music business for ages. Looking back at the time spent working in the industry – what skills are helpful in the hardest business on earth?
Sed Seddon: Wouldn’t say “I work” as yet, because I’m still looking to make enough money to live off doing it. But “I`m involved” for sure. Hard industry is probably the biggest understatement one will ever say to me personally. It’s beyond anything for someone from the streets of Wigan with zero support. I’ve lost count of the amount of failed attempts at it in whatever form in this industry. Skill that you need to learn is to recognise change when it’s happening. Be it playing in a band, working for a band, organising events or more importantly when a scene is changing. Play your cards close but the biggest rule is DON`T BE A DICK. It costs nothing to be nice and I don’t care who you are. Never stop learning , soak up opportunity and take it in your stride. When you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself off and start again and repeat for as long as it takes (laughs)
Tell us about the company you have founded – North Central Music – it specialises in artists management and live events. Who is on your roster and do you look for acts to represent?
Sed Seddon: North Central Music has been an idea for a good while, couple of years maybe. The name only came this year, the company was launched in May/ June after a brilliant Sound City Music Business Entrepreneur course in Liverpool that ran for 10 weeks. The course finished a week before Sound City event so got the logo designed and cards printed up that week and I went on the network hunt which went very well (cheers Joe for putting up with the late video calls trying sort everything last minute).
North Central Music is growing. We have the excellent Fay Toulios on board dealing with our socials who’s amazing and taking everything in her stride.
The point of North Central Music is connection and calibration with our southern friends. In January this year, I had a meeting with two southern friends (even though one of them is actually Mancunian) about partnering up but it went to stale-mate as I didn’t have the full idea of what NCM was going to represent or become at that time. Something else to be learned in this business is the rule is if things works out then go with it, if they don’t – then drop it.
Dirty Circus are NCM first signing to the management roster and they are from Wigan. Like a lot of good bands they had a tough ride a few years ago but they have now returned to the game. The new music is brilliant. Love them boys, we go back years. It’s mad how it came about. Dirty Circus is influenced by Madchester movement, electronic indie vibes with new age punk thrown into the mix for a good measure. Can`t wait to get proper stuck in as it’s only just began really! The plan is to grow around a band a year. I find it pointless having 15 favourite bands on the record – I’m bringing it all together as I go. You need to adapt as a company and I am constantly adapting at the moment, so everything fits into place. But just think how things will look in 3-4 years from now as there’s loads going on behind the scenes.
What is your outlook on the indie circuit at the moment? Any particular scenes and bands that caught your ear?
Sed Seddon: Each part of the country offers something slightly different but as it is in the North, the London scene really is booming. They even have separate scenes in different parts of London! Just think – it`s actually a scene within a scene!?? I go to London a few times a year but not fully gripped there scene as yet.
But all the new music from around the UK fits underneath this perfect umbrella of “new wave of British punk” and I think we are on the cusp of an amazing movement, everything what’s happening now is the beginning of what’s to come. Rage Against The Machine are now back together too what’s just adding fuel to the fire. But I think all music genres and punk is crossing over. Electronic punk Fat White Family are a band I’ve only seen once very recently but like Dirty Circus or Tea Street Band they are cross over bands, as are Working Men’s Club. Then you’ve your hardcore Strange Bones, Kid Kapitchi and False Heads. Crows and The Murder Capital are more metal or doom sounding. We also have this commercial sounding punk like Idles, Shame and Heavy Lungs. Avalanche Party, The Novus or The Blinders go along the lines of cult /goth . It’s just huge there’s so many criss -crosses of genres – all representing the exact same thing and it’s all bubbling under the ground…it’s very special.
Another project you have been heavily involved is A Northern Underground. It is a mammoth two day weekender happening in Manchester and Liverpool on 16-17 November 2019. How did that come about?
Sed Seddon: The event came about completely by accident. I was trying to grow North Central Music on the live front so I spoke to southern friends and fellow promoters at Live Circuit about putting a tour together. They book two dates and send two southern bands and I’ll do the same.
So Saturday (16th November) and Sunday (17th November) are the Northern dates and I thought I’ll make both dates both all dayers to push the boat out. I said to myself “Hmmm Let’s get a good big headliner!”
To make it happen, I chased many agents but it was all too soon . So I asked friends in Rival Bones if they fancied both dates. Then just tied all together with some great poster art (thanks Evercloud). Everything came together in about 3 weeks.
You basically created a two day festival with incredible line up. Each day will have around ten acts. Let`s start with the Liverpool date. Who will be on the stage and where is the event happening?
Sed Seddon: Liverpool event happens at The Jaracanda. Some bands such as Idealistics, Rival Bones, Manalishi, Brain Ape and Dutch Mustard are all playing both dates. It made sense as they all fit under the neu grunge wave that’s also bubbling underground around the UK. Idealistcs are from Cambridge – we asked them to join the show quite late after we had had spoken to Ali Hirsz (bassist and front woman) on the phone about her band being refused shows because Ali has a rare condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome meaning she needs tubes that are on display to feed her heart with minerals and promoters don’t like it basically. This goes against all the NCM ethos and to be honest it completely broke me. Ridiculous situation. Thanks to people for pointing this out to us in the first place. All money raised from this event is going directly to charity EDS Trust to help raise awareness. My mum as well as other promoters has worked for charity for years so it’s nice to follow their footsteps too.
Other bands on the bill are Persian Hugs and Elevant – I`ve seen them at Sound City this year and I loved them. Mr Ted are on board Society Of Loosers Records – that’s a hardcore label in Liverpool and they are worth huge recommendation. Lastly, I`ve seen Vulture Cult support Rival Bones last year so they were a definitely good fit for the weekender.
For those who want to come to the Manchester date – what do you have in store?
Sed Seddon: In Manchester we overtake AATMA. Square Wild, Idealistcs and Dutch Mustard are the only bands on the bill fronted by women. Next year we will aim around the 50/50 mark as again the bands with front women are really coming through the ranks. Dutch Mustard are probably one of my latest favourites along with False Advertising and The Mysterines. They are amazing live and can’t wait to see them on Northern Territory so come down and see how they play.
Slow Hand Clap fit under the “three piece band neu grunge” umbrella but these boys add something a little different and don’t just sound like Nirvana. I’ve seen Careering the other month – they are Manchester’s answer to At The Drive In.
Beside promoting new and emerging artists, A Northern Underground aims to raise funds for charity. Please tell us more about the charity you will be supporting.
Sed Seddon: So the charity is called Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, something I’ve never heard of until chatting to Ali Hirsz of Idealistics. So, with everything that happened with Ali, I contacted all the bands to asked them to waive their fees for charity instead.
Ehlers-Danlos Support UK is the only one of its kind in the UK and its symbol is a zebra. Actually, Idealistics wrote and recorded a single called “Here comes the Zebras”. That song is fucking beautiful and it was that voice and that song that brought me to tears in the end. Everything`s going to charity and raising funds for this cause is fucking beautiful. Music is beginning to speak again against the government and all what’s going on with the country and I guess this is our way of speaking and giving the middle finger to the assholes on the streets and promoters thinking it’s nice to bully people as well to refuse them shows. We created a little chance for Ali and Idealistics to play and hopefully it creates more chances for them and makes other promoters listen.
Your plate is already full – but what are your plans for 2020? What can we expect from North Central Music in the new year?
Sed Seddon: Our energy will be going directly on the band we manage, Dirty Circus. Obviously the Underground event is also 100% growing and we are looking at new avenues to less unfamiliar territory but sticking with Northern & NCM ethos. Keeping things new and fresh, some things will stick, some things won’t – but that’s the biz I guess.
Famous last question: You describe yourself as a lover of all you can eat buffets. What would be on your dream buffet, or a dream rider?
Sed Seddon: Mate I don’t even care …just a plate, knife and fork in the middle of an all you can eat buffet and I’m gone for hours! That one on Deansgate is the bomb!
A Northern Underground happens on 16th November 2019 in Liverpool:
And on 17th November 2019 in Manchester
Tickets can be purchased from the links below:
You can follow Sed, North Central Music and A North Underground on the social media:
North Central Music:
A North Underground:
So grab your tickets my dears and lets meet in the underground. Once you know the secret about good music – you can forget the top 40 and enjoy the future.
We will see you in Liverpool or Manchester. Hit the North!