In the late 70’s and early 80’s it seems most cities had one or two indie labels, releasing a mixture of punk, new wave and what would be termed “indie” in years to come.  In Liverpool’s case, this was Inevitable Records. They captured the sound of Liverpool during this period, and this three CD boxset delves into the post punk and synth pop sounds of the bands on Inevitable, which would later turn some of these bands into regular chart botherers.

Before he became the cosmetic surgery addicted celeb who tragically died at only 57, and before his band Dead or Alive had mega hits, Liverpudlian 80’s popster Pete Burns was more into the moodier side of synth pop. On the Inevitable label, he regularly did Peel Sessions  – the height many an alternative musician aspired to back in the day – and the Inevitable Records releases and Peel Session tracks on here like ‘Nowhere To Nowhere’ with its edgy synth and guitar riffs, showed a more intriguing experimental side to his songwriting, plus the darker electro of his Nightmares In Wax band is also displayed in all its glory with ‘Black Leather’. Wah! Heat’s tracks such as the hugely melodic ‘Better Scream’ and the angst ridden yet hugely tuneful ‘Seven Minutes To Midnight’, both of which made NME’s single of the week in 1980 apparently, show the songwriting talents of Pete Wylie (no, not everyone in 80’s Liverpool was called Pete!) and skillfully manage to combine an alternative approach with pop sensibilities.

The beauty of compilations like this is that they’re not all on digital platforms so you have to actually buy the thing and indulge in the physical copy, but as I’m a nerd for enjoying the detailed stories about the tracks, and archive pics which often accompany these things, it all adds to the extravagance of it, and helps with the background story to the bands involved. Many of the bands on here I’d never heard of before, like Box Of Toys who deal in new wave electro, and It’s Immaterial whose indie tracks like ‘Imitate The Worm‘ were shimmering bursts of quirky guitar indie-pop. Whether, like me, you knew very little about this era of music, or whether you were there and lived every single release and gig of it, ‘Birth Of A Nation’ is an intriguing glimpse into one indie label who made it big.  It’s the early days of the Northwest’s synth pop movement captured in one gorgeous package.

Birth Of A Nation – Inevitable Records: An Independent Liverpool: Out 26th April 2019 (Cherry Red Records)

From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.