Last week we had the most amazing phone call with lovely local musician (and long term friend of the Blam) MULE. He is part of the Mouth of Gold record label-come-co operative based in East Ham and also a solo artist in his own right.
Multi talented, this guys has side projects on his side projects – drumming, playing synth and writing his own material including his recently released (difficult) second album C.U.S.T.O.S Remembers but most importantly, he is a local to East Ham, so we caught up with him to talk about all the musical happenings of the ‘Ham, the morals of the music industry’s streaming platforms and the possibility of East Ham’s own mini music festival…
EB: What were you doing before we rudely interrupted you?
MOG: leaving on a west bound train – haha, it sounds bluesy but is actually just going to work!
EB: Tell us a bit about this MOG then… We understand that you are not a hipster cat grooming service, and actually a flippin’ record label, set up right under our easterly noses in East Ham. What’s that about then?
MOG: The full name is Mouth of Gold Records… but we bill ourselves as a co-operative more than a record label, to be honest. It was created by LJA Brown and Tom Loffill in 2016 and in 2017 I (MULE) joined the fray and it sort of formalised – basically a disparate band of musicians bonded by locality, working together to promote each other’s gigs and releases. The main aim is to get the music shared as a far and wide as we can and unlike your average Brexiteer (ooops, are we allowed to be political on here??) we are an open bunch… We welcome people in.
EB: So neighbour, Why East Ham? How did you end up in the far east of London (what’s the storeeeee morning gloreeeeeeee).
MOG: well I moved here in Dec 2016. It was a cold dark winter – an alien world, alone on the Eastern Edges of a ballooning metropolis… but then I met some cool dudes Ben (AKA Incredible Self Confidence) and LJA Brown (who has actually been on East Blam before!) and we started putting on some events and making some music (in the form of recently released super speedy lo-fi EP Cinque Ports, in case you were wondering). Ok so that’s not why I moved here, but it’s why I still like it. Hahaha! I moved here because I like East London, and it seemed a good idea at the time.
EB: Any hot tips for new Far Easties? Know any good breakfast spots? Best pub? Awesome takeaways? Luthiers? Record shops? Seriously, what does MOG recommend?
Record shops? Alas. However, I recommend hitting charity shop record collections though, there are not quite so many savvy hipsters on the frontier so you can find some really odd ball treats. My prized purchase was a great BBC Highland Birds compilation that went onto inspire my own (sometimes comedy and sometimes awesome) attempts at field recording ( EDITORS NOTE: if you listen carefully, both birdsong and washing machine noise is featured on MULE’s first record, Music for B-Movies, which made us LOL!).
Pubs? Luckily we have had a glut of new entries to this field with the Red Lion, E6 as the summer choice) and Denmark arms for winter. I personally still have a soft spot for the decaying splendour of the Boleyn.
Food? Green Street is the new (and probably original) curry mile- step aside Brick Lane. Avoid the stag parties and pop your head into anyone of these beauties for light dosas to crushingly large tali’s. I would also give a little shout out to some of the council run properties. In one of the poorest boroughs in London with a huge demographic of cultures I think they do a great job with the leisure centre (swimming pool included), library (great collection from classic literature to Judge Dredd comics, many languages catered for) and the summer fare and festival in Central Park are a really inclusive celebration.
EB: What does 2019 hold for you and your merry band of muso’s? Where can we catch the latest giggery? What’s hot on your release list? How do we stay up to date with all the latest MOG action?
MOG: Well, we really stepped up a gear this year with releases from SLABS, MULE, Incredible Self Confidence and Cinque Ports so 2019 might be hard to top, but a future release we are excited about is LJA Brown’s second album (due end of this year). Also SLABS are back in rehearsal and hopefully surfacing for some gigs soon and we have new music from Incredible Self Confidence recorded – it is going through the MOG production pipeline now. So lots to keep your ears busy – as we all have day jobs, MOG do things when we can and when they feel right. There are no set schedules. Follow us on Bandcamp though please, if you are going to… It is home to great music new and old and unlike other streaming services they properly pay back to the artists.
We have big ambitions for 2020 – maybe a mini festival in East Ham… maybe a MOG compilation pressed on vinyl? We’re open to suggestions too (EB note: you can email them here if you have a suggestion)!
EB: What’s hot on your decks right now? Shameless plugs aside, what are team MOG sticking in their ear holes?l
EB: Vinyl or Cassette?
MOG: Oh lord. Save the biggy for last. I personally gotta have both. Vinyl is my red wine, special occasion aural adventure. Cassettes – the ying to the yang, cheap to run and fun to share with friends. In the current climate I think there is room for some serious contemplation followed by some sharing and caring so I’ve got to say BOTH.