Name, where are you From?
Mark Lippman, Manchester.
Describe your style in three words?
Mod, Smart & Indie.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Larkins at The Albert Hall in Manchester because they are a band we took as babies to a fully-fledged career band on our management roster. The concert was a Scruff of the Neck promotion, the production was our crew, we filmed it through our creative division and it was generally such a family affair! The gig was unbelievable as well, thousands of kids screaming the words! Here’s a video of the night.
If you could sign any two new bands in the world?
Marsicans because we’ve worked with them for a few years and grown with them. I love their manager Rob and the guys in the band are so nice and dedicated! Their music just speaks to teenage me rocking out in 42nd Street Night Club in Manchester,it’s that kind of noughties indie vibe.
Glass Caves from our management roster (a bit incestuous I know!) but they’ve grafted harder than any band I know for so many years and their music is incredible! They’ve never had a label back them strangely so it would be kind of poetic after all these years if we could sign them!
Which subcultures have influenced you?
The Mods were so cool, I remember my brother James and I watching Quadrophenia as teenagers and going straight out to buy Fred Perry tops, braces, skinny jeans and parkers from a vintage shop because we thought the style was so smart. The music associated with the Mods is engrained in me as well, The Jam and The Specials are two of my favourites and of course as a Mancunian Oasis took the style and coined their own subculture in the '90s.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
It may be an obvious answer but I’d really love to spend an hour with Tony Wilson. Factory Records was the anchor of musical culture in Manchester for our most prolific period for producing new bands (so far!) and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my ambitions for Scruff of the Neck are to be mentioned in the same breath as Factory. When I went to the USA this year and people heard I was from Manchester every time they’d say “Oh Factory Records!” and I can’t wait until people say “Oh Factory Records and Scruff of the Neck!”.
Of all the independent venues you’ve visited, which is your favourite?
The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds for sure. It’s an old social club in a slightly out of the centre area of the city that Nath has converted into some of the best looking and sounding rooms on planet earth! He’s also kept the middle bar area as an authentic old social club with beautiful real ale and pies on sale and little old men talking about bets they have on the horses! It’s absolutely class and a right of passage for my bands.
Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Matt Helders the drummer in Arctic Monkeys 100%. If I’d never heard Arctic Monkeys debut album as a 17-year old I would never have learnt guitar, played in a band, ran a gig… you get the picture. Matt has shown he has astounding technical ability but still makes sure he plays the right beats for the song, some of his earlier drumming is crazy fast and complicated and drives every track but then the later stuff can be so simplistic (but perfect for the track)! What a guy. (Matt would love to go for a pint if you have time when back up in the North of the UK!)
Scruff of the Neck Records won ‘Best Small Label’ at the AIM Awards 2019, in London. They were the only label outside London to be recognised, which illustrates Manchester’s re-emergence as a force in subcultural music.