Meet Our Artists
The Start of the Slippery Slope|
Way back in 1972 Bob Thomas and Gordon Jones were pals who often played guitar at the same venues in and around Edinburgh. A shared interest in blues and traditional music developed into the band which became Silly Wizard. Along the way we were joined by a fiddle playing schoolboy called Johnny Cunningham and the rest is (a somewhat entertaining) history. (If you really want to know how that developed then look at the Silly Wizard history pages on this site!)
Another Great Idea???
Bob left the band in 1979 after 9 years and lots of music for a real job in a music shop - this led him into the pro-audio and computer industries where he now bosses around a whole lot of people. We kept in touch - Bob's expense accounts bought many a meal over the years - and when Silly Wizard began to wind down it's activities after 17 years Gordon moved from Edinburgh to the same part of England (Manchester) as Bob. After a few beers we decided not to start another band but to carry on the old partnership by starting Harbourtown Records in 1987.
Harbourtown set out to work with artists growing out of Britain's folk music circuit and attempted to guide them past as many of the pitfalls we'd already dealt with in the past as possible. This we seem to have done whilst ourselves discovering and painfully navigating all the pitfalls of developing a record company!
What's going on now?
Well a few years ago Gordon moved from Manchester - which was big on amenities but very short on scenery - to Ulverston in Cumbria. Ulverston is a great place to live - on the edge of Morecambe Bay with the Lakeland fells fringing the town to the North. On the other hand it's not exactly handy for "interfacing with the music biz" - so thank goodness for fax, the 'Net, e-mail, the phone .
At around the same time Bob headed south to the small village of Newport Pagnell- famous for having a motorway truck stop and for being the home of Aston Martin cars. Other than that its a great part of England - lots of pretty bits and picturesque villages etc. and, being just outside London, is a bit handier for the music biz - but it is a long way from Ulverston - unless you drive really fast or have a fax, e-mail, phone etc!
The company has grown over the years, developed a reputation for fairly uncompromising quality music from a strong roster of artists, collected a couple of posh music biz awards and many plaudits, and now has over thirty titles on its catalogue, a strong mail order department and a rapidly growing technical facility which offers cassette duplication, one off CD's and CD production for customers from all over the UK.