Yorkshire compilation album set to celebrate the talent of musicians from marginalised groups
Leeds label Come Play With Me has returned with another compilation album: a self-proclaimed 12 track celebration of the breadth of talent from members of the LGBTQI+ community, women and people of marginalised genders.
The album, titled Side By Side, includes a plethora of artists crossing many genres, all based in and around Yorkshire Ranging from the technological wonder of Leeds’s own Long-Legged Creatures to the dreamy shoegaze of local upcomers Bored At My Grandma’s House, this record brings together some of the many artists that make Yorkshire so musically diverse.
Talking with contributor Francesca Pidgeon, frontwoman and pedal wiz of Dilettante, she spoke of the astonishing diversity being observed in the North, noting the positive shift in representation over the last few years.
“Growing up I remember not having too many female role models, but I think we should acknowledge how much better things are these days on that front. I’ve been playing in bands in Leeds for 10 years and even just the way that sound guys and promoters speak to you is a world away from how things were when I started.
“I think there’s a tendency to feel gloomy because there are still problems with representation but when you look at how far we’ve come there’s definitely cause for celebration.”
Yet despite the drastic shift in attitudes within the industry over the past decade, the very existence of this record acts as a reminder that even with this progress made regarding representation, there is still a need to highlight some inequalities within music, largely when looking outside of the spotlight. Tony Ereira, founder of Come Play With Me and one half of Clue Records, noted that this issue reaches beyond the role of musicians, and must be reframed that way.
“One of the bigger problems tends to be in non-musician roles for these groups,” he says. “Women, people of marginalised genders, LGBTQIA+ folks who want to run a venue or record label, produce, promote, manage or whatever often struggle to find good role models regionally doing the same thing.”
It’s this that drives the focus of Come Play With Me equally towards those on and off-stage. This isn’t the first time that the label has chosen to champion underrepresented individuals and talent; the success of Come Play With Me’s women in music panels earlier this year allowed budding artists, journalists and creatives to tune in and receive invaluable advice from professionals involved in the music sector, providing them with the skills necessary to navigate a complex industry.
“There are some great people doing good things in the industry, so I think this is starting to change.” Ereira says.
Emily Marlow is launching ‘Come Platform Me’ for us, an initiative delayed for 15 months due to Covid. It’s aiming to support and develop a group of promoters in the region from these demographics and we’ve got several events coming up soon for that.”
Showcasing some of the best that the north has to offer and working to support those behind the scenes, Come Play With Me continues to use it’s platform within Yorkshire to champion talent across many professions in the music sector.
But what can be done by others to provoke this much needed meaningful change? For this local label, they believe that it’s largely in the evolution of the larger bodies at the top of the chain.
“I would like to see more substantive change in the bigger organisations; let people from different backgrounds shape and lead projects – then over time those people will hopefully start to lead departments and organisations themselves.
“We all saw those festivals that just lazily booked all the boys that the booking agents insisted on for their line-ups – that’s where I’d like to see people voting with their feet to demand real change.”
Side By Side is available to order online with a limited run of 500 copies on eco-vinyl, with each contribution to the album being exclusive to this release. To order the album visit: https://cpwm.awesomedistro.com/products/694225-cpwm206-side-by-side-lp-compilation-album-ecomix-vinyl