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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > August 2019 > THE FIERCE PANDA STORY

THE FIERCE PANDA STORY

The joyful indie label has been a stepping stone for the careers of a swathe of UK talent. Will Simpson meets its founding father
Fierce Panda acted as a stepping stone to a major label for Keane
Dave Tonge/Getty

Is it going to be fun?” That’s the question Fierce Panda owner Simon Williams asks when Long Live Vinyl approaches him for an interview about his label. Certainly, fun is the spirit in which it was launched, with two of Williams’ fellow NME writers, back in 1994 and what has sustained it for a quarter of a century.

It’s also the reason he’s still there at the coalface; putting out records, discovering new bands and most importantly, going to gigs long after his contemporaries moved into serious’ journalism. Williams is now 53, but when the talks his face lights up and the years fall off him. Truly, if the music industry ever gets to a point where it has no room for his sort of scampish enthusiasm then it really will be game over.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 29 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! Unknown Treasures! This issue's bumper cover story is a definitive list of 150 albums you need to discover. We've recruited 30 of the most well-known, passionate record collectors in the country to bring you their list of the hidden gems missing from your collection. From record shop owners to label bosses, bands and festival organisers, your collection needs their recommendations. Elsewhere, we speak to Ride about the second album of their incredible comeback, This Is Not A Safe Place, find out why Hot Chip's A Bath Full Of Ecstasy is already one of the most positive records of 2019 and meet a true modern folk hero, Jake Xerxes Fussell. If that's not enough to whet your appetite, we speak to some of the key figures behind Prince's new Originals collection, salute a pair of female punk pioneers, celebrate the 30th anniversary of New Order's Technique and tell the story of Fierce Panda, the indie label that discovered Coldplay. With the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue, turntable and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand, Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.