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BOWLER’S DELIVERY: If music be the food of love, play on!

11 November 2015

Falling on Stoney ground

Many and varied are the links between West Bromwich Albion and the sound of music. 

There are those tunes that we have taken as our signature – “Stars & Stripes Forever”, “The Liquidator”, “Psalm 23” for example – and those that come to glorify us, such as Ray King’s paean to the wondrous days of the 1970s, exhorting us to “Go man go for Ron Atkinson” to the accompaniment of a steel band. Great times.

But we must unveil for you a closer yet collaboration by virtue of the inception of Stoney Lane Records, a new jazz and world music label operating out of Birmingham and piloted by Sam Slater, once a ticket office operative and serial confuser of the franking machine in the days when club reception was still in the Tom Silk Building in Halfords Lane.

Perceptive as you are dear reader, you will have already noted that Sam has stolen the label name from the patch of land that was our home before the move to The Hawthorns, but the great man goes deeper yet in his memorialising of the one true faith at his label.

For all their catalogue numbers commemorate great moments in Albion history – what greater incentive to buy could you have than that?

And for those who suggest that that’s a good way to run out of numbers very quickly, Sam has this to say: “It has reluctantly been noted that perhaps this inventory may, in fact, be finite after all; that some dozen or so albums later, Stoney Lane Records will come to as miserable-an-end as a Saturday afternoon at Villa Park.  

“Yet, fear not, for our will is strong, and our imaginations deep.  Who would have thought that the future lucky custodian of release #SLR1996 would proudly be marking the March ’96 arrival in God’s Country of Sir Richard Sneekes, in addition to a recording of fine musical proportions?  

“Or that destined-to-be-famous album #SLR1999 would give a nod to a year when the chronologically challenged striker Fabian de Freitas forgot to turn up for kick-off?  Glorious days a plenty, immortalised in record-making history”.

Already SLR1888 is the number for the mighty TG Collective’s “Release The Penguins”, while SLR1954 is Mark Pringle’s “A Moveable Feast” – it looked like it would be a double album right up to the final moment, but a couple of key tracks got called up for England duty right at the death. Suit yourself…

There are many more hot platters coming out of the Stoney Lane stable in the coming months, but hey, enough of my yakking. Whaddya say? Let’s boogie!

Click here to visit Stoney Lane and say the Albion sent you.


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