Record Store Day. So often referred to as the home of the major label reissue and the £19 one track 7″…but here in our little indie corner of the world we’re shaking things up; shaking things up with a brightly coloured paintbrush.
Ever the fans of the brash, artistic statement, Alcopop! Records have teamed up with long-term label loves Art Brut to reissue a brand new version of 2005 indie megahit (in terms of legacy rather than chart positions mind) ‘Modern Art’ with a 16 minute, as-live, ‘Berlinische’ version of the single crammed onto a black and red splatter 7″ (named after the German modern art gallery round the corner from where it was recorded).
So far, so RSD…but here’s where it gets interesting, dear reader…
After an idea from Alcopop! collaborator and artist Rhi Lee (of Rhi Lee Design fame) we’ve taken each one of the 300 sleeves, and asked a different person to ink each one to their own specifications with a simple brief inspired by the song’s lyrics: “JUST DO IT UP WITH ART THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO ROCK OUT.”
Amongst fans, family, friends, and members of the band across the world crafting some next level artistic creations, there are some interesting names amongst the assembled artists—with the likes of Black Francis, John Cooper Clarke, Dev from IDLES, Ian Burden and Jo Callis ex-The Human League, Ben ‘Eddison Tollett’ Crompton from Game of Thrones, Tess Parks and members of The Manic Street Preachers, Bis, The Lovely Eggs, TIGERCUB, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Cheerbleederz, and more, all doing wonderful things.
Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos says of the release: “When we first released ‘Modern Art’ 15 years ago the song was only about 2 minutes long. We’ve been stretching it longer and longer over the last decade and a half—once I think it even reached 30 minutes. This version is nearly 20 minutes long, we recorded it in one take, and it’s so long it’s on both sides for a 7″.”
“It’s still about how much we love Modern Art, though, and what better way to celebrate that than with 300 totally different sleeves all painted by awesome people. You should go and buy one and then the next day go online and check who made it. Maybe it’s one of Art Brut or one of our children, or Frank Black, or Bis, or John Cooper Clark, or Helen Love, or one of the many fantastic people who lent us their skills. The list is endless—well, actually it’s about 300 people, but you know what I mean. Modern Art still makes me want to rock out! Hooray!”
On purchasing their copy of the record, punters will be able to check the Alcopop! Records website on RSD morning, crosscheck their release number and see which talented individual put together the artwork in their hands. Fancy a Cooper Clarke original one-off hanging in your living room for the price of a reasonably priced 7″? You got it…
One sleeve was even being produced moments before the artist gave birth to her first child, though whether little Saskia garners the same fame as the kid from Nevermind we’re yet to ascertain. Meanwhile, a record store in Southampton is having a sleeve painting party, while Bridport Music Centre is getting stuck in with an art class to create some awesome sleeves.
This one is all about art, music and community, inviting people to be part of a vinyl celebration.
Commenting on putting the ambitious project together from the label’s perspective, Alcopop! Records boss Jack Clothier says: “So while this has been about the hardest release we’ve ever pulled together, seeing the results coming in has been a monumentally wonderful thing. From our post folk being quite literally sick of delivering hundreds of envelopes every day, to the biggest record shop in London telling us this has been the most requested release of RSD, the whole process has been incredible!”
“When the time came to send them off, we honestly couldn’t let them go into the hands of a random courier, so we drove up to Essex to drop them off at the distributors ourselves! Thanks so much to everyone who took part, and mostly Rhi Lee Design who came up with the whole concept. On Record Store Day you’ll be able to pop onto the Alcopop! website and see who drew your sleeve, whilst listening to a 16 and a half minute version of ‘Modern’ Art by Art Brut on splatter 7″, and that can’t be bad! Hope you get John Cooper Clarke’s!”
Art Brut will be touring the UK with The Subways throughout Sep/Oct 2021 (see below for full listings).
ART BRUT live w/ The Subways 2021:
23rd Sept – Norwich // The Waterfront
24th Sept – Birmingham // O2 Institute
25th Sept – London // O2 Forum Kentish
30th Sept – Nottingham // Rock City
1st Oct – Bristol // O2 Academy
2nd Oct – Porstmouth // Pyramid Centre
Tickets on sale now: https://myticket.co.uk/