Since 2001, the thoroughly independent FANDANGO MUSIC PROMOTIONS has been at the forefront of unsigned music in London, promoting up-and-coming new bands across virtually every notable small venue in London ranging from 80 to 800 capacity.
Set up by Andy Macleod (Pointy Records) and Simon Williams (fierce panda records), Fandango began with a now-infamous CLUB FANDANGO Tuesday night residency at the Dublin Castle in Camden which ran through the naughties (and indie boom time) from the spring of 2001 to the autumn of 2009. It became a byword for an edifying night out for bands, industry and gig-goers alike thanks to early and pivotal gigs by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Death Cab For Cutie, Bloc Party, The Futureheads, Hot Chip, Razorlight, The Killers, Keane, Kaiser Chiefs and other bands beginning with 'K', like Kaito. All of a sudden Tuesdays were the new Fridays and Thursday simply didn't know what to think.
Along the way, there was unbridled gigging passion and, inevitably, unhinged expansion. There were the quite-frankly-seminal runs of nights such as the BBC 6 Music gigs at the Water Rats and the Borderline BMI sessions. There were trips up north to In The City, down south to the Great Escape and along the road for the Camden Crawl. There was the fanzine ZINE FANDANGO; the SCHOOL OF FANDANGO - a free resource to provide guidance, mentoring and real practical advice to help new bands and the urban - if you will - festivals A FISTFUL OF FANDANGO and Pandamonium - the annual five night-stand in the first week of January. Snow permitting.
Then came the record company LABEL FANDANGO, launched in 2006 and inspired by the driving DIY dynamics of fresh-eared labels such as Transgressive, Marquis Cha Cha and Dance To The Radio. It was the release process stripped to its fundamentals. The slogan for the label was eminently catchy 'no frills: all thrills', because, in the true orange-arsed spirit of EasyJet, Label Fandango is a bring - your - own - sandwiches operation with generic sleeves, a gently unhinged disposition and a genuine passion for helping bands reach somewhere else.
Then in 2010, after a decade of dossing on other people's (dance)floors, FANDANGO found a home it could call it's own. That home was The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town. They moved in on June 1st 2010 and thought about re-naming it PUB FANDANGO. In September they threw a splendidly successful month-long housewarming party which doubled up as a 30th Birthday celebration for the venue itself. The esteemed likes of We Got Tickets, Steve Lamacq's Going Deaf For A Living, Amazing Radio, mybandsbetterthanyourband, Stuntfox & fierce panda all signed up for the ride to create a welcoming home for great new bands to come and peddle their melodies.
But just as the Bull & Gate was rediscovering its former glory news broke that it was to be sold and turned into a Gastro Pub. Fandango tried to resist and asked Coldplay to come back and play on the roof in protest. But not only were there health and safety implications, the band were too busy. And so in May 2013, Fandango threw a week of sold-out shows called 'Play Your Respects' to say goodbye to the place. It culminating in an Ed Harcourt singalong around the old piano. It felt an apt way to say goodbye.
It was time for FANDANGO to move on to pastures new. Through the difficult teenage years (2013-2019) FANDANGO emerged bigger, brighter and bouncier with some new partnerships in place - namely with INgrooves (Digital distribution and Publishing), AIM (AIM Awards Warm-Up Shows) and London Met University (Lecturing and mentoring) plus the regular live showcases with fierce panda and disorder. The aim remained the same as it ever was - to discover the next generation of fantastic new bands and take them from playing to 'un homme et son chien' on a wet, windy night at the Buffalo Bar, to a sell out headline show at Brixton Academy. And hopefully manage, release or publish a few of them on the way.
Indeed, over the years and thanks to continued support from the Arts Council, Fandango has promoted over 5000 shows featuring 15000 bands / 50000 musicians to an audience over 1 million gig-goers. Meanwhile, there are now 5.5 million streams per year on platforms such as Spotify for new artists on the Label Fandango catalogue distributed worldwide through INgrooves.
Now in her third decade and 21st year, (yes you thought she was a he), Fandango is excited to announce the launch of RADIO FANDANGO. Not just because RADIO FANDANGO is the greatest name for a radio station ever, but because Radio Fandango is going to try and entertain, educate and inspire audiences across the country in the post-COVID era. Expect the best in unsigned music, artist-curated shows, industry podcasts and live sessions.
Over the years all walks of music industry life have tapped their toes on the Fandango boards: A&R men, publishers, managers, journalists, press officers, DJs, lawyers, agents and even rival promoters are often to be found checking out the entertainment. Other punters include rock enthusiasts, generally clever people and, most important of all, new band's burgeoning fan bases. The basic truth is that you can go down to a Fandango show and see three to four carefully hand-picked new bands and if that doesn't represent a good nights entertainment, we bally well don't know what does.
Some bands that have done the Fandango over the years…
Fontaines DC, Death Cab For Cutie, Arctic Monkeys, British Sea Power, Keane, Friendly Fires, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Maximo Park, Alphabeat, Guillemots, Coldplay, We Are Scientists, Field Music, Camera Obscura, Ultrasound, The Clientele , Je Suis Animal, Tim Ten Yen, Goldheart Assembly, Laura Marlin, Crystal Castles, Hot Chip, Dog Die In Hot Cars, Hard Fi, The Polyphonic Spree, Astronaut, Art Brut, Campag Velocet, The Hot Puppies, Cherry Ghost, Fanfarlo, The Go! Team, Tom Vek, The Noisettes, The Dears, Archetecture In Helsinki, Seafood , Flotation Toy Warning, Medium 21, The Young Knives, The Rifles, Fujiya And Mijagi,The Kooks, The Subways, The Pipettes, Hard Fi, Guillemots, Okkervil River, Arab Strap, Delays, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Redtrack, The Maccabees, Rumblestrips, Good Shoes, Glasvegas, Selfish C*Nt, Frightened Rabbit, Pete And The Pirates, The Wombats, Air Traffic, Mr Hudson, Cold War Kids, The Moths, Assembly Now, The Twang, Bombay Bicycle Club, Slow Club, Fight Like Apes, Eugene Mcguiness, Maps, So So Modern, Absentee, Mistys Big Adventure, Ida Maria, Stornoway, The Ravenettes, Bookhouse Boys, Operator Please, The Wave Pcitures,The Heartbreaks, Seerauber Jenny, Pulled Apart By Horses, Slagsmulsklclubben, Lawrence Arabia, Peggy Sue, Spinto Band, Vaults, Does It Offend You Yeah, The Cribbs, Airborne Toxic Event, Hatcham Social, The Crookes, Applicants, Complete Short Stories, Sissy And The Blisters, Airship, Allo Darlin', Anna Calvi, The Answering Machine, Babshadow, Black Gold, Bones, Brigade, Brontide, The Chapman Family, Comanechi, Dels, Dog Is Dead, The Crookes, Fight Like Apes, Films Of Colour, Flats, Funeral Suits, Goldheart Assembly, Hawk Eyes, The Heartbreaks, The History Of Apple Pie, Hope & Social, Imperial Leisure, John & Jehn, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Kurran & The Wolfnotes, Kyla La Grange, Let's Wrestle, Marques Toliver, Mazes, Misty Miller, The Neat, Pete & The Pirates, Red Kite, The Return Of Boothby Graffoe, The Saturday Night Fulchfest, Sissy & The Blisters, Spy Catcher, Steven Merchant, Strangers, Talons, The Travelling Band, Treefight For Sunlight, Tribes, Turbowolf, Two Wounded Birds, Ultrasound, Union Sound Set, We Are Scientists, Wilder, Wild Palms and Young Legionnaire.
Also before they were famous... can you guess? Daggers, Snowfight In The City Centre, Freerunner... And lest we forget - Satan's Cock.