As momentous occasions go, this one might be up there with the energy crisis, Partygate and even Brexit… Heist or Hit turned 15 this year!
That’s 15 years of fostering artistic brilliance and nurturing the next wave of talent. Wave after wave in fact. Might as well have a quick look back, right? Rude not to. Join us as we embark on what can only be described as a Breaking Bad narrative arc, whereby three mild-mannered indie chancers from Manchester become ruthless drug lords. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that dramatic but the label has a remarkable history, unforgettable artists, and has always strived to embody the punk spirit of independent music.
A Humble Beginning
Owing its origins to founder and ex-punk Mick Scholefield, the seeds were sowed in 2008 when he began to independently support acts he was fond of. One of these was The Answering Machine, two of which, Martin Colclough and Pat Fogarty, would go on to join Mick as Heist or Hit. During this time, the label was running out of kitchens in South Manchester. Test pressings stacked on Formica counter tops, press releases unintentionally wet-branded by ice-box dinner trays and promo CDs patiently traffic jammed by kickboards; while the set-up wasn’t ideal, the new music discovery was electrifying.
Defying Genre Conventions
Bringing unknowns in from the cold, developing careers and generally skulking around in the cracks between genres, the label has always taken a non-conformist approach. While the acts vary musically, they share the same DNA: extraordinary pop cut with indie sensibilities.
Discovering Hidden Gems
No band sums this up better than the dreadfully missed Her’s. Completely anonymous and fresh out of college, they journeyed with the label and rose to the status of indie superstars. Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading birthed a catalogue of tunes causing an epidemic case of the jives. A wistful tenderness inhabited the architecture of their perfect oddball pop from which stories and characters emerged revealing an off-kilter world of atmospheric tunes, instilled with voyeuristic humour. Maybe it was always Her’s world, we just happened to be living in it.
Cultivating a Collaborative Spirit
At the heart of Heist is an emphasis on collaboration. We pride ourselves on fostering an environment where artists can freely express their creative visions. Heist has never had a manifesto. Art is in charge and half the fun is following it down the rabbit hole. Needless to say it has taken the label on some astonishing journeys and it’s what makes the entire proposition so idiosyncratic, unpredictable and edgy. Rolling the dice on artists with raw potential and zero profile is addictive and rewarding. It doesn’t always pay off either, but we only touch what we love.
The future looks brighter than ever. With an unwavering commitment to championing independent voices, discovering groundbreaking talent, and defying industry norms, we’re poised to continue shaping the music landscape in our own little way despite what the majors do. Outlaws to the end!