In a couple of weeks the Coronet will be packed full of sweaty, moshing kids surrounding The Black Lips as they kick out the jams at the latest Fluffer Pit Party. We sat down with the man behind the coolest gigs in London (and quite possibly the world) to find out how the gigs came to be and what’s involved in making them happen…
WeGotTickets: Your Pit Party events grew out of Fluffer Records. Can you tell us a bit about the label, and how it came to be?
Al Brown: We started it up in 2013. First release was my own band at the time. Helped us learn the ropes and learn about how not to do a release. Next we signed a band from Grimsby called Sewer Rats. They were great, a real antidote to the London scene. Then we signed and released Virgin Kids. NME called them the UK’s answer to the Black Lips. They were awesome. We’ve also released loads of other bands like Demob Happy, Hooton Tennis Club, Skinny Girl Diet and many more. There are big things to come with the label.
WeGotTickets: Putting on these events must be a very different challenge to running the label. At what point did you decide to start putting on Pit Parties? What makes them different from your average gig?
AB: We’d been putting on normal shows for a bit. A lot of shows and we kinda burnt out, tbh. We were working 9 till 8’s and then doing the label and promotion on evenings and weekends and partying pretty hard too. I actually ended up in hospital from pushing it a bit too hard. So I had the summer off, put my feet up, spent a bit of time walking in Eastern Europe and then decided when I came back that it would be fun to do something new and exciting and take a risk. The return would have to be special.
The gigs have a 360 stage or carpet in the middle of the room. Often secret unusual locations. Warehouses, old ballrooms, theatres. We stay away from the commercial drag. And the Fluffer vibe. Proper chilled out atmosphere but also non-pretentious. People come to party and have a good time.
WeGotTickets: Do you have a favourite Pit Party memory – any favourite performances, or a special moment?
AB: My favourite memory was the Black Lips first Pit Party last year when a 1000 person crowd were all moshing together completely circling the band in the centre. Sweat dripping from the ceiling and a guy dressed in a panda outfit crowd surfing around the stage. The positivity was electric.
So many great perfoirmances to mention. Heck’s second ever Pit Party was pretty special. One of the best ever live hardcore bands to walk this planet in my opinion. True one offs. No one delivers a live set like them.
WeGotTickets: What would be your dream Pit Party line-up?
AB: Well I think we have the greatest rock n roll band in the world already playing pits in the Black Lips, but bands we’d like to play. Maybe Led Zeppelin, original Rage, Ty Segall and Idles.
WeGotTickets: The posters for your gigs and the Fluffer Records sleeves are amazing. Whose twisted imagination comes up with monsters featured on those?
AB: Russell Taysom Esq. A living legend on the underground scene. Now based in Bristol. He’s an illustrator, massive punk fan and spends a lot of time making his own mutant toys. We give him free reign and we never censor him. The UK’s full of too many squares censoring shit.
WeGotTickets: Tell us a bit about what we can expect from the upcoming Pit Party with Black Lips, at The Coronet on 24 November…
AB: Absolute mayhem.
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