AS Shakespeare once famously wrote “what’s in a name… A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, yet is this so?
People always ask us:
“Why are you called ‘I’m Not From London’?”
“What’s the significance?”
“Are you all anti-London or something?” Etc etc…
The concept of I’m Not From London as a brand name could be perceived as slightly anarchistic with a generous dose of pride and confederate solidarity. And from a certain angle, all of the above are somewhat relevant; one of our key “aims” is to break down the current myth within the music industry that artist should originate or move to the big smoke in order to have any chance at success. What about the other 99.4% of the UK?
However we hardly think that this attitude truly turns us into anarcho-punks. There’s certainly a sense of the age old rebellious “DIY not EMI” within the brand, but we like to think of it as more of a transparent air of irony. Let’s face it, an anti-London revolt is just a little bit far fetched even for us. We’re proud of our identity but our love for creating a platform for independent music and businesses alike far outweigh any premise of antipodality. We simply believe that it’s our turn to shine in the spotlight be that north or south of the virtuous Watford Gap. Picture the scene, the cobbles of Shoreditch literally pulsating from the sound of non-London artists playing alongside a red bold banner proclaiming ‘I’m Not From London’ (or vice versa where London artists perform outside of the smoke under the indication of I’m Not From London). You surely can’t deny that it has that certain glowing edge of satire to it that would make any triple-hat-double-speced-wearing hipster stand up and take note and, although we do say so ourselves, it is just that little bit cool.
Another reason behind our naming comes from the 80’s cult classic ‘Withnail and I’ where Marwood/I famously states “I’m Not From London you know” in some half-wit attempt to pacify a country yokel. However, even more interesting than the fact that the statement is an integral part of the script, the character of Withnail was actually based on Bruce Robinson’s Nottingham-born and bred thespian flatmate Vivian MacKerrell. Vivian was notorious amongst his friends and acquaintances alike for being quite an outlandish and debaucherous sort of gent, who reportedly resorted to drinking liquid fuel at one point (just like his fictional counterpart in the exalted scene) to quench his undying thirst for the liquor and consequently retreated from sight for days! You may well be thinking where exactly are you going with this? Well put bluntly, although none of us drink lighter fuel or disappear for days on end (much to your disappointment I’m sure), we do have quite a taste for the liquor, the partying, the unconventional and the wacky with past examples ranging from Mexican wrestling bouts and boxers in 1940s bathing suits to London bus pub crawls, masked balls and even robot wars. Who knows perhaps when the chips are down we may just be crazy enough to dabble in the old lighter fuel but we’ll leave you lovely lot to be the judge of that one.
However, I hear you crying prey tell us about your geographical nerdity. Well that side of the story comes from one of the monumental chapters of our director’s bibliography. As I’m sure many of you know, our dearest Will Robinson hails from the glorious town of Watford which is down south but most definitely not London. So upon moving northwards to the outlandish town that we call Mansfield, he was constantly asked whether he was from London and the rest, as they say, is history! Nonetheless, when all is said and done interpretation is quite literally in the eye of the beholder to make of it what you will.
‘I’m Not From London’ is nothing more than a statement!
Written by Leanne Morgan