From Kanye West to North-West

Mat Arnold and Keiron Melling have launched Colne record label, Hilltown Records. (s)
Mat Arnold and Keiron Melling have launched Colne record label, Hilltown Records. (s)

Move over Jay-Z and Kanye West – two Colne pals have ditched the heights of working with global superstars to champion Pendle’s medley of musical talent.

The hills are alive with the sound of music – Pendle Hill, that is. And to help keep the scene fizzing, producer and engineer Mat Arnold and professional drummer Keiron Melling have set up their own label, Hilltown Records.


“We were waiting for the right band to become our first release,” said Mat. “Now feels like the right time, as we’ve helped to produce a record we’re really proud of.”


And that band was Barnoldswick’s Surburban Symphony: Tony Edwards, Andrew Gilmour, Tom Hargreaves, Sam Bisset and Lewis Rennison. The group will drop its self-titled debut album – an explosion of anthemic indie-rock – on Monday.


Their first single, Stepping Stones, is already soaring as high as the hills, having peaked at number three and 10 respectively in the Amazon and iTunes Rock Charts since its release just last month.


But indie won’t be the only sound offered by the label. Rather, Hilltown is open to musicians of any genre, treating them as individuals. And with their shining CVs, the pair are certainly the right men to champion the Pendle scene.

Suburban Symphony is the first release by Hilltown Records and their debut album will drop on Monday. (s)

Suburban Symphony is the first release by Hilltown Records and their debut album will drop on Monday. (s)


Keiron, who attended Colne Primet Academy, has close ties to the industry as the drummer of post-punk band, The Fall.


Guitar-player Mat, who went to Colne Park High School, refined his skills at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios where he helped to produce tracks for superstars like Tom Jones.


“It was interesting working with Kanye and Jay-Z! We lived off three hours of sleep a night and had to be prepared to do anything at any point,” said Mat.

“We even made a firework display to keep Kanye happy. We set up a gazebo and a sound system with festival lighting – he really knew how to create an atmosphere that would inspire people to do their best work. The whole week had an incredible vibe.”


But not even the glamour of rubbing shoulders with the stars could dampen the fire in the two music-lovers’ bellies for promoting local talent.


“There are loads of incredible artists around here,” said Mat. “There seems to have been an explosion of talent – and we want to bring the best of local music to the forefront.”


Suburban Symphony will play at a launch party at The Day and Night Cafe, Manchester, next Thursday.


For more details see www.hilltownrecords.com or www.suburbansymphony.co.uk