Xtra Mile are my favourites. Let me tell you why.
It’s difficult to explain the camaraderie between fans of bands on the label. I saw so many familiar faces at the Larry And His Flask show this afternoon, and the more shows I go to the more “I remember you from *insert Xtra Mile band here*’s show!” seem to come up. Then there’s the fact that all the bands (certainly the ones I’ve had the fortune to see live and meet) are all lovely people, so welcoming and genuinely happy you’ve turned up to their show. Meeting them will always be ace. Jim Lockey And The Solemn Sun especially, part of the reason I set up the fansite - they’re so lovely, talented and kind.
I saw two new bands (The Retrospective Soundtrack Players and Crazy Arm) from the label today. Before they started, I was unsure. Of course I was, I’d never heard anything be either of them before. But as soon as RSP hit the stage I realised that I really don’t need to question whether bands on XMR are good or not. Of course they’re going to be good, they’re on Xtra Mile.
Then there’s the fact they champion independent musicians. Musicians with a work ethic. Musicians with the desire to play shows regardless, to work hard and earn their name. And with that comes some of the most loyal fans I’ve seen. Then when you go to a few shows, you start seeing familiar faces and not just from the same band’s shows, but from other XM artists shows. For example at the Larry And His Flask show this afternoon, I met a couple who I’d first met at Jim Lockey And The Solemn Sun’s show in the summer where they said they remembered me from Ben Marwood’s show. I’ve made so many friends both online and in real life through going to shows on Xtra Mile’s books.
Then there’s all the music I’ve discovered in the last 18 months or so, since falling completely head over heals in love with Frank Turner’s music. Jim Lockey And The Solemn Sun, Ben Marwood, Tim Barry, Larry And His Flask, Oxygen Thief, Chris T-T, The Retrospective Soundtrack Players, Crazy Arm, Beans On Toast, Emily Barker, Million Dead and Mongol Horde. There’s probably more too. And the bands off Xtra Mile that I’ve seen by going to shows.
Add on top of all that, the people who work for them are all lovely, helpful, ace people.
So yeah, I love XMR. Here’s hoping for many more years of amazing bands, music, friends and shows. Squishy hugs to everyone!