A Badge Of Friendship
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
A Badge Of Friendship was started by Claire Lim and her partner Paul a few years ago and are one of the most promising promotions companies to emerge in recent years.
The duo are based in London and are working with some of the finest and freshest new talent. One of the most appealing features of A Badge Of Friendship is how genuine they are. Glasgow PodcART worked closely with ABOF in the run up to and during Hinterland and in Claire we could not have asked for a more inspiring and motivating mentor. Claires hard work and passion truly are inspirational and she will continue to be an example to us all.
A Badge Of Friendship are indeed a revelation and provide elements the UK music scene has been crying out for. We caught up with Claire Lim for a chat before Hinterland to discuss the festival and her amazing project.
How long have a Badge Of Friendship been going for?
Claire: Well it’s really hard to say because I used to do a fanzine in Glasgow when I was really young called ‘Broken Violin’. Then eventually I met Paul who was touring with his friend’s band Biffy Clyro and we left for London. We started to have a print thing going and we decided to call it ‘A Badge Of Friendship’ because I read the line in ‘Breakfast Of Champions’ by Kurt Vonnegut. We decided to do that then we got regular gig slots in 2005 in East London and it was free entry. That’s what really got our name about.
What’s the ethos behind ABOF?
C: We really wanted to work our music without necessarily working for a major corporation. We are a business now but we always give as much money from the gigs to our bands even if it’s from our own pocket. That’s what you have to do. It is so satisfying when you see an interview from a tiny band in a newspaper and things like that.
How did Hinterland come about?
C: Mike Oman comes from the underground dance scene and wanted to showcase that. Then Julia Finlay got involved and I was working for her on a freelance basis and we brought rock bands to Hinterland because we are that way inclined. We basically wanted to showcase Glasgow because it is such a great cultural city and I haven’t lived in Glasgow for 7 years. You see everything that’s happening and it is really encouraging. A lot of the festivals in London are not showcasing the smaller bands anymore and that’s what we wanted to do.
You are showcasing a number of bands, who are you working with?
C: At the moment we are working with 85 Bears who are out of this world they are very much like This Will Destroy You and I know they are very influenced by Don Caballero. We have Phantom who if you can imagine what Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds if he was a woman and very stylised. We also have Geordi La Force who is crazy, everything from Rush to Tool. We also have Prego who we have just helped with their single Launch. We will possibly have Elks later on.
What music do you yourself like to listen to?
C: (laughs) I went through a whole Mowtown phase like The Jackson 5 Do Christmas. It’s difficult these days as I get older I am becoming a bit cynical. The thing with Hinterland though is it has been really refreshing. I have to say Mitchell Museum and also We Were Promised Jetpacks who are like a young Idlewild are exciting. Paul and I have been quite obsessed with Bon Iver over the last year and also Fleet Foxes and Band Of Horses.
What do you think Hinterland is bringing to Glasgow?
C: I think from a business point of view its industry and that is really encouraging. The city needs a bit of life injected into it. As time goes on we may change the days but I think its great at the moment.
What are A Badge Of Friendship bringing to Hinterland and The UK?
With Hinterland I think honesty, no bullshit. The bands on our stages are bands we really genuinely love, some friends and people we respect. Jeffrey Lewis is one of those I cannot wait for that. We are wanting to show people not just the small bands but just different styles as well. Just honesty no pretension. I am quite happy to sit on the phone for 20 minutes and give unsigned bands advice as well. It’s all about being truthful. That’s what we are about, truth, honesty, justice!
Find A Badge Of Friendship Here
Photograph By Alistair Burton