December’s Label Watch focuses on Good Grief Records.

What is Good Grief?

GOOD Grief is a “micro label” established in late 2012 by Kenny Bates and Michael Butler. The duo are ultra-DIY in their approach: hand-dubbing their own cassettes, designing their own materials and even periodically producing a fanzine called, hey man.

Bates promises that the next edition will be occupying a “bar stool, coffee shop ledge or bin near you by January”.

What type of music do they put out?

MAINLY Scottish artists that produce “progressive” guitar and electronic music – but not necessarily progressive in the overblown 70s prog rock sense of the word.

Kenny Bates, an aficionado of any music that is “noisy, noodly and weird”, describes the label’s focus as “left-field”, saying: “We like to put out marginalised marginalised sub-genres like noise rock, math rock, post-rock and progressive indie stylings.

“For us, noise music is a whole spectrum. It ranges from unconventional instrument manipulation [usually employed to create textures and atmospheres] to more song-based stuff where ugly and abrasive sounds accompany more melodic sections to play with the listener.”

Which artists are on the label?

TWELVE acts have worked with the label at some point and many definitely fit the left-field bracket. Glasgow four-piece Damn Teeth make punk that is about as noisy and dissonant as it gets, while Outblinker combine the worlds of krautrock and electro to outlandish effect.

Other acts like Edinburgh duo Black International and shoegazers The Cherry Wave represent the label’s more melodic side.

Where can you samples these bands live?

GOOD Grief have been throwing monthly shows in Glasgow’s Bar Bloc since May 2013. As well as general performers from affiliated genres, label acts are often showcased themselves.

“We lack any arts funding, financial backing or real PR budget, so we just throw these shows ourselves,” says Bates. “Our residency continues until May next year, when we’ll be moving on to new projects.”

Where can you download their music?

Good Grief is a micro label which mainly busies itself with Scottish bands and artists in more progressive genres of guitar/electronic music, started in late 2012 by Kenny Bates and Michael Butler. Noisy/noodley weird stuff basically. We also have a regular printed zine we make and distribute called ‘hey man’. Next issue of that will be on a bar stool/coffee shop ledge/bin near you January 2016

You’re a DIY label – can you explain what that means?

To me it means being self-sufficient and using pooled skills with bands, promoters and friends to try and punch above your weight. We have no arts funding, no financial backing, and we also lack the real tools and PR budget to operate on the same level as larger independents. So we sometimes literally do it ourselves [by hand-dubbing cassettes, hand-made packaging, hiring spaces and putting on shows]., and other times collaborate with friends with screen-printing, design or film/photography skills to get music we think has true value and integrity out to a wider audience. I think I put £250 into our first run of Young Philadelphia CDs. Everything else has been built off the back of that, thanks to a community of great people in Glasgow and wider Scotland. There’s definitely a plural there – it’s ‘do it yersel’s’.

Are there any upcoming releases?

The next release is likely to be the new Bianca EP (mellow/jazzy indie) early next year.

Where can you download music?

You can download our entire catalogue of releases from and even pick up some interesting limited-run physical copies there too if that’s your thing.