Label samplers, signposts of an imprint's taste, philosophy and aesthetic, have fallen by the wayside in recent years. Nowadays, punters use Spotify to discover new acts, so hats off to Communion, who have come up with a novel take with The Flowerpot Sessions.
Run by Mumford & Sons' multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett, the musician Kevin Jones and producer Ian Grimble, Communion began life in 2006 as a night at Notting Hill Arts Club, a mainstay of the west London folk scene. Two years ago, they progressed to a label and in April 2010 put out a compilation of rare recordings from the Mumfords, Johnny Flynn and The Vaccines' Justin Young as Jay Jay Pistolet.
For a follow-up, the trio hired The Flowerpot, a Kentish Town venue that has since closed down. They invited Communion artists to record an album in a week, a wonderfully freewheeling effort that captures the heightened energy of the event with cameos from Mt Desolation and Angus & Julia Stone. "Collaborations are key to these sessions, but also something that you would regularly expect at Communion club nights," says Lovett. "It's that feeling of community between musicians as opposed to exclusivity."
With Lovett away at Benacassim, his two pals held the fort until Friday. Jones remains tight-lipped about whatever high jinks went on, but sounds relieved that the pub's tortoise, Lionel, was recovered when he disappeared. Of the daily highlights, he remembers Damien Rice phoning from Latitude asking to play and turning up later the same day, having met the Stone siblings at the Suffolk festival. They spread the word to like-minded artists, now Communion fans can join in the fun.
'The Flowerpot Sessions' is out on 6 June on Communion/Island RecordsReuse content