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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Success as bands sign with labels BMG and Xtra Mile
by Jenny Minard
BBC Berkshire Reporter

MidiMidis have signed a publishing deal with BMG

It's all going on for Reading's biggest music acts as two are celebrating being signed.

8-bit punks MidiMidis have signed a publishing deal with BMG and folk punk artist Ben Marwood has signed to Xtra Mile.

BMG have some massive acts on their books including La Roux, Black Eyed Peas, MGMT and Leona Lewis.

Michelle Devries from the label explained what she saw in the brothers-in-law.

"I signed them because they had a vision and a drive that you don't see very much in a lot of bands who come to see us.

"Hopefully we will be able to help them. We've been given some money to record the album and help them on their way.

"We will also help with putting them forward for film and television soundtracks."

BMG will also help out with promoting the band.

"I was impressed with how much the band had done on their own," said Michelle.

"I can only imagine that with some help and with some money they can achieve great, great things."

And for the band it could not have come any sooner.

"We are relieved because we'd spent four moths negotiating the terms - initially they thought the songs were really strong, they saw our song writing as really good but I tried to encourage them that the 8-bit sound was the main pulling point.

"What we have is truly unique and post modern - so we were flattered when they wanted to put an offer on the table.

"One of my main things is that major labels want to mould you to fit in a current musical market. But we wanted to ensure the originality of what we'd been doing for the past two years remains.

"Signing was strange. In all honesty Ant and I are broke and we couldn't continue - exposure has been fantastic but to get an album you need money unfortunately.

"It was pretty much 'make or break', which is a shame. We could have continued making tapes for years and years, but unfortunately no-one would know who we are.

"It's the most amazing thing that's ever happened.

"Obviously BBC Introducing has been quite helpful but what we can do now is amplify what we've done on a shoestring, take it to the next level and finish the album."

Ben Marwood

Solo artist Ben Marwood has also had great success by signing to label Xtra Mile.

His label mates include Frank Turner and Chris T-T.

Ben Marwood
Ben Marwood has also signed with Xtra Mile

"My new album was due out in November," he said. "But it got picked up by a 'real' record label instead of releasing it on my own. So now it's coming out in January.

"The demand was there for an album so I thought I'd do one. It's all gone amazingly well and is spiralling out of control. I'm very happy.

"The sound is acoustic low-fi as I recorded most of it in my room and in other people's rooms using a variety of different instruments.

"I roped in some of my friends to be on the album and then I took it to the Whitehouse Studios in Reading where they mixed it.

"I sent it to a guy in London to master it back in May and it's still not out yet.

"A friend of mine suggested sending it to Xtra Mile and they liked it and there were enough people asking them to release it.

"It's all very nice, I'm very proud."

Ben runs Broken Tail Records and said he would only have released the album on that.

"It's not a bad thing. I like having creative control and putting the work in, but I couldn't achieve the scope that Xtra Mile can provide."

Despite all this Ben has still been given full say in the final product.

"They are letting me decide on the artwork and they know what they are doing so anytime I need help they wade in.

"They let me get on with things. I think it's just going to be released as I would have released it, but on a wider scale."

Ben will release his album and will go on tour in January.

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