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Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 12:07 UK
All Sorted Records helps boost owner after accident
Zoe Applegate
BBC Norfolk

Dudley Garner
Dudley Garner runs All Sorted Records from his kitchen in a Norwich terrace

A Norwich man who had to be brought back to life three times after a road accident is celebrating a double achievement for his record label.

Dudley Garner's All Sorted Records has just picked up a worldwide digital distribution deal and has had a single named record of the week by Radio 1.

The 28-year-old suffered brain damage, fractures to his skull, eye socket and vertebra and a broken foot.

He's now devoting all his efforts to the label after retiring from his job.

Before the accident in Norwich city centre in March 2009, Dudley worked full-time for Barclays Bank and the All Sorted brand was a well-established name on the local music scene.

Retired at 28

"I was a financial advisor, I played football, I had the record label and the promotions but sadly because of the problems I have with my memory - and I lost a lot of my maths ability - Barclays have had to retire me due to ill health," said Dudley, whose fiancee Cat Shephard, 21, also sustained fractured ribs.

"The problem with a brain injury is I look completely how I used to.

"But if you imagine a snow globe and when you shake it about all of the stuff flies about everywhere, that's what has happened inside my brain so stuff is in places where it never used to be."

Label boost

However, Dudley has been boosted that his label has been given a deal by one of Europe's top digital distribution suppliers, French-based Believe Digital.

The company has taken on all of All Sorted Records' back catalogue which it's distributing to digital music stores like iTunes and Spotify.

Angry vs The Bear's Mitzi Fox
Angry vs The Bear regularly appear on BBC Essex Introducing

Two of the bands on his six-act roster, Angry vs The Bear from Colchester and Club Smith from Leeds, have also been clocking up airplay on BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens' show.

The station's champion of new music recently tipped All Sorted's release of Angry vs The Bear's Show Emotion as his record of the week.

It was then played across the country on the BBC's network of Introducing shows.

"We were all buzzing about the airplay," said Dudley.

"I'd love to meet Huw Stephens and shake his hand as he's been playing quite a bit of Club Smith recently and has given Angry vs The Bear support.

"I hope he's realised that both are on All Sorted Records and he'll get in touch!"

New arrival

While the record label has been run out of the spare bedroom in Dudley's house in Norwich's Golden Triangle, he's now had to decamp to his kitchen to make way for the arrival of his and Cat's first baby which is due any day.

"I spent six to nine months dwelling on the accident and being pretty miserable," said Dudley. "Now I've got a little girl on the way it makes it all worthwhile and gives me something to live for again."

The music lover, who describes himself as a frustrated bassist, was devoted to the city's music scene before his life-changing accident.

Gig nights

He moved from Dereham to Leeds when he was 18, striking up friendships with then unknown bands The Pigeon Detectives and The Holloways through his constant gig-going.

When he returned to Norfolk in 2006 he decided to set up All Sorted promotions, before branching out with a record label too.

He put on nights mixing local acts with national names at the Queen Charlotte before switching to Norwich Arts Centre, inviting both The Pigeon Detectives and The Holloways to be headliners as well as other seasoned acts like The Good Shoes, The Paddingtons and The Rascals.

But his All Sorted nights ran to a stop after a night out to watch Norwich band Vegas Fame Index - Dudley and Cat, his girlfriend of two years, were walking along Westlegate in the early hours of the morning following the gig when they were in collision with a car.

"I remember that they played a really good set and that's the limit of my memory that night," said Dudley. "The next thing I knew it was three days later and I was waking up in hospital."

Resuscitated

Dudley had to be resuscitated three times and was in a comatose state for three days after the accident.

He was later told that he had suffered damage to the front right lobe of his brain which controls short-term memory, personality and emotions.

A hairline fracture to his fourth vertebra in his neck was also found - if it had been broken Dudley would have been paralysed from the shoulders.

The changes to Dudley's memory and personality have had a big impact on his relationships with Cat, parents Mandy and Nigel and his friends.

"My mum calls me all the time to check that I'm ok even though I'm 28," joked Dudley. "Cat has had to change too as before our relationship was based on a lot of sarcastic humour but I don't always understand sarcasm now.

"One of my friends could speak about a gig we went to two years ago and he'll talk about the night we had and I'll almost come to blows with them because I get so irate that I know that I wasn't there and they're talking rubbish.

"It can be up to a week later that I'll be sat at home watching TV and burst out with laughter because suddenly all the memories come back. It's like a really slow search engine," he added.

New focus

The Interpreters
The Interpreters are one of the three local acts on All Sorted

The extent of his injuries means he still has to see at least one specialist each weekday and has regular brain scans.

It was during a session with his occupational therapist that he decided to focus on getting his record label up and running again.

"I felt that I was going nowhere and not doing anything productive with my time - my girlfriend was back at work," said Dudley.

"I decided that the label was something that I've got a real passion for and that although I'd worked for the money before at Barclays that's irrelevant now."

With his future re-mapped, Dudley has developed a clear vision for his label, which is run with the help of his dad.

"I want to be a breeding pit for companies like EMI and Sony to come in and steal our bands," he said.

"I want to get a solid grounding with the six bands we're working with now.

"Instead of flying by the seat of my pants as I was before I want to put together a 12-month business plan with each of the acts and the label and I'd like to get three releases out a year for each of the bands."

Catch BBC Norfolk Introducing every Friday between 7 and 8pm on 95.1, 95.6 and 104.4FM, DAB and on the BBC iPlayer.




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