I’ll talk a little bit more about this in an hour, but I think this is worthy of its own discussion.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK5ecuxXyYM]

This morning, firefighters were still trying to control the above fire at Sony’s warehouse in Enfield, north London after it was set ablaze by rioters late last night. As I’ve learned more and more about this situation it’s broken my heart a little more each time.

Apart from the 20,000 square metre warehouse being Sony’s only depot for CDs and DVDs in Britain, it was also home to a huge amount of UK independent label record stock. PIAS used it as a distribution centre for many indie labels, including XL, Domino, Brownswood and Sonic Cathedral. Some 165 businesses are thought to have been affected, including our favourite homies at Basick Records, who stocked international releases there. This means those awaiting their Aliases pre-orders for Safer Than Reality outside the UK are likely to face a wait if they haven’t been sent already.

From NME:

“The financial implications are serious. While the stock is insured – for cost price, not sale price – the loss puts a virtual stop to Sonic Cathedral’s release schedule and any associated profits.”

From Sonic Cathedral boss Nathaniel Cramp:

“Nothing’s going to be sold for months, and I don’t know what will happen. There’s no way of distributing records. My back catalogues are all gone. I can’t afford to get another run done for older releases. Everyone’s going to have to think about the next few months. It’s a reminder of how on a knife edge these things are – some labels and shops are going to be really affected by it. It just shows how precarious the indie thing is.”

This is utterly heartbreaking. It’s a bad time for independent music lovers everywhere, metal or otherwise. Make sure to help them in any way you can – if you can – and above all offer them your sympathies. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

– CG

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