1997 was a shaky time for the Australian music industry. Venues were closing their doors and record labels were bowing out more frequently than new bands were forming. Luckily, Pete Lusty, Andy Cassell and Andy Kelly were not deterred by this sad state of affairs and their desire to get the music being made by their friends’ bands out into the world overruled their common sense.
Director and founder of Ivy League, Andy Cassell recalls:
“We started the label in a pokey office on King St Newtown across the road from the Marlborough Hotel. The rent was $50 per week and we shared one mobile phone between the three of us that was the size of a packet of scotch finger biscuits. We also shared the one email address and a thermal fax machine, which we bought from cash converters. Our concept was simple: To release and promote indie music we liked while our schtick (alongside our management business “Winterman & Goldstein”) was to pretend to be a faceless multinational music company. Thankfully, most people still get the joke. In reality we relied on two minute noodles, part time jobs, the dole, and the generosity of our girlfriends at the time to get us through the first 5 years”.
Since their humble beginnings, Ivy League has flourished into one of Australia’s most revered record labels, having released highly acclaimed albums by artists such as Youth Group, Josh Pyke, The Mess Hall, The City Lights, The Vines, Cloud Control, Lanie Lane, Alpine and The Rubens to name a few. Their commitment to working with and signing only artists they believe to be contributing to the rich shag pile rug of Australian music, has resulted in being the only label to win two AMP Awards (Mess Hall’s Devils Elbow and Cloud Control’s Bliss Release respectively) along with a bag of ARIA Awards and nominations throughout the years.
To celebrate this milestone and the silly season, Ivy League will be hosting a good ol’ Aussie shindig at a venue as ingrained in the Australian music scene as Ivy League, The Annandale Hotel.
In between beers, BBQ and banter will be several special 15 minute live performances by a selection of some of Ivy League’s finest, as well as special guest DJs. Let’s make some memories, people!
IVY LEAGUE ROSTER 1997 – 2012
The John Reed Club
The City Lights
The Mess Hall
Deep Sea Arcade
15 YEAR REIGN OF TERROR
Featuring The Mess Hall, The Rubens, Lanie Lane, Alpine, SURES
w/ special guest Toby ‘The Ivy Jukebox’ Martin
+ Catcall DJ, Deep Sea Arcade DJs and The Ivy League ‘Money Making Machine’ DJs
WED 12 DECEMBER Annandale Hotel, Sydney 18+
Tickets on sale Monday 5th of November
$20 from www.annandalehotel.oztix.com.au