Unfortunate fire for Kingsway sparks excitement for their future

A FIRE that swept through the STL wholesale warehouse in Carlisle in the early hours of August 16 destroyed all the record product of Kingsway Music, one of Britain's leading gospel music labels. The Servant Group, Kingsway Music's parent company, had only recently announced that their titles would be distributed by STL, and moved their stock to Carlisle.

Tony Davis, Marketing Manager for Kingsway Music, spoke of the effect of the fire on the future of the company. "Everything was lost - over 200 titles, from praise and worship to heavy metal. But by the 28th of September 75 of those titles will be available to retailers again - in cassette format only at first, the CDs take a little longer. The other 125 titles were slower-moving back-list titles, so they are now being officially deleted, most of them permanently."

He went on to speak of the future direction of the company, and of their ongoing reassessment of music policy in the aftermath of the Carlisle catastrophe.

"Starting from the base of those 75 albums we will be consolidating our activities especially in the areas where we are market leaders, like praise and worship. We will also continue to build on our white metal and thrash roster, and we are keen to develop and work within the field of radical folk music.

"We are not interested in 'mushy peas' MOR contemporary Christian music - we only see MOR music as valid when it's used as backing for praise and worship material. We're excited about gaining mainstream distribution for our thrash band Seventh Angel, and by signing Bristol metal band Detritus."

When asked if the fire could eventually turn out to have beneficial long term effects for the company, Davis answered "definitely. The overall feeling now is one of expectation and excitement at what can be achieved out of an apparent disaster. If you want to put it in spiritual terms, you could say Cod's strength is going to be seen to be made perfect in our weakness." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.