Celebrating the best and brightest of local talent, New Cross Creatives shines the spotlight on individuals who make Manchester the media, cultural and art hub it is today.
Whether they were born and raised here, or found an adoptive home in the city, the people who shape the creative skyline of Manchester tell us why the city is the perfect place to develop their talent, and create successful businesses.
We sat down with Scruff of the Neck founder and CEO Mark Lippmann to talk about taking the label from DIY beginnings to creating an award winning brand. Still proudly independent, with an emphasis on the development of new artists, Scruff of the Neck have evolved from local concert promoters to winners of the Best Small Label at AIM Awards in 2019.
Mark and the team have enabled Scruff of the Neck to go from strength to strength, creating a dynamic in-house team to handle publishing, creative and live company designed to self-serve their artists and collaborate with third parties.
“We’ve built our community by keeping focus on putting the time in with the musicians in the city,” said Mark “When I was building the company up on my own on the side whilst working in a bank, I used to make sure I added every individual band member on Facebook once I’d booked an act and set up a chat group so I got to know them before the show and then repping the gig myself. Doing this for many years led to myself and Scruff of the Neck becoming a promoter with a face and personality and we still carry on that mantra today.”
Mark continued, “a great example of our community is when we won the ‘Best Small Label’ award in London we came straight back up North and threw a massive party at our offices with loads of free booze, pizza and, of course, music. We shared the moment with the local bands, industry, friends and family.”
Scruff of the Neck’s offices are based on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, just a stone’s throw away from New Cross Central. We asked why it was important for the label’s headquarters to be centrally located in the city.
“We chose to set up our office here because we see it as the cultural hub of the city,” said Mark. “The music companies in the NQ vicinity include Key Music Management (Pixies, Fratellis, 808 State + more) and From the Fields (Kendal Calling, Blue Dot Festival and Off the Record) amongst other creative businesses. We’re right in the thick of it with excellent public transport links as well as a plethora of music venues and bars. Sometimes, we’ll have 5 shows in one night in the NQ all a walk from each other, I once saw 8 bands in one night (15 mins of each!).”
Mark adds, “We also feel that the NQ has its own history to be made, and we want Scruff of the Neck and our artists to be at the forefront of cultivating that scene and notoriety for the district. We’re still proudly independent and will forever be based in Manchester, regardless of where our global adventure takes us.”
Follow Scruff of the Neck on Instagram @scruffoftheneck or find Mark on social platforms using the handle @mark_lippmann