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Menial Monkey Launch Party


(4 April 2007)

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With thanks to Pete Wheeler

Over 120 people crowded into the small Uncle Tom's Cabin pub in Cookham on Saturday 31 March to witness the launch of new record label Menial Monkey Records.  The night centered around a live performance from label signing Jonny Alford and then continued into the early hours with DJ sets from the label founders, local boys Paul Seaman and Pete Wheeler.  Both Cookham regulars and music fans from further afield attended, including some who travelled from Aberdeen and Paris especially for the event.



Jonny Alford, from Chesham, performed a 45 minute set to the packed crowd alongside his four-piece band.  Swapping instruments throughout the set, the band previewed songs from Jonny's debut album 'Escape From the Requiem' which is due for release on Menial Monkey Records in August.  His uplifting acoustic songs were perfect for the intimate venue and the crowd reception was warm and enthusiastic, culminating with a mass singalong for their surprise encore of 'Maybe Tomorrow', the theme tune to cult TV show 'The Littlest Hobo'.


The upbeat finale for Jonny's set was the best possible link onto the Menial Monkey DJ set as Paul and Pete kept the crowds dancing til 2am with an eclectic party mix, playing everything from Queen to Faithless, Arcade Fire to De La Soul.  Uncle Tom's barman Paul described the scenes as "more like a London club" than a country pub. Paul & Pete chose the Uncle Tom's Cabin as the venue for significant reasons.  The pub was both the place where the pair met and discovered their shared passion for music and also where Pete, now a full time DJ, performed his first DJ sets in 2001. Consequentially, the evening was dedicated to the memory of Nick Ashman, the previous landlord of the pub who passed away five years ago but had actively encouraged both Paul and Pete as musician and DJ.

Landlady Maureen (Krikorian) said of the night "We were pleased to be asked to host the Menial Monkey launch party as we love live music at Uncle Tom's Cabin.  We have bands playing every Monday night and two Saturdays of every month and, like tonight, they are always well received."


Landlord Greg (King) continued "The atmosphere was fantastic tonight and the boys are all welcome to come back and play here again".  Menial Monkey Records are planning to have another party around the release date of first single, 'It Won't be Long' by Jonny Alford in June.  The venue will be Oakford Social Club in Reading and all the details will be posted on the label's website at, where you can hear their songs and join their mailing list.  

For any enquiries regarding the label, please contact

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