John Grant & Wrangler, Scritti Politti & Alexis Taylor and The Pop Group & Protomartyr joined together for the label's birthday. Some worked, some didn't.
It hardly needs stating that the musical landscape would be very different without Rough Trade. Tonight the label celebrates its forty years of existence with a unique show at the Barbican Centre, a venue with a level of prestige they could only have dreamed about in 1976.
This is the opening night of a series of anniversary events, and clearly a lot of effort has gone into making this particular show a one-off; there are three sets, each combining a ‘legendary’ Rough Trade act with a newer or more leftfield stablemate, along with a number of talks and films on both the history and the future of the label.