Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis talks The Smiths, The Strokes and The Libertines in Sunderland

Frankie and the Heartstrings open up an independent record shop in Fawcett Street.
Frankie and the Heartstrings open up an independent record shop in Fawcett Street.
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ONE of the most influential men in British music will be sharing his trade secrets on Wearside.

Geoff Travis, the man responsible for The Smiths, The Strokes and The Libertines, will be giving a talk at Pop Recs Ltd next month about his pioneering independent record label.

In Conversation With Geoff Travis will take place at the Fawcett Street venue on August 8. It is a rare chance to hear the thoughts and anecdotes of the man who founded Rough Trade Records.

The event is the latest coup by Frankie & The Heartstrings who opened Pop Recs, a record shop, gallery and gig venue, in June. Since then they’ve hosted free gigs by Edwyn Collins, Badly Drawn Boy and more.

Heartstrings drummer Dave Harper said: “A lot of people don’t realise that our first single, a double A-side of Hunger and Fragile, was released through Rough Trade.

“When we’ve met at events after that, Geoff said that it was his favourite record of the year and, despite the fact he’s an aloof character, he’s always made the effort to shake our hand and be personable.”

Geoff has been hailed as an “icon” in the music industry after breaking some of the country’s most respected acts.

Dave said: “Without Geoff, there would be no Smiths, no Arcade Fire, no Strokes.

“The first Rough Trade actually went bust but, like a good boxer, he always comes back stronger. When we started Pop Recs, it was really hard to get stock but I emailed Geoff and he did more for us in two emails than anyone else.

“He helped to fast-track us for stock on a sale or return basis with a discount, which was a massive help. He’s also waived his fee for this event.”

Pop Recs Ltd has teamed up with music development agency Generator to stage the event which will also feature Eamonn Ford, a freelance music, business and technology journalist for the likes of Music Week, Q and The Guardian.

l In Conversation with Geoff Travis takes place on August 8 at Pop Recs Ltd from 5pm to 9pm. The event is free, but places must be booked at