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Raw Fish hopes to net stardom

The city which brought the pop world Oasis, the Stone Roses and the Smiths has spawned a new venture for its thriving music scene.

City College in Manchester is hoping to project its students to stardom with the launch of its own record label.

The label, Raw Fish Records, the brainchild of lecturer and manager Phil Ellis, has already released one CD, plans another by Christmas and even hopes to break into the cut-throat singles market.

Another possibility being discussed by staff is a specialised label for Manchester's Asian population.

Mr Ellis said he wanted to give his 650 students a showcase for their work, and raise the college's standing in the record industry.

Students have been recruited to help to run the label as part of their courses. They selected the 26 tracks - from the 350 demo tapes submitted - that appear on the launch CD. "This is a large growth area. Manchester is just such a big force in the music world. We think we have four or five bands with the potential for a record deal on the CD," Mr Ellis said.

"We felt a good extension to what we already do was to set up a record label and give people the opportunity to run it themselves."

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