Beggars Group

Beggars Group is a British record company that owns or distributes several other labels, including 4AD, Rough Trade Records,[1] Matador Records,[2] XL Recordings and Young Turks.

Beggars Group
FounderMartin Mills
Country of originUnited Kingdom


The companies’ roots stem from the Beggars Banquet record shops, which first opened in 1973 with a shop in Earls Court, London. In 1977, spurred by the prevailing DIY aesthetics of the British punk rock movement (then at the height of its popularity), the shop founders decided to join the fray as an independent label and release records as Beggars Banquet Records, which became the group's flagship label and namesake.[3] The first band on the label was English punk group The Lurkers; the first ever release on the label was The Lurkers' punk classic "Shadow"/"Love Story" 7" single.[3] Later in the decade and into the early 1980s, hits with Tubeway Army and Gary Numan secured the label's future.[3] Beggars Banquet then went on to release music by Bauhaus, Biffy Clyro, Buffalo Tom, The Charlatans, The Cult, The Go-Betweens, The National, St. Vincent and Tindersticks.


The Beggars Group has been in business for over forty years and is owned and managed by Martin Mills. Its musical focus remains fiercely alternative. As of 2017, the main labels that form the group are 4AD, Matador Records,[2] Rough Trade Records,[4] XL Recordings and Young Turks. The company owns 4AD (the label itself a Beggars Banquet imprint) outright, and retains a 50% stake in each of the others. Older labels within the group, including Beggars Banquet itself and Too Pure, are now part of Beggars Arkive, which is the catalog department for its labels that are no longer active.[5]


With its own worldwide network in place, unique in the independent sector, the Group now has three offices in London (two of which also house recording studios), two in the US (New York and Los Angeles), and a dedicated office in every major territory. The company has also been actively involved in helping to promote the collective interests of the sector, being founding members of the AIM (UK) in 1999, IMPALA (Europe) in 2000, A2IM (USA), and most recently the Worldwide Independent Network, each of which represent the interests of the independent music industry. The Beggars Group are also active members of Merlin, the independents’ rights licensing body.

Martin Mills

Martin Mills has become[6] known as a fierce advocate for independent label rights,[7] and testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights hearing against the Universal Music Group-EMI merger.[8] In 2011, The Guardian named him #22 in their "Music Power 100.[6] He was given the "Industry Icon" award by Billboard (magazine) at Midem in 2013.[9] In 2014, Martin was given the Pioneer Award at the 2014 AIM Independent Music Awards.[10] He has been listed on Billboard's "Power 100" several times including #63[11] in 2015, #66[12] in 2014, and #64[13] in 2013. Variety Magazine named him one of the International Music Leaders of 2018.[14] He is a founding member of Impala, on the boards of A2IM, Merlin, and AIM, and in 2018 was appointed to a brand new role, Chair of WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network representing the interests of the global independent music community.[15]

Current group artists

The main labels that are part of the Beggars Group are home to a range of artists including:[16]


  1. "Rough Trade join Beggars group of labels". The Line Of Best Fit. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  2. "Matador Joins Beggars Group of Labels; Beggars Group Purchases 50% of Matador - re> NEW YORK, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/". Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  3. Larkin, Colin (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music. Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-579-4.
  4. "Beggars Group Buys Rough Trade". Billboard. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  5. Swash, Rosie (2008-04-30). "A farewell to Beggars Banquet's indie charms | Music". Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  6. "Martin Mills: 'Beggar' who does as he chooses". Telegraph. 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  7. "News". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  8. "Exclusive: Beggars Group's Martin Mills On Testifying at Senate Universal-EMI Hearing". Billboard. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  9. "to Honor Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills at MIDEM". Billboard. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  10. "Martin Mills to receive Pioneer Award at AIM Independent Music Awards". NME. 2014-07-12. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  11. "Power 100 - Martin Mills". Billboard. 2015-05-02. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  12. "Power 100 - Martin Mills". Billboard. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  13. "Billboard Power 100: Martin Mills". Billboard. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  14. "International Music Leaders of 2018". Variety Magazine. 2018-06-04. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  15. "WIN appoints Martin Mills as non-exec chair". Music Week. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  16. "Beggars Group". Beggars Group. 2014-02-13. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  17. "4AD artists". Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  18. "Grimes / 4AD Tie The Knot | News | Clash Magazine". Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  19. "Matador artists". Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  20. "How Queens Of The Stone Age Hit #1 On An Indie Label". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  21. Payne, Chris (December 14, 2016). "Spoon Shares New Song, Will Return to Matador Records for March 2017 Album". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  22. "Rough Trade artists". Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  23. "Ratking". Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  24. "Grammys 2014: Vampire Weekend wins for alternative music album". LA Times. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  25. "Young Turks artists". Retrieved 2018-06-24.

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