For the last two and a half decades, Beggars Banquet has been one of the U.K.'s preeminent cutting-edge rock labels. Founded in 1974 by Martin Mills and his partner Nick Austin as a record store in London's Earls Court, Beggars Banquet became a bona fide label in 1977 when it released a seven-inch single by the U.K. punk outfit The Lurkers. Over the next few years the label quickly cemented its reputation as a haven for creators of dark, difficult, avant-garde rock music with releases from Tubeway Army, Bauhaus, The Fall, and more. Over the years, various Beggars Banquet projects have evolved into new labels, including 4AD, XL Recordings, and most recently, their in-house imprint, Mantra. Today Beggars Banquet remains one of the most successful and most uncompromising indie labels in the business.