Wednesday 21 April 2010

National Record Shop Day 2010

National Record Shop Day 2010 seems to have been a resounding success this year. Previous years have been damp squibs but this year was a major success , with a lot of limited edition vinyl editions only available on the day featuring artists as disparate as the Rolling Sones and Eliza Doolittle.

I visited Reflex and RPM in Newcastle purchasing the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and AC/DC offerings , but both shops were packed , RMP staging bands near the Old George. Looking forward to next years event , not sure if HMV benefitted from it!!

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Brookerised and Mugged

I thought I had it sussed. I could read Charlie Brooker on the train without breaking into a guffaw every five minutes. Reading "Dawn of The Dumb" on the way back to Newcastle from Darlington page 66 caused me to laugh out loud. This was made bad as I was sitting next to a po-faced iPod wearing student who made Morrisey look like Jerry Sadowitz (I think that's how you spell it).

That was bad enough but I get home to find that you have to renew the photo on your driving license every ten years , and for this privelege I have top pay £20. What with that and my Passport renewal coming up I'm going to be lucky if I can afford to eat at this rate.

Thank god there's an election coming up. Though let's face it nothing will change . As many people have stated "No Matter Who YOu Vote For, The Government Always Gets In!".

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Tesco World Domination A Possibility

Usually a new supermarket branch is well publicised, such as the Tesco Extra that appeared as part of the new Eldon Square redevelopment in Newcastle. This was fine although there are major Tescos in Gateshead and Kingston Park and well as Tesco Extras in Jestmond and on the Westgate Road.

Imagine my surprise when walking along Percy Street yesterday , when I noticed a new cash machine , and thought , ah that's useful. However this turned to major shock when I saw that it was attatched to a new Tesco Extra that had appeared in place of the Sony Shop!!

So now we have two Tesco Extras and a Sainsbury's Local in the centre of Newcastle .

This getting a little too close to the Demolition Man Taco Bell scenario or the the Time Trumpet scenario spoofed here:

Sunday 4 April 2010

Re Illumination and Ejection

Just returned from holiday and one of the many pieces of mail was a certificate for my participation in the Illuminating Hadrian's Wall project that took place on March 13th of this year. Hopefully they'll get a DVD of the event put together soon.

On a completely separate tack , I was reading this months Mojo and they have a retrospective review of Robert Calvert's "Captain Lockheed and The Starfighters" which fails to mention the rather excellent lead single "Ejection" . I particularly remember this as I was in the record shop and was stunned by the jet noise that panned across the place before hitting the excellent three chord metal anthem which I immediately bought . A superb record that should be in everyone's collection. It's youtubed below:

Ghosts Of Exeter St Davids

During our holiday we took a friend's advice to visit Totnes by train , departing from Exeter St Davids. The station , while pleasant enough , seemed to have no stand out features that we could discern , though we did notice three or four crows that wandered around the platforms as though the owned the place.

According to the the station staff , the crows never leave and never fly and are in fact the souls of departed steam engine drivers . Definitely an interesting anecdote about the place!!

Saturday 3 April 2010

Devon - Record Shop Heaven?

Just back from Devon and a most excellent place it is too. Discovered several things , but the most surprising was the number of thriving record shops there were . Everywhere record shops seem to be dying out (check out Graham Jones' Last Shop Standing) , but in Devon they're on the up in a big way. I'm sure I passed obne in Crediton , a small village outside of Exeter , but unsure of that.

In Exeter I found Martian Records which was shut , but it was Good Friday but here's a google link.

Rooster records was well and truly open , and stuffed with vinyly , CDs and a hell of a lot of interesting stuff. The guy there reckoned business had never been so good . I helped by buying a King Crimson CD/DVD set , the reissue of Horslips' Book of Invasions , a couple of cheapies and "My Baby Loves Pop Music" by local band "A Fine Day For Sailing". Not sure if Rooster have a web site but their address is 98 Fore Street , Exeter and phone number is 01392 272009. A joy to visit. This website here is them I reckon.

Totnes was apparently descended on by hippies in the sixties and they stayed. The only concessions to globalisation are a WH Smiths and a Superdrug , as well as a bank or two and Post Office. The main shopping area of Totnes is a single, traffic unfriendly street , Fore Street I think, , it's really best to go on foot. Anyway this street boasts not one but TWO superb record shops!!

The first , a "Simon Cowell" Free zone was staffed by a young lass who'd told us of her pirate themed twenty first party. Unusually the shop contained virtually no compilations bar the odd Trojan Box Set. Their web site doesnt seem to work , but the shop does! Anyway I left with Matching Mole's BBC Sessions and a 2004 CD/DVD of the New York Dolls at the Royal Festival Hall.

Then there was The Drift run by an affable Irish guy who got involved with a film about the Undertones manager and reckons the reason that most record shops are going bust is because they dont talk to customers . Given my experiences in Devon and Newcastle I reckon he has a point. I left with the ew albums by Joanna Newsome and Lightspeed Champion. Their website is here.

As I write this there are NO independent record shops in York.

April 17th is National Record Shop Day.

There's a list of participating shops on the official National Record Store Day site here

If you have a local independent record shop make your presence felt. Go in and buy something!!