Saturday, April 17, 2010


Saturday 17 April 2010 – RECORD STORE DAY

Dream: I am in Rough Trade record shop just off Brick Lane.  I manage to find a copy of the new Blur seven inch.  I then find a copy of it on CD single.  Swiftly I buy them both amongst a pile of other records while I frantically search the store for The Cribs/The Thermals split single.

I awaken this morning slightly panicked wondering what the time is and if whether I have slept in too late.  I cannot believe how seriously I take these things sometimes (Record Store Day).  I took them too seriously when I was the right age to do so but now it is verging/bordering on some kind of joke.  My transformation into Seymour from Ghost World is almost complete.  Alarm bells are ringing.

With that in mind I pull myself together and head off for London at 7.45AM regardless.  This is a fool’s errand.  Something I do in order to fill the gaping void in my being and existence.

Ridiculously Chris Summerlin deleting me from Facebook is still resonating in my mind.  This is truly pathetic, as was the gesture.  I guess it is confusion more than anger that gripes me.  I just don’t understand these things sometimes, the social workings of certain circles, ones that I am nowhere near involving myself in anymore.  Such is the modern world.  This is exactly why I did the Facebook Cull in an effort to analyse such things.  Now after 100 days and 100 culls it would seem that I am none the wiser.  I’m just curious as to what suddenly prompted this gesture.  Looking at our remaining mutual friends there really are some flimsy links there.  Also overall this is a person with over 500 friends, which pretty much sums up the Facebook experience – nobody has 500 friends and suddenly we get back to the Dunbar’s number theory.  People have very short memories in the long run.

After putting a lot of effort into my appearance today it almost makes me late leaving Bohemian Grove for the station.  In the end I wind up on the 8.03AM train.

I ride up to town listening to episodes of The Bugle from two years ago.  This is one hell of a catch up project.  Now that’s what I call dedication.

Word comes in from Justin that up in Manchester people are already queued outside Piccadilly Records for Record Store Day.  I don’t think I’ll be getting a Blur single today.

For some reason I have put on aftershave today especially for the Record Store Day event.  Why I do this is something I am trying to fathom out.  This is without doubt going to be primarily a male affair so why would I want to do something that might enhance me to others?  I think perhaps this is a gesture of insecurity from me with view to distinguishing myself away from the real geeks and nerds of proceedings.

Eventually the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.48AM and I head straight over to Rough Trade East just around the corner from Brick Lane where I am met with the sight of an almighty huge line/queue stretched around the block waiting to get in and get at the limited edition records.  Suddenly my efforts feel futile but now I am here I figure having made the effort to arrive I should still queue and see what I can get.

Patiently I wait and finally I get allowed into the store as smug little indie kids emerge with their copies of the Blur seven inch.  Maybe I should just break from the queue and steal from these little fuckers.

I get into the shop just before 9.30AM and inside it is genuine pandemonium, this is a kind of bedlam that can seldom being associated with indie music.  Today the indie fraternity suddenly resemble crazed women attending a shoe and/or handbag sale at Next or somewhere.  I don’t stand a chance against the frenzied record collectors.  With rumours of people queuing since 3AM in order to bag the Blur single this is a passion I just cannot replicate or match.

For the longest time I find myself staggering around the store clutching only a £6 She & Him seven inch that in truth I don’t really want.  As I begin to feel like crying a set of Factory Records ten inch samplers are brought out, one of which I immediately grab just to cease/stop looking so pathetic with my sole single.

In addition to the Blur seven inch I miss out on a vinyl pressing of the Sonic Youth Starbucks compilation and the Flaming Lips version of “Dark Side Of The Moon”, which at £20 I decide I can realistically live without.  Sadly though I did really want a copy of the Male Bonding/Dum Dum Girls split single on Sub Pop which looks far beyond driven for me today.

Rubbing insult into injury I see an old guy (a collector) with about 15 copies of The Fall single and in the process I all but begin crying.

At around this point I spot a recognisable face in the form of Danny Kelly.  I am genuinely in awe because I have dug this guy’s work for years and still scour the internets to hear if he is making any new podcasts or radio shows.  I really wish he was still doing football shows with Danny Baker as they truly bring the best out in each other, snapping with real bite and avoiding the sentimental pap that the current Baker show is prone to lapsing into at the moment.  His visit appears swift and merciless as he ploughs his way through the crowds snapping up a Soft Machine vinyl before shooting off while I continue to stagger around looking for good stuff.  The man is plainly a pro when it comes to record shopping.

From here I spend too much time bouncing between the Record Store Day displays until I become paranoid that a member of security is tracing me.  Eventually I give up and join a queue that I think is headed towards the main counter but then I discover it is actually being redirected to a bespoke counter at the front of the store by the coffee bar.

While standing in the queue naturally it winds back past the seven inch displays where now I find myself scooping up any release that is remotely interesting or recognisable in order just to have something to show for my day and efforts.

Behind me in the queue is a geek and his German girlfriend.  He is a wet bastard and her accent is just annoying.  Where do these types go to hook up?  Still from here I am able to eavesdrop and garner some kind of knowledge/gossip regarding proceedings.  When however it turns out that she doesn’t know what the Shroud Of Turin is I can’t help but feel prolonged contempt and disgust for these people.

By now shop clerks are wandering around asking “anyone want a…..” and suddenly a copy of the new Fall single is offered up which I jump for and suddenly things begin to improve immeasurably.

As the queue moves slowly behind me conversation gets more moronic the closer we get to the checkout.  Eventually I close in one payment just as the guy in front of me buys a stack of vinyl that comes to £174.77.  How can people afford to pay so much in this current economic climate?    My own purchases comes to £41.44 but at least at the counter there are plenty of promo CDs to pocket.  Still £40 for a small pile of seven inches feels a hefty price to pay.

At this point the time is nearly 11AM and I have almost been in the shop for the two hours.  Looking towards the exit I spot that people are still queuing to get let into the store but I stay inside to wait around for the PULLED APART BY HORSES set.

PULLED APART BY HORSES are a band from Leeds who appear to enjoy reiterating this fact through and through.  They are a great band with a truly harsh guitar sound which is really too jagged for 11AM in the morning.  In so many worlds this is just too early to rock.  Not for these guys though, they’re animals by hook and by crook.  This noise is a proposition for only the strong at this hour.

There is something genuinely sinister about this band.  The singer looks eager to tickle the audience while the drummer appears to be covered head to toe in Russian tattoos and the guitarist really wants to talk about and show off his new shoes.  Repeat until funny.

It feels like a while now since I have come across a British band that sounds like this which as a result provides something of a bolt of enthusiasm at this time from an act sensibly selected for this kind of event.  The PULLED APART BY HORSES din is a nasty and American sounding one that sears and operates at a high level.

Eventually the main man leaps into off the stage into the audience and right next to me.  As I duck the forks of his guitar I spot a photographer grabbing close up snaps of what is probably me stood next to a musician looking like I am shitting myself.  He then begins riffling through CD racks mid set before realising this is the Japanese noise section and he doesn’t know any of those bands.

Throughout the set a security guard that looks like a big hard Chris Eubank trawls around the crowd holding up live LPs doing a really hard sell.  Enthused everyone keeps taking them from him, possibly feeling too intimidated to say “no”.

Finally the band climaxes with the singer’s shirt worn over his head like a Sand People as the new shoes guitarist jumps into the crowd and begins hugging people before hanging his still live axe uncomfortably on the shoulders of a pretty Asian girl he probably fancies (I know I did).

Afterwards I exit Rough Trade feeling genuinely elated.  It feels like a while now since I last saw a band such as this, they are a dying breed.  Once outside the store I see the queue still reaching around the corner, only without the panic and urgency of 9AM.

At this point my phone beeps and it is Mark asking me what my plan for today is.  Promptly I give him a call and soon plans are hatched to get some lunch.

From here I grab a Starbucks and head to Liverpool Street to meet up with Mark just as I begin to experience battery panic on my iPhone.  When he turns up we head back to Rough Trade to see the sight and scene with the queue still around the corner.  Peaking inside we can hear Caribou playing and sounding surprisingly good.

At this point some girl walks past who Mark knows and it actually turns out to be the lady that designed Lady Gaga’s sunglasses in the “Telephonevideo.  No shit.

With it not looking likely to get back inside the shop we head to Spitalfields where we grab some lunch at Gourmet Burger as we bundle through conversation about the impending election.  After the food we hang around Spitalfields in the sun while wondering just what the fuck to do with our day (with our lives).

The sun has really brought out the families and it is weird to see them in such an urban setting.  The concrete jungle just does not feel the right place to bring your family on such a day as they search out the few scraps of green that the city has to offer.  There is one particular yummy mummy who makes me pine for an adult existence as such.

With this in mind (and my iPhone supplying battery panic) I throw the towel in on proceedings and wind up catching the 2.30PM train home.

After a boring Saturday afternoon train ride home (near death by boredom) I get back to Colchester just under an hour later where I decide to brave Asda on a Saturday afternoon.  This is a fool’s errand.  Eventually I get home around 4PM at which point I endeavour to kick into writing.

From here writing carries me into the evening before all falls apart and I fall asleep in front of the TV in the evening.

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