I pretty much stopped buying CDs a few years ago now and I just can’t get my head around the idea of paying to download music so the fact that vinyl’s popularity keeps on growing is a very, very good thing indeed. To back this up there’s even a new ‘vinyl chart’ now and, of course this Saturday sees Record Store Day, the annual chance for vinyl junkies to spend obscene amounts of dosh on some limited edition that they’ll probably never play or...even worse...for some loathsome creatures to buy and then stick on eBay to make a fast buck. Soulless motherfuckers. Still, whatever the reason, for an increasing number of people vinyl’s becoming the go to medium despite the fact that the format was read it’s last rites back in the 80s when we were all being flogged the shiny new world of the CD. Ahhhh, CDs eh, remember them? The same CDs that charity shops now can’t give away? I’m guessing some poor sods fell for this and flogged off or, quelle horreur, THREW AWAY their vinyl. Many’s the time I saw piles of records at car boot sales being sold for peanuts because they were ‘cluttering up the house’. It’s true, records are hardly the most convenient way to store or listen to music but if you take that logic to its conclusion we’d probably all live off vitamin pills, wear onesies and imac off all our hair. Since when did 'convenience' become the be all and end all of existence? Part of the appeal of vinyl is that it DOES take an effort to buy, store and play, making the process of listening to it something a little more special. Music ain’t a commodity like gas, electricity and water. It’s the result of hours, days, weeks, years and in some cases decades of effort and yet now you can just click a button and it pours out in an endless stream, all of which often means that the music becomes more of a background soundtrack to other activities (walking, exercising, travelling to work, work itself, making lurve/whacking off) rather than the main focus. Come on now, admit it, when was the last time you REALLY REALLY listened to something? Anyway, here...or indeed 'hear'...endeth the sermon (for a more in depth and convincing argument than mine...with actual science and stuff...check out this neat little video from Gigwise.com)
If you’re in Brum most of the remaining record shops seem to be putting on some kind of event, the pick of the bunch (for me at least) being the good people at Swordfish Records who have none other than Mr Miles Hunt and Miss Erica Nockalls from The Wonderstuff playing. In my humble opinion The Stuffies are ripe for reappraisal. Their run of singles in the late 80s and early 90s, combining a little rock, a little punk, a little folk and something called ‘grebo’ at the time, are as good as any bands’ prime output. That’s a bold claim but cop a listen to some of these beauties.
Miles and Erica should be playing around about 5pm but ‘needles’ to say (needles...needless...get it...oh never mind) the good folk of Swordfish Records will be dishing up the vinyl all day long.