Archive for July, 2011

Sunday 7th August – Withered Hand and Rachel Sermanni in-store as part of Born To Be Wide

I should have more details very soon but Dan and Rachel will be appearing in the shop as part of Born To Be Wide’s celebration of the Edinburgh music scene. 

Scotland’s leading music social club, Born To Be Wide, is to host a special celebration of Edinburgh’s music scene with live previews by local bands and industry DJs selecting their favourite four tracks by acts from the capital.

Taking place at the Electric Circus on Sunday 7 August, the night will feature ten-minute taster sets by acts performing at various music events taking place during August, providing an opportunity for audiences to get a snapshot of emerging local acts. Live performances will take place on the hour and half hour, while guest promoters, music journalists and other pillars of the local scene will play their favourite four records by Edinburgh artists in between bands.  In addition to this, there will also be daytime gigs in record shops and a couple of surprises yet to be announced.

Confirmed live acts include

 Austen George, Bwani Junction, Alex Cornish, Chasing Owls, Church of When The Sh*t Hits The Fan, Lady North, Rachel Sermanni and Withered Hand.

All will  be performing full sets at various events throughout August including The Edge, Retreat, Song By Toad, Scottish Independent Record Fair Summerhall and the Acoustic Music Centre.

As you can see I drew the long straw and there will be no need to worry about not mentioning Vampire Weekend. I was asked to go along to the Scottish Independent Record Fair but as you can also see I can not be in two places at once ! We will be highlighting Scottish labels during all of the Festival anyway and I already have a few exciting offers lined up. As I have mentioned previously I had spoken about this with Andy at Gerry Loves Records and Matthew at Song By Toad. Obviously there will be lots of small labels and some not so small labels not represented at the fair but all will have their releases available in the shop as usual.

We do have more in-stores planned during the Festival and they will be announced soon. Star Wheel Press are confirmed for Friday August 26th.

Limited version of number one selling vinyl album not available in high street shops

Funnily enough this was not the headline in the media as ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) announced their analysis of the Official Chart Company’s figures for the first six months of the year. With Radiohead at number one with 20,771 sales and Elbow (only available directly from the record company) at 5 it’s not good news for shops. While the 20K+ figure looks good the figures I assume drop off dramatically as the Elbow vinyl was I’m informed limited to 3K and not as yet sold out. 

With one off Record Store Day figures also boosting the numbers substantially it would be interesting to see what the average sales are in a “normal” week in independent shops. These figures of course come from the same people who analysed Millward Brown’s figures for last year and announced there was an increase in the number of independent record shops. A closer inspection revealed “new” shops that had opened in the 80s but had only just “appeared on their radar”, a failure to notice Pure Groove the legendary London record store had closed and most incredibly the inclusion of 13 Alworths shops resurrected from the ashes of Woolworths but “independently” owned.

Be honest when the BBC reported in April 2011 that Last year, the UK had just 269 independent UK record shops, a figure that has now risen to 281 you weren’t thinking the entire increase was made up of Alworths shops were you ?. Having just googled Alworths to  make sure I had spelt it correctly I have just discovered it went into administration in March 2011 and was bought by Poundstretcher in May. I certainly don’t remember seeing any headlines about so many “independent record shops” closing in one go. 

Interestingly, the average price of a vinyl LP is now £16.30 compared with £7.82 for CD albums and £6.80 for digital albums. Surely this is distorted by the cost of the limited Radiohead vinyl and the various vinyl box sets that will be included. The average price of regular vinyl is certainly less than the £16.30 quoted which has to be a good thing. 

Lies, damned lies and statistics – So to summarise. All those “new” indie stores weren’t exactly what you might expect and in the case of Alworths have already closed. Radiohead’s support for independent shops is patchy at best giving them limited remix twelve inches which we would all have to agree is a good thing but keeping the limited version of the album for themselves. This is a “good news” story for somebody I’m sure but certainly not for independent high street record shops who are thought by some to be at the forefront of the vinyl revival.

Oxjam gigs – WeGotNoTickets

Sorry but we don’t have any tickets. We have always supported Oxjam selling their CDs at no profit to ourselves and selling tickets without a booking fee but it seems this year they have decided to use WeGotTickets who are donating 50% of their fee after tax. So please don’t ask any more for tickets as swearing often offends.

Kid Canaveral in-store, Album Club, Withered Hand vinyl, Twilight Sad tickets, Frightened Rabbit Merch and prints

Good day in the shop today. Sold two Avalanche record bags, 3 Avalanche tote bags, Kid Canaveral tote bag, 5 Avalanche t-shirts. various other band t-shirts, 2 books, 6 old magazines, 20+ badges a large Fratellis poster for £15, 3 Arctic Monkeys posters for £9, various other posters, some second hand vinyl, a little new vinyl and had a couple of big second hand CD sales. However apart from the usual clutch of Star Wheel Press CDs sold relatively few new CDs indeed. Did sell the new Fucked Up CD though and David Shop Assistant told me yesterday they were very complimentary about the shop after their visit so that is nice.


Expecting a bumper day tomorrow with the Jazz Festival starting and Kid Canaveral promising some songs you may not have heard for a while for their in-store to celebrate the vinyl release of their album. We will have 25 copies of the limited version with the cassette single which can be bought at any time tomorrow and then collected at the end of the day.   



Withered Hand vinyl was delayed due to circumstances beyond my control that then became within my control and then was sorted. I will let you all know the second they arrive. 




We have lots of new tickets in including those for the Twilight Sad acoustic set at the Electric Circus all displayed on our lovely ticket board. We also have the last few tickets for Shonrn Knife at Sneaky Pete’s.






The official emails will go out on Sunday but the latest album club package is ready to be collected and includes the new David Thomas Broughton album and the Young Hunting album. Much more on that in a couple of days. 





And as if all that isn’t enough Scott will be bringing in his new print before the guys head off to the States next week to tour with Death Cab For Cutie. He’s also promised to dig out any old merch they have for sale in the shop.

There is even more exciting news but I think that’s enough for now ! 

Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500 and Luna) on record shops

“We are drowning in a sea of Myspace, blather, and too much information. Music is everywhere and nowhere. The independent record store is the solution, a place staffed by friendly (or not) people who are actually paid to weed through this crap and help you find the good stuff.”

– Dean Wareham (Luna)

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Act On Impulse

Grassmarket 1845

The Horrors – Strange House

Every now and again I’ll feature a hard to find album that seems to have been forgotten about. 

Band members

  • Faris Badwan – vocals; formerly known as Faris Rotter.
  • Joshua Hayward – guitar; also known as Joshua Third, formerly Joshua Von Grimm.
  • Tom Cowan – synthesizer (on Primary Colours), bass (on Strange House); formerly known as Tomethy Furse.
  • Rhys Webb – bass (on Primary Colours), organs (on Strange House); formerly known as Spider Webb.
  • Joseph Spurgeon – drums; formerly known as Coffin Joe.
  • Temporary band members
  • Freddie Cowan (Tom’s brother and guitarist with The Vaccines) – guitar; replacing Joshua Hayward for several gigs when he was taking his exams.
Ghoulish dandies clad in jeans so tight they should barely accommodate a skeletal femur, much early discussion of Southend’s The Horrors has revolved around their look, not their music. Pleasing to note, then, that their debut album, Strange House, is actually pretty exceptional. Part sinister Cramps-style gothic rockabilly and part organ-fuelled ’60s psychedelia, delivered at a nervy post-Libertines rattle, you’d be lying if you were to venture these eleven tracks were especially original. But The Horrors can certainly whip up a chilling enough atmosphere, mostly due to the cadaverous bark of frontman Faris Rotter and the humming organ riffs of Spider Webb. Their haywire cover of ‘Jack The Ripper’ by Screaming Lord Such is a deliciously morbid revival, but it’s not the only judicious feat of musical grave-robbing: debut single ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’ draws not just title but breathless brevity from The Ramones’ ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’, while ‘Excellent Choice’ offers up a spoken-word tale with a grisly ending, a la the Velvet Underground’s ‘The Gift’. All in all, it’ll shake your bones. –Louis Pattison

Kid Canaveral in-store Saturday July 23rd @ 6pm

We will have the limited edition version of the vinyl album on sale and Emily’s cup cakes will also be making a welcome return.

Not only do you get vinyl and CD copies of the album but also a cassette tape (with download code) for the new single And Another Thing!!. On the flip of the tape there’s a cover of King Creosote’s ‘Missionary’. The track features an accordion intro & solo, as well as backing vocals, from Fence label boss, King Kenny Anderson himself.

Free badge with every coffee !


If I Had A Pound ……………..

If I had a pound for every time somebody told me how busy I was going to be for the next 6 weeks I wouldn’t need to be busy for the next 6 weeks. With the Jazz Festival and Kid Canaveral next weekend and the Festival soon to follow they have a point but I can’t pretend it won’t be a relief when we actually are busy every day and not just weekends. This Saturday was saved by three large sales and that may be how it goes. We may have lots of customers or just less customers buying a lot. I’ll happily settle for either.

Worrying to see shops who vowed never to have sales or mention prices now advertising “first ever sales” from 99p or £3 or whatever. There was a time when you could be sure that an album at £3 was pretty sure to be shit. Now there are lots of great albums sold at that price. What message though does it send out to the customer. Avi Buffalo seems to be very cheap everywhere. It would be understandable that come the next album people think they will just wait. I remember being told by several people that at least things would go no lower than £3. It simply isn’t worth processing CD sales at lower prices. And then I saw this

Product Details
Here We Stand by The Fratellis (Audio CD – 2008)
Buy new: £2.00
53 new from £0.73 19 used from £0.60