Archive for July, 2011

Posters, Posters and More Posters

Posters almost completely sorted ! Two large boxes in the shop now full of neatly labelled and priced fly posters. Several different posters from Biffy Clyro, Oasis, Fratellis, Faithless, Runrig, Foo Fighters etc plus lots of pop and festival posters from only £2.

Hundreds of smaller posters at £3 from Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Kings of Leon, Kasabian, Goldfrapp, Franz Ferdinand, Pains of Being Pure At Heart and many, many more !     

Album / EP launches

After the success of some of the charts we have published recently bands are understandably keen to feature. I have been asked how a balance can be struck between shop sales and in particular album launches and to be honest there simply isn’t an easy answer. Bands have been very good in making sure I have their albums on time but of course the majority of the sales will always be at the launch. I suppose sensibly if a shop has the album for sale on the Monday with a launch not until the Friday then it gives customers the chance to buy and listen to the album before the launch but these days as more bands stream their albums that doesn’t apply like it used to either.

The Last Battle are a big band for us and yet we have sold very little of the new EP despite all their efforts to get it to us before their launch. We did of course sell tickets for the launch so benefited that way instead but understandably all the sales will have been at the launch. Hopefully the band will have recovered their outlay and who would deny that is a good thing. However next time I’m asked for a singles chart ……………    

People Love Record Shops but bands and labels too

I have a friend with a gift shop. Interesting things you don’t see all the time. She has to go through every box taking out the little leaflets inside from the supplier which basically say thank you for buying this from a shop but next time why not buy something directly from us instead listing of course their website address. This is the problem now facing record shops. We introduce a customer to a band or label and the customer will understandably then check out their website. The next release they may then buy directly.
We long ago lost all our Domino customers and maybe in a pointer to the way forward things have come full circle and we are now working with their publishing arm who are being very supportive indeed. Even a shop’s loyalist customers will sometimes buy from shops but other times directly. Labels will say the extra revenue makes all the difference to them and I’m sure in many cases it does. However shops need every sale they can get these days too so sharing/losing customers they have introduced to a band/label makes all the difference to them also.
Of course when the customer’s interest is in the type of music then they will return looking for recommendations of similar things. We don’t only suggest Scottish music of course and we are a big supporter of the Pearly Gate Music album. There is a good chance if you like that you will like The Savings and Loan and vice versa and of course now the latest in that lineage is the Star Wheel Press album.
We are getting customers from abroad back in the shop after a year or two saying how much they enjoyed the Broken Records and Frightened Rabbit albums we recommended to them and looking for more of the same. I always suggest whatever I think most suitable but more than ever it puts me in a dilemma. Nobody is more supportive of Avalanche than the Fence label for instance (we have the Kid Canaveral in-store next weekend) and yet we have had many customers return telling us that they have gone on to buy stuff directly from Fence after our recommendation. Should I continue to suggest smaller Scottish labels and bands that I am likely to lose custom to or support equally good and probably bigger bands on bigger labels were this is less likely to happen ?
By coincidence while a customer (as it turned out Matthew (I think) from Loch Awe) was in buying the Christ album and asking for the new split single on Gerry Loves Records who comes in to collect his Radiohead twelve inch but Andy from Gerry Loves Records on his way to having the sleeves for the  new split single screen printed. I’d already mentioned the earlier singles and as you can see from the tweets below done a good job in selling them. However the bottom line is another lost sale. Now the thing is I don’t begrudge the label the sale at all but sensibly if Avalanche is to survive I can’t just rely on selling Andy’s releases to tourists looking for “interesting” vinyl.  
Loch Awe
LochAweBand Loch Awe
Today I bought a Christ. LP @avalanche_edin. It’s brilliant. Had to try very hard to stop myself getting every @gerryloves release too…
Gerry Loves Records
gerryloves Gerry Loves Records

@LochAweBand ah, that was you. Sorry I wasn’t chattier, you caught me at a bad time. Yes, buy all the records!
Loch Awe
LochAweBand Loch Awe

@gerryloves Indeed it was. Don’t worry about it – you seemed in a rush, haha! I’m gonna go for the deal on bandcamp when I get paid. 🙂
Let me make it very clear here that I’m not complaining about this merely trying to highlight the issues it raises. In fact Andy actually mentioned the possibility of a labels’ market to me recently and while I was very much against the London version I was more than happy to support a Scottish labels’ market if it was done in conjunction with shops and not at their expense. I have also looked quite closely at trying to organise some sort of distribution for the many Scottish bands that currently don’t have any but again the stumbling block will always the issues already mentioned. I know Fence are quite actively looking at supporting shops that support them and certainly that looks a promising way forward. If a healthy balance can be struck between shop sales and label/band sales then all sides I think will benefit. 

Avalanche in-stores

Just to clarify what I would have thought was obvious. If you would like to play an in-store then it is essential that any physical releases you have are available in shops. Offering a few copies as an afterthought doesn’t count !   

Back of the Shop

Ryan from Star Wheel Press was in today turning the back of the shop into more of a multi purpose display/gallery space. It’s only a first attempt but will make the space a little more flexible. We should hopefully have everything in place in time for some exciting exhibitions during the Festival.   

Nordoff-Robbins Big Apple Award – new details

Seemingly one of the sponsors has been accused of dodgy dealings and is no longer involved. At least now we can be sure of a fair result !  


Renowned music charity Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland and Creative Scotland have teamed up to launch a once in a lifetime opportunity for new and emerging Scottish bands to winThe Big Apple Award, which will see the winner playing at the prestigious Scottish Music Awards held annually in Glasgow this November, and in New York City with the American-Scottish Foundation during Scotland Week 2012.
Artists should send demos along with any pictures into Nordoff-Robbins:
The Big Apple Award
Third Floor
48 West George St
G2 1BP

We were promised a new Jetpacks album and they didn’t lie

We Were Promised Jetpacks are set to release their new album ‘In The Pit Of The Stomach’ on October 3rd.

We Were Promised Jetpacks have been teasing fans for the past month. Retreating to Iceland to work on their new studio album, the Edinburgh band have released a series of short snippets online.

Now the group have decided to cut to the chase: new album ‘In The Pit Of The Stomach’ is set to be released on October 3rd.

Recorded in the hinterlands of the frozen island, We Were Promised Jetpacks completed their new album with help from Andrew Bush and Peter Katis. Taking place in Sigur Ros’ Sunlaugin Studios, the sessions were apparently an attempt to re-create their live sound.

“We recorded the debut album in 8 days with one short tour under our belts – this time around we spent a full three weeks in the studio recording with [live sound engineer] Andrew Bush and made an album that both captures the sound of our live show and is strong start to finish” explained frontman Adam Thompson.

Fancy a preview? New cut ‘Act On Impulse’ is available from the band’s official website HERE.

Meanwhile, We Were Promised Jetpacks have confirmed plans for a British tour. Opening in Dundee (obviously a band of great taste!) the dates run throughout September and October and move between Britain and the continent.

Ending in Manchester on October 14th, the tour hits London on October 12th for a show in XOYO. Tickets are on sale now.

We Were Promised Jetpacks are set to play the following shows:

9 Dundee Doghouse

1 Stirling Tolbooth
6 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
11 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
12 London XOYO
13 Brighton Jam
14 Manchester Deaf Institute

Courtesy of Clash Music

Scousers Never Buy The Sun – Billy Bragg

Enough said

BBC introducing – Gallery 47

Just found out if I click on an artist in this year’s line-up you get footage and having not heard of half the bands (yes I know they are not all Scottish) I came across Gallery 47 who it says in the blurb blends ” electronic elements with the abstract lyrical verses of a beat-poet, you could say he is reminiscent of Nick Drake, Bert Jansch or his biggest influence, Bob Dylan.” Or you could say he sounds exactly like James Blunt. Uncanny. Must set aside time to investigate other choices further.

BBC introducing – Kid Canaveral

Just checked out the Kid Canaveral footage which of course was excellent. However when I went to search for more I was directed to last year’s line up which a year later does look very odd indeed. No doubt Kid Canaveral will be the Admiral Fallow of the bunch.

Saturday 10