I’ve been asked a lot from various sides of the music industry recently why the Avalanche chart features so many local bands and/or why other shop charts don’t. Other charts are of course based on staff picks and less often sales. First of all I haven’t had the time or the inclination to extensively check how true this is but certainly from what I have seen local bands rarely feature if at all inbetween Grimes and Tame Impala in a top 10. Certainly Scotland maybe has the lion’s share of new talent and has had for several years but not to the complete exclusion of all others.
I admit that to some extent there is a certain amount of politics goes into some charts as labels are rewarded for offering shops extras for their end of year charts but still there is plenty of room to slip in the odd curveball. I can’t really speculate as to why the charts are as they are but what does disappoint me is the lack of Scottish bands in other shop charts. I would certainly have expected our two biggest sellers the Twilight Sad and Meursault to feature regularly.
As far as Avalanche is concerned I’m happy that we have The XX and Jack White rubbing shoulders with Olympic Swimmers and Randolph’s Leap and there is no doubt that gives credibility to a band. Our chart has a worldwide influence and is always one of our most read posts of the year. Only today a customer from Paris bought the Meursault album on vinyl after listening simply on the basis he had seen it so high in our chart. Yesterday a US customer bought all the titles in the top 10 he didn’t already own. An exiled Scot in Barcelona bought the entire top 30 except Meursault which I had sold him already. Many more simply go away and listen to the bands but that as we now well know is the way of things.
I’ve had many lovely comments from customers who only visit one a year around this time saying how much they enjoy the blog and how it helps them keep in touch with Scottish music. Some are Scots now living further afield and others are those who have come to love Scottish indie music. This may be the last chart with any real meaning as sales figures continue to drop for a variety of reasons. Of course this may also be the last completely shop based chart depending on what future lies ahead for Avalanche. I’ll publish the final top 40 on New Year’s Day. I think it represents Avalanche very well.