Archive for December, 2013

Avalanche Update

RecordStore11GTI remember last year when One Up announced that unless things got better by Christmas they would close in January. Nothing really happened. They announced they were closing and they were mobbed. It understandably baffled Raymond one of the owners. There have been I admit several attempts to persuade me to reassess my decision to leave at the end of January but if anything the last couple of weeks have only convinced me it is the right thing to do. The Avalanche regulars as ever can not be faulted for their support and the response from visitors is still fantastic. Saturday’s highlight was a young girl from Chile who was a big Mogwai fan. However that is it. There are simply no “shoppers” at all. I’m starting to get the usual requests for things people can’t find in HMV and FOPP but unless they are looking for Withered Hand or Meursault (those FOPP headers are always empty) they will be out of luck.

Just why the Grassmarket is so quiet and in turn why Avalanche is also quiet is not rocket science. All the retail shops will have customers who have searched them out but quite clearly nobody is coming to the Grassmarket just to shop. Edinburgh Council have done all they can to attract as many people as possible to Princes Street and St Andrew Square and it would be ludicrous to think that will not be at the expense of all the surrounding areas not just the Grassmarket. In the case of the Grassmarket it is particularly galling as the BID has been in place for some time and their main focus seems to be on a small Saturday market when the message needs to be to visit the Grassmarket every day for great individual shops and places to eat and drink. Sundays in particular are crying out for something to attract people up from Princes Street and there is nothing. If we feel stuck at the end of the Grassmarket (there is some evidence people walk to the bottom of Victoria Street and then turn back unless they want “the view” of the castle) then God help the West Port !

At the same time in what is a perfect storm the advantages given to HMV and FOPP over consignment stock mean that bar those looking for local bands customers have no need to visit Avalanche. Posters and second hand are fine but without new sales cash flow becomes impossible. Saturday wasn’t too bad a day but the sale so well “liked” on facebook and twitter made no difference at all. I have absolutely no intention of downsizing or “going online”. People will still be able to visit Avalanche and yes we will be online but Avalanche as you know it will end at the end of January. As such there is a mountain of stock to clear and the feeling is unless I put “closing down” in the window the situation is going to continue.  There is as you would imagine a lot of cash tied up in all the stock we have and I need to realise that sooner rather than later.

As I suspected unless I keep pushing our online shop sales dry up very quickly. Again I have no intention of continuously bombarding people to buy stuff online. Of course I will in future be happy to tell people in a more organised way when something is released they might like.

Over the last three years Avalanche has become a worldwide brand without trying ! It stands for certain things and it is something people believe in. I have no intention of compromising that. If I was wary of working with others before that is true even more so now but I’m also well aware that the future is to find partners in the various areas Avalanche will move into. I promise all will be revealed in the New Year.              

The Twilight Sad & RSNO – The Wrong Car (Live at Paisley Abbey)

Avalanche’s All Time Best Selling Self Distributed Albums

There Will Be Fireworks sleeve1.   There Will Be Fireworks – There Will Be Fireworks

2.   Pictish Trail – Secret Soundz Vol.1

3.   Kid Canaveral – Shouting At Wildlife

4.   The Savings and Loan – Today I Need Light

5.   Star Wheel Press – Life Cycle Of A Falling Bird

6.   King Creosote – Psalm Clerk

7.   TV21 – Forever 22

8.   Bwani Junction – Fully Cocked

Pictish Trail - Secret+Soundz+Volume+19.   There Will Be Fireworks – The Dark, Dark Bright

10. Quickbeam – Quickbeam

11. Olympic Swimmers – No Flags Will Fly

12. Randolph’s Leap – Introducing …..

13. Kevin MacNeil and Willie Campbell – Visible From Space

14. Scottish Enlightenment – St. Thomas

15. King Creosote – Disclaimer

16. King Creosote – Vintage Quays

Kid Canaveral - Shouting17. Emily Scott – Longshore Drift

18. The Last Battle – Heart Of The Land, Soul Of The Sea

19. Rob St John – Weald

20. Emily Scott – abcdefg…etc…

21. Cancel The Astronauts – Animal Love Match

22. Endor – Endor

23. King Creosote – Red On Green

24. Conquering Animal Sound – Kammerspiel

TodayINeedLightHiRes25. Cold Seeds – Cold Seeds

26. Edinburgh School For The Deaf – New Youth Bible

27. Dead Flowers – Midnight At The Wheel Club

28. Aberfeldy – Somewhere To Jump From

29. Trapped Mice – Winter Sun

30. Emily Scott – I Write Letters I Never Send



SWP - Life Cycle


So big hitters like Ballboy, Saint Jude’s Infirmary, Meursault and Withered Hand aren’t included as they all had distributors I bought from. Others in the chart may have had distribution but I dealt directly for the vast majority of the stock. The Scars album would have been at two but I stuck to new releases and not reissues. I always say this but I’m sure this time I will have forgotten someone so it may well change.

Avalanche best sellers chart for 2013

FRabbits - Pedestrian Verse banner1.   Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

2.   Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away

3.   There Will Be Fireworks – The Dark, Dark Bright  

4.   The National – Trouble Will Find Me

5.   Quickbeam – Quickbeam

6.   Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

7.   Mogwai – Les Revenants

8.    Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart

Nick Cave - Push The Sky Away9.    Public Service Broadcasting – Inform Educate Entertain 

10.  Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time

11.  Dead Flowers – Midnight At The Wheel Club

12.  Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe

13.  Low – The Invisible Way

14.  Biffy Clyro – Opposites   

15.  Sigur Ros – Kveikur 

16.  David Bowie – The Next Day

TWBF - DDB17.  Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt

18.  RM Hubbert – Breaks & Bone

19.  Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

20.  L.Pierre – The Island Come True

21.  John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

22.  Eels – Wonderful Glorious

23.  King Creosote – This Might Well Be It, Darling

24.  Queens Of The Stone Age – Like Clockwork

National_Trouble_Will_Find_Me25.  Arctic Monkeys – AM

26.  Edwyn Collins – Understated

27.  Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

28.  Conquering Animal Sound – On Floating Bodies            

29.  Yo La Tengo – Fade

30.  Atoms for Peace – Amok

31.  Strokes – Comedown Machine

32.  Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Quickbeam album cover33.  Bill Callahan – Dream River

34.  Delta Mainline – Oh! Enlightened

35.  Lloyd Cole – Standards

36.  Pastels – Slow Summits

37.  British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy

38.  Daughter – If You Leave

39.  Savages – Silence Yourself

40.  Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt