Saturday, August 29, 2009

"One pound please."  

I was just going through the stack of records I brought back from the UK. Digging there in the big cities was, for me at least, a fairly fruitless experience. Its a nation of record collectors and taste makers, the dealers are educated in all genres down to the last most obscure detail, and people have deep pockets when it comes to vinyl. You never want to be going head to head with a British or Japanese record nut with access to liquid assets. Forget it. But, the best thing about digging in the UK was that all the younger collectors seemed to congregate in London, Manchester and these sorts of places, and wouldn't be seen dead in a provincial town or small city, and these sorts of places are my natural habitat and bread and butter. The coastal boonies are full of killer records left over from the 70's/80's UK soulboy DJ circuit.

I went into a small record shop with pictures of Elvis and 60's garage acts all up over the walls. I asked the tea drinking proprietor politely if he had any disco or eighties dance music, and he casually points over to two boxes I passed as I walked through the door, both with big hand written scrawls on the side saying "ONE POUND EACH". Now a pound sterling equates to about $400 USD or thereabouts it seemed, but still, its pretty much the smallest denomination possible in Great Britain. I asked him why the boxes were almost placed out the door and in direct sunlight, and he said it was so if anyone came in to try and steal records they would just take the easy route, nick some disco and leave, his rock'n'roll records safely untouched by their thieving hands. We had a chat and he gave me a stack from the boxes for a fiver. He knew tons about disco, modern soul and it's current market value. He just hated it that's all. Here are three I picked out that were interesting.

Fashion were a darkwave dance act from the early eighties London scene, I have a couple of their other records, but I had never seen this one before, it was a double 12" single. The bands producer 'Zeus B'Held' often created dub versions of the bands instrumentals that he would term 'mutant remixes', this one comes off the flip of the bonus disc:

Something Special is a classic electro boogie monster, I love the instrumental on this:

The shop owner said an old rep for Pye Records who was now living in Essex came in and dropped a bunch of promos off that were sitting around his garage. Pye would carry releases from a lot of English independents in the late seventies, particularly small glam rock labels, and some of these glam acts would often put a disco B side on their singles in an attempt to cash in. David Boydell was a pure disco act, there is an LP of his out there somewhere, this single came on cool white vinyl, Red Light is a quirky disco funk instrumental that appears on the flip"

Posted by Black Shag | 6 comments

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6 comments: to “ "One pound please."

  • August 29, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

    "Red Light" is killer! If only it were thrice the length! Thanks so much for posting these tracks! Brilliant, as always!!!

  • September 2, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

    I worked for over 30 years in a UK record shop in a small town, we had 2 weekly deliveries from the U.S. With being a club DJ i spent most of my wages on 7" and 12".We often had Japanese collectors in the the shop.When the shop closed down the owner put all the stock online,that was a while back so he probably shifted most of it.I've still got my collection, someday i'll probably sell it.

  • September 2, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

    Glad you liked the small town UK record shops. I used to frequent them around Manchester (Wigan, Bury, Macclesfield, etc) The charity shops are also great for picking up the odd rarity but in the big cities chances are they're also staffed by the unbelievably knowledgeable.

    Oh, I'm sorry about all the stick your House post got. I one of those small time upstarts, just moved to a new town (Lisbon, Portugal) and your work is very much appreciated here.

  • September 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM  

    Saw Fashion live in Derby (UK) in the early 80s. They were a great band and much underrated. The odd rather scratchy video can still be found on Youtube.

  • September 4, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

    The Fashion track is great, Shaggy. Thank you.

  • October 12, 2009 at 3:14 AM  

    I have the LP by David Boydell and it is very good, and very rare. I hope you find it one day as it is worth tracking down.