Striving for inspiration for this column, I attended the XpoNorth music conference in Inverness – by night, showcases of over 80 bands (high points: Fat Goth, Wojtek The Bear and Mt. Doubt).
Taking a break from the daytime panel discussions, I went a-wandering, and happened upon a record shop – remember those? It wasn’t one of the bright wave of indies, but one of the old stager chainstores, which to be honest I’d forgotten had existed. You’d know them, they’ve got a wee dug as their logo. Anyway, it was – in case you missed it – Vinyl Week. Perhaps it was a major label response to Record Store Day (I assume agents of The Man weren’t invited).
Lining the shelves were releases and re-issues, from Bowie to Harry Styles, all emblazoned with ‘MP3 included’ stickers… but the product placement didn’t stop there – they also had record decks of course, similar to the ones you can get from trendy clothing shops in a variety of colours to match your lifestyle. Indeed, the shelves were full of ‘added value’ – cleaning cloths, spare ‘needles’ (which if you purchase a deck, you may need, along with some spare records) and polythene sleeves, like the ones you’d get from Boots in the 80s (or was that just me?)
And, for a tenner, you can ensure your £24.99 12” will remain in good, resellable nick, by encasing it on a frame and attaching it to the wall.
Maybe you could even break it open in case of emergency – like when your iPod packs in.
(This piece didn’t originally appear in the Falkirk Herald)