When I was tiny-wee, and all this was nothing but fields (actually, that might be true ;-) ), we had records shops. Not the bright modern edifices dedicated to the consumer arts that we have now, oh no. These were dark dank places. Our-price and Star-Records and obscure little shops in obscure brown colours with obscure people working in them. And in them you’d find rack upon rack of records. 12″ of black vinyl engraved with the vibrations of the music.
My sister used to take me there on my way home, and she’d pick through the records selecting Michelle Shocked’s new album, or Billy Bragg or…. whatever she was into that week.
And she’d take home said vinyl disk and listen to it, dragging a small piece of diamond across the spinning disk. I didn’t get my records there though, ‘cos I was only tiny-wee. Instead my dad took me to the second hand record shop, and in these days before records were re-glam, re-cool, and re-funky, they were 10p. I’d normally get a pound to spend and my little fingers would randomly select 10 records from the smoke stained racks… the store was packed from floor to ceiling with records seemingly in no order at all. Sometimes the owner – because he knew me – would throw in an extra one or two. My italian dictionary, that was a freebie from there.
I’d take my random selection home and listen to it on my 1970’s valve record player, which actually ran slightly at the wrong speed – and which had the wonderful multiplay thing – where it’d drop the records one on top of each other, thus damaging them wonderfully.
I wasn’t allowed to play my parents records on that player :-)
It imprinted deeply on me, that whole experience. And now, when I saw that Ladytron have a couple of their releases on gatefold LPs… well… Err, so, yeah, I ordered them. And they’re winging their way towards me. So, um, bad Kate. Bad, bad, bad Kate. But hey, it’s music, what can I do?