Blog Post Number 3

Blog Post # 3

The first half of 2019 seems to have evaporated - scary!  Been pretty hectic round these parts, lots of travel including dig trips to Utrecht, Hungary and Japan.  Here's the roughly bi-annual related photo-dump! 


Quick trip to Utrecht in April for the twice-a-year mega record fair - a fruitful trip with a few familiar faces.  Lacking in quality holiday snaps but anyone whose idea of a holiday isn't spending three days rummaging in boxes of records (of varying quality) in a huge, windowless aircraft hanger is potentially on the wrong website.

 Quick stop in Hull pre-ferry for a warm-up blitz around a local store, with a name I can't remember.  Decent owner, evidently a huge Kiss fan with some interesting memorabilia.

Not a solo venture this time, Boogizm's along for the ride!  Here he is pensively looking out at sea and musing over the troecourous journey ahead. 


Next morning!  Everyone eager to get off the ferry, hit the continent and drive on the wrong side of the road.  Frustratingly forget my camera during the ferry crossing and I'm unable to capture the incredible on-board entertainment that is world class.  Boogizm and I come to the conclusion that the ferry is essentially a floating weather-spoons.  Not a bad thing.

Flat, featureless planes on the way to Utrecht.


Pre-dig-dig in Utrecht town centre!  Everyone complaining about the unusually cold weather.

Post pre-fair booze up in a local old boy spot.  Sorry Netherlands but Germany is still the king of continental lager.   

 Bonding with the local wildlife on an early morning hike to Jaarbeurs.  Please get in touch if you can identify this breed.


Van envy.

 Late night noir on the ferry back to UK.  So seems I actually forgot my camera every day at the actual record fair, but it isn't actually that interesting to look at.  Maybe next year! 



My own interest in Hungarian music sort of went into overdrive at some point and finally bubbled over when Ryan Air were offering those unusually cheap mid-week flights.  A few tip-offs about decent dig spots has kept Budapest on the radar for a while.



Interesting, crumbly architecture.

Struck oil!  This kind of shop is equally my dream and worst nightmare and it's a real one in one out scenario.  The owner (who clearly has a low-level hoarding issue) is actually surprisingly organised and was able to locate stuff quite easily, despite regularly knocking over stacks of DVDs / CDs and mumbling ''Don't worry'' to either himself or to me, it's unclear.     


 Nice apartments in Budapest.


The mighty River Danube.  

Decent breakfast spot, which I visit to every day.  They do traditional Langos - a sort of deep-fried sweet bread thing with garlic, sour cream with cheese on.

 Langos.  I'm not into cheese so it's omitted, which the lady struggles to understand.  

Back to business!  Nagy is a really nice guy who's often at Utrecht and this is his new store (recently opened) called Vintage Records.


Budapest has A LOT of record stores.  Quality varies! 


Taking regional trains out to the deep suburbs.


Sleepy suburban zones. 

Zoltan lets me rummage in his garage and despite us not seeing eye to eye on his interesting pricing strategies, it's a nice experience.


Second to Polish, Hungarian seems to be one of the most difficult romanised languages to pronounce.  

Local food spot.

More rummaging in this huge open air flea market.  Lots of great stuff, none of which is necessary, but the nagging fear of Ryan Air's stringent baggage allowances gets in between me and the Soviet typewriter of my dreams.


Tibor Szemzo!  Really great to spend a few hours with one of Hungary's finest experimental musicians.  He's been releasing music since the early 80's and is still really prolific.  He's really knowledgable, with many interesting stories to tell and is adamant that the selfie-stick is the most important invention of the 21st century.  

 Think that's all from Budapest!  I manage to get out before the invasion of stag / hen parties on the Friday night.  But in general good records, nice baths and friendly people.


Quick resupply mission in Tokyo!  Thankfully longer than 4 days this time as 2018 was quite ridiculous.  With encroaching humidity and Tsuyu (rainy season) in full effect, the weather was pretty up and down but managed a few decent days.

Station stops.

The promised land.  What better way to enjoy a break in the rain and absorb all Japan's ancient culture than by spending time rummaging in it's beautiful windowless record stores.

Convenience is ever present. 

Late night walks to the public bath.


I'm a big fan of the local public baths and would definitely recommend anyone visiting Japan to try.  Some are better than others.

 Owning a washing machine is a luxury for Tokyo's tiny apartments so laundrettes are still around in suburbs.    

Practicing tightrope for the upcoming 2020 Olympics.

 Empty petrol station.

 Good friend JR in the studio.

Lanterns outside one of the best places to bath in thick, black volcanic water in Tokyo - Yumori No Sato in Chofu.  Best spot!

Disc Union staff insisting they wrap bags in plastic because it's raining outside.  <3 Japan.


Local cops on the look out for speeders.

 Break in the weather!  Quick trip to the beach, Iishiki-Hayama.  Close to Tokyo, just over an hour south.  Mt Fuji looms in the distance unfortunately blocked by clouds.

Very DIY shinto torii gate.

Older people in Japan are always really active.

Cheap lunch-time sushi in Saitama.


Diggin' done!  Last day is spent roaming around North East Tokyo Shitamachi (low town) where I generally feel more at home :-).  It's got a pretty different feel compared to the subtle glitz and lifestyle stores of south west and is the best place to see daily life. 


Local buddhist temple.


Local scenes.

Local scenes.

One final soak before heading home in what's definitely the nicest bathhouse I've visited in Tokyo.  It's called Teikokuyu in Higashi-Nippori, which opened in 1916, survived the war and has a beautiful old-school Fuji mural painted by a one the most respected sento-artists named Toshimitsu Hayakawa.  The wooden ceiling is straight out of Kill Bill and the koi-carp pond out back is good for reflecting post-soak.  

End!  If you've made it this far I hope you've enjoyed.  Be on the look out for next photo dump!  :-).