Blog Post Number One
Blog post Number One.
So when starting this site I promised myself I’d make a concerted effort to try and keep a small blog, mixed with my own photos taken along the way, whether music related or not, as a means to share the highs and lows of record / digging culture (?) – whatever that is. Also as a way to document some of the interesting stuff that’s happening in Manchester and elsewhere. Expect posts to be sporadic, lacking cohesion but always honest.
Set off on pretty miserable day on the M62 headed for Hull to catch the Ferry over to Rotterdam with the ultimate goal of the ‘Mega Record Fair’ in Utrecht. For the uninitiated, Utrecht Record fair an is uncompromisingly and overwhelmingly massive record convention that’s kind of like your dream and worst nightmare combined, but more on that later…
Dodging lorries, horrific driving and battling the harsh crosswinds on the UK’s highest motorway, finally passed a brutal David Lynch styled power plant and managed to fire of a photo whilst keeping calmly under the speed limit.
Dropped into Hull for short dig in ‘Spin It Records’ (no pics sorry), which was better organized than expected despite not providing any hi-end biz apart from a few reggae 12”s. The lady staffing the shop was nice but I think she was scared by my frantic digging as the usual stress levels encountered whilst undertaking international travel were steadily rising.
The Pride Of Rotterdam! A pretty grand name but it lives up to its title. Despite eye-wateringly expensive food onboard and the truly horrific cabaret that went on until 1am, it was one of the most comfortable travel experiences to date.
Miserable weather out at sea.
Up early despite a pretty rough sleep after endless renditions of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ that were echoing through the corridors of the Pride Of Rotterdam until the early hours. It’s surprising how easy it is to stop believing when you’re desperate to sleep and that song goes on and on. Anyway, whatever, it’s a sunny morning and the continent awaits.
Customs / Immigration at Rotterdam port pretty non-existant so I cruise out the other side focusing desperately on driving on the RIGHT side of the road, which completely puts me on edge for all of about 15 minutes then seemed pretty normal. Ninety minute drive to Utrecht, look at how Industrial Rotterdam is.
Okay down to biznus, first the pre-dig that happens every year in Utrecht on Thursday before the main event. Decent spread of sellers, everyone is pretty chatty and getting eased into gear. Nice spread of world music, ambient stuff the usual spattering of fusion.
Had some nice pizza right on the square and assessed the day’s dig. Not too bad for the first day. Could it be time to replace that record bag? :(
Utrecht’s seems to be a pretty cozy, compact city that doesn’t get the stag dos and weed tourists that its neighbor Amsterdam attracts, although not much time to explore because all this is tiring, you know.
Up super early for opening day of the fair, banana in the car park and coffee from flask for breakfast whilst appreciating the curves of that Rabo Bank building behind.
Early morning assault at the fair, it’s huge and pretty impossible to capture on the ground with my little camera. But after a few frantic searches on the first few boxes settled into things.
The fair is a pretty mixed bag of cheap finds and huge trophy records displayed on the wall for ridiculous prices. I mean yeah I love the first Ash Ra Temple LP as much as anyone but even if I could, do I really want to drop the equivalent of the month’s rent on it? Obviously not, but aside from that there were a few serious records I’d never seen in the flesh before, like the Sonnabend Gallery OG edition of Charlemagne Palestine’s ‘Four Manifestations On Six Elements’ and a few of those Radiotaxi things. But at a risk of getting too geeky with this, lets stop the list there.
These guys from Mexico were great and it really puts into perspective the reach of this convention. The rest of 3 days were kind of a blur and essentially just spent in a state of out-of-body digging equilibrium. I ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and had chips on the last day, which weren’t great.
Okay fair's over now. Here’s two Italian collectors prog’d-up to the eyeballs with their newest treasures. A potential future insight into my own life in 30 years? Who knows…
Ate some more chips before heading back on the Ferry, which was a little more reserved this time and they kept the power-ballads to a minimum. Arrived home a little drained with a decent haul, maybe see you again in November Utrecht!
Edale to Glossop
It’s not all music related, and what better way to escape than visit the amazing nature spots that surround Manchester. On one of the finest days of the year KP & I embarked on an intergalactic voyage from Edale to Glossop.
For any readers not from the North of the UK, the Peak District is pretty amazing and a perfect day-trip from Manchester. There’s lots of amazing hiking / walking to suit all levels.
Some pretty amazing rocks at the top of Kinder Scout, smooth and weathered by erosion.
KP plants the flag on the highest point whilst surveying the area. We continue into the abyss.
After a couple of hours of complete isolation, a rescue helicopter flies past slowly overhead.
More strange stones, aren’t they great.
Seven hours later and a little worse for wear, we reach the sleepy rural / industrial town of Glossop, KP celebrates and we roam the streets to find a suitable drink spot to absorb the final rays of the day. The Station looks like the best spot and victory pints of Staropramen are consumed. A good day.
Okay so that’s about it for this blog post. If you’ve endured it through my aimless ramblings this far you probably deserve a discount or something, so get in touch for shop appointments or get in touch via the usual internet channels for new bits landing all the time. Next blog post featuring digging in Amsterdam, Microdosing in Berlin and other happenings around Manchester…