If you happen to have a copy of the Oasis album, “What’s the Story, Morning Glory” and look at the cover you’re looking at Berwick St. the site of a daily market and a Mecca for vinyl* loving music fans. They make pilgrimages here to look for hard-to-find treasures and rare releases (vinyl is IN again… too bad you all threw out that pile of albums that was gathering dust in the garage 😫)
Well, today was Record Store Day around the world and in London Berwick St. was the focal point for the celebration of all things vinyl.
The crowds flocked in from early morning (it was hard to get a coffee at Flat White, our newly discovered Aussie style coffee stop) and by early afternoon it was bedlam. Food stalls filled the centre of the street, nearly everyone seemed to be holding a pint, DJs, dub-mixers and live performers entertained the crowd (Adam Ant was there, Iggy Pop was rumoured. I saw AA play a couple of songs, as far as I know IP stayed a rumour) and the queues outside some record stores stretched 50 metres as people tried to get their hands on special Record Store Day only releases. It took me 20 minutes to squeeze 20 metres through the crowd to one store’s door so I could join in the buying frenzy (happily I’ve still got a functioning turntable thanks to Ken at Steve Bennett HiFi in Geelong!)
Seriously, I have never been in a more crowded space. NEVER.
I came out bruised, battered and quivering slightly… I hope “American Beauty” and the yellow vinyl pressing of “Happy”, the first vinyl records I’ve bought in about 25 years, are worth it.
In other news today…
We went to Madame Toussards.
Funnily enough, it was a surprisingly similar experience to Record Store Day. Immense queues, being bumped and bustled by far too many people in far too small a place and being completely surrounded by people getting terribly excited over a lot of old wax! Happily, surprisingly even, it was actually a lot of fun.
* Note to under 30s: you used to have to buy music. It came on disks of plastic, called singles, EPs or LPs, or maybe 33 and 1/3s or 45s, and you had to actually go to a special shop to get it.
Oh, and only half of the music was on each side. When the first few songs had played, the music stopped and you had to turn it over to play the rest of the songs. Oh, and there were big pictures on the covers and you couldn’t touch the surface and there were things called needles and wow and flutter and hiss and crackle and pop and sometimes they’d skip big chunks of the song or maybe play the same 2 seconds of music over and over and over…
Yes, it was a bit complicated. But it was wonderful!