Saturday was the annual Record Store Day. As I seem to say every year there wasn't a huge amount I wanted. I had been trying to reign in my spending and when I was looking through the list of thus year's releases I initiated last year's rule, I had to be confident that I would listen to anything I bought at least twice if not more. Which meant that this year's two Doctor Who release were out. My vinyl enabler Steve Dixon had got me a list of the prices, so I whittled it down to a list of ten, and out of that three or four I really wanted. Among them were the soundtrack to 'The Omega Man' - an 'of it's time' 70's Charlton Heston film - by Ron Grainer and the single release of 'Whole Lotta Love' by Led Zeppelin.
As always the real thrill of Record Store Day is the anticipation and getting together for mates for a shared experience. I'd popped into Spillers briefly the day before to drop in some Brownies and see Lauren Laverene do her 6 Music show from the store. My regular Record Store Hombre Steve Ford arrived at my house at 7am. Last year we had the luxury of going to The Head Store in Cardiff and pretty much having our pick and choose of the releases. However that store closed down shortly after so it meant after some debate we went to our fall back position of Diverse Records in Newport. Steve Dixon didn't think he could make it, then at the last minute he realised he could. So we all clambered into Steve Ford's car (I thought it was a new car, but he'd just washed it) and picked up Steve F's friend Mike on the way.
On the way to Diverse we yapped about what was on our lists, and of Record Store Day's past. It was a very sunny April morning and we continued to chat as we walked over to Diverse. When we got there the queue was about twenty strong, so manageable, was it up slightly from the last time we'd queued there for RSD in 2015? Probably. In year's gone by Paul Weller's put out RSD releases (Weller's not my cup of java) until too many were turning up straight away on Evil Bay. This year the theme seemed to be The Alarm, there were a lot of their fans out on maneuvers.
We had a very pleasant time yapping in the queue and taking turns getting coffee. To add a little spice to the proceedings Steve F really needed a slash around ten minutes before the store opened. They were letting a staggered amount of people into the store. We had a conversation between us about would we go in as a group or individuals, we decided to go in as a group. It turned out to be academic as it was a one in/one out system by the time we got to the front.
Inside it was fairly civilized and not the feeding frenzy there's been in previous years. They even had very good vegan cakes! The stock seemed to be down on previous years, but I found the Led Zep quickly, the had around six copies, a This is the Kit album, and I'd ummedd and arrrddd about the Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison release. I thought it was just a re-release, but it was actually a boxset with some tasty tasty extras, so I picked that up. They had the Bowie Berlin live album, but I decided to pass as I was planning on a visit to Spillers.
We were all generally happy with our finds. Outside the store I saw a car scraping another while trying to park. The cafe over the road opened and Steve F popped in for a blessed slash, and cause we're men of a certain age we followed him. On the way back to the car we stopped by a second hand record store where I bought three albums for £10 including a Throwing Muses album. We drove back yapping and comparing our purchases. Steve D and I weren't done with RSD. We popped down to D'vinyls cause they had a crazee 50% off everything! Picked up another four albums and chatted to Steve Dvinyl (there's too many Steve's!).
Later Sian and I were on our way to see a film and popped into Spillers on the way. The queue at around 3pm when they'd been open since 9am was unbelievable. It was nearly out of the arcade. I don't think I've ever seen it so busy which is great news! I popped in the next day. The staff were surprisingly chipper and they still had a lot of stock including a Jeff Buckley live album at the Omega Man soundtrack. For wallet worrying reasons I decided to leave the Buckley album for now, although Graf reassured me that they had a few copies.
Another fun Record Store Days and it was great to meet up with the various Steves.