Monday, July 27, 2009


I now have black bogies. I got home from a 'record shop' called 'Record Detective' on Palmers Green about twenty minutes ago, the nose blowing came after a fevered hand washing and it was there I discovered the dark grey snot.

As friendly as 'Mr Detective' is I will not be going back. This has nothing to do with the fact I walked for two hours to get there, or my return journey that ended up as a messy combination of bus and underground, it is because unless you are into the Beatles, Stones or Elvis or some very random rack filler there is absolutely nothing there, and it's all unpriced making it hard to spot a bargain. I am pretty sure this wasn't always the case but right now it looks and feels picked over like a week old cowboys corpse in the sand of the Mojave desert.

My adventure started from a phonebox in Manor Park. My phone died and despite my A to Z pocket map I had absolutely no idea where the shop was, mainly because the road it is on is about 8 miles long and re-numbeds itself randomly every half mile or so. I know this because much of my afternoon has been spent counting and counting looking for 492 Green Lanes. Fuck.

Anyway, although I didn't buy a single thing from 'Record Detective' I did learn a painful home truth and that is that ALL record collectors, archivists or hoarders including myslf are giant bell-ends.

As I walked in, the old guy behind the counter had a colleague of about my age, the two of them and a couple of customers were in the middle of a heated conversation on pecking order and who gets first look at a pile of records that the younger man was going out to look at that afternoon. My first thought was how futile and pathetic it all sounded, my second was about how I might be able to join their little gang and get in on the action. It occured to me that there are probably people out there that have murdered for records, they have certainly stolen and swindled them.

I am reminded of the book buying scene in that Johnny Depp film about the Satanic Bible and summoning of the dark lord, I think it's called '9th Gate' or something. Anyway, he goes to buy a collection of rare books from a guy who through almost total paralysis has no use for them and totally lo-balls the guys wife. Whilst I am not saying that the 'Record Detective' agency would consider such tactics I do strongly believe that many of 'our number' would quite happily do the dirty for the right slab of musical magic.

I have witnessed friend's eyes go back like attacking sharks when entering record shops before a fevered flicking of fingers and darting eyes, backing and forthing between the other racks, customers and more importantly what might be behind the counter and out of the way of the prying public. On more than one occasion, I have behaved in a similar way myself. It is sad, embarrasing and at times amoral.

None of this has anything to do with Roy Harper. I bought my copy of Stormcock from 'Record Collector' in Sheffield, the sometimes magical but occasionally over-priced shop that closes Wednesdays...and sometimes Thursdays.

Stormcock is okay. I can't really compare it to anything else by Roy as this is my introduction. People have spoken particularly highly of 'Stormcock' and that paired with the fact that it keeps clearing sixty quid on Ebay made me think there must be at least some magic there. Well not yet there isn't. Not sure what is going on with his voice, thought it was my turntable at first but nope, theres some crazy warbletronic thing going on from time to time, sounds a tiny bit like vocoder period Cher.

Anyway, up to now it's pretty linear singer songwriter fayre from 1971. He has a tidy beard on the front and is grinning into a microphone. The gatefold sleeve hints at somekind of drug crazed nightmare that never least if it has come I missed it.

I will of course keep trying with 'Stormcock', not least because it is possibly the worst name for an album in the history of man ever. Cock.


  1. Hey Matt!
    Sat in a Car Park in Columbus Ohio
    and enjoying a good read. Hope all
    is good brother. Luke Of the Dukes

  2. Dude!

    Good to hear from you. Hope all is well. We need to catch up either when you are back in London or when you play Germany. In the meantime drink PBR and read Leg Sex magazine.