When you take your hard-earned pennies down to the local record shop, little do you know what goes on behind the counter. But Donny Allan does.
The Great Vinyl Debate is over. Well, from the big business point of view it is: CDs and tapes (including that nightmare of modern marketing, the ‘cassingle’) are steadily replacing those officially obsolete 12in records. But in Clubland. it's still the platters that matter, and as far as the DJ is concerned you can't speed up, slow down. mix. scratch and hop from groove to groove with anything else. The convoluted but steady flow of vinyl from pressing plant to turntable remains the lifeblood of the scene, and its most vital channel is through the nation‘s record stores. Specialist dance music shops come in all shapes and sizes, and seem to have been mushrooming up recently wherever you cared to look. In such times of
be thriving. But how are the shops surviving and what do they see as the way forward?
Andy Lees and his partners gained experience working for big-timers HMV before branching out and opening their own Sounds On 3 in Edinburgh last December. Andy reckons that some smaller places which have been started up by enthusiasts won't last another six months. The cost of actually putting records on your shelves can be almost prohibitive; UK distribution giant Polygram ask a cool £2500 for the privilege of taking their stock, and ifyou want a full range oflabels on sale, then
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LISTINGS: GLASGOW 56 EDINBURGH 57
they‘re only the largest of a number ofcompanies you have to deal with. Says Mr Lees: ‘We specialise in dance. but we have to stock mainstream rock and indie stuff. for which we have to pay the big distributors. Without those extra sales, we couldn‘t afford to operate successfully, and certainly not on Princes Street —
' we‘d be stuck out in Dalry or somewhere!’ He is . clearly referring to the people at Global Records
of Dalry Road, whom we duly trekked out to see.
Del of Global admits it‘s a struggle selling dance only, but stresses that what his shop offers is something more: ‘We just stock good upfront
. . , tunes and get the punters what they want — old recessron. this is one ‘luxury’ trade that appears to :
records too. that are deleted and you can‘t order
any more. Because we‘re all involved in DJing.
. promoting events. selling tickets and so on, we‘ve ' got the personal contacts and we know guys who
can be persuaded to part with old rarities!‘ The lads at Global also do a busy trade in ready-mixed tapes and have plans to expand into DJ accessories and equipment. which they feel are essential sidelines.
One establishment that covers every angle is Glasgow‘s 23rd Precinct. In addition to selling their own range of merchandise. they also run a UK-wide mail order service and are actively
involved in promoting homegrown talent through releases on their own 23rd Precinct and Limbo labels. Havanna‘s ‘Schtoom‘. currently on pre-release. was a DMC single of the week earlier
I this month, and rising stars Q-Tex (managed by
store boss Billy Kiltie) are being chased by several London-based labels. A new branch is due to open in Dundee next week. and the Glasgow shop (where they even have in-house strobes!) is busier than ever. So does Billy see a rosy future or is the bubble about to burst? ‘Well the dance scene has grown almost too big for its own good; previously, you might get five white labels in at a time and they’d all be good enough to sell in decent quantities — now, you‘re getting fifty and there’s not much quality control. Ofcourse, the days of vinyl are numbered, but we can still do a lot to support independent releases and the club scene in general. There's a good couple of years in this business yet!‘
23rd Precinct, Bath Street. Glasgow. 04] 332 4806. Global Records, Dalry Road, Edinburgh. 03] 313
Sounds (m 3. Above The State of Independence. Princess Street, Edinburgh. 031 225 8850.
_ Tune in, turn
on, freak out
0. When is a radio station not a radio station?
A. When it's an all-round entertainments package.
You could be torgiven tor utterly ignoring Edinburgh’s annual arts circus this month. Clubs? Parties? Damn line nights out? All you need bother with is Festival FM, lorthis station set up in the capital, specitically tor the next three weeks, is organising all the
antics you could possibly want. The tun begins on 6 August at the
Designer Frames Gallery, Hasties Close, with a mega launch party, which ieatures the turntable talents of Kiss FM’s Jez Nelson, plus local lad Gareth and the Mambo Inn's Gerry. Plenty of hot danceiloor action is promised, with an eclectic playlist which echoesthe music policy of the station. Then, lrom 20 August tor ten days, there's Somethin’ Else at the Festival Club in Chambers Street, a drop-in club aiming to provide a, “steamy end to a hard iestival day’, with Ms trom London’s Jazz Cale as well as lrom Edinburgh’s taves - Chocolate City and Tribal Funktion, among others.
Alter all that, you may be surprised to lind that Festival FM actually has time
to put on any radio shows. But it does. Check out The Legendary Joe Bloggs Dance Show on Saturdays lrom
9—1 1 pm, when Britain’s hottest music station Kiss FM brings its unique sound to Scotland’s airwaves. On air will be the likes ot Coldcut, Talltin’ Loud’s Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay. It's also worth tuning in on Fridays irom 7-10pm, when DJ hero Graeme Parlr will play uplront tunes and attempt to keep assistants Fini Tribe under control.
Entertainment? Phew! You can't possibly want any more atterthat little lot. (Avril Mair)
Tune into Festival FM on 11 .4FM tor further details of all their events.
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The List 31 July— 13 August I992 55