As a shop we managed to procure everything we asked for in terms of limited edition vinyl, although unsurprisingly we were allocated a mere 5 Blur 7's and 6 Beatles 7's. This meant we decided to set up an ad hoc raffle with a draw later in the day to decide who would be lucky enough to purchase these gems. At the time of writing the bidding on EBay for a Blur 7 inch is up to £250.00. We sold our copies for £6.99. Was this stupid, ill-thought, naive? No. We decided to make the day about the customer and to give people the chance to fall in love with vinyl all over again. Some of the more interesting items included a Mogwai/Fuck Buttons split 10"; a Wooden Shjips 7" and a Flaming Lips double which comprised of a rendition of 'Dark Side of the Moon'!
There were over 50 entrants for the draw for each of the Blur and Beatles 7 inches and those that came back to the shop victorious did so grinning from ear to ear. Fortunately I don't think any of them were in it to sell on their prizes on EBay, otherwise we might as well have done that ourselves. No, the good old collector's spirit was pungent in the air, which ironically as a volcanic cloud hovered way above hung electric in as blue an april sky as one could care to imagine.
The day was a real success. Not only did we organise many live bands playing in Witney during the day under the clocktower outside Waitrose(!) including Hannah Lou and Trevor Moss of Indigo Moss, Danny & the Champions of the World and country/bluegrass newcomers The Roundheels, but even David Cameron was doing the rounds in his local constituency. Unfortunately, for it would have put the icing on a splendid day, he had left the vicinity prior to one of the members of jazz collective The Rabbit Foot Spasm Band calling him the naughtiest of 'C' words in the late afternoon haze, stunning the Waitrose shopping stragglers. and amusing pretty much all of us. Our festivities moved to a local club for some more live music in the evening but I must confess to sneaking home to rest after a crazy day and more importantly to fawn over my purchases.
We had people travelling from Wolverhampton, Northampton and Birmingham to attend and they all left with sackfuls of loot. In terms of sales, we sold over 150 different vinyl items as well as many CDs and nearly all the limited stuff was snapped up pretty instantly. As an insider did I manage to snaffle some gems? Well, I didn't put in for the Blur or Beatles but managed to pick up some far more interesting pieces. 4 in total - Midlake's 'Trials..' on vinyl; a Nick Cave 12" single; Soft Machine live in '71; and the Sabbath/Metallica split, which was admittedly an investment as the two tracks are rather horrendous. Sabbath's effort is a horrific version of Paranoid with alternate (read dreadful) lyrics, while Metallica's contribition is the terrible Frantic remixed by Unkle. Never mind, I'll send that one into the EBay ether. The other bits are gorgeous. Just so it wouldn't be too unmetal a session I bought the Xasthur demos on vinyl too.
I must congratulate Spencer Hickman of Rough Trade for organising the event this year, not to mention my colleagues at Rapture who continue to strive to provide a mine of information for folk looking to enhance their music collections. I urge any of you to make next year's event even if you missed out this time, but more importantly to support your local music shop (as long as they're deserving of that support) as after all, everyone goes to town but who wants it to be devoid of the wonderful life-affirming addition that is the record store.
I'm off to spin Soft Machine and enjoy Sunday's setting sun.