IF YOU are a regular reader of this column (please tell me they exist?), you’ll know that I like to go into record shops.
Sadly this is a pastime that’s becoming harder and harder these days. With the exception of the excellent Vinyl Emporium and the legendary Probe, there isn’t much left for the committed browser in Liverpool city centre. It comes to something when you start looking back nostalgically at the huge HMV on Church Street and the Virgin in Clayton Square. Go in one of the larger chains today and it’s doubtful you will actually find many CDs among the computer games, DVDs, T-shirts and copies of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Browsing for records is one of those strange pastimes I can quite happily lose an afternoon doing. Usually I’ll have no intention of buying any records, but that alone isn’t the strangest behaviour I’ve been known to indulge in.
In fact I can think of several. Flicking through racks of vinyl looking for records I already have is a favourite. There’s something pleasing about confirming that yes, that record still exists, is available to buy in the shop and is filed in the correct place should you ever need it again. Sometimes I’ll pick it up, hold it and check all the details on the back are still the same. “Thank goodness,” I’ll think to myself, “Bruce Botnik is still the co-producer on Love’s Forever Changes.”
This habit of dwelling on records I already own has sometimes taken an even stranger turn when I’ve come home actually owning duplicate copies.
The most common reason for this doubling up is because, as I explained once to the long suffering wife, I have a tendency to feel sorry for an album when I see it lying forlornly in a bargain bin or a charity shop.