As threatened, throughout April - in celebration of Record Store Day - I offer up a daily post related to all things record shop.
And if any of it sounds like a Manifesto, consider it good practice for my election campaign next year.
Day Eleven of this steaming pile of japery, kinghell boring bullshit and contentious nonsense...
"...tonight Matthew, I'm going to be JUDITH CHALMERS"
Back in the days when we booked holidays abroad, the first thing I'd do is google the nearest record shop. The second thing I'd do is calculate my baggage allowance to accommodate for swag.
In no particular order, my top 10 visited (and surviving) record shops outside of the UK.
1. Solo, Malta. http://solovinylbooks.com/
Like LFD, but in Malta. 'Nuff said.
2. Real Groovy, New Zealand https://realgroovy.co.nz/
I once spent a week practically living in RG. In 2005 I told some British industry bods about RG's amazing blend of concessions and offers. They must have taken notice because within a few years they were doing much the same in their shops. RG, way ahead of their time.
3. FNAC, Alicante https://www.fnac.es/?origin=SEO_MB_06_BULEVAR
An annual pilgrimage to Benicassim always began in FNAC in Alicante. The only chain store on this list, it was more an archival treasure trove than a shop. Looking for an album released a decade ago no longer available anywhere else in the World? FNAC would have it, incorrectly filed, and buried beneath an inch of dust.
4. Revolver Records, Barcelona https://www.revolverrecords.es/
Decompressing after a Primavera all-nighter? Don't mind if I do.
5. Plato, Groningen https://www.platomania.nl/
In November I'm hoping to get to the Take Root Americana festival in Groningen. Plato is the only place I've ever found a copy of Willy Vlautin's 'A Jockey's Christmas'.
6. Apollon, Bergen https://apollon.no/
Had a bar that ran the length of the shop. A practically unheard of USP in British indies at the time.
7. Amoeba, Los Angeles https://www.amoeba.com/
Edges the San Francisco branch only because passing through Golden Gate Park I was ambushed by hippies singing Oasis songs.
8. Porto Calling, Porto https://portocalling.com/en/
I may have applied for a job here.
9. Greville Records, Melbourne https://grevillerecords.myshopify.com/
The only RSD I spent the other side of the counter, I spent most of it here.
10. Junction Records, Fremantle https://www.facebook.com/junctionrecordsfreo
After I got out of The Biz, I didn't set foot in a record shop for six months. Junction Records ended that run and made me realise that working in a record shop was less of a career choice and more of a calling for me. Remember, I do this so you don't have to etc etc