Searching for records in Newcastle – I checked my bank account this morning and my final monthly salary for May had been deposited overnight. After thirty years working for the Civil Service (DWP) it was all over for me. I handed in my notice in January confirming to Management that I was applying for early retirement.

The Department For Work & Pensions should be renamed the Department for Woke & Pensions. The last couple of years have been horrendous for many reasons but what finished me off was the daily grind of emails and updates about diversity, mental health and wellbeing.

Even Black Lives Matter reared it’s ugly head, now I don’t have a fucking clue why their political agenda should be shoved down the throats of Government workers.

Anyway, I had money to spend and the weather was warm and sunny. I decided to go to Newcastle and search for records. This will probably be my last blow-out for some time.

My plans for the next months / years will be focused on selling records and retail arbitrage. Buy low and selling higher. Any profits will be invested in new records / CDs.

the hunt is on

My first port of call in Newcastle was TK Maxx. I wanted a few new T-Shirts and a few bags of obscure filtered coffee. Cheap and cheerful, already £20 down. Where next? A fleeting visit to the City’s branch of Oxfam.

Last time I was in here I found a Ready, Steady Go hardback book for a quid. I was so guilty paying the asking price that I gave the shop assistant £2. That made me feel a whole lot better. I would have had no objection paying £5 if that was the sticker price. Nothing today though. All the albums were classical music.

My next venture was to Grainger CDs in Grainger Marker. Last time I left behind Zombies and Steppenwolf singles. They were in a box on the floor along with common ’60s beat records that are ten a penny. You know, Shadows, Billy J Kramer, Lulu, Cilla, Sandie Shaw.

The Zombies “Friends Of Mine” was still there for £8, obviously grabbed it this time. That particular 45 is not exactly growing on trees and is possibly the most difficult Zombies record to find. It’s a promo disc too. Steppenwolf “Magic Carpet Ride” was still there for £3.

A further rake around was rewarded by finding an ultra rare disc by The Secrets. “Infatuation”. Again, only £8. I checked on eBay and a copy sold recently for £240, which gives an indication of it’s rarity and sought after appeal.

The group was the starting point for hitmaker Cliffort T. Ward. I also came away with Don Fardon‘s album “Lament Of The Cherokee Indian Reservation” for £14 which seemed a decent enough price to take a chance on. Never heard it before. It’s the American GNP Crescendo release.

I briefly had a look in the window of Reflex, didn’t go in though. Their prices are a bit steep and I’m not Rockefeller. Last time I picked up some good albums. Ancient Record Store Day stock that obviously didn’t sell and were probably hard pressed to sell. That didn’t alert them to lowering the prices though.

I then had a wander down to High Street West. Oh yeah, my last time in Newcastle was three weeks ago and I was hobbling around on a badly sprained foot / ankle which was beyond painful.

Today though, I could march to various destinations dotted around Newcastle like a Roman Centurion. I’m still feeling aches and pains but hopefully I’ll be walking around the scenes like the cock of the North again sooner rather than later.

RPM Newcastle

This time RPM Music didn’t have anything that really jumped out at me although I was tempted to buy a cheap Shangri-Las album and one by The Blue Things.

I have the Blue Things already but it has a pressing plant error on bother sides, which are scratched and the record jumps higher than Daly Thompson when he was doing the pole vault at the Olympics in the eighties.

Windows was a carcass of unwanted new releases and bins of old Record Store Day albums. Where do they get the prices from? And is anyone buying these?

It was now midday and I was hungry. My sprained foot was starting to ache too. It was time to split.

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