“Bridge Hotel” from a bus window

The never ending quest for vital records

The Search goes on – It’s a Friday morning and I’m two months into retirement. How much money have I got spare until my next monthly pension payment? And do I need more records?

I quickly did some workings-out and of course I had some spare loot for records and of course I needed MORE records. So what am I waiting for? Let’s get on that bus to Newcastle!!

I arrived in Newcastle just before 10:00am and called at the Post Office which is now situated on the top floor of WH Smith’s. I had a package of CDs to post to an eBay buyer, I raked in £42 yesterday. Next stop was Nat West on Northumberland Street, I needed to withdraw some cash. I was unfortunately stood next to a boisterous Geordie charver who’d just had ‘his’ card rejected.

“How man, giz me money. Av got neen man, howay” – I felt a little bit sorry for him. Fancy not been able to get his money . . . and off he toddled up Northumberland Street looking like a male Peacock garishly dressed in his cheap trackie bottoms and scruffy trainers. I only bothered to look down, never look these types in their eyes . . . hehehehe

HMV – Eldon Square

HMV in Eldon Square was close-by so I decided to check their racks first. I’ve not had much / any luck finding anything worthwhile here for decades, apart from a Blu-Ray disc every now-and-again. But I’m persistent if nothing else. Could I come away with anything today?

I read so much about Spacemen 3 in the late eighties but never bothered to investigate their music. I recall a piece on them in an obscure magazine called ‘Strange Things’ which was the ‘zine published by the Bam Caruso record label, or at least it was linked with them.

Spacemen 3’s ‘The Perfect Prescription’ was for sale in HMV so I decided to take a chance. I have no idea what this will sound like but I believe it’s trippy guitar music / drones without drums? I may love it, I may hate it. But that’s the nature of the beast for avid record collectors, sometimes you’ve just gotta take the chance / risk.

“Windows” in the Arcade

Windows has been ‘hit and miss’ for me in recent years but today was a miss. Absolutely nothing in here for me today. I checked out the ‘Record Store Day’ boxes but they looked exactly the same as they did a month ago when I was last in. Message to owner: Lower your prices and your stock will sell.

I checked out ‘Beyond Vinyl Records’ on Westgate Road and they had a couple of decent items but on this occasion I didn’t pull the trigger, as they say. An original 1977, Television ‘Marquee Moon’ German import LP was up for grabs, but at £40 I thought it was a bit too much. Maybe next time, if it’s still there.

They also had a 7″ Record Store Day re-issue of “Nothing But A Heartache”, the Northern Soul banger by The Flirtations. And at £12 it was worth a gamble but I decided against it. At this moment in time I was thinking to myself that maybe I’d become a little bit tight with my pension money / savings.

Oh well, there’s always the YouTube video to play whenever the temptation persists. I was really on the hunt for punk records but there was a distinct lack of anything worthwhile. For instance, no where had any Sham 69. What the fuck has Jimmy Pursey done to deserve this lack of interest? Have Sham 69 had any of their albums re-issued recently?

I discovered an old / new record shop via the internet a few weeks ago. I say old because BeatDown Records now use the premises where Spin Records were situated for many years in the late ’70s and all of the 80s. I bought tons of ’60s garage punk records for Spin back in the day. All re-issues or bootleg copies on Eva Records and other dubious labels ranging from The Chocolate Watch Band, The Standells, The Moving Sidewalks and We The People etc etc . . . the list is endless.

Anyway, Spin Records are now long-gone and BeatDown Records have moved in. They had a masses of vinyl and CDs. I really needed a few hours in here to go through all of the racks. I kept to the racks that were marked ‘Punk / Hardcore’ and ‘Garage Rock’ – stick to what you know, I thought to myself.

I came away with a couple of albums, a sealed re-issue of “Rev-Up” by The Revillos and the latest disc by Muck & the Mires. The combined total was £41 which I know is a little ‘hot’ but the prices for new vinyl nowadays is ridiculous. But it’s better than buying them cheaper online and perhaps paying a fiver for shipping. I’d rather give my loot to local record shops – they deserve it.

  • Spacemen 3 – “The Perfect Prescription”
  • Muck & the Mires – “Greetings From Muckingham Palace”
  • Revillos – “Rev Up”

Here are a few snaps of Newcastle, some of which were taken on the top deck of the bus. At this point I took off my ‘Gimp Mask’ a.k.a. Thee Kung-Flu Resistance Covering.

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