Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Early Bird..

My planned post will have to wait a few days as I have another car boot haul to document.

The signs hadn’t been good for car booting at the weekend, the weather forecast until late in the day on Saturday had been for more(!) rain. But I caught a late forecast that had put the rain back to Sunday afternoon so went to bed Saturday night with some, albeit muted, anticipation. As it happened I actually naturally awoke at 5.30am (unheard of). I looked out the window and, yes, it was dry, and a pleasant looking morning. So I hauled myself out of bed , pulled on some clothes, made Mrs Darce a coffee, fed the cats and (finally) hit the road. Arrival at the car boot was at 6.45am, the earliest I have ever made one, by about 20 minutes. So for once I was very much among the early birds, and dreaming of worms!

Actually, finding the venue might have been a problem if I wasn’t a regular as the whole area was initially shrouded in thick fog! Great. But it soon lifted. There were much fewer sellers (and early birds) there than usual it seemed, and as the minutes passed the numbers didn’t increase as much as expected either. It became apparent that the weather forecast that had prevailed for most of the previous day had put a lot of people off. Typical, I arrive really early for once and there aren’t many wares to inspect. There was an upside though, because it also became clear that the forecast must have put off a lot of the record dealers and collectors too. Most of the regular faces were missing, and the few that were there seemed to be more in my mould i.e. not too pushy. (I had heard a story the previous week, backed up by somebody else telling it the same way on Sunday, that at the same car boot a few weeks ago two guys had all but come to blows over a box of folk albums).  

So, not many stalls potentially offer digging opportunities, but also not many diggers.

A little more than an hour later the early morning had proved that you only need a couple of sellers with an interesting boxes of records and, crucially, not much in the way of digger competition to have a great day. My record bag ended up almost full with the best, and most eclectic, haul I have gathered in quite a while. I haven’t had a chance to play many of them yet but they look to be in generally excellent condition. Here is what I picked up for a total outlay of £11 (all LPS bar a couple and, except for the Jazz LPs, all originals I believe):

Mick Ronson – Play Don’t Worry
Pockets – Come Go With Us (White Label Promo)
Tower Of Power – We Came To Play (WLP)
Lindisfarne – Dingly Dell
John Mayall’s Blues Breakers – Bare Wires
Ashford & Simpson – Found A Cure (12” single)
Dennis Brown – Love Has Found Its Way
The Fatback Band featuring Brother Johnny King – Feel My Soul*
The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Jazz At Oberlin
The Modern Jazz Quartet – European Concert Vol II  
Free Spirit – Love You Just As Long As I Can (7”)
Pink Floyd (The Screaming Abdabs) – The Dark Side Of The Moo
Sandy Denny – Like An Old Fashioned Waltz
John Martyn – Solid Air
Queen – It’s A Kind Of Magic
Talk Talk – It’s My Life

*I’ve always been a fan of The Fatback Band but I have to say their “Feel My Soul” album had completely passed me by. It was their third album release, in 1974, and the final one on their first label, Perception. Looking at their discography I notice that no singles were pulled from it, which I suspect is because they were about to move away from the label, and possibly explains why I was unaware of it until now. Playing Side 1 my initial thoughts were that it has some nice moments, is very laid back and soulful in comparison to their more well known funkiness, and is OK without being great. Side 2, however, completely blows me away. Funkier, and trippier. My son walked in as I was playing it and immediately asked what it was and when was I going to record it so he could get it onto his computer. I see that it has been reissued more recently, but my freshly acquired copy has all the hallmarks of an original – thick card sleeve and paste on back cover, and it has that certain smell (aaahhh that smell, excuse me while I inhale again!), nice! Side 2 also has the smallest runout dead wax I think I have ever seen on an LP. The side is not that long, just under 20 minutes, so there is no reason for it other than the grooves have maybe been stretched out a bit (is that possible?) - it certainly has a really good fidelity. I reckon, as an original, you could easily expect to pay £30 for this in a second hand record shop. I paid 85p so I’m well happy!

So, after a slow start to the digging season, things have picked up in the last few weeks, and this haul in particular will ensure I will be full of optimism and anticipation for the next few weeks at least.  Or then again, perhaps I should give myself some time to properly listen to what I have bought and stop booting for a bit – but I know that’s just not going to happen!

Deciding which track to play from this Fatback Band album is difficult. It has to one from Side 2, but I could easily post the whole side. I’ll settle for tracks 2 and 3 which are the funky meat in a trippy sandwich. Johnny Flippin’s bass just kills me on these, the horns are none too shabby either. After listening to these be sure to head over to YouTube and Feel My Soul.

The Fatback Band featuring Brother, Johnny King – Makin Love 1974   

The Fatback Band featuring Brother, Johnny King – Why Is It So Hard To Do 1974                 

Buy the album Feel My Soul
PS: Never satisfied?: The box I pulled a few of these from I didn’t get to first. At least one person had three from it ahead of me. Now, I wonder? If I hadn’t made my wife a coffee, and left the cats to cry for their breakfast, what else might I have found?                  

PPS: The best overheard car boot “nuggets” of the day:
1.      Lady seller draws up and of course is immediately surrounded by a hoard of booting vultures (yes, including me). Opening the car door she immediately says “I haven’t got any records, jewellery, or mobile phones”.

2.     Girl, about 15?, running back from a distant stall: “Mum, they’ve got a great pair of daps up there, but they’re £2”.       

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