I was going to tell you how the charity shops have fed my vinyl habit pretty well through the winter semi-hibernation of car boot sales. But hold the press! – yes, sharing some of my charity shop scores with you will have to wait for another time because the boot sale season proper is once again upon us - the sun shone at the weekend lifting the temperature a few degrees and encouraged the boot sale sellers out, sprinkled across the fields of England like early apple blossom. I’m waxing lyrical because last Sunday I had probably, no definitely, my most successful day ever looking for vinyl at a boot sale.
Mrs Darce is on her annual sojourn to Turkey with her “bestest” friend to visit her friend’s mum. This always happens at roughly this time of year. While the cat’s away… three years ago while Mrs Darce was away I acquired a job lot of second hand hi-fi, including a pair of vintage B&W speakers that weighed the proverbial ton (a tale I told here). Last Sunday I was at it again, once again bringing home a weighty consignment, but this time it was a big pile of vinyl!
After a late one the night before I didn’t wake up early enough to go to my planned boot sale venue on Sunday morning, so at the last minute I decided to visit one I hadn’t been to before that starts later. An excellent decision as it turned out.
I was stumbling around the sellers and showing some vague interest in some Dylan albums when another digger came along. “You ought to go down in the corner” he said “a guy down there has got a lot of vinyl, I’ve bought a few but run out of money”. So, leaving the Dylan albums – I’m not really a fan, they weren’t in good nick and turned out to be £5 a pop – I made it double quick down to “the corner”. Sure enough there were plenty of records to look through, they possibly had some connection to a closed record shop I think from some comments made by the seller, and lucky for me the entire time I was there no other diggers came along. I came away with 30 big ones at a £1 each around 40 little ones 25p each (at one point I was worried about running out of money too). There are a few pretty desirable records in this lot – no Beatles or Hendrix first presses or anything like that, but a few bits that are worth something with at least one nought on the end I would think, and one ace in the hole – see below. (The other digger mentioned above said he had a Coltrane album in his haul so he may have had more cream).
There were quite a few jazz albums in my haul. I will feature a couple next time but the focus here is on the singles, which were an interesting mix. Mostly late 70s and 80s UK pop, post-punk, and indie but every now and then I would randomly come across a US 60s era soul/jazz tinged release. Or in this case one out of Panama!
This was the only record in the pile that wasn’t sleeved. My first thoughts were, based on the group name, it was going to be some sort of 60s garage-freak-psych out thing but nothing could be further from the truth. One side is deep sweet soul gem with really atmospheric backing and a great drum sound, and the other is a guajira jazz up groove (“Gua-Jazz”, was comped a couple of years ago on a Soundway CD (& vinyl) featuring Panamanian music). It transpires that this 45 is extremely rare: a completely trashed (and cracked) copy sold on ebay last year for $70, and copies in better condition (as is my newly acquired copy) sell for… ahem... much more than that it seems!
And here’s Johnny Otis with a funky “Jaws” from, presumably, 1975.
Johnny Otis – Jaws 1975