It has been gruelling at the car boot sales lately. 2016 is rapidly turning into the “...it is now” to 2015's “they think it's all over...”.
It could just be me. I don't seem to be able to get up quite as early as I used to so I may miss most of the worms. My lack of any real finds leads to dejection which leads to apathy and ends up with me not going so regularly. I am getting more choosy maybe. Oh, and of course I haven't got the space for any more records anyway – not that that has stopped me before!
But I am hearing the same story from other vinyl hunters. We grumbled about 2015 and we are shaking our head over 2016. It's a vinyl desert out there.
I found myself bottom feeding last Saturday. Why do I class it so? Firstly, I missed the start of the booter by a good 30 minutes – first of all I had to overcome the apathy mentioned above, then I had to overcome the traffic. So if there were any records the chances were the best had gone. Certainly, and predictably, vinyl - of any description - was hard to find. Secondly I found myself on a known dealer's pitch looking through every last single he had on offer in a couple of boxes. It was odds on it would be a ragbag of well known rock and pop in questionable condition he just wanted to offload. But I needed to look through some records. So I did, and I was pleasantly surprised to come away with seven 45s for the grand sum of £1.50. Included in this seven were The Hollies, The Troggs, Nancy Sinatra, Ronnie Lane, and the Mo-Dettes which were representative of the spread of much of the singles in the boxes.
The other two 45s to make up my seven 7s were these two slabs of funk goodness on the UK Atlantic label – both released in 1973 and certainly atypical of the rest of the material in the boxes. They are not particularly rare, and the artists should need no introduction, but I am very happy to have found them, and they have gone a little way towards restoring my faith in trawling the car boots.
In fact I think I may already have this Betty Wright 45 on its original US Alston label. But there is always a little thrill in finding a superior slice of funk/soul on a UK label, and it always leads me to wonder how few copies it probably sold when it was released. Be sure to listen all the way through and not miss Betty's impressive shriek at the end.
The Dr John track I remember hearing on the radio when it was released – John Peel, Alexis Korner would have undoubtedly played it, probably Emperor Rosko too – a time when I had yet to appreciate the mightiness of New Orleans funk. And it's a Promo, and that big A gets me every time.
For the picture I thought I would lay this brace of Atlantics on a bed of shells very recently collected from a Portuguese beach (yes, I will collect anything!).