Sunday, June 19, 2005
Records not bought
'beatnik boy' sleeve
The excellent new Saint Etienne album 'Tales from Turnpike House' includes on the sleeve a paen to the joys of jumble sales in Bromley by Jeremy Deller. Deller bemoans the shift from jumble sales to car boot sales in the course of the 1980s as a symptom of the time - 'where once you gave things away to be sold for charity you now sold it for yourself. Everybody was on the make'. Of course this is even more the case with Ebay, where more and more people fancy themselves as traders in the global market place. The car boot sale does at least still have elements of potlatch as well as pot luck, enabling, as in Dellar's youth, 'a parallel education where it became possible to buy books and records at random almost because they were so cheap'.
This morning I went down to the weekly car boot sale at Alwyn Girls School in Southwark Park Road (worth a look if you're in reach of Bermondsey at 11 am on a Sunday). I came away empty handed, but did find a couple of surprizes amongst the ubiquitous Whitney Houston and Phil Collins LPs. The first was a 12" blue vinyl original of Patrick Juvet's oft-sampled disco classic 'I love America'. It was though very scratched and I reluctantly pulled myself away on realizing that I was in danger of succumbing to pure vinyl fetishism (i.e. buying records even if the music is virtually unplayable). The second treasure was the Talulah Gosh 12" EP 'Beatnik Boy'. When I find something like this that I really like but already have I always want to grab somebody and say 'you've got to have this'. I couldn't see anybody nearby who looked like an 1980s twee indie pop afficianado, so that wasn't an option. Should I buy it anyway just to give it a home? Should I buy it and flog it on ebay? In the end, thinking of Jeremy Dellar, I moved it to the front of the pile and left in the hope that some curious passer by might decide to give it a go and in the process be opened up to a whole new galaxy of girls and boys with jingly jangly guitars.