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Newsletter Mailed 1st June

Posted on June 1, 2009
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Damned Dodgy Demo

Damned Dodgy Demo

Newsletter mailed today with 361 new items. Any subscriber who hasn't received it and there's always a few let me know and I'll mail it to you.

The site will be updated Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Disappearing Record Shops

Posted on May 30, 2009
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I read that last year over a quarter of the UK's independent record stores went out of business. In the heyday of the 1980s there were over 2200, by the end of 2008 there were just 305. Coupled with the disappearance of chain stores such as Fopp and Zavvi and thje massive reduction in music stocked by HMVs it's becoming increasingly rare to find independent music offered for sale in the high street.

I believe this to be a seriously depressing situation. Without these shops new bands won't be able to get their records stocked in any outlets, the situation will be the same for reissue labels as it's only the independents that take a chance on these releases. The independent record shops act as a focal point for the local music scene. I regularly visit mine to see what posters are up for gigs.

Here in Newcastle we're blessed with many good shops, but heading south it's totally barren: Durham, Sunderland, Middlesborough, Darlington, Hartlepool and York all have none.  So from Newcastle to Leeds is a wasteland.

My favourite record shop was Selectadisc in Nottingham and last year that closed. I've heared that there are now no independent record shops in the Nottingham/Derby area now.

As a vinyl fan I find this especially depressing. We all know that CDs are cheaper over the internet, but with the vinyl LPs the cost of shipping them makes them usually more expensive and many online retailers like Amazon don't want to stock them. If people have to pay more to get their newc releases then fewer will sell. Another nail in the coffin.

With fewer releases due to diminishing sales we seem to be stuck in a vicious circle.

The only hope is that the few that survive will find life easier with less competition. Hmm...

Debut album by Control

Posted on May 20, 2009
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Control Hooligan Rock n Roll

Control Hooligan Rock n Roll

One of the best debut punk albums I've heard in a very long time, the debut album by Control is out now on Step-1 records. It's hard-hitting streetpunk with intelligent lyrics and excellent tunes. Unlike so may other recent albums it's been properly produced and benefits enormously from that.

Have a listen on their MySpace site.

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