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With a little help and a lot of love from our friends


Another Record Store Day has come along and we hope everyone had as groovy an experience as we did in the shop. If you saw the pictures, you would have seen the place rammed to the gills with music lovers even more than usual - all funking along to our special guests as they pawed greedily through the Rat racks.Like so much in our cynical and diminished age, Record Store Day attracts a bit of controversy these days along with the love and attention it sprinkles on sacred sites like your very own Rat. What started as a well intentioned way in a sea of digital download dross to put a spotlight on the places, spaces and people that are the interface between audio magic and the public has become a little more interested somehow in coin.False scarcity is a classic concept in retail and beyond. You deliberately make less of something than the people want, and point it out. Apple is the past master at this - do you really think that they could not make enough iWhatevers for launch day? Queues and customers unable to get what they first wanted make for great PR and even better opportunities to sell other higher margin guff. The vaults are raided for this or that unheard gem, and sleepy artists like even the eminent Boards of Canada are roused from stoned out slumber to sling out new product. Product strangely available in a handful of outlets for a few minutes before appearing like money magic on eBay.Also, it seems that old Forty Quid Bloke and the Dad Rocker Racket monopolised the presses. A quick look at the exclusive releases reveals brands (not bands) far too thin to need vinyl like Aerosmith, hipsta indiee acts that you might have slept through the first go round, and novelty mash up Brian Eno X VS. SOMEBODY novelties. Not a lot of Soul, Funk, Reggae or Jazz in there. A more cynical Sleeve might mumble that there was a bit of, ahem ethnic cleansing going on and that the former editors of The Observer Music Monthly had wrestled control of the world.A better world was on show in the shop, thanks to our many famous and fabulous friends. You know them, you feel them, you heard them but we're talking about Immy Moore, Danny G, Radioactive Man and Dexorcist, Jerome Hill, Joe Hart and DJ Terror Eyes. A lineup like that would cost you far far more in festival cash than even our most expensive records. They did it for love and didn't have to. The same love we express when we chase down black gold in lockups that would scare Michael Myers and sling it back up into the racks just for you.We bit off even more than we could chew for Record Store Day, so those that missed it or slept on it can come right back this Saturday to make amends. Too big, too cool and too deep to even drop names but my spies tell me that we're topping up the mammoth motherload of musical magic with funk, soul, hip hop and REGGAE. I lust for Jamaican sounds like a clan of cats left in a fishmongers, so best be quick on that one people. See you there.

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