Thursday, 5 January 2012

555 Was Right from Da Start

When I was growing up in Brighton, the almost simultaneous purchase of two 7" singles, stumbled across in a local record shop at the age of about 16, had the most profound effect on my taste in music and my ideas about music generally. One of them was 'The Weight' by Hood, the other was 'The Last Wasps of Summer' by Steward. When I realised that both of these records had been put out by the same label, I immediately set about trying to collect everything this label put out. That label was called 555 Recordings - at that time 555 recordings of Leeds.

I was never once disappointed with a single purchase that bore the 555 tag, indeed I was consistently surprised, delighted and inspired. When I later discovered that these records rarely broke into sales figures with more than two digits, I was a little bit shocked. This, to me, was pop music. This was pretty much exactly what I wanted pop music to be. Why couldn't everyone else see that?

I mention this for two reasons, one being that Stewart and Jen are currently putting all the early 555 singles up on Bandcamp in a pay what you want kind of way in order to raise money to buy a trained autism service dog to help them look after their daughter, Tallulah. You can read more about the dog and what it would mean to Stewart, Jen and Tallulah on Jen's blog here. But even if you don't give a damn about the child of two people who are, after all, probably complete strangers to you, I can't recommend enough at the very least popping over to Bandcamp and having a listen to this stuff, and maybe checking back every now and then as Stewart puts more stuff up. I'd never heard the track I've embedded above before (and, believe me, I had a lot of 555 Records by the time I left Brighton) but as soon as I heard it I completely fell back in love with the label again.

The other reason I mention this is because the record shop in Brighton where I bought those two 7" singles - and most of the rest of my 555 collection - is closing down and holding a massive sale. Edgeworld Records is/was by far the best record shop in Brighton (and there's some fairly stiff competition) and the people who worked there and ran the place knew more and cared more about music than pretty well anyone else in town. All of their stock is being reduced by 10% every week, so get 'em while they're hot, basically. It's on Kensington Gardens, North Laine. Look up for this sign...

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