Big interest in Scottish music at Avalanche - Kevin Buckle

On Wednesday I had an Austrian journalist in the shop looking for the new Withered Hand album on CD. He had just come from speaking with Ian Rankin who had kindly recommended the album and Avalanche.
The second album from the band There Will Be Fireworks, The Dark, Dark BrightThe second album from the band There Will Be Fireworks, The Dark, Dark Bright
The second album from the band There Will Be Fireworks, The Dark, Dark Bright

Sadly, though the album came out a while ago now, I’ve not been able to source any stock. Released on Reveal Records who are a sizeable label with distribution through Proper Music, I was told by the distributor they had not been offered the album and it appeared to be only available exclusively from the label.

Now Withered Hand is an established artist with two previous successful albums so this seemed very odd indeed. It would appear that the label has decided to take advantage of the loyal fan base to hoover up all the sales for themselves meaning that any customer looking for a shop copy will go away empty handed.

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The vinyl only arrived recently but again that was not made available to shops. I wouldn’t be surprised that soon with all the fans having already bought the album that shops are offered it, but there is no reason for a shop to support a label and their artist when they have been disregarded for so long in this way.

As I have mentioned before it is by no means unusual for formats of an album which have previously been exclusive to the artist and their label to later be offered to shops, but it is highly unusual for no formats to be available to shops in this way.

As it turned out the journalist had a great interest in Scottish music and asked what else I could recommend. We spent half an hour going through the Scottish music racks and he went away with both There Will Be Fireworks albums plus the Dead Modern offshoot, the second TV21 album, the first Scottish Enlightenment album which I know is a favourite of Ian’s, the second Saint Jude’s Infirmary album which actually has Ian on it and an old Randolph’s Leap album.

As we were sold out of the last Meursault album I also gave him our shop copy free of charge. There is of course a new album out next week.

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You can expect to hear a lot of old Scottish music albums in the shop next week as I have just bought in a large collection of over 1,000 CDs that includes 150 by Scottish artists including many classics that have been unavailable for years. There is also I should say one of our best selling local albums of all time in the first Withered Hand album.

Vinyl collectors shouldn’t feel completely left out as there were also a fair number of Scottish band seven-inch singles in the collection including half-a-dozen from Big Country.

By coincidence the very next customer was from the United States and was a big Brit Pop fan. He had already pulled out several albums and then asked if we could suggest any lesser known bands from that period that he might have missed.

We have had several customers from abroad visiting the UK for the Pulp and Blur gigs and also making a visit to Avalanche. Next week we will be able to recommend Meursault but sadly not Withered Hand.

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