Hats off to I-Soul-Nation - Kevin Buckle
I've seen many interesting formats over the years for album releases but there has been nothing to beat the new release from I-Soul-Nation.
After being quoted a nine-month wait for vinyl the band decided to do something a little different. Anybody purchasing the album will not only receive a bonus gold vinyl seven inch but also a small cardboard pyramid.
Inside the pyramid is a small rubber top hat reminiscent of a Monopoly set piece. Pull at the brim of the hat and a USB stick is revealed.
While soul music may not be a genre people particularly associate with Avalanche the presentation has created a lot of interest especially with those who collect Scottish music and see this as a rare collectable of the future.
Next to our I-Soul-Nation display is a box full of interesting fanzines by the Glenrothes artist Jordan Maxwell (@Jord_Division on twitter and instagram). A must for those interested in eighties Scottish music Jordi brought a box full of zines into me a couple of weeks ago after she had mentioned she was looking for an outlet on Twitter.
Already selling well online they have also been very popular in the shop and Jordi has now expanded into interviewing members of the bands she has featured.
A bargain at two pounds they have also become a must-have item for those interested in Scottish music and looking for something a little different. Those who can’t make it into the shop can order the zines directly from Jordi.
Just above the zine box and also proudly sitting in our window are a collection of unique punk bears by another Fife artist Marie Allan. Handmade from scratch they have sold remarkably well even with a £50 price tag, which given the amount of work that has gone into them people appreciate is a very fair price.
We received our first bears just before Christmas and they all sold with only one exception as presents. The exception was a lady who said she would get her husband to buy her one but then returned 15 minutes later saying she was unable to wait.
Without doubt all these items are a little niche but when you stock lots of different things like this you will eventually have something for everybody.
We even have a poster on our door for a gig tomorrow that would definitely be called niche. Swell Maps and The Thanes are playing at Bannermans and for those of a certain age who remember these bands it has caused much comment.
Promoted by the Onion Cellar which was a legendary indie club founded in 1984 customers have been reminiscing about some of the gigs they attended in those very different times.
Swell Maps are DIY/experimental punk legends and The Thanes made Edinburgh famous for its garage rock bands.
The first Avalanche also opened in 1984 in West Nicolson Street so was very much a part of what was happening then and of course Andrew Tully of Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes – one of the key jangly guitar bands of the time along with The Shop Assistants – was for many years Avalanche’s manager.
I have a Jesse Garon vinyl compilation and CD box set on my Forty Years of Avalanche wish list!