There was much excitement this week as I took possession of the best collection of vinyl I have ever seen in over 30 years of Avalanche.
A friend had recently brought the records down from his loft and felt it was a shame to just have them sitting in boxes when others could be enjoying them.
Spanning from Nick Drake albums on the original pink Island labels and early Bowie through to punk and then post punk, onwards through 80s indie and ending in the early 90s, it was a joy looking through every box. Counting up I realised there were a little under a thousand records in front of me.
I’d had a few people ask about me selling their collections for them and, having whittled my own down to those things I’m sentimentally attached to, I was looking for more things to list so this collection couldn’t have come at a better time. We will split the profit but because of Avalanche’s reach on social media and expert knowledge, my friend should get two thirds of what he would have got if he had done it himself. Meanwhile the income will give me another month or two to work on the ScotPop Centre. People often misjudge just how long it takes to sell things online themselves. The listings can be quite simple but often there are many variations and getting it right is of course essential. Then there are all the questions not just about what is on sale but also the daft ones wondering why something ordered last night hasn’t arrived. Add in the all the picking and packing and trips to the post office and I often long for the simple days when somebody came in the shop, handed you stuff, you put it in a bag in return for money and they left.
I normally pack up orders while watching afternoon quiz shows and I’ve realised that my improved scores have far more to do with watching repeats than any increase in general knowledge. Another reason it is probably best if the ScotPop Centre opens sooner rather than later and I get out more!
What is clear is that the best way to finance ongoing work on the Centre is to make the money myself and consequently I’m definitely looking for more collections and not necessarily vinyl. While CDs may not fetch vinyl prices there is still a good market online albeit at fairly low prices. By coincidence another friend phoned to say he would like to donate 150 LPs to the cause which was very kind of him.
I’m very happy to discuss selling large collections for people and will be just as pleased to simply pay cash for those who would prefer. Of course if anybody is in their loft or cupboards and finds any interesting memorabilia do please let me know. I’m still contacting people who came to the Fruitmarket Gallery exhibition last June and I know there are others who will have some great finds but sensibly it will be best to have another push once we have somewhere.
I haven’t given up on getting sponsors and in fact apart from finding anybody with hard cash that has gone very well but realistically trying to make the cash myself is the thing I can do most about.
We also have our first card designed for the Centre by the illustrator Roberta Fidora who I came across when buying her Nick Cave Birthday Party card. It too is a birthday card featuring Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells. Aidan is wearing a t-shirt saying We’re Still Here, a song from their second album and the card reads Everybody’s Getting Older, a play on their first album’s title Everything’s Getting Older.
Admittedly they are niche references but one that will hopefully appeal to Avalanche’s customers. More cards are planned and this first card can be pre-ordered in packs of four from the Avalanche online shop.
If anybody has any vinyl or CDs they would like to donate, sell or have sold for them do please get in touch using my shop email address, email@example.com. The collection already in has shown what a huge difference new stock can make especially just now after Record Store Day when things are normally quiet and I am very grateful for the opportunity to sell such an amazing amount of vinyl. You can see for yourself exactly what all the fuss is about at https://www.discogs.com/seller/AvalancheGrassmarket/profile. I’m still hopeful of finding somewhere in time for summer but if all else fails I may need to put that daytime TV watching to use and move into antiques!
Light on the Shore
Nobody could argue what an exciting line-up is planned for Leith Theatre this August with Mogwai. The Jesus and Mary Chain, King Creosote, Karine Polwart and Django Django heading a long list of great artists for Light on the Shore.
All being well, this short-term focus will generate a long-term future which will need to be the case if Leith Theatre is to become the regularly used venue we all hope it will. This is a fantastic start and hopefully it will continue.