Today BBC Radio 4
Record Collector, that’s a good mag. It might look a bit dozy but it’s got some funny writers. Unlike Q or Mojo it’s not remotely public-school chummy, just thorough, enthusiastic and anal.
On the minus, it’s a shelter for the vinyl crew. Addicts who resemble their drug counterparts, always talking about grams. 180 grams. Does vinyl come in any other weight of importance these days? And does any sane person care what weight their vinyl is? When you think about it, these retro completists, scarfing up six-album sets of ageing outtakes deemed too ephemeral or plain rubbish to make the original record, seem a bit prissy and modern with their Euro-style grams. It’s more lbs and ozs surely. Sixteen-ton vinyl, that would be the thing.
That’s Record Collector and record collectors though. Despite many crimes in service of balance, Radio 4’s Today show with John ‘Brexit or bust’ Humphreys is the last cesspit you’d expect to sound the vinyl foghorn.
But yes! Here today on Today was the news that some infatuated types have released the music from seventies’ kids TV show Bagpuss on vinyl – with outtakes. The world needs infatuated types, a bit, but this is peak arse for the ageing. There are 32 tracks. I defy even the most depraved Bagpuss fan to defend more than a seven-inch flexidisc’s worth of serviceable music from the floppy feline’s show.
If you think this Proustian cleaving to the likes of the beloved Bagpuss is cloying, prepare for worse. When you look it up, the liner notes (!) are by Stewart Lee – and also someone from the Vaselines and someone from Belle & Sebastian, who wrote it out on a spare page in the big book of poetry they read under the covers in the dorm.
Those two, you can see it, but Stewart Lee! His best gig ever was the Fall in 1984. It’s widely believed the mission of Mark E Smith was to stamp out sentimentality. But it didn’t take, and now his fans are regressing. And don’t tell me a CD wouldn’t be more convenient.