Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Records Fairs

These are wonderful places to go people-watching.

The downside of living in Australia is that there isn't the critical mass of events, geek collectors or genuinely collectable artefacts. The circuit's well-established and the same old faces (and unwanted records and CDs) keep turning up.

You thought "High-Fidelity" was just a movie? The record fairs at Parramatta Town Hall or the Glebe Community Centre (both in Sydney) say otherwise. For every relatively well-adjusted, budget-aware browser there are three smelly, Coke-bottle wearing OCD patients whose Army surplus backpacks make negotiating the crowds twice as tough.

What keeps people coming to record fairs? Surely eBay's slashed the guts out of the marketplace. Maybe not. There's still a sub-culture of people who need the tactile feel of an LP sleeve between their fingers. A few of them lok like they crave huiman interaction. Plus, postage often makes the real cost online album procurement prohibitively expensive, at least when you're buying from offshore.

The bottom line is that attending a record fair brings with it the thrill of the chase, the remote possibility that you might just stumble across something like a mint copy of the Psychosurgeons' blood-stains "Wild Weekend" 45 or a test pressing of "(I'm) Stranded" on the original Fatal label.

Perfect Noise Forever has a great piece on record fairs here. Smell the geekdom.

No comments: