Summer time in the UK means 14 degrees and raining the day I arrive, I've just missed the heatwave apparantly. Due to the fact that my travel partners bag has gone missing (or more so was picked up by someone else), we have to wait for a day around the airport until it is returned, so I make my first record store stop on this trip unexpectedly at Chaldon Books & Records in Caterham. I'm not sure what to expect as it just happened to be the closest shop in the area. When I head inside, an extremely well curated selection of second hand vinyl fills the racks, all in solid condition, while an amazingly categorized book section takes up the other half of the shop.
Chaldon Books & Records. Photo by Holly Doust-Robinson
There are plenty of great finds for a few pounds or you can go all out and grab a David Bowie first pressing for a few hundred. All your staple classics are there and in fairly decent condition, my flick through finds some Australian classics from the likes of Hoodoo Gurus and The Church which are not too uncommon in these parts of the world but it was my copy of The Go-Betweens 'Before Hollywood' in decent condition that gave a silver lining to the earlier lost luggage hassles, it had been sitting on my want list for some years. And as a side to that, the luggage is returned and we are on the way.
My Go-Bewteens score.
Next stop is Newquay out in Cornwall on the South Western coast of England. Glimpses of summer are interupted by regular bouts of cold rain and wind. We're out at Newquay to catch mates Hockey Dad and West Thebarton both making their UK festival show debuts at Boardmasters Festival. Before heading to the festival though I manage to find a record store in the middle of town called Retro Sounds. It is small but jammed with plenty of good stuff, all your standard classics are there, there is some decent new wave, punk, metal among the store as well. Prices were in the average to high side but the shop is busy with people and has a very true record shop feel to it.
Retro Sounds in Newquay
Record shopping is done and it is time to head to Boardmasters Festival, while not a record shop I thought best give you a quick overview of the event. Firstly I'd never heard of it until Hockey Dad were added to the bill but it is quite a big event over here. Walking to the festival site while the summer/winter day splits continued the first thing I'm struck by is the sheer number of tents at the festival. I've never been a fan of camping at festivals and I'm totally glad I have a hotel for this one! Entering the festival site it opens out into a number of stages , a main stage, a big top and then several small stages. The layout is really good and the festival has a nice, varied feel to it, think large country fair meets music festival.
West Thebarton at Boardmasters Festival
First band I catch is West Thebarton in the big top, it is their first every show outside of Australia and there is a really good crowd on hand to see them, they play a bunch of tunes off their great debut album and the sound is really huge. Before Hockey Dad play we meet up with Zach's (guitarist/vocalist) family who are in the UK and explore the festival site some more. I catch a really cool band in a smallish pop up pub but I can't find out what they are actually called. We watch the view over the beach as the waves roll into the Cornwall coast before heading back to the big top to see Hockey Dad play.
Zach greets his family. Photo by Holly Doust-Robinson
Playing their compacted festival set, the Wollongong duo belt out all their favourites spanning 'Boronia' and 'Blend Inn', there is a sizeable crowd in to see them and they sing along to basically every song. The sounds of Windang have certainly spread across the globe! I watch most of the set from Kitty, Daisy and Lewis which was real fun and then retire from the festival, back in to the main part of town. It wraps up the UK leg of this trip and the record stores of Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin await.
Hockey Dad at Boardmasters Festival