Many closing credits ago when I was a teenager (I wonder how many films I’ve seen in the intervening years?!) I worked as a Saturday sales assistant in a record shop. Andy’s Records in Bedford to be precise, from the summer of 1994 to sometime in early 1996.
As I remember, there were three records shops in Bedford at that time: Our Price in the Harpur Centre, Andy’s (on Harpur Street, next to Burger King), and the little independent Sounds Good To Me in Clair Court. Working in Andy’s was one of my life’s formative experiences. It allowed my awkward teenage self to blossom, I met my partner for 16 years there and became great mates with the other Saturday girl, who was at a different school to me so I really widened my social circle. I was 17 and hanging out on the weekend with my 25-year-old male colleagues. It was brilliant fun. Often we would go dancing and drinking at Esquires on a Friday night, then I would have to turn up at work at 8.30 on Saturday morning and clean the CD racks with furniture polish, hungover as hell. Ah teenage resilience!
As for an education in music… I heard Portishead for the first time on the shop stereo, fell in love with Supergrass, scanned extra copies of Oasis’ Roll With It to try and help it beat Blur’s Country House to number one, sold rave cassettes, photocopied the covers of hip-hop albums so they wouldn’t get nicked, and developed a dislike for Neil Young’s singing.
So, anyway, enough of the nostalgia, what’s this got to do with the film club?
In less than two weeks’ time (Sunday 22 July) we’re showing the documentary film Sound It Out. This focuses on the last remaining record shop in the whole of Teesside (which is more Sounds Good To Me than Andy’s). The film was made by crowdfunding, a way of fundraising where lots of people contribute a small amount of money. I gave $20. It’s a film about a record shop – chimes with my life.
The film tenderly examines the lives of the people connected with the shop – buying records means the world to them. Our screening is in an empty shop (old Argos on The Moor!) as a reminder of what’s become of most record shops these days. Gladly, like independent films and cinemas, independent record shops are small in number but still there. Sheffield has, for instance, LP Records on Arundel Street, Vinyl Demand on Rockingham Street, Rare n Racy on Devonshire Street and Record Collector in Broomhill.
A wonderful film about a subject close to my heart. Hope you can make it!