Fohat digs holes in space…

The John Peel record archive was made available online earlier this week. Perhaps something of a ‘so what’ event for many, but for others, me included, an opportunity to revisit my own early days of ‘record collecting’ and to go and take a look at my own vinyl collection. Substantially less than the 65,000 records in JP’s collection, but still, after all these years filed in a way that makes sense to me, if no one else….

And yes…there are family members who will move albums to see how long before I notice! You know who you are… death metal? John Callaway 2012

What…no death metal? John Callaway 2012

The unveiling of the Peel collection has coincided with a BBC series presented by Dominic Sandbrook, entitled “The 70’s”, which, as a Coventry kid growing up throughout that decade, got me thinking. Yes…the Specials and Two Tone were important, and to have seen them in my teens was well….special. But before then, two other Coventry landmarks shaped my musical education. Lets hear it for Coventry Record Library, and the Virgin Record Shop.

Virgin Record Shop, Coventry

Virgin Record Shop, Coventry

[Photo of Virgin Record Shop taken from “Coventry Music Archive Blog” ]

Saturday mornings from the beginning to the mid 70’s weren’t complete without a trip to the record library where for a small sum you could borrow albums that would never have appeared on the radar. Sometimes it was the covers that drew you in. I’m convinced that my jazz odyssey started with the Blue Note sleeves… Sometimes it was the titles of bands themselves, or even the song name. “Mummy was an asteroid, Daddy was a small non-stick kitchen utensil” by Quiet Sun anyone? Sometimes it was something you ‘ought to’ have heard. Whatever…if it proved to be unlistenable, it had cost less than the bus fare into town to find out. And of course, if it really was good then you would never, ever dream of recording it onto cassette for fear of killing the music business dead……

Then there was Virgin…not the soulless megastore variety that we’ve come to know and loathe today, but a musical tardis, with more music inside than you thought possible. Walking to the bus after school would take you past the door, and often as not you’d find yourself inside standing next to the hexagonal/octagonal(?) record bin in the middle of the shop, leafing through all manner of vinyl. And then there were the listening booths….which brings me to this….

Strong & streaming mate....

Strong & streaming mate….

“Camembert Electrique” by Gong. One listen was all it took…and it still sounds good today. Although the 59p price tag probably helped too!

And so dear reader, be warned. You’d better hope that I find a job soon, as there’s plenty more vinyl to be posted here…

Look carefully below, and you will see that Fohat does indeed dig holes in space……

Camembert Electrique. Cheese that you can really trust...

Camembert Electrique. Cheese that you can really trust…

2 responses to “Fohat digs holes in space…

  • Swappers

    Well I for one am hoping you stay unemployed!
    Sorry that sounds a tad harsh but if this is anything to go by, we need more of the Johnny C archive posting herein…..Kepp up the good work Johnny – Go Johnny Go!

  • Dave Sherriff

    Ha! Camembert Electrique was the first record I bought from Virgin in the Arcade. I bought it (unheard) after being intrigued by the Gong-related graffiti all over the metal footbridge over the marshalling yard (as was) behind Cov station. And so began a musical journey…..

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