This article is a little later than usual as I couldn't think of much I really wanted to write about properly. Then I attended a Music Fair on the weekend and it was a great day. I'll write about that.
I found out about this Music Fair by accident searching for the Facebook event page of another one myself and Grant - my co-organiser from La Chambre - are planning on going to in a couple of weeks.
What intrigued me about this one was the mention of numerous interstate record vendors who only come down for this particular fair. Also, a recently opened record store was a major feature in this one and I wanted to see what sort of stuff they have.
As far as music on my radar, my priority is to get records I can use for DJing. As long as the record itself plays well I don't care about the condition of the cover. Main focus was goth, industrial and post-punk but anything interesting that is useful to me is good too. You never know what you will find.
I was hoping to find some of these but no one was selling them. Online shopping wins again...
The location is in the Adelaide CBD but it is a pig of a location to get to on foot, especially on a rainy winter day. I brought my youngest son with me to be my fetch monkey. Saturday bus then train linked up better than expected for our trip into the city, then we stopped for early lunch when we arrived in town. A taxi to the Fair location was $10 but it saved a good 45 minute walk in the rain. We got to the Fair about 11:30am.
On arrival it was in a big blue shed that is usually a car park during the week. I did some research before we left and they run small markets there each weekend but this time it was just the Music Fair.
I paid $5 to get in (my son got in for free being only 11 years old) and those first few steps in the atmosphere hit was great. They had a DJ playing a mix of just about everything starting with synthy 80s when we arrived, moving on to stuff like old school hip hop, rock classics and metal. Was an interesting mix and the DJ mixed it really well.
The layout of the tables was well done. A row down each side of the shed and 2 rings of tables with the people staffing them in the middle at the front and a single big ring table at the back. What I liked was how each vendor used as much space as they needed and each ring had 3-4 vendors. One ring at the front was three-quarters one vendor and that was the new local record shop. I started there.
I knew from prior research that these guys' main focus was importing new records from USA. I already knew they would have interesting stuff like Synthwave. While I find that music interesting, I don't find it so interesting I'm willing to spend $70 per Synthwave album.
I may be pretentious but I'm not that pretentious!
So yeah, a lot of their stuff was priced waaaay beyond what I was willing to spend. When you are catering to collectors it can be like that. But I kept on looking anyway (most of it was not organised so it made you look through everything) and I found something that was on my want list and for a price I was willing to pay. Christian Death's Only Theatre of Pain (2014 re-issue white record) for $35. The white record will be an absolute bitch to DJ with but the record itself is really thick and reminds me of white chocolate. Something I liked about this vendor that no one else was doing was the 12" ziplock bags for the records.
Nearby Small Vendor
This vendor had a small selection of used records, CDs, cassettes and even a folder filled with band posters including a couple of Siouxsie ones. He wanted $10 each for the Siouxsie ones but as they were pretty much newspaper covers or single promos and I couldn't guarantee getting them home intact I decided to pass. But I did find a couple of records for $5 each. I bought an Elton John one for my partner (her taste in music can be terrible!) and a copy of The Cult's Electric that was a little scuffed and the cover was very water damaged. But for only $5 (I later saw it selling elsewhere for $20) it is a risk I am willing to take.
This wild flower is a little wilted
One of the interstate vendors. They were selling new records and had everything nicely organised. As a bonus everything was 10% off sticker price. Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine wasn't on my radar but it was a welcome find. Rather than fiddle about with change they just charged me $30 for it. Bargain! I paid that much when I bought it on CD years ago.
The sticker price is a terrible lie!
The One That Got Away...
As I was waiting to pay for Pretty Hate Machine, I noticed the next vendor on the square had a copy of something very high priority that I wanted sitting away from the table. If I were at the table I would never have seen it but at this angle I could. It was Siouxsie and the Banshees' A Kiss In The Dreamhouse - one of my favourite Siouxsie albums!
But alas, by the time I finally paid for Pretty Hate Machine I saw the vendor pick it up and show it to a customer. Rats! I made my way over to ask if he had any more Siouxsie and waited hoping the customer would examine it, spot a flaw and not want it. Nope - they bought it. To think if we didn't stop for lunch or arrived in town sooner it could have been mine. You win some, you lose some. But I was not done with that vendor yet...
Bloke with no shops who sells at record fairs occasionally
I asked if he had more Siouxsie. Unfortunately he did not. But I told him about the sort of stuff I am after and he said he should have bits and pieces of that but I would have to hunt for it. In the collectors section (individually priced $20+) I found a Cabaret Voltaire 12" with 2 songs on each side. I was unfamiliar with them so good ol' smartphone youtube to the rescue to listen to one. Being able to do that is so handy as you often find stuff by bands you know but you aren't familiar with what you find. It sounded interesting so I got my son to hold onto it while I searched the $10 section. I found a few things that were midly interesting and put them aside as they were low priority. I might come back to them. Then the vendor pointed out a bootleg with 2x 15-20 minute long medley mixes on it. One for Kraftwerk, the other for Depeche Mode. Given I have never even seen a Kraftwerk record in my travels I grabbed it there and then. $10 is a great price.
I'm the operator with my record relocator
The Vendor was located on the corner so I started looking on the other side as the $10 section extended around. Suddenly the finds came quick and fast with each impressing me more than the last.
The pun here would be a little too obvious
Money equals power, equals sex, no kicks for free, SEX EQUALS DEATH!
After finding these (Especially the Cabaret Voltaire one as I Want You is a song I know and have played DJing before) I didn't want the other one for $30 anymore. So I decided to pick up some of the ones I liked and put aside instead.
I waasn't going to get this but in the end sanity prevailed
Another obvious pun. Ohhhhhh Yeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh! Beautiful!
Ironically the damaged cover reduced its pinups value but the record is nice
Sanity was another one of those check it on youtube ones and I liked what I heard. Oh Yeah is an old favourite (I used to play a snippet of it in my old musical hour podcast thing for that cheesy radio DJ vibe) plus I will play it. The Bowie album I am unfamiliar with and don't recognise a single song on it. It is from 1973 so I am not surprised. But it's Bowie - how bad could it be?
All up $70 for 7 records from this bloke. I asked him where his regular shop is and he said he doesn't have one and only sells at fairs like this one. My guess is he is a collector who buys bulk lots and sells of what he doesn't need from time to time. I could have easily spent more money there and I spent the most time from any vendor looking through his stuff.
At this point I had spent most of my money and I had only looked at records on the first two squares. I still had the massive rear square and the 2 rows to go. Time for a break!
My son and I went over to the German Club over the road as it was the only nearby toilet and a chance to have a beer there is always nice. I had an amber ale, he had a lemon squash. I was spending precious record money and we had a bottle of water with us but it was nice to sit down for a while and enjoy an imported German amber ale. I don't get a chance to do that often.
It was beer-y good!
Unknown vendor with 50% off
This one had a lot of used records so I searched through all of them. I found a Hooters album for my partner, it cost $7 after discount.
This is a store I have been to in the past. Bought three records from them last time at their store. I found nothing of interest today though except for a Kate Cebrano record for my partner that was top of her "get this for me if you see it" list. It cost me $10.
Unknown vendor with a punk/new wave/alt section
I went straight to the relevant section and dived in. I saw something I thought I would never see - a Skrewdriver record. I fought the urge to smash it there and then and kept looking.Besides, I didn't have $50 left to use to rid the world of that trash. A couple of boxes later I found my last gem for the day - Bauhaus' Mask. Awesome! Only $25 too.
It was a pain to muscle out of the plastic sleeve... which the vendor kept. Weird that.
One last quick look around
At this point I had about $5 left so I was pretty much done. But I still had part of that rear square and the last row to go. The rear square was all records well out of my price range and a heap of dusty old singles so I passed on that. I'll go single diving another time.
The last row was an interstate vendor I was interested in seeing what they had so I looked through a few relevant boxes. I found nothing of interest. Time to go home.
On the way out I stopped and talked to he bloke who sold me 7 records for $10 each. I mentioned buying a Bauhaus album and we got to talking about the Bauhaus gig coming up in October. I might even see him there.
Time to go
We left around 3:30pm. I was very happy with my haul. All up it cost me about $250 for everything throughout the day and I walked away with a lot for my money.
Some honorable mentions that I saw along the way and decided not to get :
· A Clan of Xymox album I didn't recognise and I couldn't read the track listing or album name
· Ministry - AmeriKKKant (Ministry have gotten way too metal for my tastes over time)
· Army of Lovers - Crucified dance remix (too melodramatic and cheesy plus remixes are risky)
· Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile (I hate that album and it was overpriced!)
· Too many Dr Hook records. I bought a greatest hits Dr Hook record for my partner in the past and that is all she is getting. I am mean but I am fair. No household should have to suffer through more than one Dr Hook record!
This was my first music fair as I only started collecting records for DJing in January this year. I plan on going to more as the stores marked a lot down and the interstate vendors were nice for some fresh blood. In fact, there is that record fair on in 2 weeks I plan on going to with Grant. I won't have anywhere near as much money for that one but hopefully I'll find something good.