Sky Blue Black Vinyl Day

The sort of perfect day when no self respecting camera should be left in its bag. Fully charged up we go out, to a feast of colour and record shops.

First to Granby, a social call.

First to Granby, a social call.

But then all visits to Granby these last five years and more have been social visits. Where our conversations with each other have created the future.

A future now bursting into colour.

A future now bursting into colour.

So proud of our newly finished houses.

So proud of our newly finished Community Land Trust houses.

Particularly loving the yellow front door here.

Particularly loving the yellow front door here.

And don’t worry music fans, the Black Vinyl is coming later.

Crossing Granby Street.

Crossing Granby Street.

Into Beaconsfield. Where Plus Dane are close to finishing their own beautiful reconstructions.

Into Beaconsfield. Where Plus Dane are close to finishing their own beautiful reconstructions.

Past The Methodist where we held the early 4 Streets gatherings.

Past The Methodist where we held the early 4 Streets gatherings.

Along Princes.

Along Princes.

Past Hatherley Street. Love to do something about the empty homes here.

Past Hatherley Street. Love to do something about the empty homes here.

Along Hiskisson Street anfdgorgeous Cathedral Mansions.

Along Huskisson Street past gorgeous Cathedral Mansions.

That Cathedral.

That Cathedral.

Over there.

Over there.

Along Hope Street past Gambier Terrace.

Along Hope Street past Gambier Terrace.

Even the backs look beautiful round here, Back Canning Street.

Even the backs look beautiful round here, Back Canning Street.

Looking down Mount Street to the river.

Looking down Mount Street to the river.

And along Hope Street, Catholic Cathedral at the other end.

And along Hope Street, Catholic Cathedral at the other end.

On Hardman Street There’s a little sign where the entrance to the Flying Pickett used to be. ‘Record Fair, here today’ it says. And so the Black Vinyl bit of today’s title begins. Today is National Record Store Day. So as you’ll see there’s a lot of looking through crates of LPs going on.

First here, in the courtyard behind the Old Blind School Restaurant.

First here, in the courtyard behind the Old Blind School Restaurant.

I get quickly into flicking through records gear and begin the day's discoveries.

I get quickly into flicking through records gear and begin the day’s discoveries.

Also, there are always wonderful conversations going on around record stalls:

“I came to Liverpool for a party 30 years ago and I never went home.”

“Ah, The Temptations! They always make me feel like smoking.”

“That’s brilliant that one. Eddy Grant when he was in The Equals with dyed blond hair.” “Yes, Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys (Ain’t Gonna Fight No War). D’you want it?” “Of course not, I haven’t got a record player!” “Well why are you looking through all these LPs then?” “I don’t know, I just like them.”

Good enough, just to like them. So do I.

Down towards town.

Down towards town.

Past the leafy dome of Grand Central Hall.

Past the leafy dome of Grand Central Hall.

Into Bold Street. Town's main street as far as I'm concerned.

Into Bold Street. Town’s main street as far as I’m concerned.

Into FACT for some lunch.

Into FACT for some lunch.

In the quietly lovely Garden Restaurant, by Leaf.

In the quietly lovely Garden Restaurant, by Leaf.

A favourite of mine for peace and conversations, as well as the food.

A favourite of mine for peace and conversations, as well as the food.

Today my conversation is with my landscape architect friend Elaine Cresswell. We talk Homebaked, Gardening on the River Front, North Liverpool and all we’re both doing about the possible futures around us. Thank you Elaine!

Back out onto Bold Street. Nice new sign there

Back out onto Bold Street. Nice new sign there Shared Earth.

Past 'News From Nowhere.' Always the most kindly supportive shop window in the city.

Past ‘News From Nowhere.’ Always the most kindly supportive shop window in the city.

Passing Leaf I can hear music.

Passing Leaf I can hear music.

Vinyl on the turntables. I'll be back for a listen.

Vinyl on the turntables. I’ll be back for a listen.

Next to Dig Vinyl, in the basement of

Next to Dig Vinyl, in the basement of Soho’s.

Always quality to be found in here, and I do.

Always quality to be found in here, and I do.

They’re ostentatiously not joining in with Record Store Day. Reckoning, sensibly, that every day is special. So no hectic searching for ‘today only’ special releases in here. Merely a steady stream of enthusiasts knowing they’re in the right place. A record shop where they’re recognised. And the people behind the counter even know the kind of records they’ll be looking for. A gem.

Next, something newly opened where British Gas and HMV used to be,

Next, something newly opened where British Gas and HMV used to be, Rex.

It’s called ‘Concept Shopping.’ Basically a department store full of independents sharing a common till. There are all kinds of things on sale in here, but I can’t tell you what they are as I only have eyes for the vinyl over in the corner.

A good selection where I find something I've been looking our for a couple of years now.

A good selection where I find something I’ve been looking our for a couple of years now.

“Yellow Moon” by The Neville Brothers and Daniel Lanois if you’re interested. I meet another friend in here, Nina Edge. We talk Welsh Streets and the Digital Printing course she’s just been on up at DoES Liverpool.

Next down to Probe Records, Liverpool's oldest and most venerable record shop.

Next down to Probe Records, Liverpool’s oldest and most venerable record shop.

Looks busy in there.

Looks busy in there.

And do you know what? I’m done. Record shopped out. So I don’t go in.

Instead I head back up tp Leaf for a sit and a cup of tea.

Instead I head back up to Leaf for a sit and a cup of tea.

Up Wood Street, through to Bold Street.

Up Wood Street, through to Bold Street.

Leaf.

Leaf.

Where the black vinyl is still spinning.

Where the black vinyl is still spinning.

Gil Scott-Heron ‘The Bottle’ playing as I find a seat. Brilliant, genius music.

Sarah’s in town too and rings me while I’m in Leaf. We can’t talk though as the music’s on good and loud. So I walk down to meet her where she is.

Been breaking in my new boots all day, having worn my old ones out.

Been breaking in my new boots all day, having worn my old ones out.

Had them pretty much all the time I’ve been writing this blog though. Thousands of miles we must have walked together. Well done old boots.

In Liverpool One Sarah's been having an entirely different kind of shopping day to me.

In Liverpool One Sarah’s been having an entirely different kind of shopping day to me.

But as ever we've both had a great time in our different ways.

But as ever we’ve both had a great time in our different ways.

Time to go home now, over there beyond the Cathedral.

Time to go home now, over there beyond the Cathedral.

What a place, what a day.

And first on the record player back home?

It's those Neville Brothers!

It’s those Neville Brothers!

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