When I finally quit working in a record store after 7 years I was exhausted by music. In truth, I’d gone off it. I had become cynical of seeing the major record labels market the art. It was just business.
I listened to music less and less. Then, after a few months I was listening to a small portable radio in the shower. I knocked the dial from Radio 5 to Radio 1 and this came on. I did not know who the band were. It was a magical moment. The radio presenter did not say who it was. I had to listen to the radio for a few days to find out that it was Zero 7 – Distractions.
Needless to say I wanted to buy the record, on vinyl, as soon as possible. It turned out that there was a limited run of just 1000 vinyl 12 Inches. I went to every record shop in Birmingham City Centre with no joy. Foolishly my last stop was arguably the best record shop in Birmingham, Swordfish.
There was a lad of about 16 behind the counter (not the usual two guys). I began to ask “have you got…” when he said “alright Charlie”. I didn’t know who he was but it turned out that he’d been buying records from me since he was about 10 (he was on work experience), then it clicked, who he was. I completed my question “have you got Distractions by Zero 7 on vinyl?” He said “yes, there’s one left I was saving it, but its yours”
He was “saving it” as it was numbered 1/1000. Foolishly I sold the record a few years laters as a skint student. That does not change the fact that Distractions is a fantastic record. I look back at this record as me kind of coming back to music and my cynicism fading. The record, although not my usual bag, is almost faultless…