As with previous events, we enjoyed the build up more than the event itself. There’s a pleasure in perusing the list of releases, wondering if any of your favourite bands will issue a must-have coloured vinyl LP, or keeping your ear to the ground for oddities that might even be too obscure or limited to make the main list. We’ve enjoyed sharing our top picks for the day with fans and readers…and as always, we’ve raised eyebrows and a wry smile at photos on social media of middle aged men who’ve abandoned their families to sit on a fishing stool under a blanket outside of their favourite stores at 6 AM. You’ve got to admire that kind of tenacity – especially on what turned out to be a particularly Arctic April, weather wise.
The British ska revival of the late 70s was an exciting time. The short-lived 2-Tone label (founded by The Specials’ Jerry Dammers) was home to arguably some of the greatest music to come from the UK. Over the course of three years, with a mix of good-time party music and political messages, The Specials, The Selecter and The Beat became hugely popular, and although they moved away from their ska roots quicker than most, Madness became one of the most popular British pop bands of all time.