Last Shop Standing or "Why do we support Reflex?" part two, courtesy of Simon (Thanx a lot).

Last Shop Standing, the book by debut author Graham Jones, documents the decline of the independent record shop. Feel free to look round and send a message if you have any ideas or comments regarding the book. Graham's myspace. Here is the book's foreword, seen publicly for the first time, given by music journalist David Sinclair:

There is a romantic image of the local record shop which Nick Hornby captures with exquisite detail in his novel High Fidelity. "The shop smells of stale smoke, damp and plastic dust-covers, and it's narrow and dingy and dirty and overcrowded....this is what record shops should look like, and only Phil Collins' fans bother with those that look as clean and wholesome as a suburban Habitat."

The shop in Hornby's book is staffed by a bunch of oddballs, united by an obsessive love of recorded music and committed with an almost missionary zeal to the business of supplying it to the public. The owner measures out his life in an endless succession of music-related lists – everything from his Favourite Records (Singles) to his Top Five Dream Jobs.

Graham Jones, one of the founders of Proper Music Distribution has been doing his dream job – or variations on it – for most of his life, and the true story of his time spent working in and around the world of independent record retailing is every bit as colourful, funny, strange, and occasionally sad as any fictional yarn.

Graham has some lists of his own, and in Last Shop Standing he has amassed many extraordinary tales of the best shops he has done business with over the years and hilarious accounts of the worst. He reveals the truth about chart hyping and shines a light on some of the extraordinary shenanigans that have regularly gone on behind the scenes as record companies go about promoting some of their biggest hits (and misses).

But the most shocking list is the one that begins and defines Last Shop Standing: a roll call of some of the 540 record shops that have closed in the last four years alone. For record retailing is an industry in crisis. Beset by the onward march of the supermarkets, the growing popularity of music downloading and a host of other rapidly emerging market trends, the traditional record shop has become an endangered species.

While Graham recognises such problems, and explains them with an insider's knowledge and eye for detail, he remains committed to the future of the industry that he loves. As well as being a eulogy to an era that is fast fading into history, Last Shop Standing is also a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many shops to keep operating successfully in such a harsh trading environment.
All of which makes this a most timely and important book.

Graham has amassed a fantastic collection of anecdotes on his travels around the record shops of Britain, and Last Shop Standing is a unique slice of social history and record industry folklore. It is also a damn good laugh. (David Sinclair, November 2008)

Simon's blog

Let's make things happen, Reflex is my last shop standing... ;)

A quick note about Reflex...

Yes, Andy is a friend... Sure... But the reason why we do support Andy's store is because he's an independent one and believe me I pay ALL my records when I order at Andy's. Of course, we all have to deal with dosh and I just CAN'T buy all my records at Reflex to tell you the truth., I asked him to wait "another bank account cycle" several times.

I just try to do it when it's possible. It's the kind of store you can go and DISCUSS about music for hours with the seller. There was a shop like this in Lille a long time ago, and when I crossed the front door the guy recognized me all the time and said pretty often "Hey Yann, got that record for you..." Do you want to listen it? I've discovered so many things I'd like to find such a shop in every town . In Lille there's no MORE independent record shop, they all shut down... A***** blew them away and even big stores are threatened. They have now developped two new activities: Merchandising and Manga (yes...). I discuss very often with one of the seller I know for many many years and every year is worst than the one before... I'm not nostalgic at all but it was really great to go at the shop in the mid eighties, to discuss hours and hours about music (Hornby's high fidelity!)... I loved the "clap clap clap" of the records when I touched them... As an example, and to let you know they just want to kill independent store, Andy PAID MORE as a store to get a copy of the 22 dreams DVD than you can get it as a customer on Amazon. including p&p...

Well, just an idea... Buy a record a month at reflex? Believe me, these records, coming from england for me, have a very different taste! And Andy is a brilliant musician (click on te right cover to dl his LP).

Last year, in Toulouse, I've found this kind of shop. I dived in its blue waters for three hours and I've bought Jazz and the most important thing maybe... A record I've never heard about before...


Lost and Found Real R'N'B and Soul

Paul Weller helps out with soul compilation
The Modfather joins up with DJ Keb Darge for double album

Paul Weller has come together with DJ Keb Darge to release a compilation called 'Lost & Found; Real R'N'B & Soul'.

The double album will feature forgotten soul tracks from the '50s and '60s, and will be released on January 18 next year.

Darge has picked the songs on the 'A' side of the record, while Weller has chosen the tracks for the 'B' side.

In the liner notes for the record, Darge writes about how he first met Weller in a urinal at a birthday party for Weller's sister Nicky's boyfriend.

he said: "Paul walked in as I was relieving myself and said he was enjoying the tunes. I later found out from Nicky that he was also an avid collector, and had been for as long as myself."

Side A Tracklisting:
Keb Darge’s Choice
Big Mama Thornton - 'They Call Me Big Mama'
The Brothers Of Soul - 'Come On Back'
The Tempos - '(Countdown) Here I Come'
Epitome Of Sound - 'You Don’t Love Me'
Daddy Cleanhead & The Chuck Higgins Band - 'Something’s Going On In My Room'
The Casanova - 'Two We Got To Keep On'
The Creations - 'A Dream'
Elsie Wheat - 'Tippin'
Sarah Dean With Freddie Mitchell Orchestra - 'Long Lean Daddy'
Billy Fair & Orchestra - 'I’ll Be True To You'
The Cadets - 'I Want You'
Velma Cross & Her High Steppers - 'I’ll Be Oh So Good'
Big T Tyler - 'King Kong'
The Flirtations - 'Stronger Than Her Love'
The Great Experience - 'Don’t Forget To Remember'

Side B Tracklisting:
Paul Weller’s Choice
The Intruders - 'Hang On In There'
Major Lance - 'Rhythm'
Margie Joseph - 'One More Chance'
Tammi Terrell - 'All I Do Is Think About You'
The Dells - 'Wear It On Your Face'
Bobby Bland - 'Honey Child'
The Radiants - 'Aint No Big Thing'
Albert King - 'Crosscut Saw'
Jimmy Witherspoon - 'Money Is Getting Cheaper'
Billy Watkins - 'The Ice-Man'
Eddie Giles - 'Losin' Boy'
Emmitt Long - 'Call Me'
Slim Harpo - 'I Got Love If You Want It'


Mod rarities, volume 2. Available at reflex.

Released 16th November

Acid Jazz release their second batch of superb rare mod finds after the success of the first edition last year in both CD and luverly vinyl variations. Mod is entering it's 60th birthday and is once again growing as a cultural force, a new generation has discovered this most quintessential of British cultures. Acid Jazz are celebrating with the next installment of their highly successful RARE MOD compilation series. The east London indie has combed the attics and wardrobes of hundreds of original musicians and collected an amazingly broad cross-section of previously unreleased material. Acetates, demos and bona-fide unreleased songs combine on a hard hitting and commercially successful release. Volume one was released earlier this year to much acclaim and was described as a genuine rival to both Nuggets and Pebbles. Volume two is a step up in class and rarity.
From obscure British soul (The Donnie Elbert Band and Mac Kissoon) though R n B (C Jam Blues, Parker's Mood and The Gass Company), early psyche (The Nocturnes, The Amboy Dukes, The Summer Set) to out-and-out mod classics (The Fleur de Lys and The Richard Kent Style) - all the genres and styles are represented and many of the musicians involved went on to massive success in later years. Compiled by and with sleeve notes from Paul "Smiler" Anderson and Damian Jones.

CD with expanded booklet with 4500 word sleevenotes £9.99
Strictly limited run of 500 vinyl albums £10.99

Order it wiht reflex, the last of the independent store!


Winter Warmer in Chelmsford!

Little Barrie News. Official post.


Well, it's been a while since we've been IN TOUCH but here we are again with a little UPDATE from the ever so slightly ODD world of LITTLE BARRIE. The band are working on a NEW ALBUM you see, and it's all going very well. They've recorded FOURTEEN TRACKS so far with the legendary EDWYN COLLINS producing (tracks include Surf Hell, Twisted Little Blade, Tip it over, King of the Waves, I Can't Wait, How Come, Does the Halo Rust, Money & Paper and Trouble in case you're interested!) and the album will be out in 2010.

Can't wait that long for a piece of the band? Well, BARRIE is currently playing guitar on Edwyn's tour (see the EDWYN COLLINS Myspace page for all the dates!) plus LITTLE BARRIE are re-releasing their first THREE 7" SINGLES later this year. The original singles - Shrug Off Love/Reply Me, Don't Call It The Truth/Give Me A Microphone and Memories Well/Didn't Mean A Thing - were first released on the Stark Realities label but have been unavailable for ages and have been loving remastered for these new editions, MORE about those closer to the release!

Still not enough? OK, LITTLE BARRIE drummer VIRGIL's other band THE KILLER METERS have just released their second album on Breakin' Bread Records, it's called 'Breakin' Out' and you can buy it from all good record shops, from Breakin' Bread's website or from Amazon.

You want more? Sorry, you'll have to wait just a little bit longer... more NEWS soon!

Adios Amigos!


Set the skies ablaze. Sound affects 1980 tour. Mixing desk. Scanned the complete booklet.

Shaun Ryder bigged up Twisted Wheel. The band will play 2010 in Japan!

What bands are you listening to at the moment?

There are a lot of bands that I like at the moment. I’m not like the other older fuckers slaggin’ on all the new bands. There’s load of good bands out at the moment. Problem is, I can’t remember their names. As far as English bands go, I am a big fan of Twisted Wheel. I been pushing them for some time. They are a great Manchester band, I think they are one of the best bands to come out of Manchester in the last 20 years. Full article

First gig of 2010 now confirmed in Japan.
Headline show - expect more to follow.
Also talk of bigger UK headline tour early 2010
9th Jan Tokyo Astro Hall :
on sale 7 th Nov

Get your tix here!


Twisted Wheel and The Master Colony; November dates.

ANNOUNCE AUTUMN UK HEADLINE TOUR DATES & PAUL WELLER SUPPORT DATES Twisted Wheel have confirmed an extensive autumn headline tour throughout the UK followed by a series of dates as special guests to Paul Weller. These dates follow on from the huge series of outdoor dates supporting both Oasis & Paul Weller earlier this summer and their recent trip to Japan where they performed at the Fuji Rocks festival to a rapturous response. Twisted Wheel have quickly earned themselves a reputation as one of the hardest working young touring bands around, completing several headline tours of the UK, triumphant festival appearances and also as the band of choice for today’s acts to play with. Since signing to Columbia the band have played with the likes of Oasis, The Enemy, Friendly Fires, Secret Machines, Ian Brown, The View, Pigeon Detectives, The Courteeners, Reverend & The Makers, Kasabian, The Rascals, The Coral & The Happy Mondays to name but a few. SUPPORT THE PRETTY HICKEYS THE MASTER COLONY 18+ / DOORS 9PM £6 ADVANCED TIX + PBF SOUND IT OUT RECORDS/ STOCKTON 01642 860068 ROCKET RETRO/ MIDDLESBROUGH

NOTE: Just have to scroll down on the right of the page to DL the first Master Colony LP and The complete Twisted Wheel one by the player. Enjoy.


Have the good REFLEX, support our favourite shop.

Paul Weller cover pic

Paul Weller reissues his debut album and Reflex can announce that pre-orders for this album will receive a 100% Exclusive A4 print, limited to just 250 copies, so get your orders in very quick indeed. The print (see lo-res sample here) will be shipped separately to the product.

"I still really like the record - we weren't making it for any other reason than to make a record and it re-introduced real music to a lot of people again in the way it was made. We were coming out of the technology of the '80s, with those sterile recording methods, and it became about musicians playing live again and enjoying the experience." - Paul Weller, 2009

This stunning 2-disc 'deluxe' edition of Paul Weller's first solo album, originally released in 1992, follows the overwhelming success of the last few solo catalogue reissue projects – Deluxe editions of Stanley Road and Wild Wood plus Paul Weller At The BBC.

Weller re-established his soul and r'n'b roots and influences with the new material, as well as his love of Curtis Mayfield, Donald Byrd, Traffic, Funkadelic, Blue Note jazz records and new groups - Gang Starr and A Tribe Called Quest. There was also a more experimental side, with tracks like Kosmos and a nod to the Acid Jazz and Talkin' Loud labels scene.

The project has been personally overseen by Paul Weller and producer Brendan Lynch with unparalleled access to their archives.

Digitally remastered – the original album features the classic hit singles Into Tomorrow, Uh Huh Oh Yeh and Above The Clouds.

The project has been personally overseen by Paul Weller and producer Brendan Lynch with unparalleled access to their archives.

Packed with extras – 25 bonus tracks, demos, b-sides, mixes, alternative versions and unreleased songs.

Amongst the unreleased highlights are a demo of new song - The Bitter Truth, a stunning acoustic take on Abraham, Martin & John, alternative versions of Round and Round, Kosmos, New Thing, Bitterness Rising and others.

The 28-page booklet features extensive new sleeve notes including brand new interviews with Paul, Brendan, Steve White and others. Also includes rare period photos and archive memorabilia.

2CD with Worldwide Exclusive Print £12.99 Add »


Clarks and Desert Boots. The story.

It's hard to admit but many iconic clothes of rock and mod's music come from the military "fashion"! in 1949, the members of the 8 th British army were in Egypt to protect the Suez canal and the officers had an habit which became very important for Mods. They went to the Egyptian market and asked to the local leathersmith to make them very light boots. It's just made with two parts of Suede and they added the very light rubber sole. The desert boots were born!

Clarks brand were born in 1825 when Cyrus and James Clark started their tanner's activity, near Glastonbury. 100 Years Later, Nathan Clark will bring back the egyptian desert boots to redesign it and to improve the comfort of the feet. And you know the story, it became a massive success and one of the most sold shoe of the world! Nobody believed in Nathan's idea when he started! Steve McQueen wore it in "The Great Escape", George Harrison on "Abbey road" 's sleeve...

It became the symbol of british elegance because Mods wore it! In the 80's they've been out of date and like legends, they came back! To celebrate the 60 th bithrday of THE shoes, in april 2005, Clarks designed a new model for every decade: Harris tweed for the fifties, paisley for the 60's, acid washed faded denim for the 70's and Union Jack for the 80's...Remember the name, desert boots, don't wear it when it rains! According to Mod legend John Hellier, the clarks and desert boots have completely disappeared in the eighties! Today, Clarks are completely produced in Asia...

You can also check the official Clarks site

(Based on the Hugues Corniere's article.)


Box of vision...

(The text below is just a commercial and be careful the price seems very nice but CDS are NOT included...). The online stroll is cool anyway... (Thanx to Mike, once again)

The Beatles Box Of Vision® is the deluxe companion to the newly re-mastered Beatles CDs, and will be available as the ultimate Beatles gift in the UK and Europe this Christmas.

Officially licensed by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd., the stunning collection, previously only available in North America, includes the following Beatles’ collectible content: The first book in the box is the LP Sized Album Artwork Book includes 200 pages of the Beatles’ LP artwork – the first time all the Beatles’ UK and US album artwork has been collected together in one LP sized book. The Album Artwork book includes front and back covers, gatefolds, inserts and the complete LP booklets from Magical Mystery Tour and many more.

The second book, ‘The Catalography’, is an extensive, all-new, full-colour guide jam-packed with photos, text and track-listings providing the first-ever side-by-side presentation of the U.K. albums and their U.S. counterparts.

The third book is entitled the ‘The Box of Vision Storage Book’ – a highly collectible, unique and stylish way for Beatles fans to organize and display all 32 discs of The Beatles’ core catalog. Beatles fans will have the opportunity to insert CDs and booklets from their existing Beatles collections or the recently released digitally re-mastered versions.

Ideal for fans, collectors and Christmas gift giving, all three Beatles books are housed in an elegant black, linen-covered box with silver embossed Beatles logos and faux Beatles LP spines. The 13” x 13” box features the iconic image of The Beatles photographed by Robert Freeman.