Monday, May 19, 2008


I've been a regular at the Notting Hill, Berwick Street and Camden MVE's or Record & Tape Exchange for over twenty years. Some of the staff have been there nearly that long. With one or two of them I'm on grimacing terms. Yes, the majority of them are surly and indifferent so it's always a pleasure when I am rewarded due to their ignorance. A few months back I was flicking through the 50p singles in the Camden MVE when I came across the Screen Gemz 7". Not to be located in Record Collector's Rare Record Guide the poor "experts" in MVE had no knowledge of its value. Though it rarely appears on ebay a copy had sold on there just the week before for £230. That had a picture sleeve, unfortunately mine didn't. What was even sweeter was the fact that I had bid unsuccessfully for it and here it was in my grubby paws with its pretty green MVE sticker, so much easier to remove than the red stickers which have scarred a number of my sleeves, for the budget sum of 50p. A few weeks earlier I had reeled in a haul of five or six Marsh Marigold singles from the 50p shelves and received a quizzical stare from the man who served me. Then last month the staff were in a quandary when confronted with something on the Shinkansen label. Was it dance music? Unlikely, they reasoned, as there were three people in the band. I resisted the temptation to enlighten them.