to a couple of barely anticipated long-term relationships, my OE came quite a
bit later than I’d originally intended, and I was in my late 20s by the time I
arrived in the UK, specifically Glasgow, Scotland, alone and homeless, in early
1993. I quickly found a place to live in a loft floor “bedsit” right in the
heart of party central, Sauchiehall Street, home to some of Glasgow’s best
nightspots. That I ended up working nightshift at a large inner city hotel meant
my body clock was tuned to stay up all night, quite the bonus come the weekend
or those precious nights off. Apart from the love affair I developed with all
things Celtic FC, it’s fair to say that music and nightlife soon dominated the
very fabric of my being … hey, it was a hard life, but someone had to do it,
and even today I still pay for those sins with periodic bouts of hard-out
|Fopp, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh|
That lifestyle naturally led to me having plenty of daylight time to discover all of the “new” record stores at my disposal, whether that meant a brisk afternoon walk out west to the bohemian delights of Byres Road, or just a lazy stroll around some of the more centrally located shops. On more than a few occasions I found myself leaving Glasgow altogether – sleepless and wired – on a bus or train bound for Edinburgh, the monumentally gothic and unbelievably beautiful city about an hour to the east. I was the proverbial pig in hog heaven.
|Fopp, Byres Road, Glasgow|
Fopp (the name taken from an Ohio Players record?) started life in the early Eighties as a market stall located in the aforementioned Byres Road area of Glasgow. It grew and grew to the extent that it eventually had shops in London before the vast majority of stores were sold and rebranded, as is the cut-throat way of the retail chain.
And so this was about the time that my CD collection really started to expand. It coincided with the rise of indie music in my wider consciousness, and although dance music remained a big part of my life in terms of going out, indie and post-punk releases formed the core of my early CD collection at that point. So I’ll sign off with this clip from 1993, a noisy two minute trip of such pure velocity it puts me right back on the Glasgow Central to Edinburgh Waverley Express in an instant ... here's Elastica with 'Stutter', turn it up and breathe in the bitumen: