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Review: Glebe Record Fair

image courtesy of: Glebe Record Fair Facebook Page

Sydney’s pre-eminent record fair rolled into Glebe’s Peter Forsyth auditorium on Saturday 6th October for the second and final time this year. The rainy October weather did little to deter vinyl enthusiasts with close to 1500 Sydneysiders turning out to get their fix of vintage wax, a clear message that the vinyl renaissance is well and truly in full swing.

The Glebe Record Fair was founded in 2002 by the owners of Egg Records, a humble record store in Newtown, and now represents one of the largest record fairs in Australia with over 100 private sellers and independent record stores selling records spanning genres including disco, funk, soul, hip hop, rock, jazz, metal and blues.

The Fair’s strength and appeal lies in its ability to bridge the intergenerational gap between those who grew up listening to the likes of David Bowie, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones and younger folk whose appreciation and passion for music have led to an embrace of the vinyl revival. The Fair transcends age, budget and musical taste and provides the opportunity for vinyl diehards to get their hands on limited edition Bob Dylan bootlegs and Japanese press and first time punters to snag a bargain on some second hand Simon and Garfunkel or the more contemporary Childish Gambino.

For me the fair was the perfect chance to grab some records that had long been yearning for a spot in my collection, including Parallel Lines by Blondie and Currents by Tame Impala. Here is my short review of those records:

Parallel Lines by Blondie

The lowdown: Parallel Lines by Blondie, the band’s third album, marked the transformation of the band from a trashy punk, new wave ensemble into an ambitious pop group with the flair of 70’s rock & roll. This was largely due to producer Mike Chapman, a major player in British pop music at the time, who fine-tuned the talented voice of Debbie Harry and sharpened the sounds of guitarist Chris Stein. Parallel Lines is critically acclaimed as Blondie’s best album and one that I personally consider as a ‘must-have’ on any collector’s list.

Fave choon: The combination of the disco-synth sounds that ring through the track and front woman Debbie Harry’s vocal tricks and versatility makes Heart of Glass a clear winner-winner chicken dinner.

Currents by Tame Impala (available through our STORE )

The lowdown: Western Australia’s much loved psychedelic-rock outfit Tame Impala released their third album Currents in 2015. But frontman Kevin Parker led the band off-piste on this one, traversing funky keyboard riffs, echoed vocals and carefully orchestrated melodies previously unheard on Tame Impala’s albums Innerspeaker and Lonerism. And if you were unsure whether Currents was more of an experiment than a transformation, the aptly titled fourth track “Yes, I’m Changing” sets the record straight. Parker and the band show off their versatility by pulling off some incredible pop and R&B sounds to produce thirteen unique tracks that get better each time you listen to them.

Fave choon: The Less I Know the Better is the standout track for me. Currents had just been released when I was on exchange in the Netherlands and the song was always a go to while cycling to university or sipping down cheap Dutch beers by the canals with mates. Good times!

Until next year.

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