Looking for CDs in all the wrong (but mostly right) places — the first time I visited the UK I actually didn’t spend much time in London itself, instead I was in Oxford, Glasgow and somewhere in Devon, which actually created a nice if limited sampling of what the island has to offer in terms of different vistas, accents, experiences and so forth. The one time I slipped back into London before my departure was a day trip from Oxford because I wanted to find where the big record stores were and go nuts. As this was 1992 and I didn’t really know anyone who lived in London, I had no clear sense of where to go beyond knowing that there was this place called Oxford Street and that somewhere on it was a huge Virgin Megastore as well as a big ol’ HMV.

I did all my shopping at the HMV, which I should note has always prompted a bit of relative mirth with me given the dog/gramaphone logo — in America that logo is an RCA trademark, so why it ended up with EMI in the UK is a bit strange to me. The experience was on the one hand overwhelming — I literally had never been in that huge a record store ever in my life — and on the other hand pretty damned handy for me. While I didn’t pick up all the things I was looking for via press mentions (“The Drowners” in particular seemed to have been completely sold out for weeks), I did get a slew of early Marc Almond reissues, Main’s Hydra-Calm and perhaps most importantly Disco Inferno’s In Debt. I had heard about this band enough that I knew I had to take a chance, and my god in heaven, was I ever glad I did so, then and now.

Following visits led to other areas of exploration, though it bugs the hell out of me I can’t remember the exact name of the one street where it seems all sorts of me-friendly stores are located. I think it’s around where Ye Olde Sister Ray is located, though I actually haven’t done as much shopping there as elsewhere — there’s one store nearby that I picked up my copy of the Position Normal CD from (whatever happened to them, anyway?). But last time around when I did some shopping I ended up at an HMV again — I think the one on Oxford Street but Jel can confirm or deny my memories there. And I picked up the Pulp DVD and the Brasseye DVD, but I’ve since misplaced the Pulp DVD. And darn it, I’m mad! Maybe I’ll have to get another one when I return.