Wednesday, 3 November 2010


As much as I like little dogs I feel the time is long overdue for “Nipper” to be taken on a one-way journey to the vet for a few kindly words, a little scratch from a needle and so to begin a long and never ending sleep…….

Talking metaphorically of course. “Nipper” being the little dog who for years was the face of HMV “music”. I can’t recall when HMV actually stopped using images or likenesses of Nipper but then again I can’t recall the last time HMV could, with any degree of honesty or self respect, refer to themselves as a “music” shop.
A trip to their premises is, at least for a grumpy middle aged jazz collector, a feckin’ awful experience these days.
Not only has jazz been ghettoised into a hideous coral amongst other “specialist music” it has been systematically and brutally ethnically cleansed until only a select few recordings deemed fit to be “jazz” are allowed. And “deemed fit” by some moron who’s never actually listened to jazz, never mind “got” it. Their stocking policy is probably “planned” by one of the sullen-faced, multi-pierced, colour-haired, acne covered, feck-wits who lurk behind their tills
I do not mind the following (indeed in some case I’m very keen on them): Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Bix Beiderbecke, Ella Fitzgerald. However, while their canon of work, collectively, is vast. It can not be summarised into seven or eight “Greatest Hits” or “Best Of” compilations. Neither is it the B-all and end-all of “jazz”.
Anyway jazz is a vibrant, organic and evolving art form, but do any new jazz artists warrant any shelf space in HMV’s bland new world? Do they feck. And it’s not only new and up and coming artists who are excluded. Go into any HMV (possibly with the exception of London) and try to find the latest Charles Lloyd offering, the new one from Yaron Herman, anything by Alan Barnes, the re-release of almost anything by Stan Tracey or Kenny Wheeler……. Hopeless.
HMV is nowadays little more than a toy shop for gutbucket, lard-butts to go to buy their soddin’ kiddy “video games”. They even sell sweeties at the counter? What next? A burger franchise in Waterstones??
I buy almost all my “new” jazz purchases these days from the internet. Not because I want to, but because I have to. I didn’t kill off music shops (I’m more than happy to support them) – they simply excluded me from their world. And to be honest a “world” of Cherly Coles and Nadine “what’s-her-name”s and soddin’ various “X” Thingummy rejects is, quite frankly, a world I do not wish to be part of.
I honestly get more enjoyment going into specialist second hand shops. It’s like stepping back in time to when shops were there to tempt, to assist and cater for their clientele. Go into one of these places with the thought of spending a fiver, you’re likely to come out about forty quid lighter.

Rant over……

No comments: