Arriving in the ‘Dam

So, there I was in the European Capital of Sin* all by myself for three days and I thought I would investigate the famously vibrant Amsterdam vinyl scene … who could possibly predict the tangled web of misunderstandings and hilarious scrapes that ensued? still it was nice to make some new friends, even if I don’t share their rather intense hobby**.

So, my son and I were bound for three days in Amsterdam last week, until whilst trying to pull on his skinny jeans at 4.30am he fell and cracked his elbow on the edge of the bath.  Ouch.  I had 5 minutes to decide whether I stayed, or went abroad by myself for the first time ever.  After a brief bit of agonizing, I nervously decided to go for it. 

There were shitloads of canals and stuff there. Who knew?

I have been to Amsterdam once before, briefly and it was even more beautiful than I remembered it last week, in soaring February temperatures I might add.  I am a big walker and a city explorer and so I reckon I walked almost every square inch of the city centre in my three days.  It is great once you get away from the louts guffawing at the naughty bits and start to explore where the locals go. 

Rude beer

I arted myself into a frenzy in the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, pretended to be a local browsing the street market in De Pijp and eating fab food in  the parks, kicking back and meeting some folk in my favourite canalside bar and gurgling some of the best coffees I have ever tasted.  I even took in a couple of films on a wet Wednesday morning. But, this isn’t some kind of travel blog^, what about the good stuff?

My favourite table. Canalside, natch.

Depending on whether you are married to me or not, you’ll either be pleased, or despairing to learn that I had bought my first two LPs within 30 minutes of dropping my bags off at the hotel.  There were more I wanted in Velvet Music but I decided two LPs were quite enough for a short holiday. 

The Underworld & Iggy Pop EP is frigging brilliant. I am still trying to find a foothold on the Traffic.

Anyway, 5 hours later Second Life Music proved to be a real treasure trove and I bought another 4 LPs to complement the rare Cramps 12″ I had bought about an hour before that in Record Palace.  Oops. 

Crap photo, please note stripey-socked sex god in top L corner.
God bless Lux and Ivy. Love this record. B-side is the tracks they recorded for John Waters’ Crybaby.

To generalise everywhere was friendly and chatty; apart from one hipper-than-thou place I didn’t buy anything from*^.  I saw more jazz and world music there than you ever see in the UK and a great deal of it more reasonably priced too. 

Oh and there’s some of my very favourite art, architecture and parks in Europe there too.  As well as great food and drink.  But mostly there’s vinyl.

So I’m back and after a very unproductive January / February blog-ically speaking, I better knuckle down and get some MF-ing LPs reviewed.

915 Down (in the canals).

Taken from my hotel room balcony, by a hugely talented and visionary photographer.
Nothing to do with Amsterdam, I just wanted to crow about being given this beauty. It’s an absolute treasure trove.

*capital letters just seemed justified there.

**Big 1537 shout-out to ‘Shiny’ Pete, Jurgen and all the guys at Slick Nick’s World of PVC. 

^you want next door, 1538, for that.

*^as if they were hipper than me – I have a BLOG people, a blog! You can only dream of the kind of female attention I derive from that!

32 thoughts on “A Big Splash On The Amsterdam Vinyl Scene

  1. CB is a “big walker” as you know. Best way to get around and pick up the vibe. Good stuff. I enjoyed your stroll and your purchases. As far as Traffic goes, I have been listening to them so long that sometimes I take for granted how much I like them. A favorite band with so much music especially if you follow Winwood’s path. ‘Barlycorn’ is a fave,

      1. That doesn’t surprise me. I heard someone else say the same thing. His output over the years (since 60’s) is pretty consistent. Check out a recent recording he does of the title song of ‘Barleycorn’. He’s in his studio just with his acoustic guitar. I think it’s absolutely perfect. Also this guy was through the ravages of all that rock n roll life. Look at the guy. Aged very well. Keep playing in the Traffic I think you will find some love.

  2. Looks like a very satisfying haul. Oddly, I span that Japan album just before coming to this den of iniquity. Love ‘John Barleycorn’ – give it some time and I’m sure it’s gently psychedelic folk grooves will seduce you.

    1. It’s not a fave Japan LP yet, I like the ones before and after a little more so far.

      Loads of great record shops in Amsterdam, a painful amount even.

  3. Sounds lovely… some of that foreign air in about your lungs, a couple of rude beers, and some vinyl. Very nice.

    I’m keen to get that Iggy & Underworld EP… and that Badlands album is on my list too.

  4. What! No pictures of the window displays? That’s disappointing, well not really, I saw all that when I went there. The great thing about Amsterdam is that the city does cater for all types of interests and though I’m not surprised, I will say that you had a good haul.

  5. What an awesome trip. Would love to go there some day. I am going to try and beat your 30 minute time frame when I hit Paris next month. I honestly don’t think I will be successful, but I will give it a go. I have asked the family for at least 4 hours on one day to go record shopping around town.

  6. Sounds like a fun jaunt. Amsterdam’s on my list of places to visit for sure but it’s a very long list. So I guess I should start booking some of these trips…

  7. Another skinny jeans accident. Those things should be banned. I hope he’s ok. Since we are not officially married, I approve of your vinyl shopping.
    I may not approve of your language. It’s Amsterdarn. Also mentioning your 12″ and your Cramps. Just a tad crass.
    Are those Netherlands pressings? I don’t think I have many of those.

    Sounds like a great time. Now I must go there and at the very least find one of those beer bottles. Oo la la.

    1. Yeah he is okay thanks, not broken – doc said it was mighty close though – it was hellishly swollen.

      Oh come on, anything goes in Amsterdam!

      I was so pleased to find the Badlands LP, I haven’t seen a copy since it came out. Only cost 12 Euros too in perfect condition.

    2. I met ol’ Jake a few years ago. I wish I would have had the Badlands album to get signed. I have never seen it in the wild.
      That Dogs D’Amour looks cool too. Are the Japan and Heaven 17 rare versions?

      You are braver than I. I do not comment about vinyl shopping excursions and then mention her in my posts. I would rather stay breathing than the alternative.

      1. I’d not seen it since it was first out either. Where did you meet him?

        The Dogs stuff is always cool, the LP are just regular copies – nuthin’ fancy.

  8. Thats awesome! Dump off your bags and 30 minutes later u scored Vinyl! Sounds like a great trip!
    Gotta love that Badlands debut…
    ‘Highwire’

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