Record fair turns Smithies' table

OUT FOR A SPIN: Grant Smithies wants people to bring out their vinyl to a record fair this month. 
OUT FOR A SPIN: Grant Smithies wants people to bring out their vinyl to a record fair this month. 

Nelson music writer Grant Smithies wants to help out his fellow "record fiends" get their fix through a record fair.

Smithies is calling on record collectors to get their vinyl in order to sell, barter or swap at the first of what he hopes to be many record fairs.

To be held at the Free House on June 28, the inaugural event - Black Vinyl, Brown Beer - will be a place to gather, drink and socialise.

It is something Smithies has wanted to organise for some time.

He knows many people in Nelson who could benefit from the event, and said the vinyl would be high quality and interesting.

"I thought for ages that it would be great to have a record fair where it's already the interesting stuff you're going along to look through. Often you'll go to a garage sale or record fair and you'll be going through hundreds of easy-listening records, and it can be difficult to find interesting things. To spend hours looking can be quite disappointing.

"This town is full of people with really interesting vinyl who would be keen to sell it or swap it."

He said hunters could enjoy craft beers and "talk to each other and argue about bands, buy a few things and trade records if they feel like it".

There would be a vast range of records to hunt through, including rare finds.

"I will be bringing everything from reggae and folk to old soul to punk LPs."

He had 15 other stalls confirmed for the fair.

Sharing stories associated with the original purchase was part of the appeal as well.

"People always have stories behind records they get. I have a whole lot I bought in the street markets in Colombia in South America, of peculiar and fascinating South American music."

He said the Free House yurt would be set up for the fair, and people could barter or haggle with each other.

He planned to hold the fairs every three months.

"The idea is to do it on a regular basis as a community thing. It's a good way for record enthusiasts to get together, trade stuff and meet up with each other."

He said the wide range of records at the fair should mean there would be something for all tastes.

"If you are a record fiend, then [you find] people have their own interests and are excited about different things, so trading is really good fun, to go through each other's things and find gems that are right up your alley."

He had been asking around for people to be involved in the fair, and said it showed there was still demand for vinyl.

"The CD is just a tinny plastic-cased object, the record feels like an artefact that's interesting in itself. The cover art, the feel of it in your hands and the photos on the cover, the fonts on old albums - it feels like a really fascinating part of musical culture."

  • If you are interested in attending the Black Vinyl, Brown Beer event, contact Grant Smithies for more information on 03 546 8335.

The Nelson Mail