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A World in London 254 - Garth Cartwright Mon, 2018-04-09 12:18

Going For A Song with author Garth Cartwright on this A World in London!

Who doesn’t love records? That’s like asking who doesn’t love chocolate, right? There is something permanently irresistible about those succulent discs of acetate loaded with grooves of favourite songs, dance-floor beats, new discoveries and old favourites, for connoisseurs as well as deck-technicians. Vinyl was something we DJs could touch and manipulate on a Technics turntable (a thing of beauty in itself) unlike tape which felt flimsy and frail, though it allowed some artistic license for people to make their own recordings. When everything went digital and a bit ‘Pete Tong’, turntablists had to be dragged over to CD screaming by the hair – we couldn’t flip CDs around in our hands, we couldn’t see them doing their thing, and they sounded way too clean. But just when we thought our LPs and 45s were long gone and buried, a vinyl revival burst from the platters of a new generation of young, fresh-faced, spinners, and Garth Cartwright’s latest book – ‘Going For A Song: A Chronicle Of The UK Record Shop’ (Flood Gallery Press) – has captured this renaissance.

Going For A Song documents the story of our access routes to vinyl – record shops in the UK from the late-19th century to the present, from wax cylinders through 78s, 45s, 33s, CDs, the arrival of the internet and the subsequent collapse of high street record shop chains (and many independents). Garth’s book is a definitive history of record outlets, and their social impact & importance as community hubs, absorbing the characters, collectors. mavericks, music moghuls, and devotees along the way. Along the way he chronicles how certain shops launched record labels, helmed musical genres and served as energy centres for youths and immigrant communities. Here is the never told before story of how Jews and Jamaicans, Asians and Albanians, and plenty of record obsessives plus money hungry hustlers, shaped British music over the last century.

Do all authors write about subjects they have genuine passion for? Maybe not, but in Garth’s case , all three of his critically acclaimed books spring from a love affair with music that began in a record shop in Auckland. Young Garth browsed through racks of vinyl with the same glee that other kids found in sweet shops, but as he grew into a non-musician, he compensated by coming at music from every other angle – club promoter, DJ, and ultimately as a writer, critical observer and commentator. We non-musicians are the vital interpreters, tastemakers, and spreaders of great music, and Garth has played his many roles brilliantly, writing for broadsheets like The Guardian & Financial Times, but especially through his previous books ‘More Miles Than Money’, and ‘Princes Amongst Men’, which is also the name of his long-running live music showcase for Gypsy sounds at the trendy Ritzy in Brixton. That’s precisely where you’ll find the launch party for his new book ‘Going For A Song’ on April 22nd, so reserve the date and grab a copy. And, remember, the next time you put a needle on the record, ‘what goes round, comes round’.


Joji Hirota Akita Japan/UK

Ramon Goose Wandering Sheikh UK

Monsieur Doumani Gel Burda Cyprus

Helsinki Cotonou Ensemble Ozanku Finland/Togo/Benin

Gil, Nando, & Gal Trinca De Ases Brazil

Gary Stroutsos Salish Moon USA

Joji Hirota Suisei Japan

Pete Lockett First Thoughts UK

Nour Eddine T’bel Solo Morocco

Miguel Castro Cadence of Waters D.R. Congo

Sanju Sahai Madhya Laya Teental India

Link Wray I’m So Glad, I’m So Proud USA

Fairuz Ishar Lebanon

AWIL Goin’ Global Gigs Guide: April 6 Ramon Goose @ Green Note, Apr 7 Kasai Masai @ The Hospital Club, Apr 7 Don Kipper @ Green Note, Apr 8 Širom @Café OTO, Apr 12 Tell Tale Tusk @ Balabam, Apr 15 Seby Ntege @ Rich Mix, Apr 22 Going For A Song launch @ Ritzy, …more at

4/4/18 AWIL 254 Also this week Ugandan grooves by Seby Ntege at Resonance, click: Next week global music mix by Sophie Darling at SOAS and Son Yambu at Resonance! #AWorldInLondon is podcast on #Itunes & #Mixcloud: A World In London – in its TWELFTH year! Live on Wednesdays, 4pm, from SOAS Radio: and AWIL at Resonance 104.4fm at 6.30pm, repeat Monday 8am, online, DAB & on Resonance Extra 5pm Wednesdays. Join us on Twitter @aworldinlondon Twitter:@djritu1