Steve Davis spun some his favourite records at the newly opened Stranger Than Paradise record shop in Hackney, London, and offered some top tips for Record Store Day 2018.
‘It’s become more than a hobby,’ said Davis, surrounded by swathes of colourful vinyl artwork in Stranger Than Paradise records, which is neatly tucked away in the corner of the trendy new Mare Street Market in Hackney, London.
A six-time world snooker champion in the 1980s as part of a near 40-year professional career, Steve has followed a path very different to your average snooker-retiree.
He’s progressed from DJing local radio shows to performing for large crowds on the festival scene. A few years ago he played at Glastonbury with his collaborator and Knifeworld frontman Kavus Torabi, and also appeared on the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System Stage at Festival No. 6 – a sound experience he said was his favourite on the festival circuit so far. And with so much experience at hand, it’s rather apt he’s providing us with some top tips for Record Store Day later on.
But on this hot spring evening, the former world snooker champion treated press and music fans to some of his favourite tracks – old and new – through Bowers & Wilkins 704 S2 speakers, which are a permanent fixture in the record shop.
Showcasing his passion for organic sounding psychedelic rock, listeners journeyed through the synthscapes of the North Sea Radio Orchestra, rocked out to Frank Zappa and were hypnotised by Palm’s angular math rock – Davis’s favourite album of the decade – amongst many others.
And with Record Store Day 2018 just around the corner, Steve kindly provided us with his 5 top tips to help you make the most out of the day:
1. Record Store Day is all about music fandom. And whilst you will most likely have to queue to get into record stores, the wait will be worth it. Go with a group of mates to pass the time – and definitely schedule in a victory beer.
2. Have a list of albums that you’d like to add to your collection in your head, and try not to fixate on just one. It’s a busy day and there are lots of people jostling for the same records – you don’t want to be disappointed. Some of the best stuff available is the less well-known anyway, so have a rummage.
3. Do your research. There are hundreds of special records on sale on Record Store Day so do some Googling beforehand. There’s a full list available online on the Record Store Day website.
4. Speak to the people who work at the record store. I’ve been introduced to loads of interesting tracks this way, and they always have a few hidden gems under their sleeves.
5. Make sure you’ve got some good equipment so you can listen to your purchases the way they were meant to be heard: in high definition audio. I play on Bowers & Wilkins 703 s2s and a Rotel amplifier and the depth is unbelievable. I couldn’t use anything else now.
We know it’s not exactly vinyl quality, but we’ve compiled the tracks that Steve spinned throughout the evening into a playlist below.
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Do you have any top tips for Record Store Day? Write them in the comments section below.