Like most of you I’m scared of where we’ll likely be in a few years hence – namely living in pods 24 hours a day, pawing at the big green Tesco omnicorp home delivery button for all our consumer needs, be they drugs, genetically modified kittens*, or drugs that make us think we own genetically modified kittens.
So I really like doomed shops. You know the sort of shop I mean – the kind of place that is still miraculously plodding on despite the internet having everything they sell at a much lower price, albeit without the twin gifts of social interaction and talking to someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Islington Sounds is like that. Hidden down a side street behind Upper Street, I check it still exists every time I pass. Finally, on Tuesday, I was brave enough to go inside. The tinkle of the bell as we walked in brought the single member of staff from a backroom, where she had been busy freebasing cocaine, or having a lovely cup of tea while listening to radio four. One of the two. The shop was far too small for me to do what I’d probably have done in a larger shop, ie avoided eye contact and wandered around embarrasedly, before leaving empty handed, so I immediately asked her if she had any ukulele books.
She did, and grabbed all the ones she had and spread them all out on the counter for my perusal. Morgan asked if she had any books on dulcimers. Amazingly, she did, although she wasn’t quite sure what one was. We had a lovely chat about dulcimers for a while, and Morgan found an important line in one of the books, about why the appalachian types stuck to the traditional hymns: “We must remember that the hill people did not believe in different kinds of music.”
We bought our books, and I hope the place keeps on keeping on. It’s lovely.
* Not sure how many GM kittens it would be wise to buy if you live in a pod