Living a stone's throw from the River Thames is a wonderful thing. Twenty minutes is all it takes by train to get to central London from the Shelf-Stacker abode, yet the tranquillity of the river can make it seem that the big city is a thousand miles away. In what now seems like another lifetime I would walk the length of the Holloway Road to get to work, stepping over freshly spilt blood on the pavement outside the type of pub you really don't ever want to find yourself in, senses numbed, inured to the ever-present tension and hostility that seeped from the concrete around me. Now, the closest I get to hostility is when a couple of swans square up to each other on the lazy swell of the river. I'm more likely to see a heron fly overhead than a beer glass these days. Idyllic. But there is a down side. That stone's throw is in danger of becoming a half-hearted lob as, in common with much of the UK, the relentless rain is threatening to bring the river into our home.
Okay, I'm losing you, I know. What the hell's this got to do with record collecting? Well, just that, by my reckoning, a mere one inch of water would be enough to destroy over a thousand of my LPs as they're sat on the floor waiting for the day when I miraculously find shelf space for them. I've already told Mrs Shelf-Stacker that in the event of a flood - fuck the soft furnishings! - I'm getting my vinyl to higher ground. Her response was that perhaps the kids and the cat should be my priorities. Sod 'em, they have legs, they can look out for themselves. In fact, they might want to help carry my babies to safety. I've just read that back and, perhaps it doesn't show me in the best light.
While I take a long, hard look at myself, here are two of the most atmospheric, evocative, inclement weather-related tracks ever commited to vinyl. Love 'em! They're sure to clock up plenty of needle time on my Ark.