Saturday 18th April 2015
Cardiff City 0-0 Millwall
Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff.
[ENGLISH PYRAMID WARNING: The match report and blog entry below is based on a football match that occurred in the English Pyramid, in Wales]
The third Saturday in every month, in recent years, has come to represent a special day in the eyes of music fanatics across the globe.
April 18th 2015 was Record Store Day 2015. A day in which the beauty of independent record stores and vinyl records is celebrated. Independent record stores open up their doors to everyone and put special events on to celebrate the event. Labels (mostly independent, although there is no requirement) release one-off/limited edition vinyls and devoted punters queue throughout the night to try and get their hands on some of the more limited releases.
Having not taken a real interest in the event in recent years, this was my first time actively attending a Record Store Day event. Well, it’s not so much that I haven’t had an interest, it’s just that friends have always reported back that the stores are usually packed to the rafters, everything sells out after an hour or so and the whole sounded a bit too hectic for me in the past.
We headed to Spillers Records, one of my favourite record stores in South Wales, where the main brunt of today’s activities would take place.
A few of my friends headed down to Spillers in the early hours to get their hands on their treasured wares. My friend Chris, who used to play in quite brilliant Midasuno, informed me that he arrived at Spillers at 4am to get his hands on a 12″ picture disc of Manic Street Preachers ‘The Holy Bible’ and he still found several hundred people in front of him in the queue. (I’d later learn that the first person in the queue turned up at 8.30pm on Friday night, a mere eleven and a half hours before the store opened).
Therefore as my wife and I walked the mile from Cathays to Spillers Records, I’d almost given up on getting hold of the record I really wanted, a special Record Store Day-only release by one of my favourite bands of all time, Scottish new-wave band Bis (They recorded the theme tune for the modern reboot of The Powerpuff Girls, and are quite rightly massive in Japan).
Bis, as part of Record Store Day, released a 1000 copies only Double 12″ LP on red vinyl, made up of the EPs and other unreleased tracks from their early EPs prior to the release of their first album proper ‘New Transistor Heroes’.
With 500 copies being shared around record stores in the UK and the other 500 going over to American stores, the chances of picking one up were minimal to say the least. So imagine my surprise and delight when I trudged into Spillers at about 1pm, asking sheepishly at the till whether they still had any copies left to hear that they had one single copy left, which I snapped up quite violently.
I cannot describe how chuffed I was to get a hold of a copy of the record. Bis fans belong in a pretty select club nowadays. The band still do annual tours, wheeling up in Glasgow, Leeds and London for a few gigs a year. These gigs always tend to pull out the sole Bis fan in every single small village and town and I had visions in my head of hundreds of other people like me, walking away from their local record store clutching their copy of ‘I Love Bis’, impatient and waiting to put the needle on their record and re-live their youth one more time.
As luck would have it, when I got home much later that evening one of my recent eBay purchases, a mint edition of Bis – Vs. The DIY Corps was sitting on my doormat (Hey, it’s Record Store Day, so it all counts!).
We also had just about enough time to check out Kelly’s Records in the market. Kelly’s is an absolute treasure trove for the vinyl fan and it also spells torture for someone like me. There is just so much there that takes my interest and I could easily blow the best part of several hundred quid in there if I really let myself go.
I picked up 7″s by The Charlatans, My Vitriol and Hundred Reasons, only to put them down in a moment of guilt.
I eventually settled on a complete risk of a record. ‘Welcome Back’ by Plastics. A record that I picked up the bargain box for 50p, I picked it up based on the sleeve alone and was massively happy to find it was actually a quite brilliant record in the vein of Devo, B52s and indeed, the aforementioned Bis!
We picked up a couple of other nice pieces, including a Spandau Ballet picture disc, an Animals That Swim 12″, a Bush 10″ and a limited edition orange 7″ ‘Farewell To Twilight’ single by the criminally underlooked Symposium.
We had just about enough time to grab a storming coffee from Cafe Nero before making the one mile walk down to the Cardiff City Stadium to endure this afternoon’s match between Cardiff City and Millwall.
Matches with Millwall are usually a rather feisty affair, more often than not for events off the pitch rather than the action on the field.
Any risk of trouble was greatly minimised by the rather poor attendance at the stadium this afternoon.
We usually sit with a group of about 15 or so who have been sitting around us for the last five years at least. Such is the apathy felt at the stadium as of late that only three of our group made their way to the match this afternoon.
This gives you an idea of what the ‘real’ attendance is when Ali the stadium announcer will later announce the ‘official’ attendance as being 19,639 (all sold season tickets are counted for in the official attendance, whether they turn up or not – this tends to be standard practice throughout the land).
Today’s match on paper should have been an entertaining affair. A home side, who admittedly have had a poor season, playing against a side likely to be relegated come May, playing against a side who would surely be fighting for their Championship survival.
Sadly any hopes of an entertaining and fiery match were dismissed early on, as both sides played out a very pedestrian match in which Millwall seemed very happy with their point gained and most Cardiff City players’ minds seemed to already be on the beach.
The highlights of the game? Well, Craig Noone took on a few players, Mark Beevers hit the bar for Millwall, David Marshall saved another shot off the line and Lee Peltier was booked for a niggling knee to the arse of a Millwall player in a melee around the half way line.
The match really was that boring. I found myself checking Twitter constantly to find out news of Pontypridd Town’s away game against Newport Civil Service (they won 3-1).
Next week marks the last home game of the season against the already relegated Blackpool United and will for a fair number of the fans, myself included, mark the last game a lot of us will watch on our season tickets.
As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog. I can handle Cardiff City losing, I can handle us being crap. What I can’t handle is a Cardiff City side who barely break a sweat and play such pedestrian football whilst we fork out hundreds of pounds of our hard earned money watching Russell Slade set his side up for a safe 0-0 draw against the relatively hopeless Millwall, who short of a miracle will find themselves in League One come August.
My Man of the Match: ….Wow, well – the Linesman on our side of the pitch didn’t have a bad game. He seemed to get every offside call right, for both sides.