Tuesday, 30 March 2010


The pride of our household in Manchester in 70's was the Cray X-MP sized wood encased radiogram, essentially a big fuck off side board of musical entertainment. Africa Islam famously used to hook his Ma's and Uncle Bernard’s radiogram's up to his Radioshack mixer for his early block parties, but even without a mixer you could rock a house party with the radiogram's stackable record spindle and still be able to serve warm Party Seven ale and pickled onions from its flat bar work top. It also had a radio with a massive bandwidth but could only pick up Jimmy Savilles "Open Brackets." Old Record Club "Close Brackets" or coded Russian fishing trawler transmissions. Everything changed in the 80's when Alan Sugar flooded the market with his cheap, smoked glass fronted music centres with its equally shit radiogram audio quality. This was the age of the 'Pause Button' and subsequent mad searches for breaks 'n' pieces in your old fellers Black Uhuru, Lonnie Donnigan, Goons albums. Somewhere out there buried under a motorway are rubbish Feelin’ James/Lesson 1 style tapes of Music Hall/Star Wars/Mike Harding cut ups. The radiogram was more than just audio equipment though, it was the control tower of impromptu after pub knees ups, whilst still being a piece of furniture and more importantly somewhere for your mum to display your school photographs and deformed owls you had made in pottery class.

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