From the archives / Dear diary – Borders bargains, The Temptations, valves and ribbons in perfect harmony, no new Buddy Guy and just too many magazines!

An unexpected pleasure this weekend! Found time to sit and listen to music, and to start making inroads into an ever increasing pile of magazines. Record Collector magazine, music mags (Mojo and Uncut), science mags (Focus), car magazines, New Statesman, Spectator and more. Come to the conclusion yet again I'm a magazine junkie. Reflect on the fact it does no one any harm. Not as far as I can see anyway.

Too lazy to set up a system for the event. Use the 2-box North Star, Manley Stingray and the Frobisher and Gleeson FG-1. Make a mental note to abbreviate to FG-1. Returned a few unsuitable CDs to Borders at Brent Cross – conveniently open on Sundays. End up with The Cream (best of) and The Best of Stevie Nicks – both at £3.99. Wander over to HMV at note with some dismay that like most retailers, Blues is increasingly a minority display there and Chicago Blues even rarer there. No Buddy Guy! End up with Litter Walter “Juke” for £7.00.

Play the Walter CD first. Dark music, dark sound. Rationalise it by telling myself the amp is cold, which it is, and it’s a 1950s recording as far as I can tell. Settle down with the mags i.e. system as background music. After about 20 mins discover I can’t concentrate on mags because the sound is so captivating. Either the quality of the tracks are improving, or it’s the amp warming up – or both. Laziness gets the better of curiosity. Whatever it is, can’t be arsed to find out. Now seriously wondering if I should sell the North Star.

FG-1s, probably because of the ribbon mid/top is giving a wonderful spread of sound. No idea if it’s tonally ‘correct’. Damn good though. Don't want to leave despite gardening to be done!

Go back to old favourite, The Temptations ‘Psychedelic Shack’. Oh wow. Truly wonderful music. Great recording. Then marvel at how ‘Take A Stroll Thru Your Mind’ takes me in. I’m there, in the music. No chemical stimulants either. Just …. wonderful. Does it get better than this? Can’t see how right now.

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