The RPM Record Club began as an idea in early 2012, a train of thought that went something along the lines of; what if there was a club like a book club.............but with records?
A quick look online discovered a news article on the BBC website concerning a vinyl record club meeting in the back room of a London pub with the aim of playing “classic” albums all the way through. Maybe it was an idea worth trying out..............in the depths of rural Norfolk!
From these musings evolved the format and intentions behind RPM, summed up by the following (tongue in cheek but also with serious intent) statement:
“Striking back in a rejection of today’s single song, downloadable, 20 second attention span, music as background noise, pick and mix culture, take some time out to listen to albums in the way in which they were conceived; from beginning to end. Stop multi-tasking, switch off the mobile, sit still for 45 minutes and open your ears”.
Instead of meeting to play one album chosen each time by the club organiser as the London club were doing, I thought it would be more interesting to split the evening into two. One half would indeed be an album played all the way through but chosen by a different RPM member each time; the “Mystery Album”. The second half of the meeting would have a different theme each month and give members a chance to bring along songs which related to this in some way and possibly also have a human interest type anecdote associated with their choice as well.
I decided to hold the first RPM Club meeting at Elsing Village Hall in July 2012, on the first Tuesday of the month, 8.00pm for an 8.15 start. As well as music there would be tea, coffee and Jaffa Cakes (an idea stolen from the Commitments film). This has since become the popular guest biscuit feature. I must admit to wondering to myself if there would be 6 of us huddled around the record player and would have considered 10 a success but I was more than pleased when, by 8.15pm, there were 19 people drinking tea and munching Jaffa Cakes. So far, in the first 6 months of RPM, attendances have ranged from 14 to 21 people which is amazing and I thank you all for “getting it” and returning each month with such an eclectic selection of songs.
I’ve certainly discovered a few new artists to check out, the favourite at the moment being Jake Bugg, his first singles becoming my first downloads (shock! and after my grumpy rant as well), the Lumineers being another in need of investigation (I wonder if their 1st album’s on vinyl?). For me, the most rewarding thing about the club is the mix of people across all ages, all who have an enthusiasm for music which they want to share and say, “Listen to this. Isn’t it great?” There’s certainly been a diverse and interesting mix of bands and artists and I’ve listened to a lot of music which I probably wouldn’t have heard if it hadn’t have been for RPM. It’s probably been the same for you. So, I hope you’ve enjoyed “sitting still and opening your ears” and have perhaps also found something new that excited or intrigued you enough to investigate further. Here’s to the next year of themed evenings, mystery albums and of course, guest biscuits.
See you on the first Tuesday of the month.