It was last August that I happened to be in Barcelona, helping Mrs V to celebrate a significant birthday. Whilst wandering the streets, I found a couple of record shops and decided that I had to find something to take home.

In the end, I bought a 7″ single which had been released for Record Store Day 2016 by one of my favoured singer/songwriters. I had seen it a couple of times in Glasgow stores but had passed up the opportunity to buy it…what I paid in Barcelona was probably a bit more than I would have back home (such has been the lousy rate of exchange this past couple of years), but it did make for a nice memento.

I actually kind of forgot about it till a few weeks ago when I went on a bit of a binge transferring vinyl to mp3s for use on the blog. I broke open the packaging (it came wrapped in a plastic seal) and put it on the turntable. I knew it was a track from the album Summer of ’13 and that it was no different from that previously available. But what I was most disappointed with was the near lo-fi experience from playing this single in comparison to what I’d got from the album:-

mp3 : Malcolm Middleton – You & I

It’s damn near inaudible at times and, as I said nowhere near the quality of that on the parent album

Worse was to come when I flipped it over for the two previously unreleased tracks  Two quiet numbers to begin with, so the poor cut on the vinyl is really annoying. But the thing I can’t get over, and bearing in mind the single was sealed, is that it’s very audibly scratched and damaged for the much of the first 20 seconds or then again just short of a minute in.

If I’d bought it in Glasgow, I’d have taken it back to the store…but then again with it being a limited edition per shop would I have managed to get an exchange?

But here’s the thing…..through a friend, I got directly in touch with Malcolm who was annoyed to hear this, and he very kindly fired over very high-quality rips of the b-side.  Confirmation, if any was needed, that he’s a great bloke!

mp3 : Malcolm Middleton – By Proxy Song
mp3 : Malcolm Middleton – Narky (’13)



  1. I always try and get a record from wherever I’m on holiday – A few years ago I dragged the wife and kids around bangkok on a swelteringly hot day looking for an elusive record shop – and after a couple of hours of searching – when we found it, it had closed down!!

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