You can blame Rachel for this one.

A few years ago, she was giving me a bit of stick for the amount of money I was spending on records, to which my retort was that it paled into insignificance in comparison to the numerous handbags and shoes that litter every nook and cranny of Villain Towers.  And I’d never dream of spending the cost of a designer bag or pair of shoes on one piece of vinyl…..actually, that’s a lie as I dream of it often – I just don’t follow through on said dreams.

Rachel is also a fan of Paolo Nutini, the singer, songwriter and musician from Paisley whose debut album, These Streets, went to #3 in the UK charts. The fourth and final single lifted from the album was New Shoes, a song much-played by Rachel after she bought herself the CD album, becoming something of a running joke everytime she brought a further purchase into the house (to be fair, her shoe fetish wasn’t just about designer labels – she’d spend minuscule amounts round at Asda or Tesco on anything that was a size 4 and was sparkly).

I was in Fopp Records in Glasgow when I spotted a copy of New Shoes on 7″ vinyl retailing for £2.99. I couldn’t resist buying it, along with a few other bits’n’bobs, just to have a bit of a laugh with Rachel. I hid the single away until the next time she came back from a shopping expedition, and before she could reach the CD player, I had fired up the turntable and presented her with her first piece of new vinyl in decades.

mp3: Paolo Nutini – New Shoes
mp3: Paolo Nutini – New Shoes (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly remix)

Yup, the b-side was the work of the equally popular young troubadour from Southend, England.

The thing is, and Rachel doesn’t know it as yet, but I’ve taken back ownership of the single.

The reason being that I’ve been logging all the vinyl and trying to get a value on it, and was astonished to learn that a copy of New Shoes last sold on Discogs for £21 earlier this year and the one copy on offer just now has an asking price of £55 (incl postage) from a seller in Denmark. I need to protect such valuable artifacts, or else it would end up being given away to a charity shop….just like so many of the shoes and handbags over the years, just to make room for others…..


PS: For the record, Paolo Nutini is an all-round good-bloke who does a lot to quietly support grassroots music in the local area.  His music might not be to my or your tastes, but he isn’t someone who lives the superstar lifestyle remotely away from the town he was born and raised.


  1. Whenever another pair arrives in my house the song we go for is ‘New Shoes’ by The Briefs. Right up Brian’s power pop alley. Tried to post a link to it but I guess it didn’t take.

  2. Being single, I have no one to comment on my musical purchase or shoe/trainer purchases…in recent years, the trainers have rivaled the records for space.

  3. Talk about getting the short end of the stick… If your house is like mine, with nowhere to go, the ladies have stopped caring about shoes and the like while we continue to buy records at or above our pre-pandemic pace. JTFL, thanks for making me look up “New Shoes” by the Briefs. It was a pleasure. The lead singer has a scream that would have made the late Kim Shattuck proud.

  4. Great coincidence that you write about this piece J.C. I have been watching hing that very piece of vinyl on Discogs for almost 6 months, hoping to snag some reasonably priced piece. I even sent a few emails to that bloke in Denmark tempting him to consider a price more aligned with what the disk has sold for in the past. Sadly it is a piece that does not seem to show up for sale much on discogs, so lucky for you to pick it up aylt bargain prices.

    I have thought this track was great fun and a fine upbeat track for many years, since its initial release. Paolo Nutini gets no exposure whatever here in Canada, but my wife followed a shoe stylists blog who posted the track back in the day, and ever since I traced the rest of the album, and enjoyed a lot of the tracks a great deal. Since then, I have discovered ruefully that there has never been a vinyl release of “These Streets”, though for the life of me I can’t understand why, if not even just as a niche re-release.

    I picked up both other albums on vinyl, at significant cost. But since this album leaves one no option but to buy up singles on 7″, I have been targeting these for several years. But $100 all the, for a 45? Egads. I envy you your UK bargain bins and the treasures they seem to yield up.

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