Red Eye Records - 143 York Street - Sydney
You have probably heard that the sales of vinyl records are actually up, so it was appropriate to spend some time on Saturday to visit a few record stores in the Sydney CBD (I didn't venture any further as we had like 60mm of rain that day...) to celebrate World Record Store Day.
And it is certainly true that the number of physical record stores are down, but the ones that are left are obviously the ones that are specialists in a niche market, have evolved with an online presence and finally have knowledgeable staff! 22 shops in Sydney participated in the event.
Two of the stores I visited, Fish Fine Music and Birland Records (where I bought Cafe Blue from Patricia Barber in a HDCD Collector version) are primarily stocked with CDs and DVDs/BluRay. Birland Records also stock a rare collection of XRCDs, a specially mastered format invented by JVC, and a large selection of SACDs.
I also shop occasionally at the Mojo Record Bar who are primarily vinyl stockists, new and second-hand.
My surprise came from Red Eye Records which i pass by often driving but never had a chance to visit properly ...until then.
Well, this was certainly a very busy place, where the cash registers were ticking red hot.
The crowd was diverse in age, sex and all alleys were busy with shoppers wandering mainly in the vinyl sections, but also DVD and music BluRay had their fans (me included...)
Granted, the weather was on our side, and it was touch and go until early afternoon, but it is difficult to beat the location! With the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the CBD and the Southern Cross as our ceiling, it was a beautiful show and an amazing performance from the singers.
The sound system was certainly playing too loud, but was of reasonable quality and it was certainly a technical feast to have all these wireless microphones working together without a hint of interference. Gone are the days when I was selling a top of the range brand in the 70s and it was a miracle to have TWO mikes working in the same space!
There were a bit of inconsistensies in the set and the costumes, I thought, as the director decided to set the opera in 1959, which was still under Franco dictatorship and a very conservative society, which didn't go well in my opinion with all flesh out of the female cast, more a Sydney summer sight than Seville in the 50s!
But, hey, who am I to comment?
I did enjoy the vocal performance of Rinat Shaham as Carmen, Dmytro Popov as Don Jose, Andrew Jones as Escamillo and Nicole Carr as Micaela, certainly the purest voice on the set.
I also enjoyed the performance of the orchestra conducted by Brian Castles-Onion, an appropriate name for a Spanish sounding piece of music! Where the musicians were is still a mystery, but the conductor was visible to the performers from the stage on a giant screen behind the audience.
All in all, a lovely evening in a grand setting with even some fireworks to pepper the Show!
It is still playing tonight at 7.30 as well as tomorrow and Sunday night.
You can book your tickets and find more info by clicking the button below. Enjoy!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.