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big issue pictureIn the Eighties Greg Duggins worked in a library. While off work with a broken leg he got the idea to deal in second-hand albums. Sixteeen years on, he now owns Kaleidoscope Records, a decent-sized specialist record shop in St Helens.

"I do a lot of vinyl", he explains, "both new and second-hand. A lot of it is Sixties and Seventies stuff, psychedelic music and progressive rock. I do current releases too - non-chart bands like Tortoise and what you might call stuff in the 'Leftfield' area. I also deal in some punk and heavy metal aswell but dance is definitely one I'm not into myself".

There are plenty of second-hand bargains to be had - albums on vinyl for £3 or £4 and CDs for £5 or so. That's not to say there isn't the odd rarity. Greg recently had a copy of Who Did It, a Who album only ever available by mail order. It now changes hands for £300.

While fads come and go, Seventies progressive rock and Sixties psychedelic music has always remained popular. There is also a steady interest in Kraftwerk and other German bands like Can and Faust.

As well as records, Greg offers a range of tour programmes. Nineties programmes cost £3 or £4 but those from the Sixties and Seventies can be considerably more expensive. A Led Zeppelin programme from their 1979 Knebworth concert, for example,now costs £40

The shop, which also provides mail order and Internet ordering, attracts a mixed clientele, from both the opportunist bargain-hunter to the serious record collector. And if you thought the shop appealed to a predominantly older set you'd be wrong.Bands like The Small Faces and the The Kinks are selling as well as Limp Biskit and Nirvana.

Source: The Big Issue in the North, no. 358, April 9-15 2001, page 27.

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