If there's one reason why record shops deserve to stay open for the foreseeable future, it's the in-depth musical discussion and personal music recommendations that you can get from them. On Tuesday, I spent a day doing 'real-life things' in Newcastle. As I had a few hours to kill before getting the plane back over the Irish Sea, I wandered around the city centre until I stumbled across RPM Records. Whilst browsing the shop, I was somehow sucked into a conversation about Beastie Boys drum breaks and discussed the merits of pre-"Bat Out of Hell" Meat Loaf, as you do. I then asked him if there was any new releases by local artists that he thought would be of interest to me. Amongst his other suggestions, he recommended that I should buy out the latest release by a Sunderland collective called B>E>A>K.
And it's just as well he did, because even though I absolutely adore their music, it's hardly the sort of thing that would be flagged as of interest to me on either iTunes nor last.fm. Containing members of Field Music and The Lake Poets, B>E>A>K are an avian mask wearing bunch of fellows who have injected an immense sense of fun into a genre with a reputation for stony-faced seriousness - instrumental rock. On their latest single, "Kehaar", the band sound like an instrumental version of Maximo Park, with some captivating brass lines thrown into the mix for good measure. This is fantastic music for having the maximum amount of fun humanly possible.
"Kehaar" is taken from "The White Edition", and is available as a free download. A CD version is also available to buy in many good independent music shops.