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Carnival Records/The White Feather Collective
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Paul Higgins
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Edited Jul 18, 2017, 21:18
Carnival Records/The White Feather Collective
Jul 18, 2017, 21:10
I felt driven to give props on here to both my favourite new record shop and band and have combined the two in this kind-of review. Don't know what neck of the woods you all hail from but if you are ever in the Malvern area I suggest you give Carnival Records a visit.

Carnival Records
83 Church Street
Malvern

Phone: 01684 438120

Malvern is a strange place for a record shop you might think but apparently not as may tourists pass through Malvern and a trek over the Malvern hills is a very popular pastime. While I had time to kill too before it opened one day I visited the Malvern theatre for a trip down memory lane. Once upon a time (1986) I went to the very same building when it was called the Malvern Winter Gardens to see New Order play with a fresh-faced(?) Happy Mondays as support. New Order encored with "Sister Ray" - what a night! Many classic bands played there! If you carry on walking up that road eventually you will find Abbey Hotel which is where Haile Sellasie used to stay - RASTAFARI! His grandchilden even used to study in Malvern!Primal Scream stayed there too after their Lakefest appearance last year.

So............Carnival Records? A short alleyway off the main Malvern Street (Church Road) will take you to this delightful record shop which is ran by a lovely guy called Chris who once ran a record shop in Leicester before setting up Carnival records in Malvern. He's a very friendly chap and clearly loves music and is very knowledgeable and happy to help his customers however he can. I thought seeing New Order at the Malvern Winter Gardens was cool but Chris can go one better as he actually saw Joy Division play there!!!!

Basically split into three separate rooms (vinyl/CD's/basement) Carnival Records might not be gigantic but is big enough and certainly well stocked. The main room is full of albums but there are quite a lot of 7" singles too (always a good sign!) ranging from rock n' roll sections to punk to reggae to soul. There is even a category dedicated to rock n' roll EP's (4 x track 7" singles!). Albums are new and second hand and range in price from the average price for a new album (£20 ish) to cheaper for second hand depending on condition and there is even a section of brand new albums (but old in terms of when they were made) as cheap as £10 or £12 ....and it is good stuff too!!! Everything is easy to find and categorized alphabetically or by genre. I noticed sections like prog, krautrock, soul, reggae etc... If it's newly released stuff you want there is quite a bit of that but also rare vinyl displayed on shelves too.

I didn't pay much attention to the CD room (don't buy the horrid things anymore!) but downstairs under it is a 'everything-a-quid' room which has vinyl, tapes and even old music magazines. Obviously you aren't going to find anything too amazing at that price in there but it's worth a look as you just never know. I got some great quality Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard albums down there among other stuff.

Overall a really great shop and one I think I will be returning to often! Thought some of you one here might like to know about it. I don't think he's been there yet but it's the sort of great record shop Tim Burgess could have easily wrote about in his record shopping book 'Tim Book Two'. Mind you they do get the odd music celebrity popping in occasionally. One of Kasabian was in there fairly recently.

My 46th birthday recently was brightened by a visit to this shop and by spending £60 I walked away with 9 albums and a 7" single - not bad hey! I got the new Can Singles triple vinyl and other stuff (some of which I mentioned earlier).

Chris has bands and DJ's play at the store too and has a special event for Record Store Day making it seem like a mini festival. One of my favourite new bands are based in Malvern and have a connection to Chris' shop and have played there live. Chris even sells their mini-album CD in the shop too. They are a really great band and I've even been trying to get them a gig at a venue I know where I live not far from Malvern.

Amazingly and surprisingly they are unsigned!!!! But surely that won't last long and they will be huge very soon.....surely!!!

Ladies and gentlemen I give you THE WHITE FEATHER COLLECTIVE from Malvern.

Please check out this treasure... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAIm9PUrAiE

They remind me a lot of Allah-Las actually and easy to hear a deep sixties influence in their sound.

They are supposed to be awesome live but I've not seen they yet (although I will be soon... at Lakefest).

There are several more of their songs on YouTube - all great and worth a listen.

I hope this has been an interesting read and that you now want to check out Carnival Records and The White Feather Collective.

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