Inside Sleeve with Fair Play: All Night Flight Records

Taking place on the first Thursday of the month, the Behind Closed Doors basement packs a room full of vinyl available to purchase, with rotating sellers each month, so each Fair Play event always promising something different.

By Manchester's Finest | June 4th '18

Fair Play Fair attracts sellers from all over the county with the aim of bringing some fresh records into the city. Crates of boogie, funk, disco, soul, nu disco, edits, latin, jazz, house, techno, DnB, hip hop, and afrobeat, rub shoulders with rock, indie, prog, folk, reggae, and dub!

Next Fair Play NQ Evening Vinyl Fair – Thursday 7th June @ 5pm

We caught up with ex-Japan resident and vinyl importer Tom Houghton in advance of this week’s Fair Play Record Fair.

What’s the name of your stall and where are you based?
All Night Flight Records and I’m currently based just on the outskirts of Manchester city centre.

What kind of music do you sell?
Essentially just things I’m personally really into, which naturally ends up being more experimental, electronic, ambient, left-field, music from interesting places around the world, some maybe lesser known dance-floor related records. I guess it’s hard to pin down but I’d like to say just interesting records.

How did you get into selling records?
I’ve been selling bits and bobs out of my personal collection for a number of years and only really this year have started to take it more seriously, with the All Night Flight store. I was fortunate enough to live in Japan for a while where I was exposed to amazing records on a daily basis and occasionally would pick things up at weird prices (harder to do now), so I suppose a lot of the inspiration has come from there.

Is your stock all new or is some of it used?
Technically all used as nothing has been bought through distribution, although I’m always on the look-out for unplayed / deadstock ‘old’ music and will be bringing some to the fair at Behind Closed Doors.

What are the 3 hottest records on your stall right now?
It’s quite hard to pick as I’m really into all the records I sell, although Thomas Leer and Robert Rental’s ‘The Bridge’ is a personal favourite. It was originally released on Throbbing Gristle’s Industrial Records (which is very important for infinite other reasons), and is quite a dark snapshot of late 70’s Britain and emerging experimental music, for which we probably take for granted now.

Another is an incredible release from France’s Radio Ocora entitled ‘Musiques Ethiopiennes’. It’s an ethnomusicological collection of traditional music from Ethiopia, focussing on the different regions and styles. There’s been quite a big focus on the whole Ethio-jazz scene – which is completely incredible, but often doesn’t venture past Mulatu, Mahmoud Ahmed, etc. But this compilation just puts into perspective how different and complex a certain country’s music can be, and presents a daunting (but nice) prospect of attempting to understand it.

Lastly, hmm leaving lots of others out here but Steve Roach’s ‘Structures From Silence’ has been my morning soundtrack for quite a while now. It’s a beautiful piece of drifting ambient, with an equally inviting cover – the kind of record I’d hope people would really look after and cherish forever!

What is your favourite record of all-time?
Impossible to answer! I have quite a few things memories attached to a place or people which feel really special to me. For instance Somei Satoh’s Emerald Tablet, which is a really deep listen and eye-waterlingly beautiful cover. David Behrman’s ‘Leapday Night’ on Lovely Music (one of my favourite labels). Some early Comatonse Recordings releases I picked up from the artist direct. My copy Charlemagne Palestine’s ‘Four Manifestations on Six Elements’ – which he personally scribbled all over rendering it worthless to everyone in the world but me.

What is the most valuable item you’ve ever sold?
I haven’t had any of those types of crazy Beatles Records where Paul McCartney’s name is spelt wrong or with different coloured labels, I think the way I pick things to sell means I’m not on the look out for those collector’s holy-grails, nor would I even know if I’d found one. I’ve moved on some quite rare bits on Borft Records, lesser-known African music that’s valuable to some people. I’m often at odds with really ‘valuable’ trophy records, as most of the best records are still cheap / unknown.

What does your own record collection look like?
Relatively well-organised, in a way that probably only makes sense to me.

What has been your best record find?
Like anyone who looks for long enough, had some interesting finds. Deuter’s ‘Kundalini Meditation Music’ found in a dusty shop in New Delhi was nice one, mostly because exactly it’s exactly the record you’d dream to find in India but I’m sure most people won’t. Original Chain Reaction issue of Shinichi Atobe’s ‘Ship Scope’ EP, found in the cheapo bins in Japan (pre-repress), where I thought the shop assistants were following me out of the store when they’d realised their mistake.

What is the best bit of being a record dealer?
Spending time doing exactly what I love most. Also getting to chat to other people who are equally passionate about music and really knowledgable, who can recommend things I don’t know.

What is your number one tip for buyers?
Read the cover, read the credits, always check condition and follow your instinct !

This month’s sellers include Dig Deep Records, All Night Flight Records, BBE Records, 45 Live Manchester, and Community Vinyl Lovers.

DJs in the booth:
Andy Shake N Fingerpop and Maxwell (Peak A Groove)
Reiss Johnson (Kingpin MCR / Reboot)
Phil Austin (SSW / Cadillac)
Dale Nortier (SSW)
Frankie Fairplay (Dig Deep Records)