Stopped off on the way home so I could buy an onion and a nan bread, and also pop into Fopp on Exeter High Street and pick up the new Joan As Police Woman album for Emma. I was on a mission, so hurried straight into the shop and upstairs to where I knew it would be, and then went straight to the till to pay.
It was then and there, at the till, that I noticed the cardboard boxes full of Fopp carrier bags behind the counter. The member of staff was having a conversation with another customer, and I overheard the phrase “we’re sending all the bags up to Bristol”.
Which only means one thing.
“Are you closing?”
“Yeah. On Sunday.”
And that’s that. Fopp lasted two years in its current location, which used to be HMV. The HMV that my brother worked in when I was 12, that I spent an afternoon in the stockroom of one Saturday unpeeling stickers and relabelling sale stock in. The record shop that, over my life, I’ve probably spent the most time and money in. The record shop closest to my current house. The one I can just pop to on a Sunday afternoon if I fancy something.
It was the second incarnation of Fopp in Exeter; the first was at the bottom of Sidwell Street and lasted no time at all; they hadn’t even put out all the point-of-sale branding to replace the old MVC brand before it closed. I’d been so excited when I first recognised the POS branding, because Fopp was the record shop I always searched out in Bristol or London because I knew I’d always find an intriguing bargain.
And now I’m stuck wiht HMV, 2011 version. Which sells lumberjack shirts and computer games and, if you can find it, the new Take That album. There are three or so tiny independents and second-hand shops but none of them have ever really catered to my taste.