Sound It Out

“Men like music. Men like collecting. Men like travelling the country collecting music.”

Having grown up in the area, Jeanie Finlay decided to make a documentary film about the last surviving record store in the North-East town of Stockton-On-Tees. The end result is a heart warming work which we suggest you do all you can to see as soon as you possibly can.

It’s essentially a detailed account of why people collect music, and why the shop in question holds a very special place in people’s hearts.

Even though the high street is the widest in Europe, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say the sparse streets of Stockton don’t offer much more than a less-than-healthy Saturday market and a pretty decent concrete jungle for a wide range of activities on wheels. Based on this premise, Finlay beautifully shows how a love of music, and everything that surrounds it, can come to define someone.

Although the film is littered with music memorabilia, cultural references and has an excellent, eclectic soundtrack, the film is less about the music and more about the listeners. Through several endearing characters (all male except a jukebox ownin’, meatloaf lovin’ lady) we get a sometimes brief, sometimes extensive insight into what gets people hooked.

It goes without saying that music can offer people something extraordinary. Whether it’s a break from the mundane, a source of hope or a sweet memory deep inside that refuses to wilt. But it is the myriad ways it can affect people that is documented so expertly here. At some point in all of our lives, a tune, an artist, an album or a tour has moved us in a certain way and this film wonderfully shows how important these experiences and connections can be.

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