As some of you have already come to terms with, not everything is quite as beautiful as we imagine. Take London for example, most of us expect it to be a posh place full of rich fold who have their chauffeurs drive them around in gilt Rolls Royces. It's true there are a few of those, but it's mostly full of chavs and tourists.
I will be honest, London was a pretty bad example, so I may as well do something that means a little bit more to me: Dawson's in Manchester. While I was still in 6th Form, my friend Ryan used to visit Dawson's whenever he could, because it had everything a musician could ever want/need, and so he was constantly saying how good of a shop it was.
One day, while I was in Manchester for a Papa roach gig, I saw the big red sign for Dawson's and I saw the wall of guitars on the top floor, and all the pianos and drums on the bottom floor. It really did look like a musician's utopia. The inside was a different story. Naturally I went straight for the top floor, that's where the guitars were, and those are what I know the most about. There must have been about 200 guitars on display, and so I looked through every single one.
It didn't take me long to realise that there were only really about 12 different guitars, all the others were different finishes. Yes, that's actually a bit of an exaggeration, but their stock was mostly multiple finishes of the same guitar. There wasn't even any Marshall Amps on display, they had Orange, Blackstar and Fender, but no Marshall, I found that to be very weird.
I know I can't judge a music shop by its' guitars alone. so I went downstairs to look at everything else, the drum section, the piano section, and the book section all seemed pretty sound. So did the DJ section, but the synth section was missing something: there was no Moog. The classical instrument section was also missing something, pretty much everything minus a flute, a clarinet and a few violins.
I believe there is a lot more available on their website, and I get the feeling I've missed quite a bit, after all, I mainly went there to see if they had a V style guitar and a Laney Ironheart with the hopes that I might be able to have a go of both, but they had neither. Oh well, Dawson's is still a damn good store, even if they don't have what I'm looking for in stock, I also believe they'll order stuff in if you ask for it (not sure though).
Dawson's aside, high expectations can kill a trip, or a moment, a game, or a film. If you keep them at a controlled level, then you'll enjoy something a bit more. I for one am glad that Twilight didn't get to go to Griffinstone, I'd hate to see her upset by her high expectations. It was the only reason I didn't enjoy Dawson's, and it'll probably happen when/if I visit Anderton's.
- George "Kitty" Booth
P.S. Sorry to Dawson's, you were just bigged up too much, chances are I'll come back if I ever visit Manchester again.