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We went record shopping with Steven Wilson and this is what happened

The £50 record store challenge: what hidden gems will ex-Porcupine Tree man Steven Wilson unearth?

It’s difficult to find a record that Steven Wilson doesn’t already have. Not that he isn’t up for trying, mind you. Headphones wrapped around his neck, bespectacled eyes a bit like those of a hawk in hunting mode, he flicks through an enormous stack of Neil Young records, muttering, “Got it, got it, got it…” He moves on to ELO (with the same result), bringing to mind his new album, To The Bone, which draws a lot of inspiration from the progressive pop greats.

“People appreciate good pop,” says Sister Ray owner Phil Barton, smiling. “It’s genius. ABBA’s been flying off the shelves lately.”

Wilson stops suddenly. “There’s ABBA in here?!” he asks, genuinely delighted, and darts over to the ‘A’ stacks. “I don’t have them on vinyl. Maybe I should change that…”

An articulate, thoughtful 49-year-old trapped in a small, skinny teenager’s body, Steven Wilson is just as gloriously nerdy in the flesh as you’d hope – if you’ve followed his career from Porcupine Tree, No-Man and Blackfield through myriad other projects, production/remix credits and, most recently, solo records.


From the archive

From the archive

From the archive

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