Will is the first in a new series of interviews with past purchasers of our records that we’re calling “Off The Wall”.
It’s impossible to keep track of all the new homes our records find on sale day. However, over the years we’ve made friends with a fair few overnighters and early risers.
We thought it’d be nice to profile some of these people. Find out more about their experience of Secret 7”, gleam some information about their sale day strategies and see whether they treat their purchases more like a record or a work of art.
In doing this we want to spark a movement to see where more of our records have ended up. We’d love to see images of any purchases you’ve made on Twitter or Instagram using #S7OffTheWall. We’ll be getting in touch with those we spot to feature here in future!
To begin, we’re winding it right back to 2012 with letterer and illustrator, Will Holmes. A handsome and witty chap we met in the queue for our first sale. He’s early start that day payed off, as he bagged not one but two of those seven David Shrigley sleeves for The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”.
Since then Will’s become a regular contributor of Secret 7” artwork, moved to Portland and set up studio. He’s also found time to make the adorable Hazel.
Will tell us about the morning of that first sale day from the perspective of someone outside? I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, so trying to remember 2012 might be tough. I think I got to to Shoreditch pretty early in the morning - about 7am I reckon. I thought I'd be the first person there, all prepared to snag the sleeves I so desired, but it turned out that a few other people had the same idea as me, so I was eighth or ninth in the queue. Still, not too bad.
Was it easy to get your hands on those two Shrigley's in the sale day melee? Absolutely. Shrigley's signature style sticks out like a sore thumb, in a good way, so I was able hone in and grab what I wanted with ease. Plus, I'm quite tall so I managed to out-stride everyone else.
How sure were you that they were both by him? I wasn't, and I think that's part of the fun. Everyone knew Shrigley was going to put a sleeve or two into the exhibition, so I suppose people could have ripped off his style.
Where do they reside in your home? On the wall or in your record collection? The sleeves are framed and up on the wall, the vinyl is in our big hamper of records.
You've since designed sleeves too, tell us about that? I've been lucky enough to have sleeves in every year of the exhibition. Mine tend to lean more towards the typographical side of things, and I try to make them all as different as I can. I think last year's entry for Sledgehammer was my favourite so far, but I did like the ones I did for Jessie Ware: they were seven sleeves in total that spelled out STILL LOVE ME, but only when they were assembled in the right order. In isolation each sleeve looked like an abstract design. I have no idea if one person got all seven, or if they all went separate ways.
Do you have an all-time favourite record cover? I do not. I have tons that I love, but no clear favourite. I have always liked that one of Peter Gabriel in the car though. The colour of the car is beautiful.
Who would be your dream artwork contributor for Secret 7" 2016? Secret 7" really varies its contributors, which is great. More of that would be good in my book. In one show I would like to see: Annie Leibovitz, Shepard Fairey, Neil Buchanan from Art Attack, and Alex Trochut. And me, obviously.
And any early requests for musicians in Secret 7" 2017? Fleetwood Mac. The Kinks. S Club 7.