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Jamie Thornton

Sales Consultant (my un-edited bio)

I was born in Edinburgh 31 years and three weeks ago (as we go to press). I spent most of my childhood traipsing around Perthshire, playing rugby in the park, surviving the rather fascist detention that is school and feverishly doing every extracurricular my folks could find time for. After growing up in Edinburgh with the Castle, the Mile and the George Street circuit as my backdrop, I made the long and perilous journey to Glasgow to study something or other at their University. After a typically misspent time, I eventually returned to my home city and had just a few short months to catch my breath, before being locked down by a particularly vicious strain of bat flu.

I worked selling cheese for most of the pandemic, “an essential service”, my boss staunchly argued as we kept our doors open through thick and thin. And while I’m still losing the weight from “learning” just how everything tasted, at least I now know the subtle difference between Epoisse and Trou du Crou (ask me later) and I can still tell you that what separates a good brie from a great one (hint: it’s all in the rind). The team at Loud & Clear obviously thought this knowledge would transfer rather well over to the world of hi-fi, after all, both ranges of products need to come up to temperature before being “properly” enjoyed and neither will stand up to a drop of more than four feet.

To pass the time during lockdown and to keep fit in this alternate universe I now found myself in, I decided to take up video gaming; purchasing a VR headset only to nearly break my hand punching my too-low ceiling and immediately regretted triumph. I decided to try some less aggressive games after that. Fortunately, I discovered there’s nothing quite like the rush of finally defeating the Mongols as Napoleon in a well played-out game of Civilisation. When not demonstrating my martial prowess online, I can be found taking my bike out or finding some hill or other to climb, although I recently joined an amateur football team for some more boisterous blokey team activity, so will be doing that until the traditional catastrophic ACL rupture forces me out. I also camp (in the summer) and read (le Carre, McCarthy, M. Banks and Pratchett most recently). I pretend I know what I’m doing in the garden and build small bits of furniture for myself at a dusty and cramped but productive little workshop here in Leith. I’m also addicted to the news, to the point where I really need three sources to know what to think on any given subject, and, sad to say, present events have fully grasped my attention.

But on to music. When I was younger I never really thought about the quality of what I listened to. My phone, or if I was feeling polite, my budget earbuds, were as good as the latest Bang & Olufsen as far as I was concerned. Bang & Olufsen being just about the highest end of hi-fi I could imagine at this point. I was definitely aware that some songs sounded better in different places, but always thought this was just a state of mind thing. Eventually, and with the help of a music junkie father, I put two and two together and realised that there may actually be some benefit in having a decent system. Working in Loud & Clear, that now seems just a little naive in the face of the pure range of experience there is on offer. Certainly while my personal listening experience has been massively improved by the Rega Elex-R and RP6 (which I managed to liberate from a fellow traveller on the road), I have only just reached that Socratic stage of realising all I know for sure, is that I know nothing.

Now, if only I could find some decent speakers…

What I’m (currently) listening to: MGMT, Gorillaz, Sigur Ros, Alt-J, Oliver Tree, Arcade Fire, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Still Corners, Frank Ocean, The War On Drugs, The Weeknd, Christine & The Queens.

Edinburgh, 8th March 2022