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EMPIRE MAGAZINE: “Wonderful” ****

December 2nd, 2011  |  Published in Reviews

In an age of MP3s and digital downloads, record shop proprietor Tom Butchart faces a daily battle to keep Middlesbrough’s Sound It Out Records alive. But as Jeanie Finlay’s documentary records, he’s got a passionate tribe of record lovers to help him do it.

Documentarian Jeanie Finlay literally made a film about the shop around her corner. While lamenting the demise of the traditional record store, she charts the efforts of Teesside vinyl proprietor Tom Butchart of Sound It Out to simply survive in a hopeless climate. With next to no budget, her approach is inescapably lo-fi, the static camera reporting on the shop’s regular, and mostly eccentric, clientele: an almost solely male breed who cling to music and, more pertinently, the collecting of music like a life raft. The High Fidelity-oop-north tag fits, but is far from the whole story — with consummate skill, and genuine empathy for her own tribe, Finlay honours the shop as a place of communion for often desolate lives, with Butchart their pragmatic priest.

Proof that, in the right hands, documentaries boast as much heart as any feature. This one got soul too. Wonderful.

Reviewer: Ian Nathan

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Glimmer Films in association with Sideshow present a film by Jeanie Finlay; SOUND IT OUT.

Over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days.

SOUND IT OUT is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.

A cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, SOUND IT OUT documents a place that is thriving against the odds and the local community that keeps it alive. Directed by Jeanie Finlay who grew up three miles from the shop.

A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives.

High Fidelity with a Northern Accent.