If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably know that I still bloody love video tapes, to the point of working in a video shop! I thought today it could be fun to have a chill chat about why I’ve stuck with VHS, even as DVD’s, Blue-Rays, and streaming sites become more popular.
A lot of it is that I’ve always just struck lucky when it comes to tapes, and I realise that sounds bizarre so let me explain. As a kid, I had a huge video collection, three shelves spanning the full length of my bedroom, and I loved it. They were largely hand me downs from my brothers, a lot of Disney animation and biker mice from mars, along with plenty of Casper the Friendly Ghost, and films like Death Becomes Her, which I probably shouldn’t have been watching that early.
When I turned 11 my family moved to Denmark, and that was the end of my video collection. We moved to Vejle, a kind of ‘cool’ city, which most definitely wasn’t going to sell something as old and unhip as VHS. Then, we moved to Holsted, and it all picked up again because I found a video shop!
It was weird, run by an old man, he had an actual video shop in a near by town, which was where the best stuff was, and another in a market stall in the tiny village we lived in. Some days he’d let me have ten tapes for next to nothing, and other times he’d want 100kr per video, so it was hit and miss, but before long I was pretty damn happy with my new, Danish video collection.
Then we moved back to the UK, and my parents aren’t as enamoured by tapes as I am, so they were the first thing to go, to lighten the load coming back. As we moved around Wales, and eventually moved to Liverpool, I kept an eye out for video shops, but I wasn’t exactly holding out hope.
But I found Videodyssey, nearly shit myself in excitement, and sent them a message about how much I’ve always wanted to work in a video shop, and how much I love tapes. As they say, the rest is history! Here we are, a year and a half later, and I work in a video shop! Of course that means I have a pretty good video collection again, especially because I can find some of the weirdest stuff there it.
Tapes have a routine to them, the process of taking the tape out the box, and putting it into the VCR, has specific sounds and textures that I find really satisfying. I think most people my age or older know what I mean when I say, that bit of fuzz and degradation you get on tape is so comforting in a world of movies where you can see the actors pores and nose hairs.
Just like vinyl, tapes have a certain ‘vibe’ to them. They’re highly collectible in some circles, and besides that, they’re just fun to collect. I have everything from weird indie horror movies that never made it to DVD, to the 1987 Miss Wirral pageant, it’s brilliant.
The designs used for tapes, the special box sets, the little bits of history they have like stickers, magazine cuttings or receipts, I really enjoy all of it, and they’re all reasons as to why I still loves VHS, and considering my job, probably will for a good while to come.
Get ready for the big tape comeback!