Record Story Day, which takes place this weekend, brings together hundreds of the UK's independent record shops to celebrate their unique culture and promote the pastime of purchasing vinyl.
Jamie Bowman speaks to two North Wales retailers gearing up for the big day...
This Saturday music lovers across the globe will flock to their local record shop to celebrate Record Store Day 2017.
In North Wales our music retailers have been working hard for weeks preparing for what has become a major landmark for vinyl junkies with this year’s tenth anniversary set to be the biggest yet, with live performances, limited edition record releases and equipment demonstrations all arranged for April 22.
Alun Hughes record shop, Bank St, Wrexham
“It is the one day of the year when over 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate our unique culture,” says Colin Trueman, owner of Vod Music in Mold.
“Hundreds of labels and artists celebrate the day by releasing special vinyl products that are exclusive to the participating stores.”
This will be the eighth time Colin has participated in Record Store Day and previous years have seen huge queues forming early outside the shop on New Street as collectors hope to snap up limited edition releases.
“We’ve seen people start arriving outside the shop as early as midnight,” says Colin.
“Thousands of shops celebrate the day around the globe and it’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar.”
This Saturday, Vod will open at 9am with a special event over the road at the Daniel Owen Community Centre from 9.30am where collectors will find a record fair on the ground floor with live music, DJ sets, short music films and hi-fi demos on the first Floor.
The live music on the day will be provided by psychedelic folk singer Elfin Bow who will be appearing at 11.45am and ambient Krautrock artist Torpa who is playing at 1pm.
Record Store Day has been well recognised as the catalyst behind what is now regarded as a vinyl revival. In 2007 when the event began, vinyl album sales amounted to just £1.1m, accounting for just 0.2 per cent of the physical albums market. Now, 10 years on, vinyl sales are worth £65.6m, representing 14 per cent of total spend on physical format albums in the UK.
“Who would have thought ten years on that vinyl would once again appeal to people of all ages?” says Colin.
“It was mainly second hand when I started and there wasn’t really the interest in vinyl there is now but that's really escalated in the last few years which is excellent to see and it's across all age groups too which has made a big difference.
“The download culture has left people with nothing to own and the artwork is big part of it too.
“A lot of young people have grown up feeling like they don’t own anything really and then there’s the sound too. When you actually hear vinyl compared to what they’ve been listening to on headphones it’s like listening to a different album.”
The list of more than 500 limited edition records available on Record Store Day includes releases by David Bowie, The Smiths, The Ramones and The Beatles, who are re-releasing a limited edition 7” single of Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane.
A list of official UK Record Store Day champions has also been announced for the very first time with Slaves, Anton Newcombe, Kate Tempest and Izzy Bizu all putting out limited edition vinyl releases on the day and making special appearances in the run-up to the event.
Moreover, as a birthday gift to record store fans, the first 20 people in each store queue will receive a limited edition Fred Perry record bag for the releases they find on the day.
“It’s an absolutely bonkers day for us,” says Alun Hughes, of Alun Hughes Film Music & Nostalgia on Bank Street, Wrexham.
“This year we’ve got the most stuff we’ve ever had and I love the excitement of it all.
“We will be running a 20 per cent off offer on all our back catalogue vinyl, including second hand, new and 7”, on the day which will provide an opportunity to acquire some classic titles at reduced prices.”
Alun, who will be opening his shop at 8am on Saturday, is expecting releases by U2, Bowie and The Cure to sell out quickly, with the shop stocking around 250 of the limited edition titles available.
“The Cure are really popular at the moment and the Bowie stuff is really unusual so you’ll need to be quick to get hold of it,” he says.
Record Store Day will also mark a double celebration for the former history and economics teacher with Alan celebrating 40 years since he opened his first shop in April 1977.
“What motivates me is the crazy reality that I am working in my favourite hobby and I have loved records since I was a kid,” he adds.
“The day I opened my first shop I had a record collection of well over 10,000 7” singles and the thrill of handling the multi-varied products that we stock is the oxygen that I need to go through life.”
l Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 22. For more information go to: www.recordstoreday.co.uk
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