The tale of the vinyl record is a funny old one. Lying in a dormant state amidst the digital revolution of the millennium, the format could no longer compete with the burgeoning CD and MP3.
But now we have well and truly entered the age of the vinyl revival. More and more people are dropping the needle on their favourite records in a renaissance that no one could have expected.
Record Store Day (RSD), an annual event which takes place this year on Saturday April 18, celebrates the format in all its glory. This all began in the noughties when over 700 independent stores in USA came together to celebrate their unique culture. Over the following years, the event gradually made its way across the pond and 2015 will see it celebrate its eighth year in the UK. As well as an array of festivities and performances, special vinyl releases are pressed exclusively for the day – with aficionados clamouring to get their hands on the limited stock. This year, the event is expected to be bigger than ever.
Image: A vinyl fan browsing the selection at The Music Exchange
The event’s UK co-ordinator, Spencer Hickman, believes the day proves just how vital the vinyl format is to a huge cross-section of discerning music fans. On top of its tangible benefits, he also lauded a record’s ability to bring people together as a social tool.
Celebrating record shops
The RSD man added: “Record Store Day has blossomed from an idea about simply celebrating the humble record shop by having a party into a global event that puts thousands of pounds into tills of independent businesses worldwide. Yet it still remains true to its original ethos which is the celebration of not only independent record stores but independent music culture which is the life blood of local communities.”
It’s a celebration of music and for that we should be thankful as music makes the world go round.
The Music Exchange
Nottingham is a city that has a longstanding relationship with vinyl – housing some of the country’s most revered record stores. The Music Exchange on Stoney Street was recently nominated in the Best Small Shops Awards 2015. The store has been celebrating the event for a number of years and manager Joey Bell is preparing for the biggest one to date.
Image: The store front at The Music Exchange
There are 585 exclusive releases worldwide this year and the shop will stock a varied selection of these. Although last year’s excited punters were queuing up from 7.30pm the night before, Joey doesn’t expect a repeat of that as there are more city centre stores participating in 2015. Both Rough Trade and Plates Records join The Music Exchange and Pendulum, who were the city’s only RSD participants before this forthcoming edition. Furthermore, all of these stores will be collaborating for an extra special day of events:
Video: Joey Bell on the collaboration between Nottingham’s record stores
Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, alongside the city’s record shops, will host a stage of performers at Pico (formerly Pilot) on Carlton Street featuring local artists such as EXTNDDNTWRK (Sleaford Mods) and grunge band Kagoule. Though initially planned as an outdoor stage, the venue has been changed at the last minute after issues with the City Council. Talking about the collaboration, Joey added: “The idea was to communicate with each other and what sort of stock we all have. We’re going to set up a Twitter that all the shops can update to say whether they’ve sold out a certain record.”
It’s all about coming together more and not being enemies – we’re all doing the same thing and specialising in different types of music.
Performing at Pico
09:00 – 10:00 Stu Hemulen Soundz (DJ)
10:00 – 11:30 Krautlounge (DJ)
10:30 – 10:50 Milky Wimpshake
11:30 – 11:50 Debris Slide
12:00 – 12:20 Kagoule (Acoustic)
11:30 – 13:00 Roj Stevens(DJ)
13:00 – 13:30 Descent & Freegroove (DJ)
13:30 – 13:50 Last Sons
14:00 – 15:30 Rick Donohue (DJ)
14:30 – 14:50 Anomic Soul
15:10 – 15:30 EXTNDDNTWRK
15:30 – 16:30 DIY (DJ)
16:30 – 17:00 Euler
Joey also discussed the importance that RSD has had on the recent vinyl resurgence:
Video: Joey Bell talks about the importance of RSD
Pendulum Records in the Victoria Centre Market will be participating in the event for the second year running. Mary Auckland, who helps out at the stall, says the run-in for the event has been incredibly busy. “We’ve done all of our orders but you don’t have a guarantee that you’ll get all of them. We’ve been getting lots of emails and tweets from people asking what stock we’ll have in and when we open.”
Image: The stall at the Victoria Centre
Mary believes RSD is perfect for independent record stores as it gives them an opportunity to stock the exclusive products that big chains don’t have. She added: “It gets the promotion and PR for small places like us that don’t have a marketing budget. I also think it’s contributed to the growth of vinyl and raising awareness.
Talking to younger people, there’s an understanding that the quality of vinyl is superior and that recognition is important.
The store will also be working with Suede bar in Heathcoat Street the day after RSD. By setting up a pop-up store inside the bar selling any remaining stock, Pendulum hope it will give people a second opportunity to discover any hidden gems.
Image: Mary Auckland
Nottingham is considered to be a superb hub for music and Mary is expecting a lot of visitors from outside of the city. In fact, they’ve even had stock enquiries from overseas. She added: “For us personally, we’re going to have more titles and more copies. People are a lot more aware that we’re taking part because last year was our first year.”
Mary hopes the day will be a fitting tribute for stall owner Scott Walters, who unexpectedly passed away at home at the end of March. She said: “His partner, Joanne, and I are continuing the business for the time being albeit perhaps on reduced hours. We are still going to participate in RSD – not only because we know how important the day is to our customers and vinyl lovers generally, but also as a tribute to Scott and the hard work we put into making Pendulum’s day bigger and better than last year.”
One store celebrating their first RSD in Nottingham is Rough Trade on Broad Street – which opened its doors in November 2014. Despite this, Rough Trade have had plenty of experience of the unique event – championing it in their London and New York branches since its inception.
Image: The huge selection on show at Rough Trade
The renowned record store are going all out this year in the city – hosting a day of live performances and DJs at their upstairs bar. The day-long extravaganza will include indie outfit The Leisure Society and Leeds metal favourites Pulled Apart By Horses. For the full line-up click here.
Store manager Leah Johnson praised the unique event and how it celebrates a much-loved format. She said: “It’s huge that there’s a whole celebration about this format and rightly so, I think. Putting on a record is a sociable thing, so having a day to celebrate it is absolutely brilliant.”
Image: Leah Johnson
Leah added: “It’s a time when 7” really come into their own with exclusive tracks in stock. This year there’s a lot of stuff that’s not been available before like old reissues. For example, there’s a Dexys Midnight Runners record that has never been available before and people are going crazy for it.”
The pick of the RSD 2015 releases
- A 7” picture disc of Changes by David Bowie
- Foo Fighters – Songs from the Laundry Room. A 10″ with never before heard tracks and demos
- A re-issue of the first ever NOW! 1 compilation
- Johnny Marr’s cover of Depeche Mode’s I Feel You
- The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson releases single The Right Time on 7″
Nick Strang, who founded Plates Records on Wilford Street, explained that they’re limiting their stock to 6 or 7 exclusive titles which they have cherry-picked from this year’s releases. The majority of them are hip-hop records, although the store offers a range of eclectic genres. On top of welcoming DJs into the shop for the day’s proceedings, Plates will also be taking over the Mimm clothing store on Broad Street – offering a small number of RSD releases and even more DJ sets. Then in the evening, a special event at the Irish Centre will take place, featuring a selection of the finest dance records on rotation throughout the night. Click here for more information.
Image: Plates Records
Just like Rough Trade, this will be Plates’ first RSD in Nottingham – and Nick is full of expectation. He said: “We are hoping it will be pretty busy this year. I’m used to being down in London for the event and it’s a really good atmosphere. We’re hoping to create a similar vibe in Hockley with Mimm.”
Image: Nick Strang
With the big day imminent, record lovers in Nottingham have a wealth of choices when it comes to finding the exclusive 7″, 12″ or album they’ve been longing for. The event may even convert a few more people to the joys that you can only get with the crackle of a vinyl.
For more information and the full list of RSD titles, visit recordstoreday.co.uk.
Slideshow: Nottingham prepares for RSD