Yesterday was Record Store Day. RSD started back in 2007 when up to 700 independent record stores in the US came together to celebrate what they were - still open. It's no hidden fact that the success of independent music shops has been declining rapidly, probably due to digital stores like iTunes, streaming channels like Spotify and illegal downloading. The UKs most treasured music store, HMV, was almost killed off this year but the stubbornness of the music lovers and some very good accountants have helped HMV pull through, keeping a music presence in most of our high streets.
The UK got involved in RSD in 2008, making this year the 6th anniversary and our first Record Store Day. All around the country, record stores opened their doors to collectors and rookies alike to offer limited edition releases which wouldn't be available ever again.
Yesterday, Ash and I left home early and got in the small queue outside our local store, Raves from the Grave in Frome, at 7.15am. There were already 8 or 9 others waiting, some who'd arrived at about 6am. Doors opened at 9am so we spent the next couple of hours talking to the other music supporters in the queue about what they were after, sipping on tea, munching on bacon rolls which the cafe next door brought out for us and feeling anxious about getting our paws on the one release we were really after - Funeral for a Friend's 10th Anniversary edition of Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation, on white vinyl, limited to 1000 copies.
At 9am, the queue was up to around 40 people and we piled in to the store, around a small display rammed with RSD releases. I wasn't quick enough and was stuck at the back, but Ash managed to get in and within minutes picked up Notorious BIG's Ready to Die LP and the Funeral for a Friend release. I hovered around the 7" display and a friend of ours infront passed me Frank Turner's Recovery release. Ash went in to stealth mode, and snuck around to the other side of the display and picked up Biffy Clyro's Modern Magic Formula/City of Dreadful Night on beautiful black and clear splatter vinyl. We were sorted. We spent almost £80 on those four records - which is a lot of money considering we own the albums on CD already, but there's something so enchanting about vinyl, placing down the needle and watching it play.
Funeral for a Friend - Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation
Frank Turner - Recovery & Biffy Clyro - Modern Magic Formula/City of Dreadful Night
It was great to be a part of Record Store Day 2013, and we'll continue to support our local music stores and growing our record collection in the coming year.
PS: If you get time, read this article about how Under 25s are helping the record industry grow again.