SOUTH Record Shop – Southend-on-sea – Vinyl, the billion dollar industry…

We had a chat with Richard @ The South Record Shop…

“This year 40 million records are expected to be sold. Vinyl should account for almost a fifth of the physical music market this year.” – The Vinyl Industry 

How was your 2016? 
“2016 was great for us, we’re in to our third year now and it’s always growing. We’re getting new people coming in all the time, and younger people too (thankfully). We had a bunch of great bands play the shop too – Mystery Jets, Asylums, Ultimate Painting, Calvin Johnson, etc – hopefully 2017 will continue in the same way. We’re always talking to bands we like to bring them to Southend, fingers crossed we’ll get some good ones this year too.”

What about new releases, what’s coming to the shop?
“After a slow start for releases (early January is notoriously dead for new records), we’ve just started to get going – great new records from The xx, The Proper Ornaments, Brian Eno, The Flaming Lips, Half Japanese and loads more to come – Ryan Adams, Sampha, Hand Habits, Jens Lekman, The Feelies, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sleaford Mods, Spoon, Jesus & Mary Chain – all within the first couple of months of 2017. This year is looking like it’ll be another good one for new records.”

So, Record Store Day isn’t far off…
“Yeah, Record Store Day is coming up in March, and will be the 10th year. Last year we had DJ sets from Phill Jupitus*, Asylums, Phoenix FM and Terminal Cheesecake, with Plantman playing later in the day. We then had an after-party at the Railway with Dark Globes and Ghost Music, which was all pretty knackering, but we’re looking forward to doing it all over again.”

What do you think it is that people love about Vinyl, we love that you can hold something, the tangibility of it…
“From what customers tell me, they like vinyl (and CDs) because they like to own something, they like the look of them, they like coming to a shop and browsing on a Saturday afternoon – taking a punt on something with a great cover, which isn’t something you can do so easily on iTunes or Spotify.”

What do you personally like about vinyl? 
“All of those things are why I fell in love with records too. But also, with a record, you have to turn it over half way through, so you have to pay attention, whereas if you have a Spotify playlist on, you’re most likely doing other stuff and ignoring most of it. But most importantly, if you get a good record (pressed well, mastered well, etc) and play it on a good system (not one of those crappy portable things), you’ll hear a massive difference in the sound quality.”

What about grass roots / new bands and new releases? 
“A lot of bands, newer ones especially, are ignoring CDs all together, and just releasing on vinyl, with a download included. Personally speaking, I always buy something at small gigs (most bands get paid bugger all to be there, they make their money from merch), and if there’s just CDs there, I’ll buy a t-shirt. If there’s records, I will buy it. I’m probably not the only person who does that, so it makes sense for bands to get stuff out on record, along with the sound/visual quality, people like me will buy it regardless of how crappy your band.”

* Check out this interview we made for Record Store Day of Phil Jupitus talking music & vinyl.

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