Music Notes: Norwich Record Store Day worth celebrating
There aren't many retail sectors that can genuinely claim to have changed people's lives, but record shops can make just that assertion. The hours spent pouring over album sleeves, discovering new musical finds and picking the brains of fellow enthusiasts has both shaped music tastes and inspired numerous bands to get together.
It's important therefore that we treasure the record shops that have survived the dawning of the digital age. Will today's music loving youth look back on iTunes and Amazon quite so fondly, I doubt it.
Record Store Day takes place tomorrow and is a chance to celebration of all that's good about independent record shops.
Here in Norwich we still enjoy some good collector's shops like Back In Time on Magdalen Street, and specialists, like White Label Records in Castle Mall. And in Soundclash, on St Benedict's Street, we still have a great place to discover new sounds. The shop, which has been trading for 21 years, will tomorrow join more than a thousand other independent music retailers in 20 countries, including over 230 record shops in the UK, to celebrate the event.
They will be selling a selection of exclusive and extremely limited edition releases from new, established and legendary artists who are all raising awareness of the part that record stores play in the music industry.
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Independent shops like Soundclash offer unique products as well as recommendations, information and a friendly face — a service you just can't get online or in a supermarket.
'We have been participating in Record Store Day since it first began in the UK in 2008,' said Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash, which was named one of Britain's best small shops by the Guardian. 'We will be selling as many exclusive releases as we can get hold of including Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Bowie, Civil Wars, The Clash, Flaming Lips/Mastodon and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Also Twin Atlantic will be in the shop doing an exclusive signing at 6pm before their gig at the Waterfront.'
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The shop will be open from 9am–7pm. Last year the queue started forming around midnight and some releases sold out within minutes so get there early. The success of the event proves there is still a future for independent shop likes Soundclash.
'It's great that there is more interest in records again — many of my customers prefer the sound quality of vinyl over CD,' said Paul. 'There are also collectors who buy vinyl despite not currently having a turntable because they love records, and this year there really is something for everyone.'
Among those releasing special records will be Norwich band Hello Bear, who following the success of their recent headline show at the Norwich Arts Centre, are putting out Vegan Academy on 7' vinyl through Norwich label NR One Records specifically for Record Store Day. Limited quantities will be exclusively available from Soundclash.
Drummer Daryl Blyth said: 'It's a real privilege to be a part of Record Store Day. Being an avid collector of vinyl myself it's great having something that you've personally worked on being released on a day specifically celebrating vinyl.' www.recordstoreday.co.uk