With exclusive vinyl releases from the biggest names in music and independent artists alike, there’s something special about Record Store Day for music enthusiasts. ‘It’s all very exciting,’ says Neil Harris, owner of Bug Vinyl in Beverley, one of 200 independent stores taking part in the event this coming Saturday. ‘There’s lots of interest in the stock we’ll have in the shop on the day and we’ve had people bringing in lists of the items they hope to buy.’
The nature of Record Store Day means the items for sale are strictly limited edition and collectable. ‘With only 500 copies cut of most releases, we may only get one or two copies,’ Neil says, ‘but the system is as fair as it possibly can be. The organisers ensure there’s something for everybody. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it.’
— bug vinyl records (@bugvinylrecords) February 13, 2017
Turning to what he thinks will be popular, Neil points to several highlights. ‘We’ve had a lot of interest in the reggae items and the Paul McCartney release. The late addition by The Beatles to tie in with the re-release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band will also be in demand. The list goes on with so many titles to choose from. I’m going to have to be extremely strong and say it isn’t for me. It’s for the people who will queue up, the customers. But there are some things I’d really like to have in my collection. I anticipate there being quite a substantial number of people outside by the time we open.’
Bug Vinyl is a relative newcomer to the scene. ‘I’ve only been open three months,’ Neil says, ‘but I’ve already got a regular customer base. Although there’s no true demographic. It ranges from students through to older people who are replacing original copies they already own. I’m finding people want both the back catalogue stuff and the new releases which come out each Friday. It’s a passion for me. There was also a gap in the market with no one in the immediate area selling new vinyl, so it seemed like the perfect moment to open.’
But it’s not just new vinyl that’s enjoying a revival. Bird’s Nest Records specialise in used vinyl, with owner Paul Bird taking his pop-up shop to the monthly Humber Street Market in Hull, as well as his regular slot at Scunthorpe Market twice a week. ‘Mine’s a deliberate policy,’ says Paul. ‘Rediscovering vinyl maybe started off as a bit of a hipster thing, but you’ve got lots of people listening to their old record collections again. They’re not necessarily going out and buying records, but they’re interested.’
Used vinyl enthusiasts are well-served in Hull, with numerous shops carrying stock. ‘It’s never gone out of fashion around here,’ Paul says. ‘Maybe people didn’t know where to buy it before, but it’s certainly more visible at present. My job is to get out there and source it. It’s a finite supply.’
Paul’s also a collector of vinyl, a genuine enthusiast. ‘I like some of the releases that come out for Record Store Day, the ones that are done well. For myself, I want the David Bowie things. Fingers crossed. I’ve only ever missed out on one item I’ve wanted, but you’ve got to get there early or you miss it.’
It’s a sentiment echoed by Nick Boldock, curator of the Hull Music Archive. ‘As a lifelong record collector I’m delighted to see how the vinyl revival has accelerated in the last few years. Of course, as a local record collector there are plenty of releases I’d like to see. I do wish someone would reissue the 4th Hour Of My Sleep single by Ronno, the short-lived Mick Ronson vehicle, as original copies are hideously rare, but you’ve always got to look forward to the official release list.’
Like other vinyl lovers, Nick will be queuing up on Saturday morning, hoping to secure the items he wants. ‘I’ve got my eye on a few things, but we’ll see what ends up in the record bag on the day.’
Record Store Day 2017 is Saturday 22 April and the fun kicks off at 9am. For more information, visit www.recordstoreday.co.uk.
PS. – Check out our guide to record stores in Hull from last year’s Record Store Day.