Spin the black circle

Posted 2nd April 2024

The 17th annual celebration of the UK’s independent record shops will go live on Saturday, April 20 with 100s of artists issuing special Record Store Day releases.
There really is something for everyone with records spanning rock, pop, jazz, hip hop, reggae, classical and folk, writes Sammy Jones.

Among those participating this time, music junkies can grab exclusives from Blur, At The Gates, Billy Bragg, Bowie, Fatboy Slim, George Harrison, Jessie Ware, Ladytron, Little Richard, Motley Crue, PiL, Pulp, Ringo Starr, Sia, Steven Wilson and The 1975.

You want more? The Rolling Stones, The Verve, The Yardbirds, Thin Lizzy, Tom Grennan and Zappa will all figure too. Like we said, eclectic and something for all.
Of particular interest to some ‘fampton folk will be the Peter Murphy live release, Volume One – Covers.

It is the first release on the Northampton born post punk and goth originator’s own label, Silver Shade. As the title says, it’s a release of live covers, with his versions of tracks by artists including Iggy Pop, Elvis Presley, Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and Magazine. The album will be on numbered coloured vinyl.

Artists, labels and stores on every continent have signed up for the event which champions the unique culture of indie shops and the music fans’ love of vinyl.
Well, when we say every continent, that’s not strictly true – Antarctica isn’t partaking.

If you’ve ever shivered outside in the early hours in anticipation of stores opening, you’ll know how cold Northampton can be when the temperature drops.
Antarctica? Forget it!

In all, some 270 stores from around the UK have signed up, with many using the event to hold special live sets, giveaways and general merriment – and in Northampton, Spun Out is always at the fore.

“At Spunout we first heard of Record Store Day at the beginning of 2010 when we were contacted by a lot of the big record companies pushing this new promotional day,” remembers Chris Kent, Spun Out owner, “Little did I know how much of a success it would build to be but I liked the look of the limited editions that were being released, so we signed up.

“We were stunned at how much of a response we got for it with only the bare minimum of promotion but in comparison to how it grew over the next few years our stock was tiny, probably only 30 records and most of them being 7” singles!

“From that point on we were invested in it, and the limited edition collectible records unique to physical record shops were a big draw – you got to support your local shop while getting some tasty unique releases, but the celebration of the continued existence of independent stores had a festival atmosphere that I believe helped encourage music lovers in general to consider getting into vinyl collecting.

“I believe that the rise in sales of vinyl and record players has a great deal to do with the attention that RSD as a movement has brought to it and as the day has gone from strength to strength so has our customer base,” Chris said.

It really wasn’t so long ago that the industry was telling us that vinyl was dead. A thing of the past. Why bother with a piece of vinyl when you could simply download your latest piece of music?

Except that us voracious vinyl collectors refused to accept that vinyl was over. Fast forward a few years and the high street stores that had stopped selling it, now proudly sport growing vinyl sections and the art of collecting has been discovered by today’s generation. Sales are continuing to rise.

“There is something unique about a record shop that hardly any other high street destination can boast; a constant stream of fascinating new products stuffed full of art and music with massive collectible potential, companionable fellow visitors and staff plus the excitement of the hunt, what’s not to love?” Chris says, explaining the allure as he sees it, “You take home your latest discovery, crank up the system, let the needle drop and the music wash right through you as you get lost in the artwork.

“Then, when your mate asks, ‘Where did you get that?’ you get to say, ‘You had to be there – it sold out in 20 minutes!” he smiles, “Every year there are RSD releases that do that; Last year it was Taylor Swift’s Folklore – The Long Pond Studio Session. A few years ago the quickest seller was a Foo Fighters alter ego Dee Gees LP stuffed full of their versions of Bee Gees hits.

“It was so limited that we got less than 10 copies which sold out to the first 10 customers and is now a highly collectible piece of vinyl.”

Spun Out will open its doors at 8am, ready for the tills to start ringing as this year’s extensive list of vinyl, CDs and cassettes gets snapped up. As usual, they’ll bring live music to the event, with sets from Northampton’s Potwash, and Milton Keynes noisemakers Torus. DJs will be spinning great vinyl throughout the day and the store will once again run its raffle and send purchasers out with goodie bags.

Make contact sales@spunout.website or call 01604 230064