Record Store Day 2015: Record shops, new releases & controversy

Polly Checkland Harding

Some of our favourite record shops are involved, hosting new releases like a fab collaboration between Jane Weaver and Toy. What’s not to love? We found out.

This is my first year with a record player – so Record Store Day 2015 takes on a whole new meaning this time around. Thing is, my turntable, which is part of a retro coffee table from the wonderful Mustard Tree, ain’t the kindest to vinyl. So yes, come 18 April I will be queueing up at Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Eastern Bloc, Beatin’ Rhythm Records or Vinyl Revival, all of whom are involved in Manchester. But no, I won’t be buying some of the rarer stuff on release, like the official re-issue of the Northern Soul classic ‘Do I love You (Indeed I Do)’ by Frank Wilson – an unreleased 1965 single with only two originals, one of which fetched £25,742 at auction in 2009.

Vinyl sales peaked at one million units in 2014, the highest for 18 years

Those with fancier decks can be on the lookout for an exclusive release of ‘Changes’ by David Bowie, or live recordings of Suede at the Royal Albert Hall and Ocean Colour Scene at The Bridgewater Hall, alongside other rarities. There are also a number of satellite events to get involved with. On the bill at Soup Kitchen’s evening party are Bernard + Edith, plus Francis Lung with a full band, amongst others – pretty impressive, if you ask us. Equally stellar is Piccadilly Records’ DJ line-up, which features Jane Weaver, Dutch Uncles and Tim Burgess, while Islington Mill mix it up with live music and DJ sets from some of Manchester’s best labels and promoters. Eastern Bloc, meanwhile, are making a day of it, with Matthew Halsall (of Godwana Records), DJ Chini (of The Mouse Outfit) and more gracing the turntables – to be followed by an official After Party at the Blue Pig.

If you’re over in Liverpool, head for Probe Records, Dig Vinyl or 3B Records; in Sheffield, two of our Reader Recommended shops LP Records and Record Collector are involved, as well as Record Junkee in the city centre. They’re all gearing up for an event that has been no small part of why vinyl sales peaked at one million units in 2014, the highest for 18 years.

Record Story Day 2015 is not without its controversy, however – the Guardian ran a piece with Nathaniel Cramp of independent label Sonic Cathedral, who argued that it’s been ‘hijacked by major labels’, becoming ‘just another marketing opportunity for established brands such as Mumford and Sons and U2’, alongside offering some sound economic challenges to the annual event. The Independent also testified to the backlog that vinyl pressing plants are experiencing while trying to process more mainstream releases. Cramp’s overarching point, however, was that every day should be a record store day – and to that we say hear, hear!

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