Big day looms for vinyl lovers

Paul Dolman owner of Static Records, Hallgate, Wigan, gets ready for Record Store Day
Paul Dolman owner of Static Records, Hallgate, Wigan, gets ready for Record Store Day

AS sales of vinyl continue to soar, the day collectors are unable to wait for each year is just a few revolutions away.

Hands rifling through plastic tubs of records become more hurried as pops, hisses and warm analogue tones fill houses across the world for Saturday’s Record Store Day. And this year’s is even more significant. With sales of the nostalgic format at an 18-year high, the Official Charts Company has launched a vinyl singles and album chart for the first time.

For me, the whole new interest in vinyl, it never went away for me, I was always a fan of it and old records. That’s my thing - I like old records

Paul Dolman

The news comes as no surprise to Paul Dolman of Static Records on Hallgate as he prepares his shop for the latest instalment of the event.

“My reaction was a wry smile really,” said Paul on when he heard about the vinyl chart.

“For me, the whole new interest in vinyl, it never went away for me, I was always a fan of it and old records. That’s my thing - I like old records.

“To hear the chart was coming back, I was, ‘well was there not a chart anyway?’ Where did it go, who nicked the chart?”

The week leading up to Record Store Day has been frantic for Paul, as he was made to sweat on deliveries of exclusive releases for the day, which include special offerings from The Stooges, Bob Dylan and Foo Fighters to name just a few.

But he is confident the day will be a success like it has been ever since he opened, with a steady stream of customers visiting the shop before heading to take in live music at the Old Courts.

“I had one delivery which they’ve been telling me about for two days,” he laughed.

“I got told it had come in but it had gone to the wrong address so they took it back to Wolverhampton!”

But Paul has since seen more stock come in, and from previous years has an idea of what will be a hit this year.

“Last year we sold lots and lots of second hand stuff as well as the new stuff which is what I want - I want a balance,” he said.

“We’re on a good line at the moment - there are a lot of changes going on.

“The nice thing about the business is it is very niche so people will come to find me.”

Record Store Day, which has been running every year since 2007, celebrates independent record shops, and as viynl sales are set to grow by another 70 per cent on the 1.29 million sold in 2014, Paul is happy to see his favourite format not just survive, but thrive in the current climate.

“The idea is to get people into shops so I’m hoping for that mix again,” he said.

“Generally if people really like something they’ll want it in a permanent format.”

And whether people are dropping the stylus on Bowie or James Bay records this year, Paul is hoping Static Records will win over the internet as people buy their music.

“We’re trying to be current with one foot in the past - in Wigan it’s striking that balance,” he said.

“The competition is people buying records from their phones while they’re lay in bed.”