Record-breaking day for vinyl fest

Paul Dolman of Static Records
Paul Dolman of Static Records

The people of Wigan turned out in their droves to celebrate the 10th annual Record Store Day.

Record store Static Records and The Coven Café’s Bistro teamed up on Hallgate to bring an action-packed day for vinyl fanatics.

The Coven had a special menu for lovers of the plastic black disc to pick and choose from while they revelled in the eight hours of live music in The Coven Gardens.

Sound engineer for the live acts, Dave Arnold, said: “The last 10 years has seen records go from minimal sales to people not being able to get enough of them.

“The day is going great! It’s taking place in the ‘Hallgate power triangle’ - Static Records, The Coven, and The Old Courts, which is a repurposed old civic building for art in all its many forms.

“It’s a cracking atmosphere which has been helped by the really nice weather we’ve had. Every day should be Record Store Day!

“The day itself is positive because it increases interest; we will have vinyl customers who come only the once a year. We just wish it was this busy all the time!”

Over the road in Static Records customers could barely move without bumping into fellow vinyl enthusiasts, with the store full of eager punters of all ages looking for rare LPs ranging from Bruce Springsteen, to David Bowie and Grandmaster Flash.

It would have been very difficult to avoid getting sucked in to the store’s electric atmosphere.

And it wasn’t just Wigan folk in search of their retro favourites, with several customers making quite long treks to make a purchase.

For instance one fanatic, Paul Simber, drove all the way from Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, to Static with the goal of picking up a special release of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Pol Pot’s Pleasure Penthouse. This writer ended up walking out with a Frank Sinatra LP under his arm, persuaded by the note on the cover labelling it “the best of its kind in shop!”

Record Store Day is the one day of the year where over 200 independent record stores throughout the UK join forces to celebrate vinyl, with 2017 seeing more than 500 special releases.

Critics of the day say that RSD has turned into a money-making scheme, with many of the special releases finding their way onto third party selling websites at inflated prices.

One critic, Daniel Bell, said on Twitter: “Once a great idea to celebrate indie stores, now an eBay flipping Black Friday event.”

The vinyl renaissance has been quite remarkable. When compact discs first appeared in the 1980s, they appeared to have put paid to this bulkier, scratch-prone format for good.

But vinyl is now selling in greater quantities than at any other time this century.