In rotation: 2/6/19

Perth, AU | 78 Records closes in Perth after nearly 48 years, blaming Spotify, retail downturn: Iconic Perth music store 78 Records has announced its closure after almost 48 years in the vinyl business, blaming the rise of streaming services and declining retail conditions for its demise. The business relocated several times to buildings along Hay Street, becoming an institution in Perth’s local music scene, before eventually ending up in a laneway off Murray Street. Current manager Andrew “Fang” de Lang started working at the store in 1986 as a 19-year-old. “When I started we were in an old building next to His Majesty’s (Theatre),” he said. “The thing that attracted you to the shop was that it had this storefront window that you couldn’t see through, but just had album covers in the windows so you couldn’t actually see inside…

UK | Doug Putman: the vinyl fan aiming to put a new spin on HMV. Owner of Canadian chain Sunrise has compared record shopping to a ‘treasure hunt.’ Doug Putman, the Canadian entrepreneur and saviour of HMV, is a self-proclaimed lover of vinyl records who is adamant that bricks-and-mortar music stores are still viable at a time when consumers are ditching CDs in favour of digital downloads. With his purchase of 100 HMV stores in the UK, he is putting his money where his mouth is and has a major challenge ahead to turn around a retail business that has collapsed into administration twice in the last six years. Putman, 34, has a decent track record. His Canadian music chain Sunrise Records has grown from just five stores when he bought it in 2014 to 84 stores today. The bulk of that expansion came in 2017 when he bought 70 of HMV’s stores in Canada after the chain went bust there. Putman says the gamble has paid off, with those stores now making a profit.

UK | HMV reveals which 27 stores are closing as it is sold to Canadian music boss. Oxford Street flagship shut but 100 of chain’s 127 stores will survive under new owner. HMV has been rescued from collapse by a Canadian music entrepreneur, but 27 stores in prime locations have closed, including the site of its first store on London’s Oxford Street. Doug Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, has bought the UK music and film retailer after emerging as the leading contender over the weekend, heading off competition from Mike Ashley, the Sports Direct boss. As part of the deal, 100 HMV shops will remain open, protecting the jobs of nearly 1,500 workers across the stores and head office. However, the immediate closure of 27 stores will lead to 455 job losses and a further 122 warehouse jobs will go in the coming weeks. Closure of the flagship store on Oxford Street signals the end of HMV’s presence on London’s most famous shopping street after nearly a century. That first shop was opened in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar, the British composer.

Portsmouth, UK | Gosport record fair takes people back to their teenage years: Dancing the night away, rocking out to their favourite tunes or just recalling the classics – these were the memories brought back at a record fair over the weekend. The second annual Gosport Record Fair was held at The Fallen Acorn brewery in Mumby Road on Saturday, bringing hundreds of people down to reminisce about the glory days of vinyl – and pick up some new records for their collection. Organised by Kieron Howes from A Slice Of Vinyl, the event was also raising money for Tonic Music for Mental Health in Portsmouth. Visitors to the fair say that some of their favourite memories can be associated with a vinyl record, or a song from their past. Paul Maidment, 56 from Gosport, said: ‘I collect vinyl records that I can get autographed. ‘I had a big collection when I was younger but when CDs came out I got rid of it – and definitely regret it.

Limerick, IE | Limerick record store owner throws hat in the ring for local elections: A Limerick city record and music store owner has declared that he is throwing his hat in the ring for this year’s local elections. Mark Carey, 31, who is the owner of the well-known Steamboat Music store at Steamboat Quay, has announced that he will run as an independent for the May 24 elections. Mr Carey, who missed out in a bid to get on the Social Democrats local election ticket, will enter the political race in the Limerick City West metropolitan district against a long list of candidates, including current mayors, Cllr James Collins and Cllr Daniel Butler. He said he wants to get involved to oversee Limerick’s 2030 strategy “first hand.” “Never has the county had such an incredible opportunity to shape the future of everyone that lives here…”

Oskaloosa, IA | The Pop And Hiss Add Warmth To Your Listening Pleasure: Inside the music shop G-Strings Guitars and More, located in the back, are boxes of vinyl records. It’s an almost automatic thought to wonder why anyone would be selling such relics of years gone by when the crystal clear sound of digital audio is available. Vinyl has a core audience that appreciates what is often described as a warmth in the music. A younger audience is also coming to appreciate the sound and charm of spinning records on a turntable. Ashley Schultz, at G-Strings Guitars and More, works for her grandfather Pat Flaherty at the store. She’s found a ready audience for vinyl records and has been adding inventory for those looking to fill out their collections. The interest for Ashley started when she found some albums her grandpa had in his garage. “And they were the old country. He had a couple of old rock, and I had one or two crates in the back of the store.” That’s when people started to notice, including a person from out of town who has been selling vinyl for some time. “He gave me some pointers.”

Yorkshire, UK | Singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt wows fans with show at Leeds record store: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt showed she is top of the shops by playing a set in a Leeds music store. Nina ran through a selection of tracks from her new album – entitled The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change – at Jumbo Records yesterday afternoon. Fans in attendance included Philip Lickley, who tweeted that she performed the songs “brilliantly”. Released at the end of last week, The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change is Nina’s second album and has been hailed as a “scintillating journey through a whole range of genres and moods”. Her visit to Jumbo was part of a quickfire promotional dash around the country’s independent record stores that is also taking in stop-offs in London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

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