In rotation: 12/14/20

Portsmouth, UK | Independent vinyl record shop opens near Gosport high street: A vinyl record enthusiast says he is excited for the future after opening his own music shop. For years, A Slice of Vinyl has been part of Katie’s Kitchen in Gosport’s High Street – but today, owner Kieron Howes opened his own store in South Street. Open seven days a week from 10am-5pm, Kieron has more than 3,000 records to sell – from classics by Queen and Fleetwood Mac to new releases by Bastille and Billie Joe Armstrong. Celebrating the first day in the new shop, he told The News that everything had been gearing up for the big day. He said: ‘To be honest I think it’s still sinking in for me. Getting everything sorted over the past couple of months was stressful but it’s great to be open… The shop sells a mix of re-released albums and original vinyls. But Kieron hopes the shop will become more than just a record store, with big plans for the coming months. ‘I want this place to become a hub for music in Gosport,’ he said.

Newcastle West, AU | Musician Ben Leece takes a spin at re-launching The Edwards record shop: Ben Leece’s love affair with collecting vinyl began at 15 when he’d trawl records shops along Tamworth’s main drag of Peel Street. The vast majority of the Quirindi lad’s cash earned from his part-time job moving irrigation pipes on a lucerne farm would be funnelled into music, be it vinyl, CDs or cassettes. More than 20 years later the Newcastle Americana singer-songwriter estimates he has a personal collection of 4500 to 5000 vinyl records. A number he describes as “modest” compared to some friends. “Travelling around the world, when you’ve got no money, it’s something to do,” Leece says of record shopping. “It’s like a museum, almost. “I can find a second-hand record store in a strange town and I’m good for hours searching through crates of records.” Never in a million years did Leece expect to be standing on the other side of the counter – actually selling music. Three weeks ago Leece opened Rudderless Records in the old The Edwards Shop space at Newcastle West.

Why Vinyl Records Are the New Trend in the 2020 Pandemic: During the first half of 2020, while the world was panicking due to the pandemic, a music trend that we didn’t see coming arose—vinyl records sales have gone up. Vinyl sales have always been steadily rising, but this year, for the first time in 34 years, it has surpassed CD sales. In the first six months of 2020, vinyl raked in $232.1 million of music sales compared to CD, which only brought in $129 (vinyl sales was almost double that of CD sales!). This is quite peculiar. What is happening here? Why is there a vinyl revival? Well, first, we cannot deny the fact that CDs sales are continuously and quickly declining thanks to streaming and music flash drives. Second, vinyl is still steadily increasing. But why is there a spike in vinyl sales and is it related to how music is being consumed during the pandemic? We can only assume things for now because there are no known studies about this topic, but I personally believe so. Heck, I bought a lot more vinyl records during the coronavirus pandemic than last year or the year before. There could be a link!

Tampa Bay, FL | Tampa Bay’s Independent Music Stores Change Their Tune During COVID: This year has been unimaginably rough on local businesses, from restaurants and nightlife to manufacturing and production concerns. But one niche industry has benefited from the COVID lockdown, garnering new consumers hungry for new input when we’ve seen everything the video streaming services have to offer. “I’ve got a lot of friends around the country that own record stores and bookstores and bike shops and this and that, specialty retail, everybody did great,” says Rob Sexton of St. Petersburg’s Planet Retro music shop. What do people — particularly music fans used to heading out to see a show at a club or theater — do when they’re stuck at home? They listen to tunes. And they’re keeping the dream of the local independent record store alive during the pandemic. “It was the opposite of what I expected it to be,” says Sexton of his business during the shutdown. “It was considerably better.”

15 best Christmas gift ideas for vinyl lovers: Play, organise and admire your records with these gift ideas. Even in a world where 4K TVs and thousand-pound smartphones have become the norm, there are still plenty of people who prefer the sound of a record player needle on a vinyl LP. If you know know someone like that, and are on the hunt for a present for the vinyl lover in your life, there should be something on this list to tickle your fancy. Buying for someone into travel or films, or just looking for that final stocking filler? You can find all of our festive gift suggestions on our Christmas Gift Guide 2020.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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