Saturday 20th April saw the annual worldwide event Record Store Day. It was launched in 2007 and has gone on to be a major success. In the East London Lines boroughs a number of stores participated including the renowned Rough Trade Records and Kristina Records in Hackney.
The day encourages people to visit and support their local record store. Customers are enticed by a number of exclusive releases which have a limited run on the day.
Record stores have come under threat in recent years due to illegal downloading and the rise of online retail. There are only around 300 independent shops of this type left in the United Kingdom.
However, in recent years there has been a renewed interest in vinyl. This is reflected by an impressive 78 percent increase in the number of records sold in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the number sold in the first quarter of 2012. Additionally, sales in 2012 reached 389,000, the highest since 2004.
Kristina Records on Stoke Newington Road, Hackney, was packed with punters eagerly purchasing their favourite artists on precious wax. They were also treated to DJ sets by The Horrors and Max D.
Ellen, 23, a student at London College of Fashion, said ‘Owning a physical copy of your favourite album has much more intrinsic value than an MP3. There is a certain feel to a record which cannot be replicated digitally.’
Emre, 27, a DJ from East London, said ‘When I perform at nights I love taking a huge crate of vinyl down to the show, the sound is better and because a lot of the stuff I play is old school it is meant to be listened to on record. Record Store Day is great because it encourages people to rekindle their love for vinyl or gets youngsters into the culture of collecting records.’