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Christmas message: Tom Berry, Sound Records


2023 has been a difficult year with terrible events in Ukraine and Palestine and a cost of living/mental health crisis closer to home.

At times like this things can seem overwhelming but I’m a firm believer that by making small changes closer to home we can make the world a better place.

Thankfully, in Stroud we are very good at this – I’ve admired our stand against the Light Newspaper, our vigils for Gaza and our stand against Katie Hopkins even if a busy life has often kept me away from direct support.

At Sound Records we were pleased to run a raffle to support Ukraine, sponsor a local youth football team and contribute to the brilliant Ramfete which has helped to safeguard one of our key venues. While it may seem insignificant compared to other events, the music industry in this country is in crisis.

While the likes of Taylor Swift and Coldplay make millions, the reality is that most musicians are scraping together a living getting pitiful payments from streaming providers and suffering reduced attendances at gigs. Similarly small venues are really struggling.

Draconian approaches from local authorities towards noise complaints against venues is also a major issue.

This is the time of new years resolutions and I urge you, if you love music, to support your local scene. We are blessed with great venues like the Crown & Sceptre, Studio 18, the Prince Albert, SVA and the Subscription Rooms – please use them or prepare to lose them! Ourselves and Klangtone Records also provide many free gigs so again, please get involved, see local acts and buy their records – without doing so, many acts will not be able to survive doing what they do.

Its not all doom and gloom – we had a brilliant year at Sound Records – supporting festivals like Jazz Stroud and Hidden Notes, doing gigs in the shop and elsewhere and chatting to so many of you across the counter in the shop.

We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for keeping the vinyl dream alive and wish you a fantastic festive season and very happy 2024.

Tom Berry, Sound Records

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