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Vinyl revival – Stroud is a haven for music lovers

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The demand for vinyl records increased for the 16th year in a row, with 6.5 million sold, taking overall sales above £170m.

Around 2.2 million of those records were sold through independent stores, and £110m of the overall sales were generated by older albums rather than new releases.

The number of independent record shops in the UK is at a 10-year high, according to an industry group.

sound records | Vinyl revival - Stroud is a haven for music lovers
Tom Berry at Sound Records, Stroud. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

Tom Berry, owner of one of Stroud’s independent record shop, Sound Records, said: “It’s great to see people’s love affair with vinyl continuing and more and more young people getting into it.

“In Stroud we have a great vinyl culture which everyone can engage in and it doesn’t have to be expensive – if you haven’t been in a record shop before come say hello to ourselves or Klang Tone-you’re sure to find something you like.”

Sean Roe, who runs Klang Tone Records in Lansdown, added: “It’s great to see that there’s been an increase in the number of independent record shops – with an independent spirit – shops that reflect the taste and areas of expertise and quirks of their owners and staff, that differentiate them from more mainstream record shops.

DSC5049 | Vinyl revival - Stroud is a haven for music lovers
Sean Roe.

“We’re lucky in Stroud to have Sound Records, Lost Track Records (in Shambles indoor Market) and Sugared Pill Records (at Malthouse in Salmon Springs), all shops and stalls with different USPs.

“It was a great shame that Simon at Trading Post has shut – though Stroud with its remaining shops can still be like Hay-on-Wye for records with the sellers it has left.

“I just wanted to clarify that I’m not someone who fetishises vinyl though – I’m passionate about music regardless of the format it can be found on – I’ve always interpreted ‘records’ as a record – a physical recording of musical data if you like – whether its digital, a USB stick a CD or cassette 8-track or vinyl, all are a record of a musical event in a studio or live.

“I like to stock all physical formats at Klang Tone Records. Regardless of the format I think that people enjoy having something to hold and own and it’s where vinyl probably wins over other formats because of the size of the artwork and the intrinsic beauty of the vinyl itself.

“I have concerns though – that new vinyl is becoming incredibly expensive. I was in London looking at the prices of Bob Marley’s back catalogue – I was aghast at the fact that a large well-known shop was selling copies of Exodus (and his other titles) for £38 while the CDs were £7.

“I’m actually shocked by this – it makes Vinyl as a format unaffordable and it’s not surprising that there’s also an increase in CD sales.”

Dr Simon Opher Stroud 212 | Vinyl revival - Stroud is a haven for music lovers
Tom Berry (left) with Dr Simon Opher. Pic: Matt Bigwood.

Dr Simon Opher, Dursley GP and Labour Party Candidate for Stroud said: “Records, I think, do sound better than many digital reproductions. There is also something special about a record shop in itself. Sifting through records, pulling out new ones or old favourites and talking to staff who point you to new things and are so knowledgeable and engaging, the whole experience is superior to buying stuff online.

“That’s one of the reasons why I am so determined that we rebuild our high streets in all our town centres in and around Stroud. It helps to keep wealth in our community and builds our sense of community. People I think miss the shopping experience.”

Tom added: “We’re hoping that with parking soon becoming free after 2pm in some council car parks, more people will be attracted to shop in all the diverse shops in Stroud. The future for record shops certainly looks more positive.”

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