We headed down to Rough Trade for Record Store Day 2017

Words: Gav Squires
Saturday 06 May 2017
reading time: min, words

Started as a way of revitalising the sales of independent record shops, as it celebrates its tenth anniversary some people think it's kind of lost its way. We checked out this year's festivities...


When Record Store Day began it was all about unique one-off new releases just for that day, but a lot of the releases this year seem to be re-issues. That doesn't put off those early starters though. One said to me, "You get to share your passion for record collecting with people, you know?"

At 5am the queue outside Rough Trade was quite substations even though the shop wasn't opening until 8am.

Seeing that by 11:45am there were over 1700 Record Store Day releases on eBay with over 750 already listed and sold; it would be interesting to know how many are genuine collectors. Another customer that I spoke with, who was looking for the new Toy 10" said, "It's only one copy per person, so I don't begrudge people having a bit of fun." 

While I admit that I am quite cynical about Record Store Day, something did happen that left me with a smile on my face, feeling good about life. Queuing to get into the store, I was next to a guy who said that he was only after one thing and that wasn't even for him. His friend is in hospital and is a massive fan of The Smiths. So, he was looking for a copy of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, re-released as a limited edition 7". The look on his face when he found one was priceless and he headed straight off to hospital in London to hand it over to his buddy. 

I also met a young girl from Derby, where there weren't any shops taking part, and her enthusiasm was infectious (despite her dad warning her that they'd probably be sold out of the Placebo/Bowie release) Add to that, Rough Trade really make a great day of it. They were serving breakfast from 6am for the really early risers and there was free entertainment all day long - DJs out in the courtyard and live music upstairs including Maxïmo Park and Crosa Rosa. 

Plus they do a really good job of not allowing too many people in the shop at any one time. Although, I'm not sure if "organisation" really has any place in rock 'n' roll but anything that stops people stabbing each other with broken bits of vinyl has to be a good thing.

I'm still not sold on the current format of Record Store Day itself - it seems to be more about the labels than the shops these days unfortunately. However, Rough Trade just use it as an excuse to through a bleddy good party and who are we to complain about that?

Record Store Day 2017 took place on Saturday 22 April 2017. 

Record Store Day website

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