Record Store Day returns this year with double drop - Kevin Buckle
As usual it was met with equal parts excitement and cynicism. Sadly it won’t really be possible this year to make it into much more than a sales boost for shops, given all the measures that will still be in place but shops will just be glad to be open.
The releases are dominated by well known artists and woe betide any new band who thinks this would be a good time to put out a release as they will get completely lost in the crowd of much bigger names.
The internet and social media may be great tools but they really work best for artists who built up their fan base through record shops and gigging.
Young bands these days can’t even rely on their peers for support and while it is hard to argue when youngsters come in the shop, buying Sonic Youth, The Pixies, The Smiths and Joy Division that there is some better young band they should be listening to it would be great to hear them enthuse about some new local band occasionally.
The fact that they are more likely to buy a t-shirt than the music may possibly give a clue to the thinking that is involved. Having said that it is just good to see young kids excited to be in a shop and it is interesting that when they are in with their family it is the parents who will start reminiscing about the good times they had visiting record shops in their youth.
While Record Store Day was founded for people to show support for their local record shops, it has for some years now just been a way of mostly older folk buying records by their favourite old bands.
Record labels and their artists long gave up supporting shops once they saw the money to be made selling directly to their fans, so it is more than a little irritating to hear them enthuse about shops every Record Store Day.
Avalanche has, of course, moved on and now images are as important as music and that trend will only continue when we reopen.
While we would love to still support local musicians, there is in truth little we can do to help now, while on the other hand our promotion of local artists and photographers has been a huge success and our work with Butcher Billy from Brazil along with others means we now have an international reach.
These are difficult times for retail and not just record shops and the worry is people have got so used to ordering online that they won’t return to the high street in the numbers needed.
Hopefully come Record Store Day people will support their local record shop and then a few more shops too.