MUSIC fans flocked to Newport record stores to get their hands on exclusive limited vinyl releases as part of a day to promote independent music retailers.
Diverse Records and Kriminal Records participated in Record Store Day and their efforts were boosted by activist group The Newporters who helped organise acoustic sets around the city centre by Gwent musicians.
A member of staff at Diverse Records, Matt Jarrett, said the shop expected to take about a typical week’s takings on the day – selling 800 records when it usually sells about 250 in a week.
As part of the celebrations Newport brewery Tiny Rebel contributed their own beer for the occasion. Goldie Lookin’ Ale was given away by staff at Diverse Records and some members of the rap group Goldie Lookin’ Chain visited the store.
While 300 T-shirts made by Sticky Ink Studios and donated by Iftekhar Haris were also given away on the day.
Vinyl fan Bob Whittle travelled to Wales from Swindon to boost his record collection at the store on Charles Street.
He said: “I always have been a vinyl fan and I always will be. I have been buying records on the internet and on the phone and I like to come to proper record shops – and long may they remain.”
As part of his purchases, which came to just under £100, he bought records by Marianne Faithfull, Paul Weller and jazz artist Sun Ra.
Member of The Newporters and organiser on the day, Chris Evans, said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. It goes to show you don’t need to spend bucket loads of money to make things work.”
And as part of his vinyl purchases, he bought a Katy Perry record for his daughter, a live record by The Pogues and Joe Strummer, Suede’s Let Go and, as a Labour councillor for Rogerstone, his “little bit of politics for the day” was buying All Together Now by The Farm, which was used by his party's general election campaign in 1992.
And the man who originally set up Diverse Records before selling it onto its current owners, John Richards, said interest in vinyl records was healthy even in an age of MP3s and CDs.
Mr Richards said: “It’s not going down, it’s going up.”
After starting in the United States in 2007, Record Store Day seeks to promote independently-owned record stores to celebrate music and 600 special edition vinyls were made available for UK shops to sell on Saturday.