Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Super Vinyl Adventure Club

It's been a while since I did one of these posts. Not because I've given up in vinyl but more because after a while there's only so much you can write about the same shops. So I purposely left it a while.

You may remember me mentioning that each month I get £50 of vouchers to spend in HMV through my work. As I had a bit of spare time this morning before trudging of to work for my ill advised overtime, I decided to go and spend these.

Last time in, the shop assistant had mentioned that the store was looking to expand it's stock of vinyl, which was an interesting thing to hear, given that of late HMV was to music as binge drinking is to a healthy liver.

It would have been too much to ask that the section was moved back upstairs, as electronic devices, headphones, arrays of accessories and cut price DVD's were sprawled out across the main floor. Alas, down I went to browse.

And yes, there was a much better range on offer. Sneaked in amongst the reissues and AC/DC back catalogue that has been there for at least a year, were the latest releases from The Twilight Sad, Errors and RM Hubbert. Great to see some local talent being stocked. The whole section had also had a bit of a makeover, gig posters and old record sleeves adorned the walls making it actually feel like a record shop. Granted I was the only person there, which may be because it was 9:30 in the morning, but part of me suspects that there is lot more to do before HMV attracts serious music fans back in large numbers.

To highlight this point, the three aforementioned records, I have already purchased from Monorail Records. It, and LOVE Music, are still my go to places for music. In fact had it not been for my vouchers I probably wouldn't be in there. That said, I know opinion on this may be divided, but if, and it's a big if given their problems, HMV can shift towards a music store again, giving branch managers freedom to work with their local music scene and tailor their promotions accordingly, then it's music fans who could win. However I would fear once more for the independent traders, and would hope that they could still survive and that HMV would not use tactics to squeeze them out as previously used in the past. It's a double edged sword admittedly.

So I pick my choices, Howler - 'America Give Up', Real Estate - 'Days' and Field Music - 'Plumb'. The big bonus for me on this visit was the assistant who served me. Friendly and knowledgeable we talked about the above things, spoke about HMV getting live bands in, talked about music, and it felt like being served by a genuine music fan.

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