Saturday, 21 April 2012

Supporting Brighton shops on Record Store Day 2012

Regular readers of this 'blog may have noticed a few a days of radio silence - it's not because there's nothing going on, or because I've had nothing to say, but because I've suffered a good old fashioned technological meltdown.

Last year I thought it would be a great plan to build my own computer - and not let any Microsoft products anywhere near it. It was easy - and cheap - but now my Ubuntu 11.10 operating system has stopped working and I haven't had time to sort it out, alas. So I'm back to a crappy laptop running Windows - and I've been a little quiet in the blogosphere.

But I couldn't keep quiet for long in the face of another innovative idea to support local independent busineses in the face of onslaught from the multinational media corporations that control so much of our lives.

So I had to share the news that Brighton-based Resident Records has just won a poll to find the best independent record shop in the UK, for the second year running. The poll was conducted by the people behind Record Store Day, a UK-wide event taking place today - April 21st - to try to persuade music-lovers to shun the big multiples in favour of their local independent counterparts.

Record Store Day is a brilliant campaign: trying to raise awareness of the expertise and added-value that local stores can provide. Sure, HMV staff can probably tell you all about forthcoming releases on the major labels - but try having a meaningful chat about  the history of guitarists that have ever worked with, say, Captain Beefheart - or ask about up and coming local bands - and you'll probably be disappointed.

All of us want to see our shopping streets retain their quirky charm. No-one wants to see Brighton become just another outpost of Clone-town Britain - and sometimes that means not just campaigning against the big chains, but talking up the offer from local stores.

I'll be celebrating Record Shop Day with a visit to Resident Records in the North Laine and Rounder in The Lanes. I might even buy a record or two - I'll definitely have a chat about music. I hope you'll join me, by visiting your local independent record store, wherever you are!

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