Friday, 26 April 2013

Record Store Day 2013 - at Raves From the Grave, Bath - photos and video

So Record Store Day was jolly good fun. I first participated in 2010 to get my hands on the Blur single 'Fools Day' and have been taking part in the event every year since at the Raves From The Grave shop in Frome. That same retailer has opened up a new shop in Bath (which I wrote an article about HERE) so this year I decided to go there and witness the first ever Record Store Day to take place in the city. I'd been up all night watching news coverage of the Boston manhunt and a huge earthquake in China while doing frantic last minute tasks in preparation for the morning, like cutting out CD sleeves for our GIIITV compilation 'Treasure Hunt' which were to be stocked at Raves. You can now listen to our exclusive compilation online HERE.

After a night with zero hours sleep, vinyl enthusiast and dance music expert Jason B was at my place for 6am. We set off for Bath and pleasingly missed out on any heavy traffic, arriving at the shop at some point before 7am. At this point we were the 3rd and 4th people there, and a few minutes later there were five of us in the queue. Soon there were about 9, a mixture of male and female, and mostly under 30 rather than a line full of balding men wallowing in nostalgia. The staff arrived at 8am to make the final preparations and prepared themselves for the ensuing chaos. A short while later shop manager Reuben emerged and ventured off to an outlet down the road to fetch free tea and coffee for the entire queue. Then afterwards we were all treated to bacon rolls as well. Now that's how to take care of your customers. 9.38am and with 22 minutes until opening time, there are exactly 22 in the queue. Reuben is still outside talking music with people in the line, and before he knows it, it's already 10am and time to open the doors. 

As everyone piles in, I go straight for the box of 7" singles, since I know the main releases I'm interested in are mostly in there. Being on a VERY limited budget means I can only pick one item to go home with, and in a way it makes that one record all the more special. With the small shop crammed with people, everyone seemed to be as considerate and respectful towards one another as possible, no pushing and shoving or fighting over who's next in line. And at half ten there are still people queued up outside waiting to get in. I decide that the excellent 'What Are You Doing, Fool?' by Edwyn Collins And The Heartbreaks is going to be my choice before discovering a third room at the back of the shop that I didn't realise was there on my previous visit, with more vinyl, a hi fi system and a kettle. All customers are treated like friends: "feel free to put some music on... help yourself to tea and coffee... make yourselves at home". What a fantastic place. 

BBC reporter Will Walder is here interviewing customers, one of which turns out to be producer Chris Hughes, also a member of Adam And The Ants. Walder also talks to renowned producer and solo artist Ethan Johns, who is at the shop for an instore gig on the tiniest stage you'll ever see. After the initial madness, the place is still busy when Carousels And Limousines frontman Sam Gotley plays a well received acoustic set and the excitement and enthusiasm is still in the air. 

We can only really stay for a while, due to having to get back to the pay and display car park but I'd spend most of the day here if I could. The important thing is that I continue to visit this shop and the other Raves outlets, so there'll be many more hours spent in these shops throughout the next year and beyond. I'm very pleased with my purchase, one of only 500 copies. You can hear that excellent Edwyn Collins And The Heartbreaks single HERE. Jason B filmed some video documentation of the day, up until his battery ran flat, and took many photos as well. I've compiled a collection of these pictures along with some I took, and you can look at those HERE. 

Our short Record Store Day 2013 film can be seen below. 

I was thrilled to hear that across the country it turned out to be the most successful RSD yet. Long may it continue to thrive and grow each year. 

Raves From The Grave , Bath - Facebook page HERE
Read an article I recently did on the shop HERE
And read an interview with Reuben from the shop HERE

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