Monday, 15 April 2013

Record Store Day: Reuben from Raves From The Grave

Raves From the Grave in Bath is possibly the newest music retailer to take part in Record Store Day this year, but the history of the business stretches back to 1997, when they opened the original shop in Frome.  Over 16 years later, they have now have a huge selection of vinyl at their shop in Warminster and have now expanded to a third shop in the city of Bath. The new store originally opened as a pop-up shop last year, which proved a success: "What an amazing 5 months trial! The positivity and good purchases has meant we are now able to open full time. Thank you music lovers." 


It's a small space, and they are sharing the room with MeeshMash, a company specialising in vintage clothing, and Widcombe Homebrew, which sells equipment for the budding home brewer. And it's more than possible to spend a long time browsing. New release albums on vinyl and CD, box sets, as well as a range of LPs from many genres, singles, second hand CDs and lots more. 


With a huge range of vinyl and CDs spread across their other two shops, it's likely that the Bath shop's stock will change regularly, so you may come across something different every time you visit. If you go in for a browse, you're bound to find something that arouses your curiousity, and it's those impulse buys that are the ones that can be the most rewarding...

God Is In The TV spoke to Reuben Tyghe, who runs the new shop in Bath about their plans for RSD 2013...



1. What do you have planned for record store day, anything particularly special?
"We have in store sessions from World Party in Frome ( 3pm ) and Sweet Machine in Warminster ( 11am ) Bath has a very special guest popping in for an interview in store with the BBC."

2. How long have you been working in the store? 
"I've been working for Raves since September 2011."

3. What was the first record you sold?
"Probably an Andre Rieu CD."

4. Was working in a record shop a dream job? 
"Yes. Not matter how much working in a recording shop completely consumes your life it still doesn't feel like 'work.'"

5. Why do you think RSD is important?
"It brings awareness to the independents and generally is a great day to do what we do best - get together and talk music with the customers."

6. How do you decide what to get in from the RSD list?
"The obvious titles speak for themselves the others are down to how much we've heard / read about the artist and whether we think our clientele will dig it!"

7. How long has the store been open? 
"Raves in Frome - 15 years / Raves in Warminster - 3 years / Raves in Bath - 6 months!"

8. How many staff work there?
"Frome - 3 / Warminster - 3 / Bath - 1."

9. What do you stock?
"Between all three stores - A bit of everything."

10. Do you get to know the customers who come into the shop, and does sharing new releases with them make it worth while? 
"Customers become your friends because they're the coolest people walking the planet - they're the sort of people you want to have a pint with. Many new releases have been sold when they're being played in store over the PA or through a gorilla style 'you need to own this record' sort of thing. You get to know what people are into which makes recommending fun and quite straightforward."

11. Do you think Record Stores can act as a hub for a musical community?
"Yes. But only if people want to make it happen."

12. How has the recession affected your business? 
"As with everyone else, badly! But we are surviving and to have opened a new store in this climate is quite bonkers really."

13. What would you say is the stores best seller?
"Each store is different. Bath's sold a lot of Soul Jazz Records releases and a lot of new releases on vinyl."

14. What is your favourite moment from the stores history?
"Discovering that our Frome shop has some very influential customers within the music industry. Knowing that people 'at the top' whether that's making records, reviewing them, recording them etc. still support the industry where it matters ( the high street and not online ) is a very cool thing."

15. What effect do you think the advent of digital files/ streaming etc has had on your store?
"Well, 90+ million illegal downloads last year alone - that speaks for itself (you horrible bit torrenting thieves. I hope your computers melt and you loose all that you stole.) That's a colossal amount of revenue that has disappeared. How it's been allowed to grow to such a scale is just wrong. It's almost now given that you don't have to pay for music if you don't want to. This in turn leads to a nation of unappreciative kids who will not value music the way it should be... Where this will lead us... Who knows?"

16. What effect do you think the closure of the big boys (HMV, Virgin etc) will have on independents like yours?
"Not much. HMV made the mistake of stocking Xpad and Flakestation controllers instead of new vinyl."

17. What do you see as the future of Record Stores? 
"Unique, hotspots for real music lovers to hang out, drink coffee and spin records ( hopefully buy them too! ). The counter culture against MPeeFrees can been seen and felt. Although it's easy to get despondent about illegal downloading and the like there will always be those nutty people and true fans / audiophiles who will keep shops like our's alive."

18. What local bands would you like to tip/plug at the moment?
"Bristol - Thought Forms. Their new LP 'Ghost Mountain' on Invada Records is a masterpiece. Caught them twice live last month after their stint with Esben and the Witch and Portishead in Europe -  Transcendental stuff - there's a real beauty in the way they play - For fans of Rodan, PJ Harvey, MBV and Sigur Ros."

"Not local at all but ..... Leeds - Cowtown - Only just discovered these guys - But their new LP 'Dudes Vs Bad Dudes' out later this month is one of the most exciting, intelligent yet youthful, tongue in cheek records I've hear in a long long time. Smart indie for fans of XTC, Macca, Devo and Field Music."

Raves From The Grave in Bath is situated at 8 Widcombe Parade, and open Monday to Saturday from 10am till 6pm, closed Wednesdays. 

The original Frome shop can be found at 20 Cheap Street, Frome. It's open Monday - Saturday from 9am till 5pm. 01373 464666

And the Warminster store, with its epic range of vinyl is located at 6 Weymouth Street, Warminster. It's open Monday-Saturday from 9am till 5pm and closed on Wednesdays. 01985 213707

All three shops are taking part in Record Store Day

They offer free next day delivery on your favourite CDs and vinyl, as well as discounts on bulk buys.

For more info go to http://www.ravesfromthegrave.com/

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