Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 16th

Record Store Day

Don't forget that Record Store Day takes place tomorrow, Saturday April 16th.

More than 180 UK independent record shops are signed-up to take part in the event, which takes place every year, all over the world.

Sony and Columbia Records already line up a string of limited-edition releases on vinyl, as we've reported earlier, and now comes encouraging news that indie record stores could be staging a comeback.

According to the BBC, while the UK had just 269 record shops last year, the figure has now risen to 281.

Sure, that's still a long way off the 900 independent record shops that existed in the UK five years ago, but at least the number is growing again.

Spencer Hickman, founder of Rough Trade Records and the person behind UK Independent Record Store Day believes the future looks bright for independents.

"There's lot of love out there for the old independent record shop," he told the Beeb.

"People are waking up to the fact that all towns across the country are becoming identikit, and the small indie retailers are disappearing. They don't want this anymore and are finally saying 'No, enough is enough'."

Vinyl's special appeal
Of course this hasn't stopped the inexorable rise of digital streaming and downloading, but vinyl still holds a special appeal in the hearts of music lovers.

Hickman believes that music fans still want the experience of a full album and to listen to music the way the artist intended.

"Consumers want to go into a shop and to stand chatting to someone who knows about music" he explains.

"The fact that digital downloading is moving to album sales rather than singles shows a change in listening," he says.

"We can press the shuffle button on our iPods, but it's nice to sit back at home and listen to something in full; that's why vinyl is becoming so popular again.

"There's nothing like dropping that needle for the first time and hearing the slight crackle, anticipating what's coming up."

So go on, get down to your local indie record store this weekend, give them your support and buy some decent music. You won't regret it.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.