Bedford’s Slide Record Shop has been featured on Love Record Stores (#LRS) blog, ahead of a full day of celebrating the UK’s record stores on 20 June.
Owners of Slide, Warren Alsopp and Nerys Bannister, shared their story with #LRS, including the outpouring of support they’ve had from the customers they’ve built up since they opened their doors in 2017.
“We took the decision to shut our physical shop before lockdown and once lockdown was announced we took our shop offline while we figured out how to operate safely,” wrote Nerys.
“We’re loading our second-hand collection onto the Slide website, when previously we’d kept it in-store only. Partly because we loved some of those gems being a secret between us and our customers to discover in the racks.
“But also because getting it all online looked like a faff. COVID-19 has proven that it is indeed a faff, but one Warren is undertaking with the minimum of grumbling.
“We miss chatting to our customers, learning about new records, great gigs, music history and even sometimes receiving veg from their allotments.
“We’ve cancelled events we were really excited about. However, we have been incredibly touched by the support we have had from our community.
“While we were closed customers bought gift vouchers, placed orders for when we re-opened and messaged just to see how we were doing.”
Love Record Stores (#LRS), is an initiative from the #loverecordstores campaign, which launched on 26 March to encourage music fans to shop online with their favourite record stores during the coronavirus lockdown.
Conceived as a way to allow artists to post supportive messages and videos on social media, it quickly achieved global momentum with some of the world’s biggest musicians backing the campaign.
The celebration of record stores will take place on 20 June, with Tim Burgess – former Charlatans’ frontman – as its ambassador.
A wide range of record labels have already pledged to make available exclusive, limited edition releases for #LRS.
Tim, who has become a lockdown hero thanks to his nightly ‘Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties’, has attracted a huge social media following, is a passionate advocate of independent record stores and the author of the acclaimed ‘Tim Book Two – Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco,’ an ode to record shopping.
Record Store Day has become an important fixture in the music retail calendar for UK record stores, labels and music fans alike, so it came as a real blow that the organisers have had no choice but to postpone this year’s event due to the continued Covid-19 crisis.
To ensure that this hugely important, annual opportunity to highlight the work of record stores remained active, the #loverecordstores campaign announced that it would step in and host #LRS.
Already confirmed are releases from: Oasis, Caribou, Belle and Sebastian, Arctic Monkeys, Beach House, Robyn, New Order, Jungle and John Grant with more to be announced.
To support #LRS a 24-hour, online party is being curated by Tim Burgess and the #loverecordstores team, including exclusive ‘at home’ performances, DJ sets, ‘virtual drinks’, Q&A’s, readings and much more.
Record labels taking part in #LRS are designing a range of exclusive T-shirts to be sold around the event with the proceeds going to Music Venue Trust’s #saveourvenues campaign.
Tim Burgess said, “The idea of what we would do without physical record shops has been a question we’ve asked in the past, but now it’s looking more possible than ever and we need to do whatever we can to help.
“Record shops are like drop in therapy centres for me – there’s a calmness, a familiarity and a sense of belonging that I don’t feel in many other places.
“A chance to talk with like-minded people – and maybe be reminded that you didn’t know as much about music as you thought you did.
“Like an animal threatened with extinction – we need to organise ourselves to try and stop it happening. Record shops have been good to me since I first ever spent time on my own – they’ve been good to us, let’s do what we can to help.”
Jason Rackham, UK Managing Director at [PIAS] and a co-founder of the #lovefrecordstores campaign said, “Together we are curating an amazing day featuring dozens of fantastic, exclusive record releases from some of the world’s best labels and most loved artists, alongside a 24-hour party, which will be a lot of fun and will provide music fans with the motivation and opportunity to support independent record stores who really need our help at the moment.
“We are also delighted to be able to partner with Music Venue Trust to support their #saveourvenues campaign.”