“Independent music shops are an unspoken backbone of culture. I’ve met so many people at places like this all over the country”.
For hundreds of years, humans have been enjoying music as a collective. Music defines the beat of our day, soundtracking our moods, our drives, and our lives. Studies tell us that “Music is a powerful tool that can bring individuals together and promote trust, empathy, and relief from stress” (Harvey, 2017).
Now that almost every song under the sun can fit into your pocket, people are returning back to analogue methods of listening to music. With a slow rise in popularity since the 2010’s, last year vinyl sales exceeded cd sales for the first time since 1988.
Saturday 22nd April is Record Store Day. Since 2008 it has celebrated independent record shops by releasing exclusive vinyls that can only be brought in-store. Ahead of Saturday’s festivities I ventured into Lucky’s record bar in Redruth and spoke to the owner Kev Downing, about his plans for Record Store Day and the music community in Redruth.
Lucky’s Record Bar feels like a catwalk lined by vinyl, with stock both new and old in the small shop there’s plenty of rummaging to be had. Kev has been a fan of music his entire life, playing the drums and performing during the 90’s, and now selling music for others to enjoy.
Kev has planned something special, opening Lucky’s early he will operate a one in one out system allowing customers to find their perfect record. From 12pm, not 30 steps away, The Oxford is hosting a dozen DJ sets. Ready for everyone to boogie away (hopefully in the sun) all afternoon.
‘All the people playing are people I’ve met through being in the record shop, they’re all people who have come into the shop that I’ve gotten to know over the last 18 months.’ Kev tells me, ‘Anyone can kind of DJ but seeing your friends do it then you get up and do it it’s a really nice community activity.’
He also hosts Redruth Record Club, a community led evening that asks attendees to bring a vinyl based on the theme and they listen, and dance, to them as a collective. The nights have been hosted in various venues in Redruth such as the art club and the railway pub, Kev also tells me that over the summer they hope to host one outside in the sunshine.
‘It’s just giving people something to do in Redruth the people of Redruth have really kind of taken to it we get some fantastic feedback. The Monday from last weekend we half a dozen ten people to come in to tell me how much they enjoyed it.’
Before Lucky’s Kev managed children’s services in Cornwall and has been a youth worker too. It’s natural that he now sees a music sharing community grow around him with his shop at the heart of it.
‘It’s just about doing things in Redruth same as the ladder getting things happening in Redruth.’