Vinyl back in vogue


April 27, 2012

On April 21, independent record shops around the world celebrated Record Store Day by hosting local musicians in a global celebration of vinyl culture.

Record Store Day began in America as a way to recognise the contribution that local, independently-owned record shops made to music scenes everywhere.

WAMI award winner Timothy Nelson plays an impromptu set.

It has now become an annual event, with too many stores taking part to accurately count.

According to the Official Charts Company, vinyl sales rose 40 per cent between 2010 and 2011, driven by the sale of albums by artists such as Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and Bon Iver.

Owner and creative director of Fat Shan Records, Chris Healing, said all the record stores in Perth tried to support each other, as no two shops were exactly alike.

He said stores such as 78 Records and Dada Records all had a role to play in supporting local music.

Local singer and songwriter Amanda Merdzan said the influence that people like Mr Healing were having on the local music scene was invaluable.

“With downloading, it seems the connection between the artist and the fan is lost,” Merdzan said.

“World Record Store day for me feels like it’s doing its part to restore that connection and maintain a sense of community.”

Fat Shan Records has been running in Perth for the past 12 months. It has a recording studio,and sells locally handmade jewelry, pre-loved clothing and new and second-hand vinyl.

This year Fat Shan hosted acts such as Big Old Bears, Our Man in Berlin and Emily Barker in an effort to acknowledge Perth’s local music scene.

Fat Shan Records has a large selection of vinyl.

Mr Healing said the talent of local musicians was huge, with a wide range of venues regularly hosting live acts but for the most part going largely unnoticed.

“People whinge about Perth being boring, and that Melbourne is the place to be, or Sydney, but if you go out here there is so much good live music,” he said.

Merdzan applauded Fat Shans for its support of local music.

“The only CDs they stock are those of local artists, and they are doing something brand new in the Perth scene by hosting regular gigs in-store,” she said.

Mr Healing said an international music download day would never take off, whereas buying vinyl was an experience.

“You have something physical you can hold onto,” he said.

“You can put it on and you just listen to the whole thing, and with a lot of older records that’s the way they were meant to be.”

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