John Meagher - Loaded: Frission for Record Store Day
Record Store Day – the international initiative that seeks to highlight all that's good about the independent record shop – arrives tomorrow with some added frisson.
A publicist for Tower Records – who recently relocated to a beautiful store on Dublin's Dawson Street – has been quoted complaining about HMV's decision to reopen on Grafton Street tomorrow with a vinyl-sale "record store celebration" which, she intimates, is essentially piggy-backing onto Record Store Day.
The irony of Tower Records – now Irish owned, but once part of the global chain – complaining about the new, burgeoning HMV was not lost on a true independent Dublin store, The Record Spot/RAGE on Fade Street, who posted some choice comments on its Facebook page over the weekend: "Neither of these stores should be participating. Both of them are/were chains/franchises and both of them aren't your typical independent record shop. It's Record Store Day, not Media Department Store Day."
The Record Spot certainly has a point, although I can't help but feel that there is something to celebrate about the fact that record stores of all hues are still with us – and some are doing well.
Of course, the picture isn't rosy for everyone and there will be much sadness that Elastic Witch, the independent record store that opened in the multi-use space at Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, in 2011, will close this weekend.
* Since its inception in 2008, Record Store Day has been enthusiastically supported by musicians both here and abroad. And this year is no different with Delorentos, in particular, really getting into the spirit of things by bringing out a special acoustic album that features four brand new songs. It's limited to 147 copies and they're bound to go out the door quickly. The Dublin quartet will be releasing a new album later this year.
* The Saturdays – the also-ran English girl group who include Tipperary's Una Healy in their line up – could find themselves in contravention with the Trade Descriptions Act. They will be calling at the Olympia, Dublin, on September 17 for their Greatest Hits tour. Somebody should remind the ladies that they have had a grand total of zero top five singles in Ireland.
Their albums haven't fared terribly well either: 2010's Headlines limped to number 10 here while 2011's On the Radar managed a pitiful placing of 43.
The simple truth is this quintet aren't capable of holding the candle to girlbands like All Saints and Sugababes. And it's not just a snobbish music critic saying that – they public have voted with their purses too.
Day & Night