Making noise for records day in Sheffield

Joe Blanchard who has opened Bear Tree Records in Orchard Square as vinyl makes a comeback
Picture Dean Atkins
Joe Blanchard who has opened Bear Tree Records in Orchard Square as vinyl makes a comeback Picture Dean Atkins
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Music enthusiasts across Sheffield are out in force for an annual celebration of independent record shops.

This year’s Record Store Day is today, and along with the usual purchases of exclusive releases on vinyl, a host of other events are happening, from link-ups with pubs and cafés to live performances by bands.

It is now eight years since the first organised involvement in the day took place in the UK.

Since then sales of LPs have soared, as listeners return to buying physical releases in an age of downloads.

Martin Black, who opened Spinning Discs on Chesterfield Road, Meersbrook, 12 months ago, said he thought the yearly celebration was ‘a good thing’.

“Last year we hadn’t been open long enough to do the full Record Store Day, but this year we’re really going for it.”

Activities at Spinning Discs are running from 9.30am to 5.30pm. As well as free live music at the nearby wearefolk.space, food and drink is being supplied by neighbours The Bhaji Shop and The Tramshed.

Sculptor Simon Kent is also making a street art contribution.

The shop is part of the Antiques Quarter, and Martin is also trying to promote a ‘vinyl triangle’, alongside Abbeydale Road’s Fear of Music and Below. He maintains after-work opening hours and offers filter coffee for a ‘brew and browse’ experience.

The vinyl revival is ‘here to stay’, Martin added.

“It’s great that record companies are recognising you can have the best of both worlds - often there is a download code with the vinyl, or a CD.”

Meanwhile, in Orchard Square, Bear Tree Records owner Joe Blanchard is running a ‘blind buy’ fundraiser for St Luke’s Hospice and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

A select number of items and bundles priced £15 are being given randomly to customers, with all of the proceeds going to the good causes.

Treats include signed records by Richard Hawley, Drenge and Roisin Murphy.

Elsewhere in the city centre, LP Records on Arundel Street is opening from 9am, followed by a free evening gig at The Washington from 8pm.

Tonearm Vinyl, on South Road, Walkley, has linked up with the Walkley Beer Company for a free day of events from 10am to 5pm.

There will be in-store DJ sets and raffle draws, bottled and cask beers on sale, and live music.

Record Collector in Broomhill - where hundreds of people have queued outside in recent years - has an event at the Bath Hotel in the city centre from midday, while Vinyl Demand in Charter Square and Record Junkee, on Cambridge Street, are also involved.