Living the vinyl dream
Stroud’s vinyl enthusiasts are rejoicing as a brand new record shop has opened its doors on Gloucester Street. Founded by two music-obsessed DJs, Sound Records boasts a huge selection of vinyl with prices starting as low as £1.
They also sell turntables, cleaning materials and record storage boxes, and they offer a professional record cleaning service to breathe new life into your old vinyl using a vacuum machine to suck dirt out of the grooves.
I stopped by for a chat with Tom Berry, one of the proprietors of Sound Records. Both he and business partner Sean are well known on the local music scene, having organised and DJed events for Stroud Valleys Artspace, Stroud Calling and Block Party. Both had dreamed of opening a record store and in March this year the dream became a reality.
Sharing the responsibility of running the shop frees up some of their time to travel looking for new stock, and they also buy second-hand record collections from the public.
“It’s amazing what you can find in someone’s attic.” Tom tells me. We want to offer a really good selection of genres – something for everyone – and with the shop being small we’ve priced everything low to encourage a fast turnover so there’s always something new on the shelves.
We’ve got everything from rock to soul to latin, jazz, dance, hip hop and much more. We actively stock female artists. Record shops have traditionally been very male dominated spaces. We’re keen to encourage more women to come in and browse. We want everyone to feel welcome.
“We’d like the shop to become a creative hub for musicians and music lovers to meet up and make connections with each other. “Perhaps in the future we’d even like to start up our own record label. We’ve already held several gigs in store where a local band will come in and play, and we livestream it on our facebook page. The last gig by Grasscourt was watched over 500 times online.
“We’ve only been open a couple of months but we’ve already made lots of new friends. People come in to chat about music and tell us about their bands. It’s a really cool little corner of town and an exciting time to be here with new businesses springing up. It’s a bit ironic that we’ve found ourselves right next door to the plastic-free shop (Loose) when we sell mostly plastic! We do try to be green though. Our bags are biodegradable at least! I think the real issue is cutting down on single-use plastics, whereas your vinyl collection is something you’ll love and treasure for ever.”