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Watko's Vinyl Revival

2nd May 2017

Watko's Vinyl Revival


A couple of Saturday's back it was national Record Store Day and although it's been running for 10 years the madness has finally reached Mansfield. 


In the past it was quite a trek to the nearest participating store but this time round I was determined to get involved and sample some of the magic.


This was made more manageble by the fact that Mansfield now has it's own independent record store,The Vinyl Lounge. The shop opened on Regent Street last year and has been going from strength to strength. 


It had been a long time since there was a indepentent record store in the town and it's arrival seems to have been embraced by local people, which has to be a good thing in a day an age when many shops in town centre's across the country are boarded up.


There wouldn't have been any empty shops in the days of Syd Booth's (the legendary Mansfield record store that always gets mentioned by listeners).  


So on Saturday April 22nd I made my way into town. 


In previous years I'd seen TV news reports that showed people camping outside of record shops up and down the country and although I didn't think things would be that hectic in Mansfield I still made a decision to get up as early as I could. 


Thank goodness I did because when I arrived on Regent Street I was surprised to find I wasn't at the front of the queue.  There were already about 15 eager people in front of me braving what was quite chilly morning. 


At that point I started to worry whether I would get what I wanted because participating stores only get a limited amount of each title. 


The shop eventually opened at 8 but during the wait the line grew and grew behind me. It was great to see so many had turned out to support the shop. Everyone had their own wish list of records and the anticiaption and excitement was palpable. 


There was lots of chatter about what everyone had come for and it was great to hear plenty of music stories being swapped as the crowd patiently waited to be let in. 


Eventually, I made it into the shop and was really pleased to pick up the records I wanted. If you're reguarly listener to my shows you'll know I'm a massive Beatles fan so I was chuffed to get a copy of the Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane double A side 45 reissue (50 years since it's original release) and I also managed to get my hands on a copy of a special much sort after David Bowie promo! 


I was only in the store for maybe a little bit more than a couple of mintues but when I walked out in to the cold Mansfield morning once again I had massive feeling euphroria, it was like I'd achieved something amazing. I'd conquered record store day, i'd stuck a flag in it's summit and I was going home triumphant!  


The funny thing is that I don't think I'll ever play the two records I bought. They are like relics, too precious to be used and should really be hermetically sealled in a glass cabinet in a museum somewhere. 


Actually If I'm honest I need to buy a new turntable.  Yes you read that correctly. I must be crazy, I'm buying vinyl that I never intend to play and on top of that I have nothing to play the plastic discs on anyway.  


Thinking about it a couple of weeks on now the dust has settled It was all about the thrill of the chase.  The whole experience was about trying to relive those heady days in the 1980s when I ventured out to buy my own records for the first time. Heading down to Revolver in the Four Seasons shopping centre and choosing something fantastic to take home.  


I think I captured abit of that feeling on Record Store Day this year and that buzz is still with me. 


It's a great to to see vinyl making such a massive come back, it's great to see a local shop doing so well (congratulations to Richard and his team) and it's great to see local people are still in love with their music. 

Click on the picture below for more of my blogs and shows.

Ian 'Watko' Watkins

Ian can be heard every weekday afternoon from 1pm to 6pm as well as on Sunday Afternoons from 1pm to 5pm

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