Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series of Cardiff with her second and final article on the Cardiff music scene in the run up to Record Store Day 2015.
Strategically positioned at the top-end of the High Street in Cardiff, Retro-Vibe Music can be identified by its bright orange and black fascia. There’s a mosaic of record covers on the shop windows, which reassuringly confirms that they sell vinyl. Approaching their bold shop front you would never guess that they hadn’t been there long.
In fact they opened their doors in Cardiff a few months ago, having moved from Barry, where the business started in 2012. The shop, a hit in its original location, quickly out-grew its premises. Hence owners Claire Richards and Mark Owen made the decision to move to a more central location where they can really showcase their vinyl.
Having only recently heard of this shop, I decided to pay them a visit. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. They have a whole basement full of vinyl, and, as I have a life-long love of spinning discs, that’s where I headed first. I was amazed by how much space there is for records both old and new. They stock a wide range of artists and have something for everyone.
Although underground, the space is light and airy. There are comfy sofas to chill out on while listening to the music on the turntable hi-fi system and memorabilia to feast your eyes upon. They also have plans for sound booths for customers to listen to records, a really great idea to engage customers.
While I was in there, I chatted to Claire Williams, one of the owners who very happily provided me with a potted history of their business. She enthused about how she had come into possession of a gramophone record and a whole load of 78s, which she decided to sell on. This led to a thriving business in gramophone records, from which she and her business partner, Mark, branched into other formats and eventually into their business as it is today. Indeed it’s encouraging to see new businesses arriving in what has proven to be a challenging time for the music industry.
Involvement in Record Store Day 2015
The team behind Retro-Vinyl Music are clearly very passionate about the autonomy of the independent record business. Along with Spillers Records, they have signed up to the Record Store Day Pledge to supply Official Record Store Day releases to customers on a first come, first served basis. Their doors open earlier than usual, at 8:00 in the morning, especially for the occasion. Supplies of special releases are limited so it’s best to turn up early if you’re after something specific.
As well as the official releases, they also plan to have live acts perform on the day, billings yet to be confirmed.
Other Events in Cardiff for Record Store Day
Kellys Records, while not officially signed up for Record Store Day, will be providing customers with generous discounts on many of their records for the occasion. They are also hosting a huge party, after hours, at 10 Feet Tall which promises to be an ‘All Vinyl, All Night’ extravaganza. The party starts at 6:00 in the evening and continues until 2:00 in the morning. Full details of the event can be found here:
If you’ve never been to Kellys, they are well worth a visit. Situated on the upper floor of the Cardiff Indoor Market, they are an Aladdin’s Cave of vinyl, among other formats, and have an amazing collection of memorabilia from yesterday. You have to visit to take your selfie with the Elvis statuette, if nothing else!
You can find out more information about Retro-Vibe Music here:
You can find information about Kellys Records here:
More information on Record Store Day 2015, including official releases, can be found here:
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all at Record Store Day in a couple of week’s time!