IN terms of milestones, 33-and-a-third is as good as any for a record shop.
So a timely celebration is being held this month for South Yorkshire’s remaining independent store that continues to be run at Broomhill by Barry Everard.
Local musicians whose work has been promoted at Record Collector in Manchester Road are being contacted to join the evening at The Greystones pub in Greystones Road on September 29 when Barry will be guest of honour. A DJ will play songs by some of his favourite performers.
It’s recognition of Record Collector’s position at the heart of the local music scene since being opened by Barry 33-and-a-third years ago and its continuing role in offering a hugely eclectic range of styles, from Ella Fitzgerald to Captain Beefheart.
The shop was a launchpad for Def Leppard and, as well as stocking large quantities of new and secondhand CDs and vinyl, has seen performances by the likes of Billy Bragg and Martin Simpson and offered fans the chance to meet local artists such as Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley.
The shop flies a lone flag after competition from the internet and supermarket giants has seen most independent operators close.
“It’s a celebration of the shop,” said Mike Pidgeon, operations manager at The Greystones. “Barry is dedicated to keeping the independent record shop going despite the years of adversity.
“When he mentioned the anniversary was coming up, I said I wasn’t going to let it go by without it being recognised. He’ll be guest of honour as a thank you for supporting the music scene. He always supports events here and comes to a lot of them.”
Barry said: “I feel very touched and honoured. It’s always gratifying that there are people who care about what you are doing, despite all the changes in the industry. People still care about record shops.
“Thirty three-and-a-third is almost a working life and obviously there is the reference to the long-playing gramophone record, so it’s an appropriate milestone for a record shop.”
Barry added: “For everybody in record shops it isn’t easy but we are proud to be the last ‘proper’ record shop in South Yorkshire.
“We are attracting people from other towns and cities that used to have record shops and don’t any more.
“The business will go on. I put a lot into it and, deep down, a city the size of Sheffield needs this type of shop.
“It would be a very sad day if it wasn’t here.”
Barry also praises the way The Greystones has quickly established itself as a venue for many types of music, especially after the closure of The Boardwalk in Snig Hill.
“It’s my favourite venue. The ambience, acoustics and beer are exceptional. You can take a risk on somebody you don’t know and often you are pleasantly surprised.”
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