Just for the record - vinyl in Sheffield is not dead

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ONCE there were several in every town and city - but today it may be thought record shops are all but played out.

The digital age and cheap downloads could be believed to have vanquished vinyl to the history books.

But a revolution is taking place, as a growing army of music lovers turn their backs on the internet to seek out the last remaining independents.

And in Sheffield music fans from around Britain arrived in their hundreds to besiege a tiny, well-stocked shop which has become a vinyl collectors’ paradise.

Record Collector on Fulwood Road, Broomhill, was opened 34 years ago by Barry Everard.

Today it is one of a handful of stores which has survived the download revolution.

Saturday celebrated Record Store Day with little shops like Barry’s stocking a series of limited edition singles, LPs and CDs to mark the occasion.

And at Record Collector the queues started to form well before the scheduled opening time of 9am.

First in line was punk-loving Pete Onion.

The 47-year-old joiner from Foxhill had arrived at midnight on Friday to secure pole position.

“I’m after a limited edition pressing of God Save the Queen,” he said. “And I understand there’s a Cure set to be had.”

But Pete certainly had no intention of listening to his purchases should he be lucky enough to acquire them.

“Play them? Are you joking?” he said. “These records aren’t for playing - they’re for collecting.”

Unemployed Andy Hoben, 21, walked all the way from Halfway to get to the shop six hours before opening time.

“I set off about midnight and got here for 3am. There were no buses,” he said.

“I’m after Starman by David Bowie, and yes, I’ll play it. In fact I’ll play it until it wears out!

“It has to be vinyl for me, it just sounds so much better.

“Digitalised music loses its sharpened edge, it’s just not the same.”

Joe Harris, 26, an events organiser from Pitsmoor, was third next in line. He is into electronic music - but insists it must be delivered to the ears via vinyl.

“It’s more tangible,”

he says. “It’s something

real, something of your

own you can touch and

feel.

“There’s the record, the sleeve, the artwork - you get nothing like that when you download music on a computer.”

By opening time the queue stretched back as far as Nile Street - and shop owner Barry was a happy man.

“Is vinyl hot?” he said. “You bet it is. Take the temperature by the size of that queue.

“These people come from all around the country, they have to.

“If you go north the nearest other shop of this type is in Leeds, if you go south it’s Leicester, and if you go west is Manchester.

“The nearest one if you head east is in Amsterdam.”