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Record Store Day a smash hit for Market Drayton shop

An independent Shropshire record store owner has celebrated an 'unbelievable' turnout from people coming together to mark Record Store Day.

Steven Ball with Steve Van Niekerk and Natalie Kelsey of Nastee Chapel
Steven Ball with Steve Van Niekerk and Natalie Kelsey of Nastee Chapel

It comes as more than 260 independent record shops across the UK turned out on Saturday to sell special vinyl releases made exclusively for the day.

Steven Ball, from Queen Street Records in Market Drayton, took part in the event, which included live entertainment from performers including Audlem group Nastee Chapel.

"Saturday was an unbelievable turnout," Steve said. "It was crazy and went beyond expectations. We reached our target within an hour of opening."

People were queuing outside the shop before it opened at 9am, with a few dedicated buyers camping outside the store from 5am.

Record Store Day was set up in 2007 as a way to celebrate independently owned records stores across the globe, giving people the opportunity to purchase exclusives not available on online streaming sites.

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Steven said that a new single by Taylor Swift was the most popular purchase because young people love her work, which got a lot of young buyers involved with Record Store Day.

There were a mix of genres on offer, including unknown artists who released exclusive records and a Blondie EP on offer for superfans.

"Every store in the network reported that it was very good for all of them. It was one of the best events they have had." Steven added.

A modern folk duo from Cheshire came down to Market Drayton for the day to perform for the occasion, rehashing medieval songs into modern folk which captured the attention of passers by.

"It's not your normal Oasis cover, so people were stopping and watching. They noticed who we were and stopped for a mooch," Steven said.

Queen Street Records owner Steven Ball with Steve Van Niekerk and Natalie Kelsey from group Nastee Chapel

Queen Street Records also received support from organisers of The Rock and Bowl festival, based in Market Drayton, which runs in June.

According to the Entertainment Retailers' Association, UK vinyl sales in 2021 reached £135.6 million which was up 23.2 per cent on the previous year.

If the revival of vinyl records – currently in their 14th consecutive year of growth– continues this year then the physical format will overtake CD sales, which saw a 3.9 per cent sale decrease in 2021.

Steven said: "The demand for physical media is rising each year and we are going backwards in that sense."

Steven believes the reason for this repeated growth in physical media is because having a record allows buyers to feel as though they are honouring the artist.

Not only do enthusiasts say there a better quality of sound from vinyl, but it is also bigger he said, which means people can mount the record on their wall as a piece of art to display.

People from various locations, including Shrewsbury, North Wales and Chester, came to the store in Market Drayton to search for exclusives they could not find at their local independent store.

Steven said that he received a call from one person who wanted to travel up from London to purchase a specific exclusive and was planning on visiting family in the town at the same time.

During lockdown, Steven had been selling records online when he saw a gap in the area for an independent record store and decided to open to the community in July 2021.

Steven hopes that the next record day to be held on June 18 will be bigger and better and has encouraged stores around Queen Street in Market Drayton to get involved.

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