Search

Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Editor’s comment: Why record shops are like newspapers

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 April 2017

Staff at Flashback on Essex Road from left Paul Cross, Stef Fiorendi, Liz Daw and Jimmy Martin. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Staff at Flashback on Essex Road from left Paul Cross, Stef Fiorendi, Liz Daw and Jimmy Martin. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Archant

Most of my free time and spare money has been swallowed up by record shops since I was about eight years old, so it’s a joy to read Flashback’s success story.

Those unlucky enough to have spoken to me in person over the last year will perhaps know that I recently had a book published about the Pet Shop Boys – one of many bands I discovered in the dusty racks of Kelly’s Records in Cardiff, the Music and Video Exchange in Notting Hill Gate (and, in those days, Camden and Soho), 10/15 in Bristol and the countless other stores around which I dragged my parents when I should really have been playing with the normal children outdoors.

Too many of the shops I visited in the early 2000s have closed down – victims of soaring rents, the sale and demolition of their buildings, or the fact their futures were so precarious no one wanted to take them over. In Islington alone, Haggle in Essex Road (a slightly masochistic expedition on account of the robust tone of the proprietor) is gone; so is Reckless in Upper Street, whose Soho namesake was among the first stores I went to in the capital some 15 or 16 years ago (and is thankfully still running).

The problems that face the record industry are very similar to those affecting newspapers: near-infinite competition available at the tap of a keyboard, a backlash against decades of easy sales and perhaps lazy products, and the challenges of monetising things that people can’t physically pick up for audiences that traditionally like to be able to do that (me included). But I also believe we can learn from Flashback’s enduring success: that people will back a business that is local, whose workers they know and trust, and that doesn’t rip them off. I hope those things are true of the Gazette (and I welcome feedback from people who believe they aren’t). In the meantime, I can’t wait for my next trip to Flashback.

Latest Islington Stories

11:30

A former police office and Stoke Newington RAF cadet is now serving his country in another way – after his call handling start-up app was given permission to be contracted by the government.

Yesterday, 20:06

A man in his 40s is in hospital after being stabbed in Stroud Green this morning.

Yesterday, 18:26

Middlesex’s James Harris grabbed five wickets on day one of his side’s County Championship match at Wantage Road as Northants ended on 332-8.

Yesterday, 16:02

Middlesex toiled in the afternoon session on day one of their County Championship match against Northants after Ricardo Vasconcelos hit an unbeaten century at Wantage Road.

Middlesex’s talented 19-year-old bowler – and former North Middlesex paceman – Ethan Bamber made his first class debut against Northants on Sunday during day one of their County Championship clash. Read Layth Yousif’s morning session report from Wantage Road on Sunday.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking after Chelsea beat the Gunners 3-2 in a frenetic London derby. Read on to learn waht he said about Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in his post-match press conference – and much more.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal centre-half Sokratis has said his side made it ‘too easy’ for Chelsea during the Gunners 3-2 defeat in the London derby at Chelsea on Saturday. Read on for what he had to say.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 in a breathless London derby after an 80th minute winner from Marcos Alonso sealed the victory for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues as Unai Emery suffered his second league defeat in two matches.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now