Record Store Day Liverpool – Probe Records and 3Beat

Posted on 17 April 2011
By Richard Lewis
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Probe Records boasted a queue more than 100 deep, with similar scenes outside 3Beat Records, the online campaign for this year’s Record Store Day galvanizing the record-buying public into a vinyl frenzy.

The venerable Probe Records, stockists of Liverpool’s finest sounds since 1971, now housed in the Bluecoat opened half an hour early at 9am to cope with demand.

By early afternoon the racks were heavily depleted, the oil screen projections swirling around the shop passing over the latest releases by The Strokes, Gruff Rhys and Deerhoof, modern classics like Screamadelica and The Smiths debut, nestling comfortably alongside vintage LPs by Link Wray and The Bryds.

Shop manager Bob said the store was “twice as busy as normal” by mid-afternoon. “It’s been non-stop, exciting – but we haven’t had a chance to breathe, let alone listen to any of the exclusive releases”.

A certain band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire romped home in those stakes though. The 12” of Radiohead’s Super Collider/The Butcher flew out of the shop, Bob adding they had sold out the 30 copies within half an hour.

The Arctic Monkeys 7” white label and Miles Kane one-off must also be mentioned in dispatches for making brisk business.

A quick dash up to 3B Records on Slater Street found proprietors Jemmy and Thomas in extremely good spirits, having shifted armfuls of records within the first hour of trading. “This is the first year 3B have done it,” Jemmy explains, “we weren’t expecting this kind of demand” he grins.

With 3B specialising with dance music, the shop took on releases beyond their usual remit for the day. “We’ve got four left” Jemmy states, gesturing towards the decimated racks of exclusives on the wall.

A vintage Jimi Hendrix re-release was a strong seller, along with dust-offs of classics from Nirvana, New Order, analogue aficionados The White Stripes and reclusive auteur Kate Bush.

A box set of Nu-Rave 7” singles from the Ed Banger label, containing exclusives from the likes of The Klaxons also sold fast. The shop is hoping to put on in-store events next year, similar to Rough Trade in London and Piccadilly in Manchester, after the resounding success of this year’s debut.

All the evidence suggests that rumours of vinyl’s demise in the digital age have been greatly exaggerated as Record Store Day celebrated its biggest year yet.

Mp3 may have supplanted the CD in many people’s affections, yet music lovers’ relationship with vinyl almost a century since it burst into life continues to endure.

Vinyl fans we applaud your efforts and urge you to support your local record shop beyond Record Store Day…