Julian and I arrived at the shop at 8am, a healthy throng of people had already formed a queue and by the looks of things, they were COLD…. We were granted early access to the shop to grab some pictures of the fabulous range of RSD exclusives that DRIFT had managed to secure, I eyeballed a few items which I knew would quickly fly off the shelves, these included a White Stripes John Peel Sessions double LP and the soundtrack to the new Star Wars film (The Force Awakens) by John Williams on a lovely looking 10” Picture Disc, there were MANY MANY more....
Having covered the event at DRIFT for the past few years, it was interesting to chat to customers in the queue and find out where they had come from and just what Record Store Day means to them. We came armed with goodies, fruit juice, water and of course, 3 mega sized packs of chocolate digestive biscuits, these did a great job of filling the bellies of those who had been queueing since 5am and also gave me a lead in to chat to them (win on my part!). Jenny from DRIFT was walking the line with freshly made tea so all in all, I think we did a great job of keeping spirits up!
Here are some comments from the various people that we spoke to in the long and winding queue;
Where have you travelled from today?
St Austell in Cornwall (I left at 3:30am)
Exeter (Martian record shop has closed....)
Saltash in Cornwall
Plymouth (many had come from here)
Just over the road….(literally 20 metres away from the shop!)
What do you like most about the DRIFT record shop?
Its location is great, lots of parking, easily accessible, great range of items and friendly staff!
They always manage to get loads of the more hard to find exclusives in on Record Store Day and other shops I have visited in the past only seem to get hold of a couple of each so I know that despite not being first in line, I still stand a good chance of getting hold of what I am after.
I don’t know what it is about the shop, the whole vibe is really nice, it’s chilled out, laid back, I guess we are in Totnes but even so, you don’t get that feeling in other record shops, it certainly stands out as one of the best I have ever been in!
I come from Cornwall and since the Plymouth shop shut down there was nowhere else for me to go so I often pop up to Totnes to see what they have on their racks and take time to chat to the staff who clearly know their onions when it comes to recommending great music, I don’t think I’ve ever had duff advice!
What are you particularly after this year?
The White Stripes John Peel double LP (many had this on their hit-lists!)
Ian Brown - Solarized
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - El Mexicano (The Reflex La Revolucion Remixes)
AIR - Casanova 70
The Slits - I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Star Wars - The Force Awakens
Nothing really, I just want to have a browse
MUSE Reapers 7” picture disc with the fold out drone….
Is this your first Record Store Day?
It’s the first in Totnes but I have attended 3 in Plymouth in past years
Yes, I guess I’m a Record Store Day virgin!
I’m proud to say that I have been coming to DRIFT in Totnes for the past 5 years
I’ve been to loads, I used to live in London so it’s nice to not have to queue up from 4pm the day before!
Do you think that Record Store Day should be more often than once a year?
Hmmm, I guess it depends, on one hand, it would be great to see it happen more often but I guess having it once a year makes it that more special. If it were every 3 months or half yearly, I'd have any money!
No, it’s fine as it is!
I love it but it’s not cheap, places always seem to charge a lot more for the items and it seems to have gone a lot more commercial the past couple of years but all in all, I still support it and I love the build up to the day!
I think having it annually is just right, it’s like a second Christmas for fans of vinyl!
Definitely only once a year, any more often and I would be skint, I’m still paying off the credit card from last year!
Having it any more than once a year would take away the exclusivity of the event so no, I think it should stay as an annual event
Why do you think vinyl is making such a strong comeback?
Good question, I guess it’s because you can actually hold the record, read the notes, look at the artwork you can’t do any of those with an MP3!
I think it’s coming out of it’s ‘Hipster’ phase and I think that people are starting to tire of digital music, having an item in your hands is a lot better, you can marvel at the artwork and it’s just a great thing to own and collect
I’ve always collected vinyl and I guess for me it never has made a comeback as it’s always been a part of my life. It’s great to see so many youngsters buying it these days, long may it continue!
For me, it’s a ritual, selecting a disc, getting it out of the sleeve, putting it on the platter, giving it a brush to remove any dust, dropping the needle onto the groove and away you go…..it’s a magical feeling that I just cannot emulate with any other format, CD’s are good but there is no warmth, they’re far too clinical, too perfect (if that makes sense?)
My father has a massive collection of vinyl and he gave me a record player for my 14th birthday and since then, I have bought records instead of CD’s. All of my friends think I am mad and always make fun of me but I know it sounds a lot better than a CD and I’ll always make a point of sitting down to listen to it.
I guess it’s a combination of things for me, it’s a very collectable format and it looks good, I love the artwork and have been known in the past to buy it simply because of the cover art, I have records that I have never listened to, I just love flicking through them and looking at the covers!
Describe Record Store Day in just three words
Fun, Exciting, Expensive
Early, Interesting, Tiring
Very, Very, Expensive
Best, Day, Ever
Fascinating, Popular, Friendly
A, Bun, Fight
Cold, tired, hungry!
Others said that they really looked forward to the day, the build up to it, the release of the list of exclusives and not knowing what you’re going to find when you first step in the door of your local independent record shop!
We finished chatting a few minutes before the doors opened and took our place to grab some pictures as the first dozen or so were allowed into the shop to fill their arms and empty their bank accounts!
As I thought, the White Stripes records went in about 30 seconds, followed closely by the Star Wars picture discs! There were so many lovely exclusives on display, I think that people were having to do 2-3 passes of the entire shop before lining up to pay for their spoils at the till.
We left soon after we snapped a few of the people that we spoke to in the line as they were making their way out of the shop with their new found treasure, judging by the length of the queue that was now snaking its way around the store, it was going to be another fantastic Record Store Day at the DRIFT record shop in Totnes.
We'd like to extend a big THANK YOU to Rupert, Jenny and Matt who allowed us into the store early to grab some snaps of the stock, we'll be back in again soon!
To see ALL the pictures that we took at DRIFT, please click HERE
Words by Steve Muscutt
Pictures by Julian Baird