Downloads might be the way millions of us take our music these days, but rather than decrease, vinyl sales are actually on the up.
Seemingly, there are still lots of people – City Nights among them – who want to engage with our music in a tactile way.
We like the process of playing a slice of vinyl, like the artwork and quite enjoy sitting back with a mug if tea while soaking up the sleeve notes, thanks very much.
Still, when it comes to music stores in Milton Keynes, you’ll hardly run yourself ragged finding them all.
Chart-retailer HMV is sitting tight in thecentre:mk of course, and the Oxfam store in Olney takes its music seriously.
But until recently, that’s been your lot.
A far cry from when record shops were in every town.
But in Bletchley, one store is doin g its bit to redress the balance.
Bulldog Records offers quality second hand vinyl, and its petite premises are well stocked, with everything from Candlemass to Cleo Laine!
It is a treasure trove for vinyl junkies in need of a fix.
“I have always been a music fan, which then progressed to collector and then I became obsessive going to car boots and record fairs,” says owner David O’Shea, who runs the store with partner in tunes, Eddie Silvestor.
“We do sell DVDs and CDs too,” David admits, “You have to have your finger in every pie. But the drive behind the shop is vinyl and the feedback has been encouraging.” Neither Dave nor Eddie are new to the industry, and with a typically old school attitude, they’ll do their best to connect their customer with a much sought after release.
“We have contacts, and plenty of stock elsewhere, so ask us,” David invites.
“We’ll do our utmost to help someone lay their hands on something...”
David’s love of the humble record began when he was a youngster.
“I grew up during the early seventies with prog rock –bands like Genesis and Yes.
“It was the music I loved, but it was also the covers, the artwork, all of it...”
Indeed youcould say that Yes had a detrimental effect on his schooling: “I used to spend hours in the classroom ignoring lessons and trying to draw the Yes logo properly,” he admitted.
Dave’s own personal record collection is now estimated to be around the 4000 mark – down dramatically from the 10,000 discs he once owned.
He has forced himself to downsize and be selective in order to keep his passion undercontrol.
Trawl around any number of charity shops and seek out their vinyl box and there are some names that crop up again and again though, from Abba and Neil Diamond to those Top of the Pops compilations.
“...and albums by the likes of Jim Reeves and James Last,” David says.
“They are usually in immaculate condition too!”
FIND IT: Bulldog Music, 140 Queensway, Bletchley, MK2 2AA
The store opensMonday to Saturday, 9.30am-5pm daily.
> Vinyl Junkies might also be interested to know the monthly Moments in Wax sessions are still going strong, but have moved venue from The Buszy in CMK to The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton.
The bad news is you’ve missed this month’s session – which was last night.
The good news?
MIW returns for more tune spinning and disc dissecting on October 1.
Entry is free and City Nights will give you a timely reminder...