Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oldest record shop in world to close?

'The shopfront (left) is unassuming, the inside rather scruffy, but Spillers Records has been firing the dreams of aspiring rock stars - and aficionados happy to remain just fans - for generations. Before they made it the Manic Street Preachers busked outside, while Cerys Matthews of Catatonia and the Super Furry Animals browsed the indie racks in search of inspiration. Enthusiastic collectors knew that if they needed a gold-coloured vinyl version of a Stone Roses single, a rare punk album or a cutting edge bit of electronica that the staff at Virgin had never heard of, then Spillers in Cardiff, believed to be the oldest record shop in the world still trading, was the place to go.

But to the deep concern of record enthusiasts, ranging from the cream of the Cool Cymru mob to the spottiest teenager holed up in his bedroom with his precious sounds, Spillers Records (est 1894) is under threat. Spillers has been told that it is not going to be able to afford the rent the landlord will demand when two big shopping developments opposite and next to the shop open. When the rent rises owner Nick Todd, who has worked at the shop for 31 years, says the shop will be lost.

Its possible disappearance has created shock waves not just among Cardiff musos but also among many who would not know their house music from their jungle. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition demanding that it be saved and calling on its landlords, the developers Helical Bar, to acknowledge that Spillers ought to be saved. Half of the members of the Welsh assembly have put their names to a separate statement supporting the shop, and Cadw, which promotes the conservation of Wales's historic buildings and landscapes, has been asked to help.

The
Manic Street Preachers put out a statement, saying: "Spillers was a lifeline, it gave us our musical education. The only record shop in Wales where we could find the music that made us who we are." Columbia Records, which bills itself as the oldest label in the world, has asked its British artists such as the Zutons and the Coral to sign the petition, and a gig to raise awareness is planned.'

More bad news from today's Guardian. But I wonder if, as well as asking their artists to sign a petition, Columbia Records are going to give Spillers the same terms as Amazon.co.uk?

Now take An Overgrown Path to find out about Tower Records - the lessons that must be learnt. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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