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Revolving vinyl set to amplify Whanganui nightlife in one-night-only event

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Record Store Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22. Photo / 123rf

The nostalgia of vinyl records, record players and their pure sound quality have kept the record industry alive for almost 150 years.

Record Store Day is celebrated worldwide every year, with an event to mark the occasion being held in Whanganui today.

“There’s nothing like owning a physical piece of music,” Herb’s Mobile Record Store owner Benjamin James said.

“Records are sometimes worth loads of money and are able to be re-spun and sold to keen customers.”

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There’s nothing like owning a physical piece of music.

Herb’s Mobile Record Store Owner, Benjamin James
Record Store Day will be celebrated in Drews Ave today.
Record Store Day will be celebrated in Drews Ave today.

James will bring his mobile store from Wellington for the Whanganui celebration.

“Myself and my bright blue mobile van turned mobile record store, will be on Drews Ave, opening at 11am for customers and passersby wanting to come and check it out,” James said.

Ron Fisher owns Vinyl Room at 3 Rutland St.
Ron Fisher owns Vinyl Room at 3 Rutland St.

He and Whanganui’s Vinyl Room owner Ron Fisher are joining forces to bring sounds and sell records to like-minded vinyl lovers.

Fisher started selling second-hand records from crates at the Whanganui River Markets last summer, then in December opened Vinyl Room in Rutland St, the only independent record store in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

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He is soon to open a new, larger store in Victoria Ave.

“The ritual and appreciation of record music is what makes the listening experience so unique,” Fisher said.

“Digital music, like streaming apps, compress music – therefore the full experience of songs isn’t always heard.”

Appreciation of the music also led to appreciation of the equipment needed to play vinyl.

“Part of what we love is providing customers with advice on care and appreciation of the equipment, also the upkeep. It’s an intimate business that requires special, appreciated care,” James said.

Fisher said in an age of so many music options it was “nice to have a few personal, tailored collections of records where we can limit our sounds from time to time”.

Record Store Day is also about providing an “in-store” experience for customers.

Porridge Watson in Drews Ave will host an evening gig starting at 5pm, with entry by koha (donation). There will be a guest appearance by the Hineraiona crew and their Big Bada Boom Soundsystem.

The scene is set for Herb's Mobile Record Store to pull up and show its vinyl wares on Drews Ave. Photo / Bevan Conley
The scene is set for Herb’s Mobile Record Store to pull up and show its vinyl wares on Drews Ave. Photo / Bevan Conley

“Different record store owners I know open stores that each have their own unique style and niche of products they offer,” James said.

“There’s hardly any competition between stores and we’re all for the ownership of physical music, such as records.”

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James follows the demands of his social media followers. Where they want him, he goes.

“I buy and I sell for the store, I’ve been DJing for years under the name DJ Electica and I’m just letting people on Facebook kind of control where I go.”

James is no beginner when it comes to records – he owned Evil Genius in Christchurch and DeathRay record stores, but after the 2011 earthquake he decided to take his business on the road.

“I believe that the survival of our type of stores lies in the individuality of each owner and their store.

“The grand scheme of this idea is to travel round New Zealand and record artists that otherwise wouldn’t get recorded.”

  • This report was produced under the Public Interest Journalism initiative, funded by NZ on Air
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