This month’s Tips & Advice here are 10 Reasons why you should support your local independent record store.
1) They Support New Bands / Artists
Many independent retailers will support brand new artists and stock them in their stores, and push to their customers via mailers and instore plays and racking. This is crucial for any new band or artist trying to get going and starting out. Today’s new band could easily become tomorrow’s U2, Arcade Fire or Chemical Brothers.
2) They Support and Help to Promote New Labels
Indie stores are prepared to support new and interesting labels and stock all releases on their labels, and not just their more established artists. These labels are the ones taking the financial risks in signing new and exciting acts so need the support of independents to help them survive and nurture their artists.
3) Genre Specialists
Whatever genre of music you listen to, indie stores can be superb curators of a number of genres of music to help you find what you want and discover new music.
4) Excellent Curators of Music
Unlike bigger chain stores, indie stores will actually curate music for you and help you find new music. Staff will guide you across genres and help you decide what to buy, with expert staff and great bespoke write ups for titles online and instore. They’ll even show you where to start if unfamiliar with a selected genre and you just want to get started!
5) They Help Keep Prices Down
Indies will price music sensibly and competitively which helps promote competition amongst retailers and keep prices down for you the customer – which is good news for you!
6) They Support Local Bands & Instore PA Events
Indie stores will support local bands in your region by stocking their music and helping promote their shows. Essential when starting your own band!
Many will often go the extra mile and put on bands instore for PAs / live events, often for free free (or linked to album purchase) and almost always after hours. Stores like Banquet Records, Rough Trade, Sound Knowledge, Drift and Resident are excellent examples. This is a great way to discover new bands.
7) Record Store Day
You should all know about Record Store Day by now, but if you don’t where have you been?! For one day every year indie stores (and only indie stores) will stock hundreds of super special and limited vinyl releases from a whole host of bands and labels. Many indies also go the extra mile and lay on free coffee, bacon sarnies, instore DJs and bands on the day for you lovely lot – we strongly advise you queue early for this one whichever indie store you go to !
8) Exclusive Formats / Bonus music / Samplers / Posters / Giveaways
Indies will often offer exclusive formats such as limited coloured vinyl, exclusive 7” singles and CD samplers to offer with albums. A great bonus for you the customer!
9) Promoting Gigs
If you’re not sure what gigs are happening your indies will! They’ll promote local gigs in your area, which helps the local music scene thrive and flourish, and allows bands to keep touring / gigging and keep making music.
10) They’re run by passionate individuals that are lovely, friendly people
So there you go – 10 reasons to support your local indie record store!