For years I have only read about the experience and bought my RSD records online as, for various reasons, I have never actually been to a record shop on Record Store Day itself.
This year I decided to change that. I set my alarm for dawn on Saturday April 21st, jumped up and grabbed my record bag and headed for Feel the Groove in Paisley, Scotland.
Rounding the corner to the shop I was greeted by a long queue of eager record hunters snaking into the lane by the side of the shop and out of sight. Immediately I was struck by all the smiles. Everyone was sharing stories of previous record store days, comparing want lists and crossing fingers they could get their records.
At the very front of the queue was Michael from Paisley who had a want list as long as your arm. He had been queuing for hours to secure his place at the front. He wanted to make sure he would secure a copy of the U2 picture disc. Little did he know he was to receive a nice surprise later.
Behind him was Derek who had travelled all the way up from Prestwick to secure the Alarm EP. He has been coming to this shop for six years now as he really likes the friendly welcome he receives.
I then headed into the shop to help with the final prep before the doors opened. I was met by a very excited owner, Gavin Simpson, and his team organising boxes of RSD releases to make serving the queue as slick an experience as possible.
Before they could begin there was the aforementioned surprise in store for Michael at the front of the queue. Every year the people behind RSD send out a mystery record to all participating shops to be handed to the customer at the front of the queue. Gavin took an opportunity to step outside to chat to the queue and present a very surprised Michael with his gift.
Then it was time to get underway. The doors opened and the first two customers of the day walked to the counter (want lists in their outstretched arms). Being front of the queue Michael was fortunate enough to get everything on his list. Records from U2 to Suede from Led Zeppelin to Erasure were pulled from boxes and shelves and placed in his special RSD Tote Bag.
Derek was equally as fortunate missing only two titles from his list. As he walked away clutching his tote bag of records you could tell he was heading home to start spinning them immediately.
I was reminded of the emotional power of music halfway through the queue when Lorraine from Paisley bounded up to the counter and asked for a copy of the Ocean Colour Scene album. Upon being told they still had a copy she immediately started crying with relief. She has loved the band for many years and she was certain the record would sell out before she got in the shop. It was great to see that record going to someone who was going to go home and play it loud and love it!
It was wonderful seeing all the faces that had so patiently peered in the window for so long slowly but surely come in and, on the whole, walk away with what they had come for. People like Jamie from Paisley, so chuffed to get his Courteeners album and Mark from Gourock over the moon with his Arcade Fire EP.
My experience of Record Store Day was a wholly positive one. There was a real community vibe among the shoppers as we all discussed the records on offer and what we all wanted.
A massive thank you to Gavin, Trish and all the team at Feel the Groove for the massive welcome and letting us have a look behind the scenes at Record Store Day 2018. Enjoy a few more photos from the day below.