Monday, June 11, 2007

Wrong side of the Tracks

We've just had an email from James Waterson, recording the loss of another indie music store:

"Just popped over to Track Records, a fairly large independent store that's provided the backbone of York's music scene for the past 30 years. It's the sort of place that gets in every seven inch released by any tiny label in the country, where they have great stocks of obscure 80s indie and 60s r'n'b - in short, just what every music fan needs. A local group could press up a few hundred records and sell the whole lot to likeminded souls, anyone could write a fanzine, leave on the counter and guarentee that it would be read and appreciated. What's more, the staff encourage such actions for the greater good of the scene.

But it doesn't count for anything when the sales decline combines with rising rents. Moved from its high street location to a position on the edge of the city centre Track has finally run out of cash and as of this week launched a fire sale with a view to shutting down its once successful mail order business and shop with the month. The staff are distraught - when one pondered "what am I going to do?" he clarified it by meaning "about getting music, never mind my job". They are genuine fans of music, always recommending releases and assisting start up record labels such as myself. Within a month they will cease to exist and head the way of Spillers et al as our indie stores are subsumed.

Afterwards I wandered down to Virgin/HMV on our highstreet, the only remaining music shops in York. Only the latter made an attempt to stock singles, proffering a half shelf's worth of battered White Stripes seven inches and top 10 CDs. Local bands don't get a look in while trendy adverts try to convince me to buy Credit Cards and 'Entertainment packages' for my HDTV. The album selection is wide, but you're unlikely to find The Fall's entire back catalogue nestling between Felt reissues and current underground indie pop, let alone with staff who will provide honest appraisals. I've often scoffed at those who bemoan the 'death of the music industry' and the end of alternative culture. Yet today York's slowly-reviving-post-Shed-Seven music scene has been irrevocably damaged. Almost all of my current music taste was informed by rarities grabbed from the shop during my teenage years and yet, were in the same postion now, it's a good half hour on the train to the nearest non-highest music shop. Quite frankly, I simply wouldn't bother."

James tells us that the shop has been replaced with a sandwich shop. They'd better be bloody brilliant sandwiches.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

shame. the decline of the music shop is really sad.

Spence said...

Track was indeed a great shop. RIP.

Helen said...

The Left Legged Pineapple is due to close on June 30th :( far Loughborough has lost Andy's Records, That Music Shop, Music Zone and now Left Legged. Was a really bright idea of the town planners to let Virgin Megastore move into the half-empty new shopping area hey?

Anonymous said...

"York's slowly-reviving-post-Shed-Seven music scene"

I'm assuming James doesn't get out much.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

I work at the Pineapple (or will until tomorrow). Loved the comments above, but I have to say that it would be Tescos arrival in town that truly sucked the commercial life out of the town centre, with record shops, especially susceptible to the pressures of the internet, being the first casualties.
Look around Loughborough, or indeed any town with a Tesco on it's periphery, and you'll see the same thing; long-established businesses closing and only being replaced with delis, hairdressers and other service-type industries.

For more information, please listen to Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors by Jello Biafra and DOA.

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