Banquet Records opened its doors on Saturday to the Kingston community to celebrate Record Store Day, an annual event to encourage shopping at Britain’s independent music stores.
Vinyl lovers waited patiently outside in a queue that stretched back over 100 metres. Some had been there since Friday morning.
They were eager to snap up special edition albums and rare reissues that had been pressed especially for the 12th annual Record Store Day.
The store had to bring in almost its full squad of staff to deal with the exceptional level of business which was up ten per cent from 2018.
Owner Jon Tolley explained why he believes more people are buying vinyl: “I think it’s an immediate turning away from life in 2019, from consumerism, from digital, from everything now.
“It’s important to celebrate an album, a work of art, as it was intended to be listened to. The concept of playing a record in full, from one to twelve, to actually having to be involved in it, having an emotional connection with the physical product.
“It’s not just about an algorithm or a stream, it’s about owning something to have and to hold forever.”
A rare special edition Rega turntable was on sale for £299; only 500 had been manufactured especially for Record Store Day with one in five decks supplied with an envelope containing prizes including rare signed posters, record tokens and Mercury Concert tickets.
Vinyl sales were at a low of 210,000 units in 2007 and in ten years they have exponentially shot up to 4.1 million units, according to statistics from the British Phonographic Industry.
Banquet Records in its adjacent shop held five gigs to celebrate with musical performances by John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett, Tom Speight, Mellah, Adam French and Miss World.
Speaking after the event Tolley said: “It was really good. We were 10 per cent up on the year before, which is quite a big thing. But it’s not just about the finances it’s about the vibe and the advert for the rest of the year. It was a success in all those ways.”