Chichester’s hottest new music shop creates a destination for vinyl aficionados.
There’s a music revolution in progress. Despite the advancement of technology, vinyl is seeing a strong resurgence with the latest figures showing sales topping the four million mark in the UK over the last year.
Craig Crane is the owner of Chichester’s newest vinyl shop, Analogue October Records, and his passion for it is clear for all to see and a key ingredient to his businesses growing success.
He describes the return of vinyl as the ‘valley of comfort’, citing album artwork and the inclusion of lyrics as key selling points.
Spotify is ‘dispensable and generic’ according to Craig, arguing you can learn a lot about a person from their record collection.
He said: “It’s a sound track to peoples lives, an extension of your personality”.
The shop’s name came from Craig’s bid to first switch off from technology four years ago.
He said: “I made the decision to experiment for a month and to just exist on records and tapes.
“It turned into something completely out of the blue”.
Off the back of his analogue month Craig spotted a niche for an independent vinyl shop based in Chichester and Analogue October Records was born.
The appeal of vinyl lies in its tactility according to Craig. He says it offers an analogue window into your memories not offered by an impersonal streaming service.
He maintains that you learn nothing from people’s online playlists ‘other than the fact that they know how to click a mouse’.
Analogue October Records caters to all genres, stocking everything from punk to soul to pop with customers from all demographics and is ‘like a sanctuary for music lovers’.
It’s popularity is shown by the fact that Friday is new release day and the shop often sees customers queuing out the door clamouring to buy the latest albums.
Craig comes from a visual effects background in the film industry and appreciates the value your environment adds to the experience.
The minute you step across the threshold you’re welcomed into a musical nirvana with albums from every conceivable style and bar stools to relax on as you listen to the turntables on demo.
Craig’s passion not only extends to his customers, with his daughter helping in the shop in any spare time not taken up by her role as studio manager for Craig’s visual effects company.
His infectious enthusiasm is as compelling as his records and it’s easy to see why, despite opening only 7 months ago, he’s already secured a strong customer base in what he calls ‘everyone’s shop’.
It’s clear to see the next generation of vinyl users is in safe hands. Craig regularly sees students come into the shop after school and his ‘tea maker extraodinaire’ Steph, 15, was offered the job having become a regular customer while waiting for her school bus.
In a world of instant gratification perhaps the routine of playing a vinyl record is the key to its success.
Being able to focus entirely on playing the record, dropping the needle and listening it as the artist intended with no track skipping is an exercise in mindfulness.
Maybe this is why music lovers are switching back from a digital world, to an analogue experience.