About A Slice of Vinyl
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
Music has always been a part of my life. I started playing drums in secondary school and then went on to study popular music in college, drumming in cover bands and spending weekends playing in grubby pubs covered in years of pasted posters over the walls. It was great!
When I left college, I did not know what I wanted to do but still kept music in the background. My stepdad is a massive vinyl freak, so I feel like I was subconsciously pushed towards vinyl. Before ASOV began I found myself in a job I hated – I wanted to see what I could do working for myself, so I started a local market stall monthly.
With the help of good friends and family karting 100’s of records to our town centre on a Saturday morning, I got started selling vinyl. I realised I needed to open a store once the monthly stalls became fortnightly, then weekly and finally twice a week. I knew the demand for good music was there! I quit my job and went into it full time and have not looked back since. I always struggled getting up in the morning in my 9 to 5 office job, but I can honestly say that is not a problem anymore. Being able to share music from all over the world from my little shop is pretty special.
A Slice of Vinyl is a big believer in you listening to whatever you want to listen to. There is a big stigma I find in collecting that you only listen to the classics Led Zep or Black Sabbath. We champion music that makes you smile from Little Mix all the way through to Latin Grooves. I believe that because of this we are really lucky to have such a great customer base who listen and collect all types of music. There’s no shame at ASOV, Spice Girls on the turn table followed by Jimi Hendrix is a common occurrence!
We are just starting to get into the local music scene, which is so exciting. Covid has made it pretty difficult, but we are starting to plan instore sessions for local acts in the hope to start at the end of the year. One of our favourite local acts is a guy called Bea Curtis who’s in the process of completing his first album. Local music is something we are really excited about and can’t wait to get the ball rolling with instore events.
I own and run A Slice Of Vinyl as a family business, my kids love helping out and it’s a dream showing them what you can achieve when you’re passionate about your job. Louisa, our sales assistant, joined us just after she completed work experience with us around two years ago and she hasn’t left since! She is brilliant with our customers and has a great understanding of new music.
All of our customers have developed into friends, we have an online ASOV community where everyone can share their buys, wants and what they’re listening to. It opens great conversations and introduces different music types to even our hard-core music fans.
Our first sale was Paul Simon, Graceland and our last was Madness, Rise and Fall, a recent re-issue. Our most memorable sales have been a first press of Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Land that left the racks as quick as it went in and most recently Pink Floyd, Dark Side of The Moon with the solid blue triangle on the label- we had two come in within weeks of each other.
We didn’t really have any decent record shops in my hometown while I was growing up, there used to me a Virgin shop which I absolutely loved going into looking through the CD’s and cassette tape singles. When I was a teenager, it was all about digging through the charity shops and car boot sales. My music taste has always been all over the place and I put this down to my Mum, Dad and Stepdad they all listened to such different types of music, and I loved it all.
There is a great shop in Wales called Swansea Bay Records, based inside an indoor market. They have always got a great selection and you can get completely lost in their racks.
One of my favourite record store experiences had to be when we visited Zappa Records in Amsterdam, hands down just being there was an experience. There were wall to wall racks and I could have spent days digging.
Our first ever RSD drop was this year and I’ve never been so happy. People queued round the corner straight down the high street to get in. It was just so fantastic to see everyone and see those smiles when they managed to pick up the titles they’d queued hours for.
First gig, Motorhead Portsmouth Guildhall
The Hungry Caterpillar, the little scamp is always so hungry.
Tom Petty – Running Down A Dream
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Motorhead – Over Kill
Futureheads – Hounds Of Love
Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missles
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
David Bowie – Lets Dance
The Darkness – Girlfriend
Tom Petty, The Hives, Bruce Springsteen, Flights Of Concords, Futureheads and Motorhead.
Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever