INDEPENDENT record shop Comet Records will close next month – but will re-emerge as a speciality online store.
Owner Brian O’Kelly says he aims to sell rare and collectible Irish releases on two websites in the near future. While those sites are being built, he is selling off his store stock for €4 or less per item in his Cope Street shop. He told Conor Pope in the Irish Times that the fate of record shops are sealed:
There is a whole generation who have never paid anything for music and I don’t know if they will ever be prepared to pay anything for music.
Comet is the latest in a long line of indie record shops that have bitten the dust in recent years. Plugd Records on Washington Street in Cork joined Synthetic Records, Vinyl Rooms and The Living Tradition all closed Leeside in the past few years. Galway lost Redlight Records, Zhivago and Mulligans while BPM Records in Wexford and Waterford closed their doors this month, saying:
It is the end of an era. The days of browsing through our music and DVD selections are not at an end. The future lies on the internet or in an aisle at your nearest multinational supermarket!
Dublin lost several independent record stores in recent times too, including Road Records and Freebird.
Richard Branson claimed last year that the last record store will close by 2020. Branson, who sold his chain of Virgin stores in 2007, told a BBC Radio 2 documentary:
Sadly the music store is something in the past. There may be one or two specialist stores that will survive for a few more years. But if you turn the clock forward ten years from now, I’d be surprised if there are any more music stores left in the world.
If you feel exercised by the closure of so many excellent indie record shops, keep an eye out for events in the upcoming Record Store Day on 16 April, an international celebration of independent record stores. Music blogger Nialler9 always gives a good rundown of the day’s live events and instore promotions: this was his round-up for last year’s celebration.