Interviews, Record store visit

Original Forty Fivers interview Michael from Pebble Records, Eastbourne.

Pebble Records – The Basement, 14 Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN214RL

Original Forty Fivers caught up with Michael the owner of Pebbles Record to discuss how his passion for unobtainable records in the UK led to opening a store himself, his HiFi sales section and how the younger generation also appreciate vinyl.

How did the store come about?

The physical store has been here 3 years but it started 5 years before that with indie and new pop music. I found that I was buying all the things I wanted to buy from Sweden, a guy in Germany, and America, and not being able to buy it in the UK. So I just thought this is ridiculous so I started importing stuff myself, set up a website and thats how the shop started. That was running for 5 years and then I got inspired enough to get me to a point when I was like “You know what im going to do what I really want to do and open a shop” and the stock has broadened out as the shop opened.

You largely have new stock and a small section of second hand vinyl. What styles/genres do you have?

It really goes across the board so we have a good classic A-Z of pop rock and new releases. We do well with reggae, soul, funk, hip hop’s been really strong just because I think there has been so many good releases over the past few years. Even modern contemporary classical we do well with.

Record store Day 2017 is just around the corner. What do you have planned for it?

It is always a very busy day and we get here about 5.30/6am. On the day we have Pete Aster from The Weather Prophets coming in and yourself in the afternoon spinning some records and a couple of other things planned.

Is there any particular RSD releases you are looking forward to?

The ones I tend to look forward to are things like Proper Ornaments, TVP’s that I get excited about that very few other people do.


You also have a CD section, and turntable and HiFi’s next door.

When the shop opened people were coming in either getting their records back out or their turntables out of the loft and they would ask if we sell turntables. It became obvious very quickly that no one in town did so thats how that started. We are lucky that although it is deceptively small from the outside, inside we have an office that we turned into a HiFi room. We do Rega, Pro-Ject, Ruark are really good and a company called Totem as well for speakers.

How is the Eastbourne scene for vinyl as you are one of four stores? Do you find people come down to the town and do a tour.

It definitely helps all of us having more shops in the town and certainly for people out of the town it makes it worth coming to Eastbourne for a day of record shopping so its a good thing. I think the days really of just sitting in a shop waiting for customers to come through the door have gone and we sell on online platforms with our own website so we do work hard at it as you have to sell youself.

You hear in the news about vinyl outselling MP3. Is it just hype or is it moving in that direction?

When I was running the website there was a point probably 5 or 6 years ago when I suddenly noticed that where I was ordering ordering more CD’s than vinyl it just changed. You could see it changing over and more people were ordering vinyl instead. Sales go up every year. We are two and a half times busier than we were a couple of years ago. It really is picking up.

There is a lot of people 40 plus like myself who grew up buying vinyl who are so pleased to be able to carry on. There is also the new generation coming through. There was one guy came in whose parents had got their record collection out and he looked at me and said he had nothing like that and that he had nothing to show for all the money he had spent on digital music. The younger generation coming in buying vinyl do really get it and love it. There is a real connection with it like I remember where I buy records like i’m sure you do. I don’t think you have that with remembering where you were when you downloaded something on a set day. For a younger generation who have been brought up on digital music which is literally buying single tracks, actually sitting down, buying and listening to a whole album has been a revelation.

Thanks Michael and see you on RSD.

Interviews, Record store visit

Original Forty Fivers interview Ian from Coastal Records, Eastbourne.

Coastal records – Basement of Little Chelsea Antiques Emporium, 58 Grove Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4UD

Hidden in the basement of an antiques emporium, Coastal Records is run by music collector Ian and caters for all genres of music from the 1950’s to 1990’s. On our recent visit he told us about his passion for finding records, his ever changing stock and more.

When did you start Coastal Records?

I started it about a year ago. I was selling online for about 3 or 4 years before that. After 37 years of scaffolding my body gave up on my so I fell back on my passion which was always collecting records for years and years as a hobby and a collector.

Is there a particular style/genre you collected?

Soul music is my thing. I like all sorts and will listen to anything and everything. I like reggae, pop music which I originally grew up with etc.

In the store its all second hand vinyl?

Yes all second hand I don’t have any new vinyl. Right from the 50s through to the 90’s covering all music from jazz, progressive rock, reggae, soul, disco, 70’s pop and rock, rock and roll, 60’s beat. Pretty much all genres.Coastal records.jpg

You are quite a hidden record shop as you are in the basement of an antiques emporium. How do you get the name?

I came out with the name Coastal Records as it was quite fitting for Eastbourne. I started off here in the basement as I had run out of room for my records at home.

Did your missus kick you into a shop?

Yeah ha ha. I thought the time had come as I was sitting on so many records and although the internet is great, I had always wanted to live by the coast and run a record shop and it all fell together really.


How is the shop going?

Its ticking over. You know it was slow to start with because I’m not on street level. Over the last year more and more people have come. Once they find me if they are collectors its what they want, they tell their mates and its now a steady flow.

Are there quite a lot of collectors in Eastbourne?

With the resurgence of vinyl you’ve got people that have got back into it selling CDs and want it back on vinyl again. In the area there are people coming over from Brighton, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford. I have even got two Polish guys who come through and now they have found me they pick me up on their South Coast route that they cover. I’ve had quite a few down from London and Surrey. Quite a few collectors and dealers as well.

In terms of stock how often do you get records in?

Every week i’m putting 2-300 items out. Im buying a lot at the moment just to really stock the shop and use every available space.

Yes I noticed that as last time I was in you were just in one side of the basement and you have expanded across.


So when are you moving upstairs to take over from the antiques?

Ha ha yeah well I would like to go street level in a couple of years time. There is a few properties that would be quite suitable. The thing with second hand records is that you cant just go down to the warehouse and replace them. The search is endless and the few days that I am not open I’m constantly searching.

Is there a holy grail of a record that you are searching for?

Yeah there is a lot but I collect Northern Soul and its the rarest music and the prices are going silly. Selling records really doesn’t give me any buzz at all but finding records – thats really what I am all about. A lot of the things because they are American records I collect finding them is difficult. I used to regularly go to the states to find stuff but thats become too expensive and with the internet now its very hard to find bargains.

Thank you Ian.

Interviews, Record store visit

Original Forty Fivers interview Chris and Rhydd from Vinyl Frontier, Eastbourne.

Vinyl Frontier – 35 Grove Road, Eastbourne. East Sussex, BN21 4TT

Eastbourne’s biggest and longest running record shop, which takes its name from a play on words of Star Trek – the Final Frontier, is run by seasoned music enthusiasts Chris King and Rhyddian Pugh. On our recent visit to the shop they took time out to chat about the local scene, vinyl resurgence, Record Store Day, and the store itself.

How is the record shop scene in Eastbourne?

RP: Eastbourne actually funnily enough has more record shops that Rome according to an Italian customer. There are four shops in the town and we are the oldest having been here for 5 years, two of which have been here in the town centre. We sell new and used vinyl and have this cafe/bar where we put live events on as well.

What styles do you specialise in?

RP: Some stores tend to specialise in Americana, folk or whatever. We are very broad with new vinyl. We have over a 1000 units in the store which includes new releases, classic re-issues eg Beatles and Stones but every week we also put out stock of new and upcoming new bands.

CK: We discover things that we specifically like that are not going to be found in HMV etc. but it is still important now that HMV has closed down in the town to have mainstream whether you like them or not such as Adele, Rag & Bone Man etc specifically just to show its not an elitist clique shop which some record shops fall foul of. Anyone can walk into the shop and feel welcome of whatever age and hopefully find something that will appeal to them.


How do you feel about the vinyl resurgence and the recent reports about vinyl potentially outselling MP3?

CK: It’s very good but it gets slightly overblown. I mean it starts from so low down but its the best it’s been for 20 years and we cant knock that. To a certain extent it never really went away for people who really cared, DJ’s like yourselves and collectors who were always buying vinyl. But there is always now going to be a lot of people buying vinyl for the nostalgia and the warm sound. If it is modern digital music I don’t see any real reason to have it on vinyl but if its all the music recorded up to the 90’s on the old school equipment that is always going to sound better on vinyl. When it is for DJ’ing its never the same using modern technology I don’t think. Just for the feel of it holding a record and bringing another record in. You just don’t get that with CDJ’s.

RP: There is still quite a hype about it as we are now talking about vinyl making up 5% of music sales when 3 or 4 years ago it was only 0.5%. There is definitely a degree of hype hence why everyone wants a slice of the pie.

CK: Hence the supermarkets rushing in who have not been interested for years. People like Lidl and Music Magpie which have just got involved. Of course they find it difficult and don’t really know what they are doing and tend to stop it.

RP: We went to a local supermarket which will remain nameless..

CK: Sainsburys..

RP:…to do some mystery shopping. The first person we asked had no idea what records were and we tried to explain they were like CD’s but bigger. The second person said they didn’t stock records and the third person said I think there may be some nearthe DVD’s. You get there and its a cardboard rack of who’ who, of the top 10…

CK: …so its Guardians of the Galaxy, Amy, Dark Side of the Moon etc. I’d like to think that people come in because of the people in the shop and they get to know you and you can say to them “check this out”. You are never going to get that in a mainstream big shop. Back in the day that was one of the best things about going into a record shop and they would say “Oh Chris you are going to love this northern soul tune” – “Oh my god yeah”.

RP: Thats what we find here. People sit down and have a coffee and get to know each other finding out about gigs and common connections.

CK: Its a hub really and thats what I saw this as when we moved here as there isn’t that much going on in Eastbourne. I think its much better than it was and a lot of people who were moving to Brighton and Hastings are now coming here.

We have the 10th Record Store Day just around the corner on 22 April 2017. What have you got planned for it?

CK: We open at 8am but tend to let people slightly earlier if its cold to have a browse although we cant sell any records until 8am due to RSD rules. We then start selling and have the first live act about midday. 6 live bands, 2 DJ’s and close about 6.30pm. We always do an evening event and this year it is at the Dew Drop which includes yourself as one of our superstar DJ’s

Yes well I will pop in and play some 45s.

CK: We have got a lot of DJ’s coming down

So its 5 minutes each then?

CK: We may even start at 7pm and go on till 12.30am


Do you have a few more live acts in-store later in the year?

RP: We have a few things lined up. Every now and again we have a band playing in the shop and its generally around a record release or launch. The plan is in the medium to longer term to turn the basement into a music come arts venue.

CK: When I was booking RSD I contacted 20/30/40 bands all of which said they couldn’t do it but would play in the future. We have the Comet is coming who are like a UK Bad Bad Not Good. They are very keen to do it and they have an offshoot called Soca 96 who are also keen to do it.

RP: Bands like the sound of a small intimate venue.

CK: We have done a number of book launches and although they have never been that busy they have been very cool and people have enjoyed them. We had the guitarist from Faithless come down for his book launch and we are going to do that again and tie it in with a band or DJ.

RP: Calvin Johnson came down. John Durran did a book launch here.

CK: We are on the map and we seem to know a lot of people and its I think a very cool place to come and DJ or do an instore.

Thanks very much guys

RP/CK: Thank you and looking forward to your set.