Sunday, 20 January 2019
His Master's Voice silenced
My local HMV, in Gloucester's King's Walk, is on the verge of closing ( originally scheduled to close 19/01 but now delayed by a week ) so I got myself down there for probably the last time yesterday and picked up the musical beauties you can see above.
HMV was the last "record shop" standing in Gloucester after the demise of Virgin, Fopp and Our Price ( who remembers them? ) as well as a few indie shops that never lasted long. ( Well, we've still got a CEX but their stock is mostly games and DVDs with only a very few, second-hand CDs. ) It was only a matter of time, of course, with the onslaught from the internet destroying many high street shops over the last decade or so. The HMV chain itself had been in a similarly precarious position about six years ago but was streamlined and pulled through. But now I suspect this may be the last time, to misquote the Rolling Stones.
The closing of this store ( and possibly others, I'm not quite sure ) is a shame for old school collectors of music and movies. Sure, you can buy just about anything on the net, and certainly at a better price, but nothing beats wandering around a record shop, discovering interesting new stuff, spotting old favourites, getting advice from the staff, meeting up with friends... it's an experience that seems to be on the brink of extinction. For my final haul of music I went for a few faves I previously only owned on vinyl ( Metallica, Anthrax, Stevie Wonder... and who ever thought they'd be mentioned in the same breath? ), some albums I've always meant to buy but never got round to ( Small Faces, Kinks, Vangelis, NWA ), and a couple of jazz albums as a kind of mystery purchase ( Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane. ) Certain musical genres like Blues, Jazz and Folk will definitely be hard to find without actual record shops around to feature them. You won't find them in Tesco, that's for sure.
So, farewell then, HMV Gloucester, you'll be missed.
Soundtrack: Blade Runner Soundtrack by Vangelis