Monday, 23 April 2007

RIP Slough Record Centre



Despite moving away from my home town of Slough a decade ago to the slightly (ha!) more vibrant charms of Leeds, I'll still be mourning at the end of this month when my number one childhood haunt, the Slough Record Centre, closes its doors for the last time.

Pretty much the only even half-decent independent record shop for miles around, heaven only knows how much time I spent in there when I was young.

The earliest purchase I remember making in there was the Shakin' Stevens single 'Lipstick, Powder and Paint', but the shop would later give rise to my Crowded House and Fountains Of Wayne obsessions, among other things.

I popped in for the last time when I was down south at Easter, and overheard one of the staff telling a customer that the downturn in trade was all down to the internet. While this may be so, I can't help but think they didn't really try and do anything to combat it. A quick Google search suggests that they've never set up a website to try and diversify a bit (although is there actually a music scene in Slough you can, say, sell tickets for?) - the likes of Crash and Jumbo in Leeds are fantastic examples of how indie stores can exist and maybe even flourish in the current climate, but then Leeds has the student backbone that Slough doesn't.

Aside from one major rejig of its interior, the SRC still resembles something from the '70s, and I suspect a fair amount of the stock hasn't changed since then either.

As in my schooldays, my last visit focused on the bargain bin. I picked out some good stuff, including the Divine Comedy's 'Diva Lady' single, a Finn Brothers single I didn't have (yup, the b-side was probably the millionth live recording of 'Weather With You', but, you know, for the sake of completeness and all that...), and a very unexpected find in the shape of Sondre Lerche's 'Two Way Monologue EP'. I've been very much enjoying Mr Lerche's new album, so it was nice to get hold of some older stuff. Among the tracks is, aptly for this post, the excellent Days That Are Over.

Nice one SRC, and thanks.

MP3: Sondre Lerche - Days That Are Over

Buy the Two Way Monologue album from Amazon.co.uk...

...or, er, alternatively from your local record store!!!

11 comments:

jb said...

I remember this place from the early 70s. Bought a Faces album (or 2) there.

spencer said...

Any time a place like this goes - we should all shed tear. "Record" buying is so detached and impersonal these days - searching online, or going to a big-box store because of the price.

In the end I guess it's about the music and not where you get it - but it used to be an experience.

Shhaz Malik said...

Nice blog. I lived around the corner on Furnival Ave and spent quite a lot of my days after school flicking through the old vinyls, and then, in later days, the CDs. I now live in Herts, but it is still sad to see one what was once one of the top independent record stores in the Slough area disappear.

cavanfan said...

really sad spent my youth from 1972 to 1982 going their once a week at least to get my fix of 1950's rock n roll. One of the owners, Dave, had a passion for this music, so I was always broke as they always had loads of stuff I wanted. It was always busy with DJ's looking for the latest sounds and it was I recall a chart shop (ie the sales were recorded for BBC charts) so all sorts of odd people would be buying 10 copies of rubbishy singles to push it into the charts. I live in the West Country and the only place I can go to and browse for recoords/cd's now is Spillers in Cardiff. Use it before it too disappears and we are in downloading/internet hell. Remember the crackling noise when the record first broke free from the sleeve! And the notes on the run out left by engineers like Bob Jones? Can't download that!!!

Spence said...

I was round that way a couple of weekends back visiting family, and the SRC is now a beauty salon :(

Michael said...

I used to spend hours in that place. That was Slough's saving grace.

I buy everything online now, and I really miss browing through the shelves of places like that.

My other favourite was Revolution Records in Windsor (sadly also RIP)

Spence said...

I hear they've even closed the HMV now, so god only knows where anyone buys music in Slough these days...

Anonymous said...

My memories of the late night Friday opening and the buzz of everyone listen to tracks on albums. The staff were always helpful and seemed to know everything and every artist. It is an experience my kids will never have as the download from iTunes. The whole parade of shops was quite a mix including the shop selling guns and fishing equipment. I find it hard to believe it has gone but so much else has changed.

Spence said...

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about the fishing shop! What is it now?

Anonymous said...

i used to live in norfolk avenue, in my younger days, and the first record i bought there was pretty vacant on 7inch, i used to go there every fortnight, lol, good memories, good days

Tony said...

Slough Record Centre became mecca to me. When visting the UK I would make that trek from Slough Station, through the park, to that very special store where I spent so many hours of my life. I discovered the store in 1986 after it being recommended by my dad (who grew up in Slough). I remember thinking it wouldn't be any good if my dad was suggesting I go there, I was so wrong. I spent practically every lunch time there while I was at Slough College. Slough Record Centre made me a poor man, turned me into a social outcast, but somehow shaped my life into something better. To hear it had been closed down was sadening. Ah well, I guess I won't be making that trek anymore but the memories will always be with me.