Thank you, Vinyl Hub.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll have one guaranteed port of call when you arrive at a new holiday destination. Yes, fellow vinyl heads, you’ll be gagging to check out the local record stores. That’s a lot of Googling, right?
Wrong! There is, in fact, now a Google Maps tool that aims to catalogue every single record store in the entire world. The ongoing, crowd-sourced initiative Vinyl Hub, a website from the creators of Discogs (the place where your da buys all his cheap vinyl), intends to connect record buyers with shops owners and people who do fun and good things like organise record fairs. You, conscientious reader, are welcome to log in and add new stores to the interactive map.
It’s far from complete – according to the map, there are currently two record stores in Australia. I’ll own up here and admit that I’ve never been to Australia, but if it turns out that they have only two record stores to cater to the 25 million people that live there, I’ll eat my cork hat.
Anyway, there’s no coincidence that this initiative has recently been launched. Interest in vinyl has been swelling recently (despite the rise of streaming platforms) with UK sales of the format having hit a 25-year high. 3.2 vinyl records were sold in the UK last year, up a whopping 53% from the previous year. In fact, punters are going potty for vinyl that Record Store Day has muscled in on some Black Friday action this year, hoping that the likes of Gorillaz picture discs and red vinyl releases of The Kills’ ‘Black Rooster EP’ would cause you to part with your cash.
Well, Black Friday and Record Store Day are all well and good, but for some us vinyl is a lifestyle, yeah? I’ll see you in the shop that, according to the Google Maps tool, is currently Goa’s only record store.