Why Record Store Day Matters

Saturday (April 17) is Record Store Day. Here, Editors bassist Russell Leetch explains why his band are getting behind it

A record store is a place for pleasurable self-discovery. As I’m in a busy touring band I always try and find the local independent stores in places we visit, whether it‘s Reckless Records in Chicago, Wall Of Sound in Seattle or Monorail in Glasgow. The main problem is transporting all these records home – but I can’t help it. I’m addicted to music discovery.

Coming from Birmingham, the Polar Bear record store in Kings Heath is my favourite store when I’m in the UK. I can talk to Steve the owner about all types of different music. If you were to say something broad like “give me something dark and heavy”, he’ll recommend something you’ve never heard of, and it’s guaranteed to be good.


If it wasn’t for Polar Bear I would have never known about the wonderful Soul Jazz label, the first Burial record the week it was released.

It’s from chatting to the owner of an independent store in Charleston, South Carolina, called 525, that I picked up ‘Micro Phonies’ by Cabaret Voltaire, which went on to be a big influence on the latest Editors album.

These stores are still incredibly important. It’s sad to see them closing. Around the time of this year’s Record Store Day, Tempest Records, a shop with 37 years of trading behind it, specializing in dance music, will be closing its doors for the final time. This is solely due to not enough income from sales.

Petitions or lobbying support won’t help it stay open – record shops need continual support from music buyers, and sadly that grass-roots support is diminishing.

To support Record Store Day we’re very happy to be releasing a track called ‘Last Day’ that was very close to being on the latest Editors LP. It’s a 1000 copy, limited edition release.

For the fans that do manage to buy it, hopefully it will be a small treasure. But it’s not just about our band – this is an important cause that affects us all, and it’s worth getting behind. If record stores are to survive, people need to rediscover the habit of buying music.