Thursday, March 31, 2016

Avalanche swept away

In Episode 2 of Sounding Bored, in the course of celebrating Glasgow's musical legacy, we briefly considered why (by contrast) Edinburgh has historically punched significantly below its weight. I mentioned that few of the Scottish capital's venues have much renown beyond the city limits (unlike Glasgow's), but that it does at least have a fine independent record shop - so it's a real shame to learn that Avalanche is to close.

Manager Kevin Buckle has blamed a perfect storm of factors for putting pressure on Avalanche and squeezing them out of the market: competition from HMV and Fopp, who are able to overstock with vinyl; the PledgeMusic model, through which fans help to fund albums before they're even released; labels (including indie labels supposedly sympathetic to independent record shops) offering deals and incentives to fans, sometimes including exclusive early access to new albums; bands selling their records directly through their own websites; Record Store Day, which arguably now works against independents more than it helps.

Presumably other record shops are suffering from the same variety of factors - here's hoping that the likes of Spillers are somehow better able to withstand them.

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