It’s set to be a rather brilliant 24 hours next Saturday (21st) as the country celebrates its annual Record Store Day. Previous ones here in Liverpool have been small, but fun: we enjoyed trawling through the selection of special RSD releases in Probe and the general sense of giving a bit of a middle finger to iTunes and its dirty, filthy digital ways.

Record Store Day’s meant as a reminder that record shops are not only vital to music fans, but to a city’s cultural offering. That they’re exciting, curious places to lurk and discover ace new things, regardless or your age or how much money you’ve got to spend. That they don’t just cater to vinyl collecting nerds into obscure Iranian hip hop. They’re for everyone.

This year Liverpool’s stepping up a notch, as Wolstenholme Creative Space is playing host to a huge record and zine fair here in the city. They’re flogging stuff from some of the best independent record companies in the world: Warp, Bella Union and Jagjaguwar nestle up alongside vital local labels like Upitup and Lancashire & Somerset.

HIVE Collective DJs will be on hand to provide a soundtrack throughout the day, and Bold Street Coffee will be brewing up too. There’s also a bar if you’ve never experienced the joys of boozing and shopping (we’re probably still banned from Dixons after our last attempt).

Once the fair’s done and dusted, the Creative Space are also screening ‘Sound It Out’, a brilliant and ever-so-slightly moving documentary following Teeside’s last remaining vinyl record shop.

Bido Lito and Payper Tiger Records are joining in, too – ‘GAME THEORY’ is an uber-limited cassette compilation featuring contributions and rarities by the region’s best artists: a quick glance reveals Bill Ryder-Jones, Clinic, Mugstar, The Wild Eyes, The Loud, Forest Swords and a slew of others. It’ll set you back £7 (and you can pre-order it here just in case), but in return you also get a fiver voucher to spend at Probe, 3Beat or The Music Consortium. Amazing idea, right? They’re also throwing a launch party bash – info below.

As well as stocking the GAME THEORY release, the above record shops will naturally be joining in, offering up special RSD releases available only in bricks ‘n’ mortar record shops (view the full list here) and welcoming a new influx of shoppers to poke and grope their way through racks and shelves of delight.

News From Nowhere, just down from the Music Consortium, will also be hosting live performances and doing some special RSD-friendly offers on their music stock, a nicely curated selection of world, jazz and folk.

All the shops and events are within walking distance, so make sure you’re part of it.

Record Store Day
21st April

Wolstenholme Creative Space Record & Zine Fair
WCS, Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool
10am – 6pm, Free entry

+ ‘Sound It Out’ screening
6pm, £5 adv/£6

‘GAME THEORY’ launch party w/ Death At Sea, Owls* & The Wild Eyes
Mello Mello, Liverpool

– Image: Judith Turner

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