The life and death of Brighton and Hove’s record shops is being marked in a cult film.
Brighton’s Rounder Records turned off its turntables after more than 46 years earlier this year.
The fate of Rounder – and thousands more independent record shops – has been documented in the film Last Shop Standing.
In the 1980s there were more than 2,000 independent record shops in Britain. By 2009 there were just 169 left.
Musicians including Norman Cook, Paul Weller, Richard Hawley and Billy Bragg were interviewed about the effect of independent record shops on their careers for the film.
Norman, known as DJ Fatboy Slim, was filmed in the former Brighton Square establishment during its last weeks of trading.
He said: “I think people who really are passionate about music like the fact that there are independent record shops with people in them who know what they are talking about.”
Last shop standing
His weekly trip to the record shop was a major part of his childhood.
“I used to go there every Saturday morning, as soon as I got my pocket money,” he said.
Rounder owner Phil Barton said the store had been losing money for five years and he could no longer continue to battle against illegal downloaders, big online retailers and the recession.
When he announced the shop’s closure in June he said: “There are cities bigger than Brighton that don’t have any independent record stores at all so the people in Brighton are very lucky.”
Another Brighton record shop, Borderline in Gardner Street, also appears in the film.
Owner David Minns described the lure of working in a record shop.
He said: “We used to say it beats working.”
Inspired by the book by Graham Jones, Last Shop Standing looks at why nearly 2,000 record shops have already disappeared across the UK.
The film charts the rapid rise of record shops in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the influence of the chart, the underhand deals, the demise of vinyl and the rise of the CD as well as new technologies.
It also looks at the future for record shops with the continuing rise of downloading.
A special screening of Last Shop Standing will be shown at the Cinecity Festival at the Basement on Saturday at 3.30pm.
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