MUSIC might be more accessible than ever thanks to online streaming but that has not stopped the return of vinyl.

For many young people in Brighton, records used to be a relic.

They were something to embarrass your dad with when you found his old collection of Japan vinyl in the attic.

But now youngsters are the driving force behind increasing record sales, which reached a 25-year high in the UK last year.

Digging around a record store has become an experience in itself for many Brighton students as they discover old gems and new releases.

Graham Jones, author of The Vinyl Revival And The Shops That Made It Happen, called the city “the best place to go record shopping”.

“Brighton’s an independent place, it has always supported independent businesses,” he said.

“People realise that high streets are mostly the same everywhere so it’s vital to keep independent shops going.”

One such indie store is Cult Hero, a beloved shop in Brighton Place.

Owner Frank Taylor said the collectible aspect of vinyl has entranced the city’s population.

“They’re similar to hardback books. It’s the difference between buying wine at a specialist and getting it at a supermarket,” the 33-year-old said.

“When I was 21, I’d never seen a record before and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

“Records weren’t really popular for a lot of the 90s and 2000s.

“Now younger people are having that experience too.”

The revival has certainly not gone unnoticed by big chains.

HMV in Churchill Square stocks plenty of records, while online shops such as Amazon are popular vinyl marketplaces.

But Frank, who lives in Seven Dials, said independent stores did not feel threatened.

He said: “We’re not a massive company, we’re just making sure we have the best experience in our shop and doing what no one else is doing.

“We’re just doing what we love so we can pay the bills. There’s competition in every industry.”

Author Graham agreed. “The problem is big shops are cashing in on the hard work independent shops have done,” he said.

“Just three years ago, one in two records were bought in independent shops. Now it’s just one in four.

“But I think Record Store Day has made people love independent shops.

“Before then, the only queues I ever saw in record shops were for closing down sales.”

Al Berwick, 76, has been around for many of those closures.

He has worked at Wax Factor in Trafalgar Street since its opening in the early 80s. It is still going strong today

Al has not seen a huge rise in customers, but has noticed more young clientele.

“Brighton’s quite a good town, but it’s still not as popular as the halcyon days of the 80s,” he said.

“On a Saturday then it was packed, sometimes you couldn’t let anyone in the door.

“Young people have everything on their phones now, but more have been coming in.

“They realise old vinyl sounds better than the new stuff.

“There’s just something about picking up a vinyl record and admiring its cover art.”

Al found many younger listeners are harking back to old hits.

He said: “A lot of the kids are into 60s stuff, actually.

“If you’re buying old records it can get quite expensive, but spending £50 on a record is something to be proud of. Vinyl’s never really gone away.

“But I think the only thing that could bring it back properly is the return of proper 50s’ rock and roll.”

Al said online shopping pales in comparison to the record shop experience.

“You can just talk to customers, I know all of them so I know what to recommend,” he said.

“Say you’re interested in the 60s, I’ll recommend you The Doors.

“First I’ll say their greatest hits and then if you like that, their best albums.

“You don’t get that online.”

Zak Walker, who works at the Record Album in Terminus Street, was of a similar mind.

The 42-year-old said listening to vinyl is a more memorable experience for younger people.

“A lot of older people come in here and buy vinyl because it’s all they’ve ever known.

“My son gets around an iPod with his friends and they just skip from track to track.

“But now younger people are getting into it too.

“It’s nicer doing things the old way.”

Zak, originally from North London, said the insecurity of digital music has driven vinyl sales.

“There’s a lot of insecurity about digital music and whether it will last, so it’s nice to have something physical.

“You can never really own a song if it’s on Spotify.”

Despite streaming services allowing listeners to take their music anywhere, it appears the lost art of sitting down and enjoying a vinyl record may not be dead.

Author Graham said: “Everyone can name the first record they bought, but not many can say the first track they streamed.

“Listening to vinyl as an experience, you sit down, you get the lyric sheet out, and you read.”

And it is not just listeners who agree with Graham’s sentiment.

He said: “When I interviewed Nick Mason from Pink Floyd, he said streaming music was like a teabag, but listening to vinyl is like a Japanese tea party.

“Every time you’ll go for the tea party.

“I spoke to Johnny Marr, he said when you listened to vinyl you remember the whole experience, you remember the songs, you remember turning it over.

“When you stream music, you might remember the odd song.”

Despite high street shops suffering due to online shopping, it is clear convenience is not everything for customers. Sitting down and enjoying a good record may originate from a bygone era, but it certainly has not lost its lustre.