Record Store Day 2019: Southbound Records

Record Store Day 2019: Southbound Records

In chic and shabby bricks & mortar shops around the globe, this Saturday, April 13, is going to be marked as Record Store Day 2019. Here in NZ, Auckland’s Southbound Records has been embracing the RSD concept for several years, and ahead of what will no doubt be a busy weekend, NZM talked with Jeffrey Stothers, co-owner and public face of Southbound Records since its inception in 2011.

How did you come to be owning a music retail store in Auckland in the 21st century?

I have been in the music business for over 35 years – starting in retail at HMV in London through to head buyer for the company.

After my days at HMV, I started my own music promotions company that I ran with my wife, Lisa for several years in London, before moving back to NZ to start Southbound Distribution in 2002. We opened Southbound Records in 2011. Of the many things I have done in the music industry, I always really wanted to own my own record store!

What makes Southbound Records special in terms of its music selection?

We have the largest range of new vinyl in New Zealand!

What have you got planned in-store on Record Store Day this Saturday, April 13?

Southbound Records will be packed to the rafters with crate diggers, music lovers, vinyl buffs and people just out enjoying the atmosphere!

This year Southbound has 95bFM broadcasting live from 8-11am, followed by bFM DJs in-store all afternoon.

As part of creating a “great place to hang”, we like to offer our customers some free good old fashioned home baking and great coffee to with it. Discounts all day, free music related gifts, and without a doubt, the best selection of RSD exclusive releases from around the world.

Are there any new releases around April 13 that you’re particularly excited for?

I’m looking forward to The Redskins – ‘Bringing It Down’ 10” and the Bingo Hand Job, (REM) ‘Live at the Borderline in London 1991’ – I was at that gig – one of the best!

How does each Record Store Day benefit the shop longer-term do you think?

It definitely does attract new customers. Hopefully, this means that they see what a vast range of product we stock and it entices them back at a future date. Each year’s RSD has grown increasingly more popular. It has been so exciting to arrive early on a Saturday to find people queuing in anticipation outside the doors! We keep them fuelled with free coffee and cakes and have a day full of people who really love to dig through the crates and find rare gems.

Are the Record Store Day customers different to your usuals? Do they buy different music?

We have a large range of customers who frequent our shop and a lot of them have specific releases they are searching for on RSD. And then we have the customers on the day, who just like to come into a record shop to buy “something”. We see a large cross-section of titles purchased on the day from classics to chart and across all genres – and really this is what it’s all about – getting people off the internet and into their local record shops!

We follow the ethos of RSD – first come first served, in-store purchases only and have fun!

Can you identify any particular trends in buying habits that have emerged in, say, the last 12 months?

Currently the new Modern Jazz scene seems to be well followed here in NZ and gaining recognition here especially on vinyl, particularly the new London jazz artists and labels (eg: Jazz Re:freshed, Gearbox, Shabaka Hutchings, Binker & Moses, Nubya Garcia, Theon Cross, Ruby Rushton to name a few!)

We’ve also noticed a trend towards “walk-in” customers for new releases on vinyl (as opposed to pre-orders). We even have customers who are enjoying purchasing vinyl for the day when they finally do own a turntable!”