Sony artists back bid to save world's oldest record store

Opening in the era of music hall and phonograph cylinders, it has survived the birth - and decline - of vinyl, the arrival of picture discs, audio cassettes, the CD and the iPod, while witnessing musical trends from Gilbert and Sullivan to death metal and grindcore.

Spillers Records in the centre of Cardiff is officially acknowledged as the world's oldest music store by Guinness World Records. Now its future is uncertain - and some of the world's biggest stars are being asked to back a campaign to keep it open.

Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé and Justine Timberlake, are among artists being recruited to support a petition endorsed by Welsh groups including Manic Street Preachers and Super Furry Animals. More than 1,700 people have signed up so far. Spillers, opened in 1894, is the a combination of commercial pressures, the need of its present owner to sell up and the download revolution.

Its plight mirrors that of other independent record shops; in the past year Reckless Records in London has closed two of its shops; Reddingtons Rare Records in Birmingham has been forced to operate only online after more than 40 years, and Mole Jazz, in King's Cross has closed.

Nick Todd, who first worked in Spillers more than 30 years ago and has co-owned it for 21 years, is being forced to sell by next March as part of the divorce settlement with his wife, the other part-owner. "It is going to break my heart to sell it, but maybe it's time to move on anyway.''

The shop, which has a prime site in the city, is facing pressure to move from its landlord, the property company Helical Bar, which is anxious to redevelop the area for high street chains. The company says rents could increase 100 per cent unless the shop moves to a nearby arcade. Mr Todd is talking to prospective purchasers but concedes that the rent rises may be a deterrent.

Columbia Records, part of the Sony group and for which Dylan and the other stars record, was alerted to the plight of the shop by the Manic Street Preachers, two of whose members, Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield, used to busk outside Spillers in the 1980s. A statement, signed by Wire, Bradfield and fellow band member Sean Moore, says: "Spillers was a lifeline. It gave us our musical education - the only record shop in Wales where we could find music that made us who we are."

Jim Fletcher, marketing manager for Columbia said: "It has struck a real chord with us. We are the oldest record label in the world and they are the oldest record shop. I think the idea of going down the local record shop is something we can all identify with, in the same way as people like local bookshops.''

The petition, which will be delivered to the landlord, was started by Owen John Thomas, a Plaid Cymru member of the Welsh Assembly at the suggestion of his son and press officer, Hywel Thomas, who passes the shop every day on his way home.

Record survivors

* STEEL WHEELS, Vine Lane, Newcastle

Now more than a decade old, this shop is one of the best places in the country to buy indie, punk, hip-hop, reggae and metal albums.

* SOUNDS ORIGINAL, South Ealing Road, London

Specialising in golden oldies, this shop carries lots of early Elvis, The Beatles and Cliff Richard recordings.

* BEANOS, Middle Street, Croydon

Going for almost 30 years, this Croydon institution claims to be the largest second-hand record shop in Europe selling a huge stock of rock, pop, jazz, dance, soul reggae, blues, soundtracks and classical music.

* CRAZY BEAT, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster.

This family-run Essex emporium specialises in dance, soul, jazz funk, rap, hip-hop, R'n'B, house and garage.

* JUMBO RECORDS, St Johns Centre, Leeds

Well into its fourth decade, this shop stocks jazz, country, blues, folk, indie and world music, and is of particular interest to devotees of dance music.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy