Road Records to close
Another victim of the decline in physical record sales, Dublin's Road Records will close its doors in the coming weeks.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 16 Jan 2009
Road Records of Fade Street, Dublin, will close down in the coming weeks after over 8 years in operation.
Specialising in independent releases, and the kind of music not readily available in other stores, Road was a much-loved fixture in the Dublin music scene.
Speaking to hotpress.com, Road Records' Dave Kennedy said he thinks the shop's closing will have a negative effect on independent bands. "I do think [the Dublin music scene] is going to suffer, and I'm not just blowing my own trumpet."
Road went out of their way to promote upcoming local talent, he added, either by writing positive reviews, promoting it to their online customers or playing the record in-store. They also provided an outlet for relatively unheard of unsigned acts to sell their music and get it heard, as Dave said "that was always one of our main ideas, to provide this outlet for bands."
And although he's quick to praise the many acts who appreciated the shop's support, he added that there were also a lot of bands who would expect their support while failing to buy anything in the shop themselves. "It was definitely an issue, definitely something that we noticed. I couldn't say it was all of them, that would be unfair, but there were bands who would come in [asking us to sell their records], and we have never seen them before, and we will never see them again, unless their record sells! It works in a full circle, you can't expect these places to survive if you don't support them."
Another major issue, coupled with a general decline in sales as more people choose to source music online and in larger chain-stores, was a lack of interest among young people.
“Our customer base is starting at 25 and up,” Dave said, “we don’t even see kids coming in browsing. I think it's just the way the modern age is going."
Fellow indie store Abbey Discs also closed in recent months, after 25 years selling dance records from their Liffey Street base, a closure owner Billy Murray blamed on "the death of CDs".
Dave worries that this is simply the way the industry is going, and fears that in a few years, the majority of the city's independent music stores will be forced to close. "I never thought Abbey Discs would go – they've been there for as long as I remember. I can see a stage in a few years where there won't be any independent stores left in Dublin. I feel very sad for what's gonna happen..."
Road Records are planning a closing down 'everything must go' sale in the coming weeks. Details will be posted soon on their website, www.roadrecs.com.