April 16th sees Record Store Day return and once again hundreds of the country’s independent vinyl emporiums are putting on special events to celebrate the day, making it the UK’s biggest simultaneous music party, this year supported by BBC music.
The area surrounding Soho’s Berwick Street is home to some of London’s best loved and most influential independent record shops including Sister Ray, Reckless Records, Sounds of the Universe and Phonica. We won’t see the huge crowds of previous years with Westminster having banned the annual street party (boooooooo, although Phonica will still be hosting their in-store bash). But, with fewer crowds, you may stand a better chance of bagging some of the limited edition exclusive releases to celebrate #RSD16, although be prepared to get in the queue early!
Soho has long been a hub for up-and-coming artists and with the vinyl rebirth well and truly underway, it’s time for some of the less well known to get a piece of the action.
Launching alongside this year’s Record Store Day is Berwick Street Calling, a competition for unsigned music artists to showcase their talent to a judging panel including the NME’s Matt Wilkinson, Primal Scream’s bassist and Soho Radio DJ Simone Marie Butler, Sav Remzi the musical director of House of St. Barnabas plus Sister Ray’s head honcho and all round vinyl connesseur Phil Barton.
The competition is open to all musical genres, with the panel narrowing entries to a shortlist of 10 tracks. From June 7th, the general public can vote for their favourite from the industry pro’s shortlist, with the winning artist having their entry pressed in to 1,000 vinyl copies and stocked in some of the most iconic independent record shops across Soho.