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In a city not short of record shops, Resident Music’s owners have made theirs a home from home for customers. Wesley Doyle settles in…


It’s an unseasonably warm Saturday morning in mid April and there’s something of a carnival atmosphere to be found around Kensington Gardens in the North Laine area of Brighton. A queue of people line the street, chattering excitedly. Music – live and played by a DJ – is all around, while nearby cafes have opened early and set about serving the 300 or so extra customers they’ve found on their doorstep. To the uninitiated, it may seem as if they’ve stumbled upon an urban music festival. But for those in the know, this vibrant celebration of all things musical is 2018’s Record Store Day, Resident Music-style.

As exciting as this all sounds – and this scenario was repeated in record shops nationwide – it won’t have featured in any mainstream coverage of this year’s event. Much of the attention focused on the limited nature of the RSD releases and the likelihood of them ending up on eBay or Discogs. For the owners of Resident, who pride themselves on making the day special for their customers, it’s a bit disappointing. “It’s really important for people to remember it’s not just about the product,” says Natasha Youngs, Resident co-founder along with Derry Watkins. “The original ethos of making your local record shop part of the community and getting people through the door seems to have disappeared, as the press just want to pick up on the novelty of the releases. I think that’s a real shame, as there are some amazing local stories that come out of participating shops, but they don’t end up getting covered.”

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