Record Store Day 2019: Sunderland music shop prepares for its biggest day of the year
One of Sunderland's independent record stores is preparing for its busiest day of the year on Saturday as it takes part in Record Store Day 2019.
It's the one day in the year when independent record shops around the UK come together to celebrate their culture.
Hundreds of special vinyl releases are produced exclusively for the day, and many of them become instant collectors' items as they're produced in such limited numbers.
Marty Yule, owner of Hot Rats Records in Stockton Road, Sunderland, is taking part in Record Store Day (RSD) for the ninth time in its 11-year history.
"It's our busiest day of the year by far - 10 times busier than Christmas or any other day - and it gets better every year," he says.
"There's a huge number of releases this time, more than 700 in total, which is far too many for a shop like us to stock.
"We've asked our customers what they want and we'll probably be getting 200-300 different releases in.
"Sometimes the demand for releases is so high that we might only get one copy, like last year's Abba single. It was limited to 2,000 copies, and I'd bet all 250 shops who were taking part wanted it."
Marty and his staff spend a week or so before the big day receiving and pricing up stock for RSD, but it's only afterwards that he really gets to enjoy it.
"I do enjoy it, but last year when we opened there was a queue of maybe 50 people, and as you served one customer someone else joined the end of the queue.
"It was my busiest Record Store Day so far, and it was a relief to make my money back on the day - we've got to pay for the records up front and there's no sale or return."
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Marty's tips for the most-wanted titles this year will come as no surprise - David Bowie, Pink Floyd and John Lennon - "all the usual suspects really."
And what will he be taking home for himself?
"Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, which is being released by Jack White's Third Man Records, and the replica test pressing of Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks (even though I've got it on loads of bootlegs.
"The one I'm really looking forward to is the Dexy's Midnight Runners Live album. It was recorded in Newcastle in 1982, and it's still the best gig I've ever been to - I think I'm still sweating!"
Hot Rats Records will be open from 9am on Record Store Day.
However, Sunderland's other independent record shop, Pop Recs, which has outlets in Fawcett Street and High Street West, won't be taking part in Record Store Day 2019.
The shop's Dave Harper said: "I know for a fact that some record stores make more on Record Store Day than they turn over for the rest of the year.
"But we won't be taking part because it's very expensive to do so, and I wish we could, because you can make money out of it.
"The original idea was to get people to visit independent record stores, but it's become about people who go to record shops once a year to buy records at ridiculous prices.
"Some stores get a lot more stock than others - and it's the ones who are spending the most money with the labels, so you need to have capital available in the first place.
"We have things going on every Saturday, including a young musicians project, which will hopefully be the people who are making records in the future."