Thanks to people like Jon Tolley and Mike Smith, record shops still exist in the age of music streaming.
Huck’s Fiftieth Anniversary Special collects lessons learned and creative advice from fifty of the most inspiring people we know. Each day we’ll be sharing a new excerpt from the magazine. Today, we hear from co-owners of Banquet Records, Jon Tolley and Mike Smith, on the art of keeping the record store alive.
#23 – Banquet Records
Sometimes a shop is not really a shop. Sometimes a shop is the heart of a local scene, without which an entire subculture would be lost. Such is Banquet Records, an independent record store in Kingston, just outside London, owned by music aficionados Jon Tolley and Mike Smith. The store’s continuing success – when others are closing down at an alarming rate – stems from their multifaceted approach to the business; they also run club nights, put on gigs and have their own record label, which started from Jon’s bedroom.
So, what’s next for the store in the age of streaming?
“The important thing is just being able to adapt to your customer’s demands and wants. Whatever happens, people are going to need music in their lives… As patronising as it sounds, making mistakes is fine. It’s how you deal with them once they’ve been made. The other thing is to believe in what you do. Don’t waste your life. Whatever you do, give it 100 per cent. That ethos is really relevant here. Everyone who works here cares about this thing that we’re involved with and it’s brilliant.”
This is just a short excerpt from Huck’s Fiftieth Special, a collection of fifty personal stories from fifty inspiring lives.