Alternative Tunings Blog

Alternative Tunings

The Closure of Road Records

Jul 16

Written by:
7/16/2010 11:36 AM  RssIcon

Recently news flooded into my e-mail inbox about the imminent closure of Road Records, the independent music shop based in Fade Street in Dublin City. The following e-mail has been sent out to all subscribers to their mailing list:
 

"How do I begin a piece like this, without repeating everything I wrote nearly two years ago now.

I suppose I would have to say its with great sadness to inform you we are finally closing the doors of Road Records.

Its been a difficult two years since we first faced the prospects of closure and we have literally worked night and day to try and see if we could save the shop and make it a viable business again. The current economic situation in this country added to the many problems we faced in the past have finally caught up with us and we can no longer sustain this little shop.

This time, I am sad to say, there is no alternative for us, we have literally tried everything in our powers to keep this place operating and nothing has worked for us. It hasn’t been an easy decision to make, if anything its even more difficult than two years ago, we have had amazing support from people but nothing we do seems to work anymore.

With debts beginning to build again Julie and myself have finally decided that we cannot take any more risks personally and before things get any worse we will have to finally walk away from the shop for the last time.

I have to say I still have no regrets about the last 13 years, its been a real blast and a pleasure to be here over the years. We have met some amazing people and have become friends with some truly amazing bands. The level of support we have received since last year has been truly mindblowing but so much has changed economically since then that its just not possible to sustain such a small record shop like this anymore.

I am not going to give out about the music business this time around, its just one of those things and we have finally come to a stage where I think the days of the small indie store are numbered. It’s sad to have to admit that but this time I think its true, we can’t blame digital sales, illegal downloading etc, the world is a changing place and I can’t see any room in it for kooky little indie stores like ourselves.

We will be starting our closing down sale this Saturday 17th of July and everything will be on sale at a 25% reduction. We will be open for just one more week after that with the final day being Saturday 24th of July. Literally everything will be going on sale so if you want to pick up a cheap stereo, cash register or stapler, then do drop in.

We would both like to thank each and everyone of you for your support over the years, maybe we will catch up at some point in the future.

We would also like to thank all our wonderful staff from the last 14 years, in person they are – Dylan, Jonny, Jimmy, Gib, Colm, John, Chip and Aengus.

As for what we will do next, the honest answer is we really don’t know, hopefully we can pay off any debts we have and then at least we have a beautiful little baby boy to try and put a smile back on our faces.

Thanks & Adios

Dave and Julie"

Only last year Road Records announced they’d be closing, and discussed this difficult decision with former CLUAS blogger Steven O’Rourke in this informative interview. A large portion of bands within the Irish music scene grouped together to host a benefit night at Andrew's Lane Theatre. It seemed this saved the shop, but evidently it was only temporary.

Illegal downloads and internet shopping have in a way ravaged the independent music industry. There are both pros and cons to the aforementioned issues, but it’s always the man on the ground i.e. the independent music shops who suffer. Road Records have for many years been an integral part of the Dublin music scene, both supporting and stocking releases from Irish bands.

Perhaps the most disheartening thing is my wondering “which shop will be next?” Road Records is my favourite music store in Dublin, a point which I made in my blog post about Record Store Day noting the enthusiasm with which Road Records embraced Record Store Day. It’s a shame to think that at next year’s Record Store Day there will be no Road Records participating, and it'll be very hard to find another independent music shop in Dublin to match Road Records.

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5 comment(s) so far...


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A terrific store and a true shame it has to close its doors. But it is not a huge surprise. Since they were in trouble 15 months or so ago and that benefit night helped them stay in the game, the economy has continued to deteriorate further and the internet has cemented even more its role as a platform for - legally and illegally - distributing music.Pretty big mega indie stores such as Rough Trade in the London or Amoeba in California are still - to my knowledge - thriving. Could that be the way to go for Dublin? The remaining smaller stores pooling all into a larger premises with shared-ownership (although it not a premises of the size of Amoeba or Rough Trade stores)?

By Eoghan on   7/17/2010 9:09 PM
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Never thought of that, makes a lot of sense but I can see why some of the independents would be reluctant to do so. Tower Records is perhaps the nearest we have over here to the likes of Amoeba and Rough Trade. If such an arragement could be made I think it would be excellent, all of the independents have different things to offer so if they could be combined it could be very successful. Certainly something to think about..

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