Avalanche Records moves to weekly market stall

Kevin Buckle is looking into pop-up events. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Kevin Buckle is looking into pop-up events. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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AN ICONIC record shop which has supported Scottish acts in the heart of the Capital for nearly 30 years has closed its doors.

Avalanche Records has now moved to an online-only business, and will also run a Saturday stall at the weekly market on the Grassmarket.

But the owner of the cult firm, who counts author Ian Rankin and comic Sean Hughes among his customers, is not ruling out opening a new shop in the future.

The store was based at Cockburn Street until 2010, when it moved to premises in the Grassmarket.

Owner Kevin Buckle said his ethos of supporting up-and-coming Scottish musicians will live on in other guises.

Mr Buckle said the stall was a way of testing the water for other events held around the Capital, which were difficult to cover while the shop was open.

He is also in the final stages of signing a worldwide deal with a major independent record label – which cannot yet be named – to promote Avalanche’s old catalogues and new releases.

Mr Buckle said: “We will look at new locations but we are just not rushing into it because part of the future plan will be for more pop-up and long-term events. We have also joined up with a poster company to sell more posters and prints.

“I hope we will be seen as moving forward positively.”

The firm also takes part in Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19.

The event aims to celebrate independently owned record stores and musical talent.

The Avalanche team will be based at the Ceilidh Culture Street Fair in Castle Street and Princes Street throughout the Record Store Day weekend.

Former Simple Minds manager Bruce Findlay, who used to run independent music stores with brother Brian in the 1960s, said he was sad to see Avalanche Records go.

He said: “It’s pretty ironic that he should be closing when in fact there is a little bit of an upturn in the fortunes in independent record stores across the country.

“He is a major part of the Edinburgh independent record shop scene and he will definitely be missed – there is no doubt about that.

“Record fairs and stalls are quite a feature of street market culture in Scotland, and have been for a number of years. He’s joining a good sector and maybe he will do well enough with that to reconsider.”

Vinyl volume

VINYL was almost killed off by CDs and iTunes but has been having a revival of late.

Enthusiasts insist records have a unique, warm sound that can’t be matched by digital downloads. As such, manufacturers have been quick to plug the (still) niche gap in the market.

Twelve-inch records are now released again in limited numbers. And manufacturers offer high-end turntables – with similarly high prices.