It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we all get up especially early on a Saturday morning and try to nab our favourite exclusive releases before the ebay-nit-pickers do; the time of year when indie record shops rejoice at their profits but wail at the long hours; the time of year when year-round record buyers scowl at the once a year purchasers. Yep, it’s Record Store Day and there’s plenty a-happening in Bristol.
It’s been a big year for Bristol’s most exciting indie label. Not only have they added a lovely new bunch of bands to their roster, their 2012 Record Store Day release proved so popular that they’ve decided to do it all over again. ‘Music is Dead Vol. 1’ features the return of noise giants The Naturals with new song ‘Its Teeth’; a scuzzed-fuelled single from Spectres; an upbeat offering from new signing Oliver Wilde and a previously unheard version of ‘Yesterday’s Man’ from Velcro Hooks.
As always, the release will come lovingly packaged in Howling Owl’s signature hand-made stye and what’s more, there’ll be three hidden ArcTangent tickets for three lucky purchasers. The release is limited to 100 copies and will be available from Rise on Saturday.
Fear of Fiction are quickly becoming Bristol's most affluent indie team. Boasting a successful festival, listings zine and a handful of impeccable releases, Fear of Fiction are now presenting their first RSD offering. 'Family & Friends' boasts six tracks from the FOF label including London's Death Rattle and Bare Pale; New York's Salt Cathedral and Bristol's very own Casimir and Idles.
The eclectic range of genres is refreshing, as this is a label that shows no boundaries. There's everything from emotive electronic anthems, math-rock inspired gems and addictive grunge. There's no doubt that this will be a popular purchase among locals come Saturday.
Rise have gone all out this year by celebrating all weekend long. On Friday they'll be screening the official film of RSD 'Last Shop Standing' downstairs in the Friska cafe where you'll be able to grab a beer and enjoy the beauty of independent shops. Early-risers will rejoice on Saturday, as Friska will open it's doors at 6am for coffees, teas and brekkies. Each person arriving will receive a ticket in numerical order and will be called up for products once the shop opens at 8am.
Then the fun really begins. At 10am, the brilliant Fence Collective will be treating RSD shoppers to a breakfast performance from James Yorkston, Seamus Fogarty and Pictish Trail. I've never been to a breakfast gig (unless you count ATP beach treats) but this sounds just devine. The day will then include performances from The Lund Quartet, Alessi's Ark, Jash'wa Moses, Casimir, Empty Pools, Oliver Wilde and The Naturals with DJ sets from Anton Maiovvi and the Young Echo Collective.
What's more, Friska will be selling their delicious food all day as well as beers, wines and ales meaning you have no excuse to leave all day. NOT ONE. And if all the excitement and antics haven't killed you by then, Virginia's Matthew E. White will be performing in store at 1pm on Sunday. Don't say Rise never treat you.
We're lucky enough to have not one but many indie record shops at our disposal in Bristol. Head is a gem of a store and will be providing a wonderful array of instores throughout the day. Located in the not-so-bustling Galleries in Broadmead, Head offers a ray of sunshine in an often desolate shopping centre. From 2pm, you can expect to hear lovely sounds from the likes of gloom-pop Queen She Makes War; avant-indie's Actual Bird; dreamy post-desert rock from Vena Cava - all finished off by local post punk legends Big Joan. I'm sure you'll find enough time to give Head a visit and enjoy RSD from the other side of town.
Now, Idle Hands aren't 'officially' taking part in Record Store Day but heck, they take part in selling records every day. Representing the stellar dance music scene of the city, the shop offers a friendly atmosphere upon every visit with records ranging from dubstep to drone and house to techno. After all the happenings in town, make sure you head on over to Stokes Croft and give this little shop a lot of love.