Look at that picture. Carefully. Closely. Ask yourself what the hell it has to do with Irish music and the nation’s best-loved independent record store. Technically it hasn’t – if anything it looks Flemish, post-war – but that strange geometric whole actually does a pretty good job of encapsulating Road Records‘ efforts in the name of Irish music. Just by stocking, promoting, and recommending music, displaying posters and flyers, and actually keeping tabs on our musical culture, they’ve held a messy, burgeoning scene together in their way. As proprietors of Fade Street’s understated yellow store, their open demeanour and experience showed a great faith and respect for musicians and cutomers alike.
When news broke of the shop’s struggle to fend off effects of recession, people everywhere rallied around with cries and declarations of support. A slew of bands and labels pledged all proceeds of stock, blogs and forums all over were swamped with offers of help. And so this gig came together as the volunteers combined their efforts in a phenomenal show of support for true patrons of independent Irish music. I am not joking when I say that line-up is equal to a night in Vicar Street – possibly the only likelihood you’ll see Jape, The Jimmy Club, Si Schroeder, Colm Con Mac Iomaire, Adrian Crowley, The Large Corporation – Dudleys and ‘Mound – completed by the Road Reckers on decks. A mighty buzz but if every musician to feel the store’s support over the years were to play at the gig, the billing would equal a festival in sheer numbers.
I found this post very hard to write…I wanted to do justice! I felt guilty about having downloaded music before, never really stopping to consider just how close to home the negative effect lies.
Dave and Julie’s store has been a place of refuge. I’m a bit weird with the skulk in wearing headphones and slurping coffee, skulk out ages later surreptiously stowing my paper bag, chat some days, others chat not. There were never any pretences or pushy sales. They don’t need my big words, just our bodies at the door.Word is, if enough people care the store might be saved. I really, really hope so.