Bexhill record store owner Nick Saloman is thrilled with the accolade of best music shop 2014, awarded by Shingdig! magazine.
He admits he was “quite impressed” when told he had won the award as a result of an end-of-year readers’ poll, beating the likes of Rough Trade East and Flashback in London, Groucho in Dundee, and Jumbo in Leeds, which took second place.
He told Shindig! of his pride and delight and added: “Genuine thanks, folks. Much appreciated.”
He has run Platform One inside Eras Of Style in Terminus Road for 18 months, having enjoyed a long and successful career as a musician with his band The Bevis Frond.
Playing remains an important part of his life and this summer sees the The Bevis Frond play the Glastonbury Festival as well as embark on a European tour which will take in gigs in Spain and Wales.
The shop stocks only vinyl, and Nick has no time or inclination for online sales which means all his customers are ones who make the effort to browse the shelves in person, whether locals or customers on a specific mission to Bexhill. Once inside Platform One they might find tempting treasures such as the Andromeda album, the first Led Zeppelin album which has all-important turquoise lettering rather than orange, or must-have niche collectibles such as recordings on Vertigo Swirl, The Mike Cotton Sound, or Dr. Strangely Strange.
Nick commented: “I do find that, although I have got some items that are really rare and expensive, its the nice original vinyl stuff that is not so rare that people are looking for, the Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Hendrix - those nice original records sell all the time.
“I think a lot of people got rid of vinyl when CDs came in, and now they want to buy it back. Vinyl is aesthetically nicer... the sleeves are works of art, and that is lost when you buy CDs. Of course if you are downloading you don’t have anything to hold. You are never going to leave your download collection to your next-of-kin. And people just like browsing through records.
“I have got my life as a musician though and I can’t devote any more time to the record shop than I am doing at the moment - it has pretty much taken my life over, any more and I would be swamped. It was a novelty at first but I have built up the regular customers and visitors from London, and it is remarkably good.”