Graham Jones asks Paul Maskell, owner of The Beat And Track, “What was it like to open a record shop during Covid?”
My anticipated first-day-of-trading apprehension dissolved just as soon as my first customer stepped through the door at 9.00am.
‘Mr Kingsmill’ as he was then known , Rich as he is now known, promptly bought “Oddballs” by Frank Black, the self-titled “Sleater Kinney” album and “The Rough guide to Voodoo”. We had a great conversation about Quantic and Alice Russell spurred on by my championing of the Bournemouth based soul/jazz/hip hop label Futuristica. Yippee! My first ever sale as a record shop owner.
Sherborne is a small town full of independent shops and I already have a great relationship with the coffee shop opposite “Bean Shot Coffee” and “Elementum”, the gallery/bookshop next door. We independent shops need to stick together and help each other’s businesses. The whole town has been very supportive, with local journalists already interviewing me both for a local podcast and at the local radio station.
I first started gaining an interest in music, like most people, by listening to my parents’ collection. This consisted of the staple Beatles and Stones albums and a mix of the Animals, Hendrix, and Scott Walker. Once I found the Hendrix and Cream 7” singles that was it. The family record collection and Fidelity record player found its way to my bedroom and never returned.
Throughout my youth I embraced all kinds of music. A 9-year-old skin head obsessed with Madness and the Specials became a metal head at 14. This is when I started collecting vinyl: Metallica singles on every format possible, Slayer albums remastered, original Hendrix and anything by Cream and later Jack Bruce.
Owning a record store has always been a dream but I somehow found myself in the motor trade and having a career as an aftersales manager for nearly 30 years.
As for many others, the pandemic has made me re-evaluate things and ultimately decide to do something that I enjoy and am passionate about. With the support of my partner, family, and friends I’ve started the journey and that’s begun with The Beat and Track.
Currently my store stocks a range of new and pre-loved vinyl. I have a “Try before you buy” policy which proves to be popular and gives customers confidence in my gradings and an understanding that they are getting good quality product.
I am hoping, as Covid restrictions ease, to hold/record acoustic sessions at the shop for both local and touring bands. The response from customers and local businesses has been fantastic.
One of my favourite activities is playing the music in the shop and introducing new sounds to my customers.
I am currently enjoying this release via Proper, “Caught Beneath the Landslide” compilation that re-lives some of indies’ finest moments from Britpop years.
There are so many new Proper releases that I am looking forward to. The one I cannot wait to hear would be “Sticky” by Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Frank takes you on a rough ride with every listen. Available on indie only splattered vinyl ticks another box for me.
I am so excited about the future, but I know the hard work has only just begun.
The Beat And Track
Tel: 07730 356719
New and pre-owned vinyl, merchandise and music memorabilia
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm
The Beat And Track
The Old Shambles