Lucky’s Record Bar opened on June 26th 2021 in a tiny space in the old Buttermarket in Redruth, Cornwall.
Proper Music’s Graham Jones paid a visit and reckoned it is the smallest record shop in England. The smallest record shop in the UK is VOD Music in Mold, North Wales.
He asked owner Kevin Downing why he decided to open his tiny shop during such difficult times for retail?
I had been involved in various bits of music work before, I started working with young people in 2000 because of my background in music and helped fund, build and worked at a recording studio and music space free to use for young people in Truro, Cornwall. Later we released an LP of their songs which received national radio play and a full-page feature in The Times. This led to 20 years of working with children and young people, first as a youth worker, then as a manager. Before that I worked at Pinnacle (with their own labels releasing dance comps in the 90s) and for a short period at Vital Distribution. In the early 90s I was in a band called The Family Cat, signed to Dedicated/BMG we released about 10 singles and 3 LPs and toured extensively We did ok, but not as ok as some of our support acts (er..PJ Harvey, Manic Street Preachers).
Since around 2013 I had been managing Children’s Services in Cornwall. I was worn out and the pandemic brought home the fact that I needed to do something new.
I quit my Job in March 2021. I didn’t really know what I was going to do. I just needed some time away from what had become really stressful.Originally I wanted to open a coffee shop selling records but high rents, and no financial backing made this difficult.A friend suggested The Buttermarket in Redruth, I was born and grew up in Redruth so this appealed to me, although I haven’t lived here since I was 18.As a kid, I saved my weekly dinner money and bought records on the way home from school in a shop called John Olivers, I am still friends with other people I met at that counter. Olivers closed, and there has not been a record shop in the town for many years.The Buttermarketis a courtyard, owned by a Community Interest Company with artists’ studios, a couple of shops and a veggie and vegan café. I liked the idea of being part of a small community.A tiny workshop became available, the previous tenant was a Banjo maker, and I successfully applied for it.It’s a great community and everyone supports each other, there are markets and events in the courtyard, and it has hosted impromptu acoustic gigs, we are also planning vintage clothes events, music and open studios.
I always had a vision for the shop that it wouldn’t sell just loads of second hand LPs in plastic crates, (I have had shelves and crates made from reclaimed wood) and that people who came in would know what they were getting and everything would be worth having, or at least interesting.I have a mix of new and second hand. I concentrate on new independent releases and punk, post punk, soul, 60s, and electronica. Having some older record collecting friends has led to having some great rare stock in the shop.
Although small it has already become a place where people chat and hang around, get a coffee and sit in the courtyard. I wanted it to be a place that people felt comfortable asking questions or asking to hear the records. A lot of people that have been coming in are replacing CDs with records again, but I am also attracting younger people who are buying new releases. It’s great introducing both to things they may not have heard before.
Currently on Lucky’s turntable are two albums by legends no longer with us. Alex Chilton’s ‘Like Flies on Sherbet’ which is on turquoise vinyl and Nico’s reissue of her cult 1981 album ‘Drama on Exile’.
If you are a vinyl fan living in Cornwall or on holiday here pay me a visit, you will be very welcome.
Lucky’s Record Bar
Tel: 07481 913839
New and 2nd hand records
Wednesday – Saturday: 10am – 4:30pm
Lucky’s Record Bar