In sixteen years in business, Lee Mason, of Cool Discs, believes his greatest achievement is ‘remaining open’, and as a result he plans to ‘really celebrate’ Record Store Day.
The cream of local talent is set to help Mr. Mason do just that with live gigs across two venues this Saturday. For the first time the celebrations are to be held in Sandino’s upstairs bar as well as the traditional instore sessions. Among the artists playing are, in no particular order, Decky McLaughlin, Paul Casey, Conor McAteer, Conor Hutcheon, Finbar O’Doherty, Pete O’Hanlon, Conor McAteer, Paddy Nash, Wileman, Alan Williams, SOAK, The Wood Burning Savages, Strength, Marsfield and surprise guests. The bands will play from 2.30pm.
In addition to the live acts, staff have lined up many raffle prizes including concert tickets, box sets, rare releases and limited editions. Lee said: “We have loads of stuff lined up and loads of stuff is being released just in order to mark Record Store Day, so it should be a good day. At Cool Discs we want to make the day a celebration of the musical talent in our community, a celebration and showcase of the talent right on our doorstep. It wont be commercially led as that’s not what we are about. We are a meeting place of like minded people, musicians and music lovers. In fact we like being introduced to good new music by our customers as much as we like passing them on new music. It is a two way relationship and we really love what we do.”
Cool Discs has survived a complete revolution in how people engage and consume music and culture. “Everything is done through phones now,” acknowledged the Cool Discs owner. “Back then we didn’t have to compete with the big supermarket chains so I suppose in many ways the biggest achievement of the business is still being here.
Lee’s sense of pride in his business’ suucess is underlined by the fact that only ten years ago there were an estimated 3,500 music retailers throughout the UK and Ireland. That figure has dwindled to the approximately 350 which are still in operation today.
“If the record companies hadn’t started getting in bed with the big chains, there’d be a lot more Cool Discs’ around,” said Lee. Thankfully Derry still has it’s own, go see the best it has to offer this Saturday from 2.30pm