How Northampton record shops enticed a Gen Z teen who grew up in the Spotify era

“Let’s remember the authenticity vinyl holds over each of our past generations.”

By Shanaya Thomas
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 5:42 pm

The ‘vintage’ record scene, or vinyl scene, is strong in Northampton, which is great for those who grew up consuming their music via record players.

But what do town centre record shops have to offer for Gen Z teens who know only of listening to new albums via the touch of a button of their phones?

Northamptonshire teen Shanaya Thomas visited Spun Out and Spiral Archive and, in her own words, this is what she thought…

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Spun Out in Gold Street. Photo: Shanaya Thomas.

Spun Out, Gold Street

I visited the heart of Northampton and entered a shop by the name of Spun Out.

This shop carries its authenticity through having “rare new releases and new editions of the most underground and urban music of various genres” – as truthfully described by the owner.

This vinyl shop has been open since 2000 and has kept the importance of vinyl’s alive ever since, for people of all ages.

Spun Out sells merchandise and clothing too. Photo: Shanaya Thomas

This shop is extremely welcoming for younger buyers and first-time buyers of the vintage aspect of music as you’ll find record players, CD’s and Headphones sold here also.

To hold and maintain a certain aesthetic for the genres “Pop, Rock, Soul, Reggae, Hip-hop, Indie and Dance”, clothing, accessories and jewellery are sold in relation to the music surrounding it.

In my own personal opinion, I found my experience in the shop gave me a feeling of nostalgia of a time I had never known; samples of the sounds of music sold played throughout the shop which instantly made me want to know more.

This record shop is different to any other you may think you know as no matter what your music taste, age, race or class – you’ll find something for you.

Sprial Archive in St Michael's Road. Photo: Shanaya Thomas.

Safe to say this shop has not and will not forget the relevance of music.

Spiral Archive, St Michael’s Road

Spiral Archive is yet another treasured record shop that we are happy to call ours in Northampton.

“We sell the main genres of Soul, Funk, Reggae and Rock,” the owner said.

You’ll also find a wide range of music here that are suitable for more crowds than one.

The importance of music in our community is significant as it is the one thing that brings us together.

When asked what makes vinyl more authentic than any other streaming service, the owner said: “Records are much more tactile…collectable and there’s much more room for the art and lyrics which makes it more personal.”

When the shop first opened in August 1999, vinyls were at their lowest point and CDs were most reliable, therefore whilst opening up a treasure, challenge was also revealed.

This shop is different from every other as it has a lot of collectables.

The owner added: “Even though we’re mostly second hand we have mostly rares and originals.”

Has Northamptonshire forgotten about the relevance of music?

It’s up to us as a community to decide.

Let’s remember the authenticity vinyl holds over each of our past generations and to physically hold and idolise an album cover, just as the artists intended the art to be interpreted.

The connection you have to your favourite album is physically yours forever with vinyl.

Seek today and you may be surprised of what you shall find.