“WE ARE always presently surprised when we have youngsters coming in asking for David Bowie.”

Not only do teens want to listen to a star who was probably on their parents’ playlist decades before, but they want to hear him on vinyl - a choice which thrills Gareth and Kerry Beck.

“They come in and ask for The Beatles, Kiss, or other music from the past - it’s great to see,” says Gareth, who with his wife runs Grind and Groove records in Keighley, our T&A Trader of the Week.

Figures released last year by the British Phonographic Industry found that sales of vinyl records in the UK were the highest since the early 1990s, and had grown for the 13th year running.

“Colour vinyl always add an element of surprise and excitement to the purchases - if it’s a splatter vinyl what will it look like? What colours will it have? It’s like Christmas opening up shrink wrap, seeing what it looks like and ultimately finding out that it sounds just as good as a standard black vinyl,” says Gareth, who was born in Otley but grew up in Australia.

When the shop opened in November 2017 the lifelong music fan decided to specialise in vinyl rather than CDs after amassing his own collection of thousands of the discs over the past few years.

“We had collected vinyl for many a year and sold it on a well-known online auction platform,” says Kerry. “Gareth decided to open a shop as he initially believed it would be a great drop off point for people wanting to sell their record collections.

“ It quickly became apparent that the shop was to be more than this - and that there was an actual need for a record shop in Keighley.”

Opening the shop, in Cavendish Street, was a big step for the couple. “We had not long had our second child, so it was a huge step for me to quit my day job to start my own business while Kerry was still on maternity leave,” he says.

Kerry helped Gareth, working behind the scenes. After being made redundant in 2020 due to Covid, from her job in product development and project management at a giftware manufacturers, she joined him in the business. She now works three days a week, allowing her to spend the rest of the week looking after their children aged eight and four.

Many people visit the shop to sell their record collections. “From people downsizing, to those raising money for a holiday, and some sell vinyl so they can buy new vinyl. There are lots of reasons for people selling: their kids may have gone to university - we question those people - are you sure your children don’t want them?

“Families of people who have sadly died bring their records - by taking them to a record shop they know that someone else who has a passion for vinyl will buy them.”

The shop also sell online and source vintage records for customers.

“We have had our own website since the shop opened,” says Kerry, who was born in Bradford and grew up in Cowling. “It proved invaluable during lockdown, as it was a secure way to take socially distanced payments.

“Lockdown gave us time to improve our website. What we didn’t do was hide and admit defeat - we believe music is essential to people’s mental health. A number of customers received lockdown survival vinyl packs from us.”

Kerry has forged relationships with many record companies to bring in new release music and re-issues. “Some record shops trade amongst themselves too - we are all in it for the same reason, the love, and to support our customers.”

Vinyl is, says Gareth, the best format for listening to music for pleasure.

“The sound quality, when you have invested in quality sound equipment, is like no other. The investment in time when putting a record on focuses a deeper listening attention. You are more likely to listen to the entire record, as its not simple to fast-forward like a CD or digital. You are owning a physical copy of the music, not in a cloud somewhere, which brings you closer to the artists. Records are proven to be sound investments.”

Vinyl sales are about the whole package, says Gareth, “the cover art, any extras offered, such as sun glasses, signed artwork, stickers etc. There are many anniversary editions released each month.

“Recently for national Record Store Day the Foo Fighters recorded Bee Gees songs, re-naming themselves the Dee Gees. We could have sold more than 40 of those records but very few were made, which led to them being even more sought after. Weeks later people were still asking for it.”

He recalls the first record he ever bought - Sons of Beaches by Australian Crawl, from an independent record shop in Whitford City, Perth, Western Australia. His favourite album cover is “I think, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.”

Kerry’s was World in Motion by New Order. “I was eight, and think I got it at Our Price in Bradford,” she says. “I particularly like the Iron Maiden covers - their artwork is amazing and like the artwork on many covers, should be appreciated.”

Regular customers have been integral to shop’s success. “We have great relationships with our customers and see them as friends,” says Kerry. “For some we act as personal shoppers offering recommendations for new artists or records. They really appreciate being given the heads-up of new titles or special colour vinyl.

“We have customers who come in once a week to collect their new vinyl pre-orders. We have regulars who know that Gareth will always have a special vintage record waiting for them, and we often see new faces including tourists.”

The rarest record the couple have sold is a Nick Drake’s 1972 album Pink Moon. “However, we do have a fully signed Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks in the vaults - which may or may not be shortly sold,” says Gareth. “We also have one of only 20 records pressed of the Sex Pistols performance in Nikkers nightclub in Keighley, from the Never Mind the Bands tour.”

The shop’s success has heralded a move later this year to new, larger premises on the same street.

“Anyone who has visited us will know we are bursting at the seams,” says Kerry. “Gareth has more vinyl stored ‘out the back’ than in the front of the shop, so when we heard that the former Victoria Hotel was being regenerated to include shops we contacted them.

“The premises offers more than double the space and could present the opportunity to do in-store album signings and hold intimate gigs with local bands. “We can offer more product such as locally deigned greetings cards and more music-related artwork - we already sell the artwork of ArtistWoz, an amazing local realism painter.”

An aroma of freshly ground vegan coffee, available to customers, adds to Grind and Groove’s welcoming atmosphere. Says Gareth: “Records are my absolute passion -and coffee is too. I even roast my own beans.”

The new shop will hopefully allow for a dedicated seating area where people can enjoy hot drinks, music, and chat. “We know that our shop brings people together with a common interest, strangers talk to each other about bands they love and hate. They can also listen to music played in the shop - many records have been sold to people who have heard it played here.”

Special annual events include Record Store Day. “Around 300 record shops take part. Our customers queue on the street from 3:30am to get special limited edition vinyl. It’s an awesome event full of banter. New friends are made, people love the buzz, as do we.”

The couple juggle their work with raising their family. “Anything we can’t get done in the shop during the day is done during the evening, such as ordering vinyl or sorting boxes of vinyl on our kitchen table,” says Kerry. “Many a Sunday lunch has been eaten with boxes of singles in front of us. We love that our kids are growing up with vinyl like we did - they love a good dance.”