Featured Store: Black Circle Records
David Kosky started his career in 1991 at his local Our Price at a time when vinyl was being cleared out of the stores. His first job was to handle all the vinyl being sent to his store for markdown as there was so much storage space. Needless to say quite a lot of the stock never made it to the shop floor and ended up in his burgeoning record collection!! Having also worked for Titles, MVC, Virgin, V Shop and Sanity, David decided to step out on his own after Sanity disappeared which seemed like a crazy idea considering he’d just bought his first house and was due to get married to Lynne. All of this happened within the space of six months and 13 years later both the marriage, and the business, are still going strong!!!
Disillusioned with his experiences at the retail chains, he decided to take a gamble and launch his own business from his bedroom selling cult DVDs and memorabilia. His timing was good as online selling was in its infancy back then. The only down side was storage space. He did not have the finances to rent a place, so the stock was stored in the spare room. Gradually, he started using more rooms in the house and it was not long before the house no longer looked like a home but an offshoot of ‘Blockbuster’, the video chain.
To solve the problem, they decided on a complete change of lifestyle, buying a DVD rental shop in the seaside town of Ilfracombe in Devon in 2007. With his background in music retail, it was also a sensible move for him to convert part of the store for selling music. The shop was a roaring success for the first few years, especially with the advent of Record Store Day, but with the economic downturn and the huge amount of competition in the rental market is was decided to shut the shop down and make the move back to the South East.
In August 2016 Lynne was offered a teaching post in the area she grew up in so the couple took the drastic action of relocating the record shop 215 miles to Leighton Buzzard. They found a new-build property in an historic mews which the landlord informed them would be ready to trade from in September. Work dragged on, and it was December before they could eventually move in. Even then, the property was not finished – but the couple desperately wanted to catch some Christmas trade.
David named the shop after Pearl Jam’s only top 10 UK hit, Spin the Black Circle. The song features on the band’s 1994 album Vitalogy.
Since opening, the shop has blossomed. It has a distinctive red, white and black design (a nod to where it all started for David at Our Price) with some low prices. He has a ’50p each or 3 for £1′ vinyl section which contains a more superior selection of clearance vinyl than many other record shops I have visited. Whilst I was there, Aswad, Rose Royce and Rita Marley were amongst the bargain offerings. The price of buying three records undercut the cost of parking my car. Not many record shops can offer that!
A recently moved new releases section has increased the visibility of the myriad of releases stocked in store and has really helped drive trade forward. As the store approaches its first birthday David is very pleased with how it’s going and is looking forward to growing the business further over the coming years, with the support of his loyal customers and, of course, his wife!!
Forthcoming Proper releases…
David is looking forward to the new Skarlett Riot album Regenerate plus Lonely The Brave – ‘Things Will Matter’ as they are two bands he has followed closely since they started. He is hoping to get an in-store performance from Skarlett Riot to celebrate the stores first birthday!! Current releases he is enjoying the latest Tangerine Dream album ‘Quantum Gate’ and is still loving the Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile album Lotta Sea Lice which is available on white vinyl in independent shops whilst stock lasts.
Black Circle Records
2 Roebuck Mews
2a Hockliffe Street
Tel: 01525 839917
Vinyl, CD, second-hand, accessories, turntables
Monday – Friday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm