click here for more
Support NZ Record Stores - Part 1: Real Groovy & Rockstuff

Support NZ Record Stores - Part 1: Real Groovy & Rockstuff

C.C. / Q & A by Willa Cameron / Photo: Real Groovy Records / Monday 6th April, 2020 1:25PM

As we collectively prepare for three more weeks of bubble-based lockdown, it's more crucial than ever to maintain support for Aotearoa's music community, during what feels like the longest month of all time. We've teamed up with the New Zealand Music Commission for a feature series spotlighting record stores across the nation. Here's to those unsung heroes who tirelessly work their butts off to bring you the very best new and used LPs, must-cop merchandise, music-related paraphernalia, DVDs, publications and so much more, week in and week out, when they're not treating customers to sage-like advice and over-the-counter banter.

You can directly support your local record store by ordering online, while shops are temporarily closed to the public and deliveries of "non-essentials" are currently off the table (we personally can't think of many things more essential than great tunes). They'll deliver to your door as soon as the lockdown has wrapped up. Record Store Day has been postponed from mid-April to Saturday 20th June due to the coronavirus outbreak, but NZMC's Willa Cameron has cooked up a short Q & A for teams across NZ to introduce themselves. Dive into the worlds of Auckland's Real Groovy Records and Napier champs Rockstuff – we'll feature even more stores from throughout NZ over the following weeks.


Sarah Williamson the manager of Real Groovy of Queen Street Auckland shares some of the latest trends they have seen in store.

What have been the best releases for you this year?

I’d probably say that regarding biggest releases: The one’s still going strong for us were released last year, Tyler The Creator’s Igor, Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You, and Mac Miller’s Swimming are all still super popular.

In February we had a Tame Impala pop-up event in store, for their newest album Slow Rush that customers went nuts for! There was also a limited colour version.

But we have new favourites every week! We are changing the new release wall constantly.

Tell us about the best merch for sale right now?

As for the best merch for sale right now, I think the slightly too-short pants fashion has boosted demand for cool socks. You can’t beat high quality bamboo socks with a good pattern. Also popular are our slightly risqué enamel badges. We have hundreds to choose from. These are our most popular items for gifts right now.

What’s the best cover you’ve seen lately?

We are big fans of any cover art we can use for ‘sleeve-face’, a giant face on the cover that you can hold over your own face. So the FKA Twigs Magdalene cover satisfies this but is also a beautiful piece of art too. 

Shine a light on your team! Let us know some insider info.

(Nearly) everyone at Real Groovy is cool – but let’s talk about one of our senior staff Alfie, who has worked here on and off for over a decade. He is one of our traders at Dingbats and the rest of the time he is processing vinyl or CD’s behind the scenes. Alfie is the snack king, the soundtrack to his life is rustling of packets. This is him eating a donut burger from Sneaky Snacky:


We had a chat with Geoff Dunn from Rockstuff in Napier. He’s really passionate about all things music and is content and ready to stay in and have parcels building up, ready to send when NZ gets through the Covid-19 crisis.

Do you love this work? Why?

I live and breathe music, every day. Vinyl is my life and I have been in the record business since 1979. Was with Marbecks for 22 years, managed a Record Warehouse store before that and worked at a few EMI Shops in the early days. It has been magical to see the popularity of records go full circle. It’s cool to meet interesting people and I can yarn for hours to customers about vinyl, concerts, artists, special albums and songs. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing (except be in bands, which I have also enjoyed doing).

What have been the best releases for you this year?

My fav kiwi LP at present is Set It Off, the debut by Hawke’s Bay rock band, Black Smoke Trigger ~ these guys can really play! They supported Devilskin and Like A Storm here in Napier and all three bands performed very solidly! BST put a lot of time and effort in creating a quality product with their record, which is released on red or yellow vinyl. Eagerly awaiting the Bliss compilation by Th’ Dudes and have pre-orders for that one. Along with Split Enz, Hello Sailor, The Enemy, Toy Love, Ragnarok and others, Th’ Dudes were one of the first great NZ bands I witnessed live, as a teenager 40 years ago in Dunedin. Benee is a wonderful artist and I hope she has something readily available on vinyl in 2020. The compilation of her EPs on green translucent LP was only around for about 5 minutes and is now an expensive rarity. Our daughter, Iris, is currently isolating at a home studio in LA completing her debut album, which is very exciting!

As far as international albums go, I’ve always loved listening to Ozzy since the '70s with Black Sabbath ~ his Ordinary Man LP is a lot of fun! Abbey Road by The Beatles just keeps on selling, helped along by the 50th anniversary last year. It is easily one of my all time favourite albums!

What’s the best cover you’ve seen lately?

I really like the cover of Beastwars IV album, which is powerful and elegant.

Shine a light on your team!

Heehee, the team is ME! Well, apart from Mu the pug, who always keeps me company and does modelling for my Instagram page, I do absolutely everything. From cleaning, grading and pricing records, to online listing and website maintenance, banking, stock control, promotion, customer contact and shipping out of orders. I love it all, 24/7!

Shout out to my mates, who always give me a hand when I set up my crates at record fairs or in-store appearances and generally are always there for me. Weirdly, three of them are named Steve!

NZ Music Commission are calling for all landlords of music venues to give urgent rent relief to their live music tenants here.


Share this
Subscribe/Follow Us
Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on your favourite platform  

You can show your support to keep UnderTheRadar running by making a contribution. From $1, any amount can make a huge difference and keep us bringing you the best, comprehensive local content. Support UTR!