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Support NZ Record Stores - Part 2: Rough Peel Music & Vinyl Countdown

Support NZ Record Stores - Part 2: Rough Peel Music & Vinyl Countdown

C.C. / Q & A by Willa Cameron / Photo: Amanda Palmer performing at Vinyl Countdown / Wednesday 15th April, 2020 12:55PM

We've made it nearly three weeks into the history-making Level 4 lockdown of Aotearoa, which has temporarily slammed the brakes on large sections of our music industry. UTR has teamed up with the New Zealand Music Commission for a series of features highlighting the crucial work of record stores across the nation, who would normally be open for all your physical music (and more) requirements, but are currently shuttered to the housebound populace, until we get the green light again from the government.

You can directly support your local record store during the rāhui by ordering online – 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, but NZMC's Willa Cameron has cooked up a short Q & A for teams across NZ to introduce themselves. Read last week's featuring Auckland's Real Groovy Records and Napier's Rockstuff over here, and enter the worlds of Wellington's Rough Peel Music and New Plymouth's Vinyl Countdown below...


What have been the best releases for you this year?

Paul Huggins: The AK79 compilation has gone really well as has Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Ghosteen. Grimes and Weyes Blood are up there too along with Kate Tempest which got a boost when she was here for the NZ Arts Festival. Our top seller though is from last year Tyler The Creator's Igor, it just keeps on going

Tell us about the best merch for sale right now?

The best merch for us are our range of turntables, both new and second hand. Second hand players come and go, they usually don’t hang around long and new we stock Audio Technica, Project and the mighty Rega range. We also have a great range of LP cleaning products.

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

Well there are quite a few good covers but I’ll pick Danny Brown - Uknowhatimsayin. I like the design, colours and the obi but I love the way his head pokes around the corner (three times) and it invokes cheekiness which I pick up in the music too.

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

We have a small but great team who are all involved with the shop mainly because they love music and love the shop. I am super grateful to have the crew I have and can’t wait to have them all back working together once we come out of lockdown.

If there is one smoko tale it would have to be about me! I have Coeliac Disease, so when I have some morning toast it is with gluten free bread which takes a while to toast, but seems to go from uncooked to burning quite fast. There can be the smell of burnt toast floating through the shop especially if I get called away and forget about it. Have even set off the fire alarm once and had the fire service turn up!! That was an expensive piece of toast!!!


What have been the best releases for you this year?

Mark Thomas: The highest selling release so far this year has been by local hip hop artist HXRMAN entitled Can You Not, followed by Tami Neilson Chicka Boom, L.A.B III and Billie Eilish Don't Smile At Me. Of course there are many titles that people will always want – Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon, Queen Greatest Hits and Nirvana Nevermind and they continue to sell week after week.

Tell us about the best merch for sale right now?

We have hundreds of t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, badges, caps etc. The easiest way to find them is to use the keyword search for your favourite artists or bands at,

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

Personally the release I've enjoyed the most over the past few months has been the Sturgill Simpson album Sound And Fury and that also has a great album cover.

Do you love this work? Why?

I have been working in music retail since 1993. I started in a small store called "Seede Sounds" in Te Awamutu (it was pretty seedy actually as the place closed when the owner went to prison), then running the music counter at The Warehouse Te Awamutu when it first opened. Then on to Sounds in Hamilton, then Real Groovy Auckland. Next I was packing music at the Warner Music warehouse in London, and then off to open the new Real Groovy store in Wellington in 1999. I have always loved collecting LPs – I think it really started when I was given the Beatles LP Box Set for Christmas when I was 12. It's been very rewarding to see Vinyl Countdown become a place that is cherished by like-minded music fans from all over the country.

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


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