AFTER months of uncertainty the first instalment of this year’s Record Store Day will take place today, and it’s not a moment too soon for Townsend Records, which has stores in Great Harwood and Clitheroe.

Record Store Day (RSD) is the one day of the year when over 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. Thousands more shops celebrate the day around the globe in what’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar.

But this year saw the annual fixture, originally scheduled for April 18, thrown into doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, until RSD organisers came up with the idea of spreading the day across three ‘drop dates’ on August 29, September 26 and October 24 to reduce shoppers congregating inside shops and the queues for which RSD has become famous for.

Paul McGowan, who manages the Clitheroe store, said: “I didn’t think it would happen if I’m honest after what’s happened so it’s great we’re actually having RSD. Thankfully we have a big business online so we have kept working all the time, but this is our biggest day - it’s even bigger than Christmas.”

Paul is expecting the usual large crowd of music fans but he insists the shop is prepared.

He said: “We will have a socially distanced queue outside the store with tape up the street and we asking customers to sanitise and wear masks when they come in. Only four people are allowed in the shop at any one time and we will be operating a one in and one out system because we are still keen for people to browse.”

Paul is tipping Gary Numan, David Bowie and New Order to be big sellers.

“I think it will be as busy as any other year,” he added.