MUSIC lovers have turned out in force for Record Store Day gatherings.
The national day is a celebration of the traditional vinyl format and the independent shops that sell it.
Jack Martin, 20, is an employee at Reflex Records in Southsea, which opened in November.
Mr Martin said more than 60 people had flooded into the tiny store in the first few hours of Record Store Day.
He said: ‘It’s been crazy. We’re a new shop and not a lot of people know about us yet but today has been the busiest day of my life.’
Mr Martin said the day was also a response to big retail music chains killing off smaller record stores.
He said: ‘With big brands like HMV coming in, Record Store Day was started to bring people back to independent record stores.’
He said records had a lot over more technologically-advanced ways of storing music.
‘Records are back in a massive way,’ he said.
‘The sound quality’s a lot better, they’re collectable and they just look better.
‘Plus it makes music a lot more precious because you have to look after them, so it makes you appreciate it all the more.
‘You can really tell the difference between CDs or MP3s and records.
‘Digital wave forms are squared off, so they can be pretty fine but a proportion of the wave form is lost.
‘But with analogue wave forms like records, the wave form is perfect.’
Mr Martin said records were starting to boom in popularity again after a massive drop in sales in the last few decades. He said more DJs were starting to use vinyl again as well.
Ben Langshaw, 30, was at the front of the queue. He was there to pick up a record for a client he is doing some building work for.
He said: ‘He was desperate to get his hands on a Stranglers record.
‘To say he was happy is an understatement.
‘I thought the event was quite nice. Everybody was a fan of vinyl.
‘It was nice to see the small independent record companies coming together and raising awareness about what they do.’
Records that were specially recorded and pressed for the day graced the shelves of record shops across the country.
They included titles by R.E.M., the Flaming Lips and Jack White of White Stripes fame.