Five stars

Based on the successful book of the same name by Graham Jones, Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop is a charming 50 minute warts-and-all documentary about the history of independent record shops in the UK.

Directed by Pip Piper and produced by Rob Taylor, Last Shop Standing is a collaboration between award winning film company Blue Hippo Media Ltd and Proper Music Publishing Ltd. Released on DVD and screening at record shops and art centres this month, the film features over 20 shops from the length and breadth of the nation, and cameos from musicians and industry insiders including Johhny Marr, Paul Weller, Billy Bragg, Richard Hawley, Norman Cook and Nerina Pallot. But the real stars are the record shop owners and workers who have many weird and wonderful tales to tell about colleagues, customers and underhand dealings.

Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

The independent record shops are true gems of our culture. Who would want them thrown away?

Over 500 records shops have closed in the last four years. Split into three acts, the film charts the emergence and growth of record shops in the 60s, 70s and 80s, considers the impact of new technologies on the music industry over the last couple of decades, and reveals the reasons behind the surprising survival of some record shops and a rekindling of interest in their wares and services.

Shot between December 2011 and June 2012, the project was crowd-funded through Indiegogo, an online pledge based fundraising site. This is a gem of a film about independent-minded folk; made by independents, for independents. The film has received great reviews and is generating interest among international distributors.

Vinyl is special. It looks good, feels good and sounds good. When the only record shop in my home town of Epsom, Surrey, closed just over a year ago, I was bereft. Last Shop Standing has reaffirmed my belief in the value and importance of the local record shop and given me hope that one day a sonic emporium will once again grace my local high street – so I don’t have to travel all the way to London to get my fix.

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