MUSIC lovers queued from as early as 3am to pick up priceless items at Bolton’s biggest ever celebration of Record Store Day.

Collectors crammed in to X Records in Bridge Street — Bolton’s only independent record store — in a bid to get their hands on exclusive records as part of the annual event.

Store boss Steve Meekings said this year’s event was the biggest and busiest that the store had taken part in and saw some customers splashing more than a thousand pounds on rare records.

One of the first in the queue was 40-year-old electronic fan Dave Barnes, from Bromley Cross, who arrived at the store at 5am.

He said: “I was actually second in the queue, the chap in front of me had been there since 3am. I do this every year, this is a passion of mine — I love collecting rare vinyl and this is a great place to do that.”

Mr Barnes said he was “chuffed to bits” to have picked up rare offerings by nineties electronic outfits The Orb and Space.

He added: “I spent about £100 in total and it was well worth it, I have got some fantastic quality items — I have known Steve for some time and it is a great store.”

Also getting up early on Saturday was Dave Hoolickin, aged 29, from Whitefield.

He said: “I came to get some Motorhead and Rob Zombie records — it is a really good experience coming down here, there are things here I can’t find anywhere else.

He added: “I think people should get out of the house and go to a record shop rather than going online — I have never downloaded a song in my life.”

Vinyl is making a comeback with the younger generations these days and 16-year-old Ewan Gilbert was pleased to pick up a record by punk duo Slaves.

He said: “My dad has got a vinyl player and has got me into it, I really like going to the record shop.”

Mr Meekings described the scenes as he first opened his shop as “complete mayhem.”

He added: “It was chaos, there were so many people coming in and four of us on the tills trying to go as fast as we could.

“I can say this has been our biggest and busiest ever Record Store Day, it is a great event and has become an essential part of our business.”

He added: “Everyone was in good spirits and most seemed to get what they wanted — some people spent more than a thousand pounds on rare records.”

As an extra treat for the music lovers, local bakery Carrs Pasties were on hand to provide some tasty treats for those in the queue.