AFTER months of uncertainty the first instalment of this year’s Record Store Day will take place tomorrow, and it’s not a moment too soon for Bolton’s X Records.

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.

Steve Meekings, owner of X-Records, in Bridge Street, said: “We reopened in July but it has been very up and down.

“We have done quite well by selling online and that is what we have been concentrating on and we are taking a different approach to RSD this year.

“The release days have been split up with Saturday as the main one and we will be serving people at the door rather than having them queue in the shop.

“It’s not a browsing event and the queue will stay outside which I think is safer for everyone attending.”

Artists from the likes of Pink Floyd, The Cure and The Kinks to Christine and the Queens, J Hus and The Big Moon are scheduled to take part with limited-edition releases, and Steve is confident David Bowie and Madness will also be big sellers.

“I think it will still be our busiest day of the year,” he added. “It’s an event now which creates a camaraderie between our customers and it’s a great atmosphere.

“There really is something for everybody.”