When Frankie and the Heartstrings, a British indie band from the north east, released there anticipated second album last summer they were alarmed at how few record shops there were to sell it in, so decided to open their own. Frankie Francis, the lead singer, said that when they were nearing the completion of the album the big news story was that of HMV going bust, and they also knew of a few local stores which had suffered the same fate.
Frankie went onto say that they were worried that they had their all important second album due for release but that there may not have been anywhere on the High Street to actually sell it. It was this that led them to make the decision to open their own store. The band proceeded to take over the abandoned tourist office in their home town of Sunderland and got help from the city council to turn it into their store. Frankie added, solemnly, that there was no call for the office any more.
Pop Recs Ltd was only supposed to be a short term venture, opening for 2 weeks to coincide with the album’s launch. Such was the response, however, that the band decided to keep it going and have even held in-store gigs. Four out of the five members of the band work there on a full time basis and they were rewarded for their efforts by being named as Britain’s hardest working band by the Association of Independent Music.
When you walk in you shouldn’t be surprised to see Frankie sorting out the coffee machine whilst Dave Harper, the drummer and Steve Dennis, the bassist, behind the counter multi tasking to the max. In an industry which is harder to get into than ever, they should be applauded for both their brainwave and undoubted business acumen.