In the Groove Turns the Tables on Digital Music Era


Mike Hurst, singer, songwriter and producer officially opened the new In the Groove shop at 14 Reading Road this morning by playing the vinyl copy of ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’ by PP Arnold which he originally produced in 1967. Mike says, “I love vinyl as the covers tell stories and you just don’t get the same memories with digital downloads.”  Mike has been a customer at Andy Tucker’s previous shop Henley Records for many years and was delighted to be invited to open the new shop.

Andy loves the new shop space which allows him to display more stock (which had started to overrun his home in Berkshire Road) and add some great new features including an original working jukebox, a large sofa, and his favourite piece; a 1960s retro bubble chair.  He’s bucking the digital trend and the increasing demand for original vinyl and like other successful independent record shops he’s offering a relaxing atmosphere to browse and shop.  The new shop also has a cafe which has been leased to Flying Bean Cafe which is owned by Henley Hawk’s captain, Tom Allen and Sam Wilkinson who run a mobile coffee van at the Dry Leas club.  Sam who plays the drums and regularly performs at Magoos was also a customer at Andy’s old shop and regularly came in to browse with a cup of coffee which is why he thought the two would work well together.  The cafe has some great wall and table art which was designed by Sam’s Mum and offers delicious fresh coffee and cakes.

Sam Cleaver who works in Henley, was the first customer this morning.  She loved the new shop and bought six CDs.  Pete Smith who is behind the George Orwell Visitor Centre bought the first coffee and the first CD he chose was the ‘Best of Cat Stevens’ which was very ironic as Mike Hurst was the person who discovered him.  He was also delighted to be the first person to select and play the first song on the jukebox which was ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin.

In the Groove will be taking part in the annual Record Store Day on 20 April.  Every year special vinyl editions are released for both new and old music and are only available in independent record shops.

Andy also runs a Music Quiz Night at the Bird in the Hand on Greys Road.  The next one is Thursday 11 April from 8.30pm.  Entry is free and there’s a raffle in aid of Oxfam.  He also hopes to get more involved in local community events including the Henley Fringe and Music on the Meadows.

The Henley Herald would like to wish Andy good luck with his new venture.