Words by Jacob McCormack
After years of operating out of factories and selling records online, Joshua Hodson-Smith, the owner of Footscray Records, has finally opened his store in the hustle plus bustle associated with Footscray’s main shopping precinct.
In line with its centralised and convenient location, Josh has established the space to support artists and cater for fans, but also to foster a fortified yet expanding community of creatives within Footscray plus its surrounds.
“We want to cater to music fans and performers of the west, ” says Josh, “Obviously Footscray has changed a lot in the last 10 years or so, there are bars opening and people playing music. A lot of people are saying ‘finally! ”
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However , Footscray Information isn’t just any report store. Josh has about 6, 000 records in circulation in the store at any given time, making it a huge collection that often shocks people as they walk into the store.
“We’ve got about 6000 records, but we get hundreds more every week, ” says Josh “I’m getting 300 more from West Africa in the next couple of weeks. We have heaps of information you don’t see in other stores, yet we get in the latest pop albums and heaps of local stuff too. A lot of individuals don’t expect to find this type of record store in Footscray… until they stroll in! ”
Footscray Records boasts a comprehensive collection of diverse and eclectic records plus they sell both online and in the particular physical store. It’s the bizarre and unconventional records that he endeavours to stock the shelves with, giving Footscray Records ‘s unique place among the information stores associated with Melbourne.
“We specialise inside a lot of strange music; the lot of psychedelic stuff and I have a lot of original pressings associated with Western African stuff… People come in plus say ‘Turkish psychedelia! What’s that like?! ’ I know a lot of the music We bring within, but some of this music I haven’t heard either, so we kind associated with discover it together and it becomes this communal discovery point. ”
Whether people are dipping their toes into some of the weird and wonderful sounds in the niche sections, or are into the more conventional genres, what Josh loves most about the store is the community that’s building around it.
“Footscray’s a welcoming community… that is cool. I actually sell records to people that want them… and need them! ” Josh states. He enjoys that “people come through the shop, buy a record, plus they talk about their story, about their own connection in order to the record.
“I’m always talking to customers, people tell you regarding their history of Footscray record stores from years gone simply by and their particular personal connections to certain songs or just great recommendations. ”
It hasn’t come without scrutinisation and doubt from others, though. When Josh was first planning to open Footscray Records, he was met with an attitude that suggested such a venture would fail.
“A lot of people were saying in order to me—before I opened the particular store—that there won’t be a market for a record store like this in Footscray. But everyone here has been therefore welcoming and there are usually a great deal of songs fans out here. Especially with the prices of rent rising, lots of artists are moving out to the particular west. It’s working. ”
For a moment even Josh was doubting whether the store was a good idea.
“I’ve never worked retail in my life, you know? So getting a lease had me thinking, ‘Whoa! Have I made an enormous mistake? ”
But Josh has nestled in to the operations from the shop. So much so that Footscray Information have their first in-store gig on Sunday October 2 that will see local post-punk band Grups play, the show that will came about from regular interactions plus conversations with a customer, the lead singer and guitarist.
“I think I’ll just take it all as it comes, ” claims Josh. “We’ve got our first in-store gig on Sunday 2nd October, which is a Footscray nearby post-punk band, the singer comes within all the time to buy records and We just obtained speaking with him. ”
A prolonged hiatus from access to a record store in the western has firmly been halted with the timely opening associated with Footscray Records.
You can shop the online store right here , or go in-store at 1/40 Leeds Street, Footscray.