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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 13:30 UK
The Cheek and Sudbury celebrate Record Store Day
By Richard Haugh
BBC Suffolk

The Cheek
Download an exclusive track from The Cheek's Record Store Day EP below

Suffolk is showing support for the county's independent record shops as part of international Record Store Day.

The Cheek are releasing a special vinyl EP whilst Sudbury will host a day of free live music on Saturday, 17 April.

"Not enough people go down to their local record shop - not enough people actually have a local record shop anymore," said The Cheek's Rory Cottam.

"Although there's the internet and blogs now, it's a good way to find out about music."

Blur, Pavement and The Rolling Stones are amongst a long list of bands releasing limited edition records on the day, which aims to highlight the role played by the diminishing number of independently owned stores.

"It's nice owning a solid thing that you can keep rather than downloading and hearing stuff on the internet, which is quite a forgettable way of getting music," said Rory, who sings with the band whose members hail from Woodbridge and the surrounding area.

"Although the internet is great and people can access it quickly, owning something and finding out about music through people is a lot more wholesome way of listening to music.

"You also pick up on other people's tastes - talking to the person behind the counter leaves a paper trail of records, buying one thing, realising you like it, talking to someone else..."

The Record Store Day EP, titled Retumba Afortunada, precedes The Cheek's forthcoming album, which was recorded in Belgium and is due this summer.

Rory says it was nice to try something different for the EP.

"We recorded it nice and quickly and tried to keep that almost live element to it."

A limited number of The Cheek's 12" vinyl will be available from independent record shops from Saturday, but the band have given BBC Suffolk Introducing an exclusive MP3 of one of the tracks, Speck of Dust, to download for free.

Right click and select 'save target/link as' to download to your computer.

Sudbury live

Meanwhile, in Sudbury, Compact Music is the focal point for celebrations.

A day of live music is being hosted around the town - thanks in part to Jane Hatton from the Sudbury Market Town Partnership.

"Record Store Day is an international event which shows the uniqueness of having an independent record shop," said Jane.

Blur have recorded some long awaited new material for Record Store Day

"Compact Music has people who are prepared to help you. If they haven't got it in store they'll find it.

"They care about their community, their store and the people that are coming to shop with them.

"We still have a sense of the independent retailer and on Thursdays and Saturdays we have a market in the centre of Sudbury. We're really keen to keep the independent retailers thriving."

James Morgan opened Compact Music with his wife Judith in 1988.

"For East Anglia we appear to be one of the few [independent record shops] that are left, but I think that's a geographical fluke rather than the state of the industry," he said.

"I think the strength of our town, being a healthy market town, and because we try to cater to all tastes is another reason that we keep going.

"We diversify quite a lot. We do musical instruments, sheet music, offer a repair service, we also do some tuition, so we have these links with performers.

"There's this constant buzz of people either buying the music, or playing the music, or buying the sheet music.

The Toots
Ukulele band The Toots will be opening events in Sudbury on Saturday

"I think that's quite unusual these days for a music shop to encompass traditional music and CDs - it always used to be one or the other."

James, who helped pick the acts for the Record Store Day celebrations, is very modest about his shop being a focal point for what he says is a thriving local music scene, instead praising the artists for supporting each other.

"We're encouraging this community feel. Even though they're separate bands they'll support and help each other.

"They're thrilled to be expressing themselves and showing their talents in the community - and let's face it, youngsters don't always feel acknowledged and respected by the mature people today.

"Maybe it will help cross these boundaries."

Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, 17 April 2010.

In Sudbury, ukulele band The Toots will kick things off followed by acoustic sets including Adam Chinery.

After 2pm the action moves to a stage at the Old Market Square, where Cool Hearted, Monochus Diabolos, LevelHead and 4speltfor will be playing until 6pm.

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