Column: Downloads just aren't up to scratch

Our columnist Helen Bach was saddened about the plight of former music and entertainment giant HMV...

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:13 pm
HMV, Kettering

Not being a ‘streamer’ I was saddened to hear about the plight of HMV, my go-to source of music and DVD entertainment.

I am a regular shopper in the Kettering and Leicester stores, where I’ve been going since I was a teenager, so my loyalty stretches back for many years.

I appreciate times are changing - I’ve moved from buying cassettes to CDs after all - but it greatly saddens me to think of our high streets without music shops.

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In my mind, you can’t beat going in and browsing through the shelves of a good music or book store.

You often find things you weren’t expecting, can ask the knowledgeable and helpful staff for recommendations, and can enjoy the general vibe that comes from being in the company of like-minded people.

Because there is a tribe that inhabits music shops, of which I’m proud to be a member.

People who feel passionately about music and want to hear a whole album just as intended, rather than pick out the hit song that’s played on repeat.

The folk that like to appreciate the album sleeve artwork, read the sleeve notes and study the lyrics - that’s not just me, right?

So yes, it’ll be a shame if a buyer isn’t found for HMV, and yet another great British institution disappears forever.

I would urge you all to shop there, or continue to do so if you do already, but you’re perhaps getting bored with me saying ‘use it or lose it’.

The digital world is swiftly replacing our physical purchases; I’m in danger of becoming a Canute-like character - shouting at a relentless and remorseless tide.

I’ll carry on shopping there as usual until the doors shut for the final time and if, or when, that day comes, I’ll weep for what we’ve lost, and I’m sure I won’t be alone.