Avalanche in Edinburgh isn’t the only record shop in Scotland that’s struggling in the current climate. One Up Records in Aberdeen appears to also be in difficulty.
Although I’m not in Aberdeen very often, this is sad news as One Up was, at one time, without doubt my favourite record shop in the country.
Back in the late 80s/early 90s I did a block release course at college in Aberdeen for four years. I’d actually never visited the city before but the course entailed three days, three times a year in the Granite City. But the best bit was the fact that we finished at lunch-time on the Friday – so the afternoon could be spent trawling the record shops.
At the time, as well as the bigger chains such as Virgin and HMV, there was the likes of the Other Record Shop but the gem was undoubtedly One Up – then located on Diamond Street just off Union Street.
It was a shop with a ferociously great selection of both vinyl and CDs and was a good place to feed my habit of recently discovered American music. It was also a place capable of surprising me – I distinctly remember getting Grant Hart’s debut solo single, the SST version of ‘2541’, on 3” CD in One Up without being aware that the single was coming out.
Subsequent visits inevitably saw me beating a path to Diamond Street but these became less frequent through the 90s after I’d completed the course. Then, one time, maybe 10 years or more ago, I turned onto Diamond Street – and One Up was gone.
Only on the next visit, 3 or 4 years ago, did I discover that the shop had moved half a mile to Belmont Street. So Saturday past was my third visit to the new premises.
One Up has also provided me with the classic record experience of hearing something for the first time in a shop and buying it. That’s fairly unusual as I’ve usually got a pretty good idea of what I’m looking of when I go into shops. But it happened last year and led to the purchase of the Ringo Deathstarr LP.
On both last year’s and last Saturday’s visit, One Up has seemed fairly well stocked – with both local Scottish CDs and acts from further afield. Yet the autumn announcements suggested that the shop may not make it past the festive season.
Certainly trade on Saturday afternoon when I was in was steady – but not jumping (although in truth the whole city centre was quieter than I’d expected.) I hope it’s enough.
Certainly my fingers are crossed that the next time I’m in Aberdeen, One Up is still there to greet me.