Central HB: Vinyl buffs flock to new shop

By Nicki Harper

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Tony Ward with a copy of Right First Time by Th' Dudes, recently signed by former band member Dave Dobbyn.
Tony Ward with a copy of Right First Time by Th' Dudes, recently signed by former band member Dave Dobbyn.

Tony Ward has been collecting vinyl records for as long as he can remember.

He is passionate about them, and with a new shop in a new location in Waipawa, he is attracting plenty of interest from other vinyl buffs.

Crammed into an eclectic, narrow premises nestled on Waipawa's main street, thousands of albums line the walls and fill the shop, with more of his huge collection out the back awaiting pre-sale inspection.

Tony has always been loyal to vinyl, collecting for as long as he can remember.

"I sold most of my records when CDs came in, but gave some to my brother.

"Two years ago, he came to me and returned them - it was fantastic."

That sparked the idea to set up in business and share the passion.

Mr Ward started out at the Otane Sunday Market, then moved to Penny Lane in Waipawa, but moving onto the main street has amped up the trade, he said.

"The business is going really well - locals, visitors to town and passers-through who stop for coffee or petrol are discovering this great little shop."

One impressed customer was New Zealand music legend Dave Dobbyn, who called in with his wife when he performed at the CHB Municipal Theatre recently.

During that visit Mr Ward scored the new album Harmony House signed by the man himself, who also penned his moniker on some of his other albums in stock from previous bands Th' Dudes and DD Smash.

As well as a small selection of New Zealand music, Mr Ward has a wide range of artists represented - from Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Glen Miller to name just some.

"With the revival of vinyl, people are re-discovering the pleasure of analogue listening - it is how our hearing works best," Mr Ward said.

And for those who love the warm tones of vinyl records but have nothing to play them on, Mr Ward is also doing a brisk trade in turntables and other related equipment.

He sells second-hand units, ranging in price depending on the technology, as well as new turntables, amps and speakers.

For people who already have one, he also offers a repair service for the likes of a broken stylus, cartridge or needle.

- Passionate About Vinyl is open Friday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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