It looks like vinyl is back for another generation.

Over the weekend, record collectors were out in force at the Record Fair in Whanganui. The foul weather was not foul enough to deter them from finding that special piece of vinyl.

"They went out of vogue when CDs came in because CDs came in '84 to '85 and they started to take over from vinyl," Vinyl Trader's Tony Pill said. "But there were always collectors there that collected vinyl."

Pill said record collection is back in vogue, with young people especially.

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Record Fair boss Brian Wafer believes the demise of vinyl was a rock'n'roll swindle.

"It was manufactured decline. You sell people whatever they like on vinyl, then you sell it to them in a new format on cassette. Then you go 'hmmmm, how do we do it again? We'll create a new format and tell them it's better and we'll sell it to them on that as well'.

"People buy the same stuff, then they buy it on-line, digital," he said. "Same things, over and over again."

Like any hobby that's verging on obsession, there are plenty of characters who take record-collecting to extremes.

"I met a guy, all he cares about are records about trains," said one punter.

"I've got a friend in Taranaki, all he wants is Taranaki music on record," Wafer said. "Doesn't matter if it's a choir or a punk band, he wants a copy of each one."

Andrew Matai, who owns a record shop in Auckland, said the most popular was alternative music.

"We sell a lot of Flying Nun that's for sure," he said. "We sell a heck of a lot of Flying Nun!"

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New Zealand music collectors will have lots more to choose from in the near future with Holiday Records in Auckland setting up the first purpose-built record press in about 30 years. It's welcome news for local bands and labels who currently have to go offshore for pressings.

The Record Fair tours the regions in the coming months:

Tauranga 22 June - The Jam Factory
Whakatane 23 June - The Boiler Room
Napier 6 July - The Cabana
Te Puke 14 July - Annan Pineapple
Browns Bay 31 August - St Anne's hall
Albany 21 September - Albany Hall
Auckland City 30 November - Freemans Bay Hall

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