Eastside Melbourne music alumni will know Quality Records + as one of those record stores that could have been the inspiration for the movie, High Fidelity.
The eclectic shop at 269 Glenferrie Road in Armadale (just around the corner from High Street) is “racked to the gills” with LPs, CDs, books, posters, prints and other musical-related bric-a-brac which comes in and goes out like an ebbing tide of hot wax.
A team of eccentrically studious staff chatter away to a casting couch of customers who come for the conversation just as much as the music.
“That’s our brand identity,” says Quality’s gregarious manager Kelly Griffiths, a former musician who has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything music and anything retail.
“Our name says it all,” she says. “We believe that everyone who steps through our door is a person of quality who deserves rock-star treatment.”
So committed is Griffiths and her team of “musical tragics”, that the store runs a weekly post, ‘People of Quality’, which profiles any one of a number of regulars who grace the store’s doors.
Those featured are:
Jimmy, a former recording artist who worked with some of Australia’s finest in the ‘70s and is one of the earliest masters of Sitar in this country.
The dazzling musician, Al Carr, who’s releasing records that are delighting audiences around the globe. Carr will be performing instore at Quality for Record Store Day to premiere some of the songs from his upcoming album.
Impresario Nigel, one of Australia’s first punk movers and shakers from ‘70s bands, Jonestown Suicide, Nasty Nigel and the Teenage Hellcats, and The Young Homebuyers, whose records are now rare collectors’ items.
And one cannot not acknowledge Miriam who’s bought eight copies of Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman, once a week, because it such a “splendiferous gift”.
And there’s no show without Sparkles, another fave regular, who loves the big hits of the ‘80s as well as a bit of quality musical theatre, and a “good cassette” (which are on the way back).
Sparkles is one of several regulars who has been invited to come in on RSD and help steer the traffic.
“You’ll know who they are,” says Griffiths. “They’re the one’s who will greet you like a long-lost aunt and offer you a glass of something and a kind word. It’s the quality approach.”
Then there’s the QR+ crew, Nick, the next Keith Moon in-waiting, bassist, Matt, who keeps his cherry red Fender Jaguar under the counter, Les Paul guitar tragic Jim (whom QR+ would not exist without), DJ N-Tice, who will spinning disks all day, and Antoine who used to play pop songs for Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines in the ‘80s.
It’s a smorgasbord of everything and everyone this Record Store Day.
There’s little more to say really, other than to head on down and have a “quality” time.
Check out Quality Records at 269 Glenferrie Road, Malvern on Saturday April 13 for Record Store Day. Find out more about the record store via their website.