Monthly Archives: October 2020


An off-licence is deemed an essential business. It stays open during the lockdown. Likewise, the optician, newsagent or furniture store. I often wonder about the decision-making process used to determine what services stay open.

The Music Shop has closed. You can’t buy strings for your guitar or sticks for your drums. If you want a vinyl record or a CD you have to go online. Yet surely it is feasible to manage customers in a music shop as it would be in an off-licence. It’s remarkable that you can browse at will in an off-licence but not flick through a selection of records in your local music store.

Music is a therapy that many people need during these depressing times. Many people would benefit from purchasing a musical instrument. They would become more distracted from the doom and gloom. A day without television and radio news bulletins is a good day in these times. A day littered with music, singing and dancing is even a better day.
Treat yourself to music. My secret haven from the stresses of life is my record collection. It’s like a library that I dip into for escapism or stimulation. Every genre is represented. It is a therapeutic resource like no other. The advantages of vinyl records is subtle but noticeable. I listen to all of side A before I turn over to side B. People tend to be less patient on modern devices – switching through songs before they finish. The overall project or theme of the piece of work is lost as people keep pressing buttons. The other advantage is that I can read the lyrics on the sleeve and notes from the artist. It connects better with me.

On Thursday this week I avoided the TV and the news for a whole day. And I didn’t feel I missed out on anything. In fact, I treated myself to hours of music and turned the volume up loud. I hope the neighbours didn’t mind!!

(c) Shane Martin