‘No one’s fault’: Heartbreak as Newcastle record store famous for Sam Fender link forced to close

Beyond Vinyl has had many highs over the years, including that famous night when Sam Fender’s debut album dropped.

As the clock turns midnight on Friday, September 13 in 2019, some of the first and keenest Geordie Sam Fender fans are queuing outside Beyond Vinyl in the Newcastle city centre.

The independent store has cultivated a reputation as a gem of the Newcastle music scene but has had to take the "head over heart" decision to close.

David McGovern opened Beyond Vinyl back in 2018 and despite five years filled with good memories, has been forced to move the store online as the cost of living bites.

Remembering one of those highlights as the day Fender's debut album Hypersonic Missiles came out. David said: "We approached Sam when the first album came out to do a signing and midnight opening, which he couldn't make because of other commitments, but he was great.

"He signed 100s of records for us for people who were queuing at midnight on the night. He sent kebabs and pizzas from his favourite kebab shop. He was very gracious that we opened at midnight and very excited for that."

David first started music retail part-time in 1996 at HMV after studying music tech in college and the passion that led to Beyond Vinyl "grew from there".

As the shop flourished, in lockdown David decided to take on another challenge and fundraise for the Batten Disease Family Association through signed vinyl and original music.

David is at the helm of Beyond Vinyl and its fantastic work

Explaining the difficult decision to close the shop's doors, David said: "It was a hard decision and it's difficult to explain. I opened the shop back in 2018 and since then we've had the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and there's a lot of financial pressure.

"It really hit this Christmas. We were really hoping we could ride that out with the Christmas trade but that didn't happen to the level we needed to continue. It's a hard decision to make but something you have to use your head over your heart.

"Some people could feel guilty or upset but we don't want anyone to feel guilty. Everyone is struggling and it's no one's fault. People have had to prioritise gas and electricity and food, this is a record shop at the end of the day. It's been nice to see the support out there, we've become a community and I want to keep going."

Beyond Vinyl remains open for now with a provisional store closure date set for March 4, 2023. You can shop online at Beyond Vinyl here.