To Have and to Hold Records

The funny bespectacled kid down our road knew his own mind when we were growing-up: football and music.

Melvin Hardy our amiable proprietor is on the cusp of opening a new record shop on Tewkesbury’s Church street, of course, that’s if there wasn’t a global crisis unfolding. (Like myself he used to wear NHS glasses- he can get through this.) Thankfully, the online version of his shop is doing just fine thank you very much, much like his promotional events that are making an enviable impact at local venues…

The Watson Hall has enjoyed the success of Melvin’s love of music, hosting two sizeable and impressive decade themed discos to date with more “eye-linered” in for the future. The Roses theatre has also enjoyed Mel’s success, accordingly, a loyal fan base turned out to savour Depeche Mode’s 101 at his first cinematic outing. Both venues are hosts to planned events in September with the Roses exhibiting Purple Rain on the 11th – we know the forecast is not good – and on the 12th of September the Watson Hall is courting The Purple Prince disco. Mel’s obsessions are always centre stage…

Monsieur Hardy’s admiration for Depeche Mode is monstrous, just like the size of their following. I wonder if there will be a section in his shop dedicated to his band? A band which rose from humble beginnings – lest we forget one of Depeche Mode’s early singles, reviewed by Danny Baker, was dismissed simply as “banal” – not a word that could be used to describe DM’s back catalogue and achievements, or for that matter,  Melvin Hardy’s passion for music.

For those passionate about music, this new record shop is just for you. If you enjoy talking about bands, enjoy comparing live sets, are obsessive over a particular album, if you have been arrested for stalking popstars, are hypnotised by boxes of vinyl, love telling the same story about the time you met the ex-bassist of…,then-To Have and To Hold Records is for you.  Just don’t forget to take your pocket-money with you!  

You would have to be more than a little myopic to appreciate what Mel is offering his home town. Opening up a record shop on Theoc high street, re-booking the Watson Hall, continually employing the Roses theatre, like the half-timbered frontages on Tewkesbury’s high street the truth is black and white: Melvin Hardy is nothing less than loyal to the town he grew up in and perhaps we need to repay that loyalty?

Growing-up, we all obviously and predictably supported the glamorous northern clubs, whereas, Melvin’s loyalties lay with the much, much, much smaller, less fashionable but ultimately local Brum and it’s still the case today. As for his love of music, well…watch this space: To Have and to Hold Records, 6 Church Street, Tewkesbury.

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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