Shining a light on the tastemakers behind the desk
With a second drop of 2022 RSD Releases landing in stores on Saturday 18 June, we’re back with the long-awaited return of our beloved interview segment Turning Tables—shining a light on the faces, names, minds and tastemakers behind the desk who greet our crate-digging friends with invaluable knowledge and an undying love for all things music.
Today we’re featuring Adam and Kirsty from Tommy Gun Records in Hobart, Tasmania.
Take it away, team!
What store can we find you at and how long have you been there?
Adam: Tommy Gun Records in Hobart. I’ve been here for 16 years now.
How has the store and its customers changed over time?
Adam: The shop started as a glorified garage sale really called Retro Steptoe in Liverpool St – a bit of a jog out of the city centre. I sold second hand retro furniture, bits and bobs, clothes and records and CDs. When it was clear that music was selling the most and it’s what I loved, I took down the sign and changed it to Tommy Gun Records overnight.
What’s your general vibe to kick off the morning music when doors open?
Adam: Normally something up tempo like punk or rock – Blondie and Elvis Costello have been the go to records this morning.
Kirsty: I like some Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Heart, Ewah & The Vision of Paradise – generally a rockin female artist
Ever had any notable cameo walk-ins in store?
Adam: We often see Tim Rogers which is great and around Mofo and Dark Mofo is good for rock star sightings such as Thurston Moore and the crew from Candlemass.
Do you remember the first record that started your own collection? Was it bought, gifted or handed down?
Adam: I think the first record I remember owning was the 7” single of I See Red by Split Enz. I’m not sure whether I actually bought it or (cough) borrowed it from my uncle Steve. Later I do remember being gifted such gems as Choose 85.
Kirsty: My Auntie bought me ABBA, The Singles gatefold double LP when I was five or six years old. Many rainy days of my Scottish childhood were spent singing and dancing to that record.
What about the first record you purchased for someone else? Where’d you buy it?
Adam: I’m not sure about buying, but we did do a lot of dubbing cassettes of metal albums for friends. Judas Priest, Priest…Live! Comes to mind.
Kirsty: As a teenager I bought Best of Blondie from Back Beat records in Edinburgh for a girlfriend.
Favourite debut record of all time?
Adam: Probably I’m Stranded by The Saints.
Kirsty: The Pretenders, Self Titled.
Tell us about the most valuable (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
Kirsty: Rod Stewart, Atlantic Crossing. As a child I loved looking at the cover art of this album and I really loved the concept of a ‘fast side’ and a ‘slow side’. Happy memories are associated with this sentimental album.
Favourite Australian release of all time?
Adam: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’d probably go Eternally Yours by The Saints again or Powerage by AC/DC.
Kirsty: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree.
What’s your number one pick of the second drop of RSD releases landing on June 18?
Adam: Echo and the Bunnymen B Sides and Live looks pretty cool.
What record has been on repeat for you lately?
Adam: I’ve been listening to the new album by Midnight a lot recently called Let There be Witchery. It mixes black metal with rock – kind of like late period Darkthrone and Motorhead.
Kirsty: Kae Tempest, The Line is a Curve.
Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
Adam: The Buzzcocks. Probably Singles Going Steady for someone who was totally unaware of them but as far as proper albums go, you can’t go past Another Music in a Different Kitchen.
Kirsty: Led Zepplin III
Favourite in-store performance of all time?
Adam: When we changed over the name of the shop, we had local band The Bad Luck Charms play a launch gig in that tiny space. I think a lot of people ended up watching the gig from outside the shop. They later went on to play the first in-store when we moved to our new shop.
Kirsty: tough Call…Hobart band Liquid Nails.
Best thing about working at a record store?
Adam: I’ve got to meet some great people and formed some strong friendships from running the store. I’ve also met most of my bandmates through the shop.
Kirsty: The customers. I get to meet people who love their music. I have made wonderful friends and I love hearing people’s gig stories. Plus I get to play records all day!
It’s closing time in the store, what’s spinning?
Adam: If there is no one around, Darkthrone or Killing Joke.
Kirsty: Nina Simone, Jon Hopkins, Arthur Russell, Nala Sinephro.
Tommy Gun Records
127 Elizabeth Street
Hobart, Tasmania 7000
Ph (03) 6234 2039