Turning Tables Q&A – Sam and Paul, Bendigo Vinyl VIC

Turning Tables
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 Paul and Sam from Bendigo Vinyl in North Victoria.

Take it away, team!

What store can we find you at and how long have you been there?
Sam: We are Bendigo Vinyl – at 333 Hargreaves St Bendigo VIC 3555. We are super new – only been operating physically about a month and online and at some markets for nearly a year.

Paul: Bendigo Vinyl right in the heart of Bendigo, 333 Hargreaves Street. We opened our doors there on the 21st of May but have been trading online and at markets since November last year. 

How has the store and its customers changed over time?
Sam: Cause we are so new, we don’t have a ton of institutional memory to draw from, but we have noticed that our main consumer base are younger – looking to get into vinyl and support their favourite artists.

Paul: We’ve only been in the store a short time but it’s been great having market regulars come visit as well as a lot of people discovering us for the first time. Before we opened we we’re really excited about younger people not necessarily getting into Vinyl as an “old medium” but buying new artists that are releasing new music. 

What’s your general vibe to kick off the morning music when doors open?
Sam: Depends how tired we are! Sam will typically put some more chilled electronica on, Rufus Du Sol, or the new Bonobo or Toro Y Moi. If Paul is in, some classic punk will get a spin, or some 90s Aussie Rock – get that energy level up!

Paul: We are super proud of our range and diversity in store so it can be a bit eclectic. Chilled electronic (more of a Sam pick), or some classic Punk (more of a Paul pick). The first record we played in store though was Is This Offensive and Loud, The Nat Vazer record. 

Ever had any notable cameo walk-ins in store?
Sam: So far not a ton, but we did have a friend of Camp Cope call Georgia from the store before her gig at the opera house – so that was pretty cool 😉

Do you remember the first record that started your own collection? Was it bought, gifted or handed down?
Sam: My partner at the time, wife now, bought me Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ – which is my favourite album of all time. I must have listened to it a thousand times on other formats, and there was stuff on vinyl I’d never heard before. Guitar parts, vocal inflections. So much depth. After that I was hooked.

Paul: I was gifted a new record that properly started my collection. A Punk/Indie act from Scotland, The Snuts. Sam also bought me Rolling Stones Let it Bleed which is still one of my all time favourites.

What about the first record you purchased for someone else? Where’d you buy it?
Sam: I can’t remember the exact first vinyl but when in London a couple of years ago I did the pilgrimage to Rough Trade on Portobello Road and picked up an exclusive Ex:Re live album for my brother. That artist means so much to him I knew he’d love it. In terms of the first music I purchased as a gift I vividly recall purchasing a Metallica compilation on CD for a girl I liked in high school. That went about as well as could be expected….

Paul: I’m not sure exactly but I do remember buying Sam Leon Bridges “Coming Home” as a house warming gift the night we decided to commit to opening Bendigo Vinyl

Favourite debut record of all time?
Sam: The aforementioned ‘Grace’ by Jeff Buckley or ‘Dummy’ by Portishead. For Paul, The Living End self titled or Oasis’s ‘Definitely Maybe’ are my guesses for his picks.

Paul: The Living End’s debut full length is definitely a great pick by Sam for me. 

Tell us about the most valuable (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
Sam: A signed copy of Melbourne artist Nat Vazer’s debut ‘Is This Offensive and Loud?’ is probably my pick. I think it means so much to me because it sums up why we do what we do, to support local Artists who make excellent music. Australian artists soundtrack our lives and they don’t get enough cash or credit for it. 

Paul: Love the signed Nat Vazer we have in store. That came about after someone asked what we were playing on opening day and proceeded to buy the Nat Vazer record. Later that night we were having some celebratory drinks and the customer messaged us on Instagram and wondered if we could get a signed copy. We screenshot his message and sent it to Nat, she was a delight and sent us some signed copies.

Favourite Australian release of all time?
Sam: ‘Roll On’ – The Living End, Paul loves his ‘Go Farther in Lightness’ – Gang of Youths 

Paul: It’s a tie between The Living End and Go Farther, Gang of Youths. The Saints also don’t get enough credit.

What’s your number one pick of the second drop of RSD releases landing on June 18?
Sam: That Live on Two Legs record from Pearl Jam is pretty tasty. They are such a fantastic live band and that experience should be recorded and cherished, very exciting that this one is.

Paul: The Kinks Waterloo sunset I’m pretty keen on

What record has been on repeat for you lately?
Sam: The Carla Geneve debut ‘Learn to Like It’ is living rent free on our turntable in the store at the moment. Stellar homegrown indie rock. I really dig that low beats per minute big chords and Aussie inflection thing. In the finest tradition of The Drones and Something for Kate, it’s a throwback and a throw forward at the same time.

Paul: I just got myself a copy of the Franz Ferdinand Debut on wax. That’s got a few spins lately.

Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
Sam: At the risk of sounding basic AF, I don’t think there is a band that has been as consistently excellent and still evolved as radically as Radiohead. ‘In Rainbows’ feels like the high-water mark for an artist that reinvented what genre and popular rock music looks and sounds like. Delicate ballads and complex guitar and synth driven hook vehicles are all over that album. Sounds great on vinyl. 

Paul: I’d love to say Pablo Honey by Radiohead just to annoy Sam. My Favourite band would have to be The Living End though. 

Favourite in-store performance of all time?
Sam: Haven’t had any yet unfortunately, unless you count Sam singing along badly to whatever is on the turntable – hope to get some happening very soon though.

Paul: Sam singing along to London Calling was pretty good

Best thing about working at a record store?
Sam: You get to speak the universal language that is music with everyone that comes in. You get to hear what music means so much to them and why. If you don’t head home with a full heart, I don’t think you’ve done it right.

Paul: I love records and music but maybe I forgot about the connection people have with music. We had a girl lose her mind when we said we had some Elliot Smith in store. That made my day.

It’s closing time in the store, what’s spinning?
Sam: Depends if there’s kick-ons… Maybe some classic rock in that case. Bowie, Zep or Springsteen will make an appearance. If it’s a bit cold and the heater at home is calling, some mid 90’s trip-hop never goes astray.

Paul: Europe?

Stay up to date with Bendigo Vinyl, and get in touch about all titles they have landing in store for Saturday 18 June via their website, facebook and instagram.

Store Location
Bendigo Vinyl
333 Hargreaves St
Bendigo VIC 3550

Opening Hours
Thursday—Saturday: 10AM–5PM