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Bishop’s Stortford record shop brings a new moon for vinyl

By Herts & Essex Observer  |  Posted: August 21, 2013

Ben Sommers, left, and Simon Baker are opening Moon Unit Records in The Half Moon's Long Room

Ben Sommers, left, and Simon Baker are opening Moon Unit Records in The Half Moon's Long Room

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IN a world of iPods and digital downloads the vinyl record still remains popular with many music fans.

Independent record stores have enjoyed a mini revival in recent years and now a new vinyl only shop is to open in Bishop’s Stortford.

Moon Unit Records is the brainchild of local musicians and music promoters Ben Sommers and Simon Baker and has been set up in The Half Moon’s Long Room.

The quirky store will be open at the North Street venue from midday until 8pm every day and will be stocking brand new and second hand vinyl, along with merchandise and vinyl accessories.

“We can safely say that we’re the only record shop in the country based in a pub!” said Ben. “It’s a perfect marriage!”

The shop will be stocking the entire catalogue from the renowned Music On Vinyl record label – the world’s largest independent vinyl-only record company which includes albums by Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davies and Leonard Cohen along with more contemporary output from the likes of Kings Of Leon, The Prodigy, Michael Jackson.

As well as this massive selection of over 1000 brand-new 180 gram vinyl albums, the shop will offer an interesting and diverse range of 7 inch vinyl and secondhand LPs and singles along with magazines, t-shirts and badges.

Tickets for local gigs, including those happening at The Long Room will also be on sale.

The new shop will occupy half of the room, with the other half serving fresh home-cooked food from the Half Moon kitchen.

The Moon Unit cafe will offer a host of delightful rock ‘n’ roll related dishes including Meat Loaf’s Bap out of Hell Burgers, Madonna Kebabs, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Sandwich and The Moon Unit - the pub’s signature 7 inch burger.

Simon said: “We hope to host some live acoustic artists on the stage during lunch times, so people can come for a bite to eat, listen to some live music, read the papers and music press and browse the record racks too – it’s a great place to spend your lunch hour!”

A special event is planned to mark the shop’s launch from 2pm on bank holiday Monday.

Renowned comedian and vinyl enthusiast Rick Right will be at the opening and will perform at the venue later that night, along with Stortford comic John Mann.

The Moon Unit Records website will launch on the same day as the shop and will feature a much wider selection of vinyl – more than 10,000 titles.

The Half Moon is becoming an epicentre for entertainment in the town with a veritable smorgasbord of events in its back room including regular comedy, magic, club and music nights.

The shop is most recent part of the redevelopment of The Half Moon, and The Long Room in particular, which has recently been given a face lift with a new lick of paint and a new logo.

For further information about the venture contact info@moonunitrecords.co.uk or visit the Facebook and Twitter pages @moonunitrecords.

To find out more about busking in the shop or to register an interest, call into the shop during opening hours and speak to Ben or Simon.

Read more from Bishops Stortford Herts & Essex Observer

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