Big thanks to Nick Clark for taking the time to give us this info on his market stall that he had here in Plymouth back in the eighties. Rhythm are still functioning as Rhythm Online for all your new/used Vinyl and CD needs:
Rhythm Online and their Facebook page: Rhythm Online (Facebook).
Am I correct in saying the Rhythm stall was in the Outdoor Market which was at the bottom of town?
That’s right, in the car park.
What years was the stall active?
1983 to early 1985, as far as I remember.
How and why did you come to start a stall selling records?
I’d worked for Andy’s Records in East Anglia for nearly seven years and got headhunted by HMV who sent me to manage the Plymouth shop. I didn’t get on with them as a company. Jeff Barrett (now of Heavenly Recordings) was working with me, and we started Rhythm together as an alternative outlet for more obscure music. Jeff split with me to run the independent shop Meat Whiplash.
I carried on with the stall for a while, then started a mail-order catalogue along the same lines.
Was there a particular genre of music that you sold?
Independent, alternative, basically, when “indie” still had some clout and originality as a genre. I hated that HMV proscribed “anarchic” bands like Crass and the Dead Kennedys, so we made sure we stocked plenty of that!
Was it both new releases and second hand records that you sold?
Yes. Friends generously helped initially by donating stuff to get the stall started. Live cassettes also sold well.
Any records you remember as being particularly good sellers?
The Smiths, Rudimentary Peni, The Cramps, Hüsker Dü, Joy Division / New Order, Creation label singles.
Being that you sold records where you involved in DJing or promoting nights?
Jeff (Barrett) was.
What clubs/nights did you frequent back when you had the stall?
Jeff started a night at Ziggys and put on bands like The Jesus And Mary Chain, when Bobby Gillespie played the drums standing up, The Loft (prior to The Weather Prophets) and Biff Bang Pow! (with Alan McGee).