Home' In The City : In the City - Spring - 2013 Contents 024
The Beatles made fans swoon in the '60s, funk
and disco beats pumped through the '70s, pop
was bigger than ever in the '80s and grunge
rock raged against the machine in the '90s.
In the fickle world of music, trends come and
go but Landspeed Records in Garema Place is
no one-hit wonder.
The business has built a dedicated following since it first
opened its doors in 1994 and current Landspeed Records
owner Blake Budak has been there since day one.
"When we started out, in terms of CD shops in civic, I think
there were about seven and now there's just ourselves and
JB," Budak says.
"A lot have come and gone since then, that's for sure."
Twenty years ago, Landspeed Records began trading
upstairs in the arcade on the other side of Garema Place.
Three years after opening, the increasingly popular
business needed more space to be able to expand its range.
He and his business partner at the time made the decision
to move its current location and share the space with
"We got together with her to take on this space because
it was too big and too expensive for us to take it on
ourselves," Budak says.
By 2005, Landspeed Records was big enough to encompass
the space on its own.
Landspeed Records sells a variety of products ranging from
CDs, DVDs and vinyl to memorabilia, novelty items and
clothing, including vintage items.
Budak's partner creates the vintage clothing for the
store after previously selling through a variety of outlets
in Canberra and Sydney.
"It's good because you get the guys and the girls who come in
together and the guys can have a look at records but there's
so much stuff for the girls to look at too," Budak says.
He believes Landspeed Records has survived so long
because there are a variety of items that appeal to different
"I think if we were just a straight up CD shop, we'd be
struggling," Budak says.
Landspeed Records has built a solid reputation for being
much more than a music store and providing fans with
items that can be difficult to find.
"We just concentrate on trying to have things that they
(mainstream music stores) don't have," Budak says.
"We try and get things that people can't get elsewhere and
a lot of people just like to support an independent shop,
which is always good."
The initial concept of the store has changed over time
and Budak says he could never have envisioned the store
becoming the mainstay it is today.
"Music tastes have changed, in that we started off as an
independent 'indie' sort of music shop and then we took on
other genres from there, like all kinds of dance music, but
even that's not as big as it used to be," he says.
"Everything is so internet driven, music trends are more
The different generations seen flicking through album
covers at any time of the day at Landspeed Records is
another aspect that gives the business its edge.
"It's probably only gotten broader as time has gone on,"
"When we started out, it was pretty much a shop for young
people but now, we've got customers in their 60s or 70s but
then there are teenagers and right through all the ages as
Over the past few years Landspeed Records has started to
cater for the tastes of older generations that may not be
familiar with the concept of downloading.
"We have all sorts of obscure 1960s re-issues and stuff like
that and people come in and say 'yeah, I used to have that
on vinyl and haven't seen it for 30 years'," he says.
Budak concedes that the downloading phenomenon has
had some effect on the business but hasn't totally wiped
"Its rise has definitely meant that there are less other shops
The market has definitely shrunk but because other places
have closed down, we've been able to pick up business
"Things are always changing but if you look at each city in
Australia, there are one or two independent shops that are
really doing well."
Budak says vinyl has experienced a resurgence in recent
years, which has been great for the business.
"A lot of people may have already downloaded the album
but they want to have the vinyl, they want to physically
invest in that too," he says.
"The thing is, a lot of our customers are hardcore fans and
collectors so again, they've probably already listened to it
online but then they want to own every album."
Budak says while there is interest from interstate visitors
who "haven't seen stores like this before", it is the dedicated
locals who have ensured Landspeed Record's success.
"We are very lucky that a lot of people have been very loyal,
they want to support us and that's a big part of the reason
we've survived as long as we have."
A: 30 Garema Place, Canberra city
P: (02) 6248 9220
Through changing tastes, location moves and even the
internet and the downloading boom one Canberra record
store has managed to stay high on Canberra music fans'
playlists. JASMINE HIGHFIELD reports
THE BEAT GOES ON
PEOPLE & PLACES
Landspeed Records owner Blake Budak.
Links Archive In The City - Winter 2013 In the City - Summer - 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page