Swimming in a sea of sounds

Posted on: 7th April, 2014

Category: News

Contributor: Kate Brennan Harding

Every day I filter through music, trying to find the latest beat and the future hits. I utilise my social media accounts to see what people are listening to, as well as radio. It’s exciting swimming in a sea of sounds — allowing one beat to take me on a trail that can lead to a few hours spent quite literally ‘lost in music’.

I am of the generation that bought records, cds and tapes. I used to spend hours in music shops as a teenager; tapes were my ‘thing’! In fact when CD’s were launched, I insisted on still buying tapes, as it made my collection look prettier.

I love having music at my fingertips. But despite this, I miss the excitement of a new album release. I miss the physicality of holding it and the patience required to get the plastic wrapping off before scrambling to press play. I miss scouring the sleeve’s artwork, lyrics and funny secrets. Music was a prize possession —taking pride of place in living rooms and teenage bedrooms.

Now, its only reference is a docking station or a hard-drive. There is a loss of beauty in the industry with everything being downloaded and streamed. Yes the artwork is still visible but only on a screen.  The other problem is that it is truly hard to wade through the amount of awful generic music that is like a deluge every day in our charts.

So it is with great delight that we welcome a new music shop to West Cork. Hunky Dory has opened its musical doors in Spiller’s Lane and is a well-stocked treasure trove for music lovers. It will have an official opening on World Record Day – April 19.

Mark Holland is the shop owner and I met with him to talk – shop!  He explains that while coming back from Electric Picnic with the sounds still in his head, he was frustrated that there wasn’t somewhere to buy music. The large record shops had closed down or were only stocking chart sellers.  Mark comments “there are many reasons why it is important for me that Clonakilty and West Cork has a good music shop, the primary one is my own personal indulgence, and since opening the shop I have been able to find albums that have eluded me for years, a facility we are glad to provide for customers if we can.”

The shop has a lovely energy to it — selling music in every respect. Upstairs has a well researched selection of instruments. Hunky Dory carries Faith, Hofner and Sigma guitars. Downstairs there is a selection of Vinyl that makes me want to put a record player on the ground and have a sit in, surrounded by sound.

Mark says, “as a ‘music centre’ we hope to offer an environment that allows people to indulge all of their musical aspirations. Often a person needs to hold or strum an instrument to know that it is for them. I personally wanted an acoustic guitar until I handled an electric and fell in love with the neat way it slipped into my arms!”

The selection of music is well chosen, with most tastes catered for. It is a shop that is more than a shop. It is a space that offers the chance to browse and talk about music. From Talking Heads to Yello, Arcade fire to Neil Young, there is something for the discerning music palate. If you have been craving an opportunity to find new treasure, then Hunky Dory is the place to find it.

What has come as a surprise to Mark and the team at Hunky Dory is the amount of Ukuleles that are walking out the door. I blame the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra! With a selection of amps, drum skins, strings, Hunky Dory serves West Cork musicians well too.

Hunky Dory opens from Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am to 17.30pm.

I have only two brief but highly important recommendations this month — April 10, Julie Feeney in De Barras. Go and see what musical genius looks like. April 11 in De Barras, Dublin band GANGS is playing. Tipped as this year’s hottest emerging Talent from Hot Press. Go see this Mod outfit while you still can in such an intimate venue.

Lastly, I predicted wildly about Electric Picnic this year in last month’s column. I am delighted with the announcements of Beck and Chic so far – still holding out for Bowie, Albarn and perhaps The Black Keys!

Enjoy April, visit Hunky Dory, practice makes perfect and music is the answer!

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