All The Rage Out of the embers of the legendary Road Records a new bird has risen. Bryan O’Hanlon meets the new proprietors of RAGE (Record, Art and Gaming Emporium) to discuss vintage records, burst pipes and all things in between.
s the doors of Road other than my friends who were Records shut for the final into older games.” time last summer many Thankfully, the risk paid off. lamented the loss of an institution. “We opened a small section and For more than a decade it had we sold out of everything in the provided Dubliners with their first week so it’s been pretty good. musical fix – a personal haven of Everything has gone better than dusty record sleeves amid a sea expected, the feedback has been of multi-store conglomerates. As wonderful.” eulogies passed and tears dried, Regardless, the endeavour has many held little hope for the not been without its setbacks. A vacant Fade Street unit to become burst pipe over the Christmas peanything other than a nondescript hair salon. Last October however, amid little fanfare, an altogether “There was six inches of more interesting creation water covering the popped up. basement, everything from Specialising in retro games and boasting a surthe counter back was just prisingly thorough record destroyed” collection, the aptly named Record, Art and Game Emporium or ‘RAGE’ arrived and has since wormed its riod meant Nicholas was greeted way into the minds of many in the with an in-store “waterfall.” capital. “There was six inches of water “It took about six weeks covering the basement, everything preparation before we opened,” from the counter back was just dethe project’s brainchild Nicholas stroyed,” he recalls ruefully. “That DiMaio reveals. “I had a little took about two months to repair record stall in George’s St. Arcade but we got through it. I was devfor the last five years and was astated after working so hard to running out of room there – I had set everything up and it was just about 4,000 records in my house! starting to get a lot of attention I heard Road Records was closing but when I look back at it, it was a down and I was looking to find blessing in disguise. It allowed us a unit but when I started looking to gut downstairs, knock down a around I found that this unit was wall and build a stage.” perfect.” This move means RAGE can After some haggling over rent now host free live gigs most he decided to take the plunge and Saturdays, with a firm emphasis give it a go on a year’s lease. “I on Dublin’s rising talent. “It’s a was taking a chance to a certain good opportunity for bands who extent. I didn’t really do any have a new release coming up. research and I didn’t know anyone People buy their album when they
play and it’s also good for us to create a good vibe,” he notes. “People get to see bands for free in a more intimate location and it helps us in terms of advertising; if the band brings twenty friends then there’s a good chance half of them haven’t been to the shop yet.” 2010 will long be remembered as one of the bleakest retail years in history, yet Nicholas is adamant he had no worries over the move. “I wasn’t scared whatsoever. I know people buy records so if you get good records they’ll sell. There’s definitely a niche market there,” he insists, adding that hard work is the only crucial element. “The other record stall was selling quite well throughout the recession so that allowed me to do this. When I first started the stall it was losing serious money and it took like two years of working every single day to get it to a level where it could make some serious money.” With a successful beginning under their belts and a steady stream of satisfied customers, Nicholas is rightly content with how the last half a year has played out. As for future plans, he’s adopting a philosophical approach. “We’ve only been open six months, so we’re going to give it time and see how it goes but ideally I’d like to have a bigger shop where we can have everything. I’m always looking at new spots so hopefully have a huge store with much more space.”