Cult Hindmarsh Square record store Clarity Records is expanding into an empty bricks-and-mortar space next door, and plans on also throwing (sometimes boozy) gigs on weekends.
Clarity Records is expanding into the shop next door
Clarity Records is much more than just a record store. After opening on Pulteney Street in 2010 as a specialist music shop – slinging vinyl, CDs and other music merch to die-hard punk and hardcore fans – it morphed in 2015 when the business launched annual music festival A Day of Clarity.
Clarity co-owners Matt (also known as Footy) and Laura Hovarth are deeply embedded within Adelaide’s underground music scene. They both run the festival, record shop and all its affiliated appendages, such as the self-titled record label that manages bands such as Hydromedusa.
Unsurprisingly, in 2021, the business needed space to grow.
That’s why last year Matt and Laura decided to lease the vacant 100sqm retail space next door to sell more records – now from artists spanning other musical genres such as jazz, soul and funk – and offer a space for permanent live music.
“We ran out of room,” Laura tells CityMag.
“So when our next-door neighbours The Tangerine Fox moved to West Lakes, we decided that it would be worth thinking about expanding next door to have more space.
“We’d always looked at that and thought it looked like a stage – it’s risen at the back – and we just thought this is a great opportunity for us to think about the future and work with the people that have supported us.”
Clarity will be closed for the month of September and will open the new-look store in October.
The plan is to knock out the adjoining wall between the two shops, so customers can breeze through both, with more physical releases on offer; as well as a raised stage at the rear catering to roughly 50 punters in the shop (depending on the COVID-19 restrictions of the day).
The fitout will include more timber and the iconic “Clarity blue”, says Laura. The space will also have a feature mural painted by former employee, “long-time friend” and local artist Kerri Ann Wright.
Matt says the aim is for it to be an “all-ages live music venue.”
“There’s already a stage in there, and I’ve got the PA ready to go,” he says. “It’s all set up, and it will be a space that will be available for bands to book – full bands.”
After acquiring pop-up liquor licenses in the past, Clarity has hosted in-store performances with Young Henry’s slinging pizza and craft beer. Future events like this are also on the cards.
“But we’ve actually got a beautiful little wine bar around the corner, though, so if people want to go and have a drink down there they can come back and that kind of thing,” Laura says, referring to LOC Bottle Bar.
As part of the expansion, Matt will also launch a new podcast series called Underground Sound, featuring conversations between him and other local music industry figures.
“Personally, I’m a bit of a music nerd and I like finding out history about things that I love and collect and whatnot,” he explains.
“I just see it as a good opportunity for two reasons: one, to tell their story and document aspects of Adelaide music that hasn’t really been documented before, and also just for my own personal gain, and to keep learning more about the history of Adelaide music.”