At the top end of Chesterfield, halfway up Marsden Street sits the Real Time Music shop.
Above it the Real Time Live venue, behind it the back rooms for music tuition.
The music shop is run by Tony Rodgers, 63. When he’s not helping you find that guitar you want or that dandy strap for your banjo, he’s the keyboard player for the popular local hepcats, the Little Dog Blues Band.
By his side is Laura Wainwright, 28, who has been with the shop for fourteen years, and when she’s not restringing your guitar or fixing that dodgy treble knob, she’s engrossing herself in kooky Japanese music.
Undoubtedly, these two win the badge of cool by not trying to wear it. Let’s ask the friendly duo some questions.
1. Where did your love of music begin?
Tony: “My mother played piano. She was chapel organist, and played classical and ragtime. So we had a piano in the house, and naturally I played about with it, and started learning it. At the age of nine.” Laura: “None of my family are musical at all, but I just really liked listening to music. Started learning guitar when I was about twelve. I was in the school rock band. So the people around me, my friends, they were into music as well.” Photo: Laura and Tony at Real Time Music, Chesterfield
2. What instruments do you play?
Tony: “Bass guitar primarily. Piano, guitar. Saxophone, badly.” Laura: “I sway more to acoustic guitar. But I learnt on electric.” Photo: Music tutor Mark Black at Real Time Music, Chesterfield
3. Favourite three albums?
Tony: “Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd, has to be up there. The Story, Brandi Carlile. Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Laura: “It changes weekly. At the moment it would be Mr Fantastic, Asa Hiru Ban. I listen to Japanese music. Mr Fantastic are a rock band. My other one would be Soraru, Wonder. He’s a utaiti artist, which is basically they cover other people’s songs. So one person would write a song, in their bedroom, and then they’ll use a vocaloid, vocal software, to create the song. They don’t use any human vocal at all. It’s all electronic. Then they upload the song, and they also release instrumental versions for anyone to download and use. Then people sing over the top of them. It’s very popular in Japan.” Photo: Inside Real Time Music
4. Favourite gig?
Tony: “Yes, Going For The One tour. Stafford Bingley Hall. 1977.” Laura: “Octoboke Beaver in Leicester. They’re a Japanese punk band. They’re more my boyfriend’s kind of thing. It’s very rare that Japanese artists come over here. Yeah, that was quite good. I was more in favour of the support band. They were called Drinking Boys And Girls Choir, and they’re a Korean band.” Photo: Guitars in Real Time Music