The owners of the newly opened Vinyl Boutique share a passion for music and have worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Vaughan Willmore went to find out more. 

WORDS Vaughan Willmore

Located in the bustling heart of Loulé is the fantastic Vinyl Boutique. Less than 100 metres from Cíneteatro Louletano, it is the Algarve’s first dedicated vinyl record store. It’s a wonderful experience to walk into the store and immerse yourself in thousands of vinyl records spanning all music genres. 

Vinyl Boutique opened less than two months ago. Lovingly curated by joint owners Boz Boorer and Brian Jutsum, it’s an Aladdin’s Cave for music lovers. You’ll find over 3,000 vinyl records and associated merchandise from the 1950s to modern-day, with LPs and singles encompassing all musical tastes, from Diana Dors to the Sex Pistols and pretty much everything in between.

While adding to your music collection you might recognise Boz, (an accomplished musician and musical director famed for his band The Polecats) or music industry giants, such as Kirsty MacColl, Adam Ant, and Morrissey. 

Boz in Japan, 80’s

His business partner, Brian worked in the UK as a carpenter and furniture maker, and first visited Portugal in the early 80s, eventually setting up home here in 2000. His love of music is longstanding and influenced by the punk phenomenon of the ‘70s. As with Boz, many of the records he sells are from his collection, lovingly curated over many years.

Brian and Boz have been friends for six years after meeting, as one might expect, at a music festival. Along with their wives, they’ve been regular visitors to Portugal for years. They have now made the Algarve their home, with Brian living in Loulé and Boz in Portimão. They take it in turns to staff the store, which is open three days a week and situated on the 3rd floor of the Galerias Dona Leonor indoor shopping complex. They also run an associated Discogs store, a thriving online store with records ranging in price from 1 € to 3,500€. 

I asked Brian what influences the value of a record. He helpfully explained that “the condition of the record and the quality of the recording are major factors, as is the rarity of the item itself and the popularity of the artist. Another thing that can increase the price is if there’s been a reappraisal of the artist’s work or someone is discovered as working on a record before they became a household name. For example, when Jimmy Page (founder of Led Zeppelin) was found to have played on a certain record before he became famous, it sent the price skyrocketing.” 

In terms of their own musical tastes, they are as rich and diverse as the store itself, with Brian having a particular affinity for punk rock and Boz for Marc Bolan. They share a love of Rockabilly and DJ throughout Portugal and Spain at weddings and festivals. They’re both heavily involved in the local community and undertake fundraising activities in support of local animal charities and the Bombeiros, whom Boz credits with saving his recording studio in Monchique when it was threatened by the catastrophic fires a few years ago.

For someone who has played in front of crowds of 20,000 plus and with household names such as Edwyn Collins, Adam Ant, and Kirsty MacColl, Boz is very modest about what has been an outstanding career. An accomplished musician, composer and musical director, Boz is renowned for his guitar playing. But he is also accomplished with the saxophone, piano and, I suspect, many more instruments. 

As a student of music, Boz has found that when collaborating with many of the top artists, some of the technical aspects he developed in his earlier days have to be ‘unlearnt’ and that it pays to adopt a more flexible and innovative approach, often adopting an ethos when recording and playing live of there being ‘no rules’. I suspect Boz’s flexibility and adaptability have contributed to him being such a valued collaborator for Morrissey and others.

I was keen to talk about Boz’s career and his friendships with the late Kirsty MacColl and Chas Smash of Madness. As something of a fan (OK, a massive fan) of Morrissey, I asked about his relationship with the former Smiths frontman, someone whose work is often praised but also has a reputation for not being the easiest person to work with. I asked Boz how he’s managed to sustain a 30-year working relationship. He smiled and shrugged and then said, “Morrissey could always rely on me.” They also share a similar sense of humour and tastes in music.

Boz has performed with Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice fame and Adam Ant, and just before her tragic death, was collaborating with Kirsty McColl on a song he’d written. He later performed at the Kirsty McColl Tribute Concert, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. 

Vinyl Boutique is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and a warm welcome is guaranteed from the two likeable owners who are keen to share their love of music and passion for vinyl. As well as selling records, they are very open to buying them too, whether it be individual items or collections. As Brian said, “If you have something to sell, please drop by and we’ll be happy to take a look.” Their Discogs site has over 1,000 reviews and a 99.6% approval rating, so if that’s anything to go by, then their new store in Loulé is bound to be a rocking (and rolling) success. 

www.vbrecordsalgarve.com 

www.discogs.com/seller/VBRecords/profile