Reload Records looks like it travelled here from the ’70s. And in a way, it did. Owner Craig “Breedlove” Gawthorne has been in the industry since 1976. During that time he’s managed or owned seven record stores, including Relic Records in Prahran and Reload in Richmond, the predecessor to this store.
Gawthorne moved the business to Rosebud as a sort of early retirement plan – he knew he wouldn’t live in the city forever. That was back in 2007, and Reload remains the only record store on the Mornington Peninsula. Consequently, the stock covers a lot of ground.
Across 6000 CDs and 7000 records, there’s rock, psychedelic, blues, jazz, soul, world music, soundtracks and electronica. This is a place where it’s possible to pick up a second-hand copy of Metallica’s Master of Puppets or Groove Armada’s Hello Country (Goodbye Nightclub) alongside the latest London Grammar record. Gawthorne recognises he’s up against big retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, so he discounts those new releases heavily. You’ll struggle to find cheaper new records anywhere.
Mixtapes are another point of difference for Reload. Gawthorne is a big believer in atmosphere and keeps a good mix of tunes cranking all day. He’s been compiling his playlists almost since the start of his career. This, along with the multitude of posters, sleeves and other memorabilia that are plastered up densely enough to resemble wallpaper, only increase the illusion that you’ve entered a time warp.