HMV has been backed by one of music’s biggest stars, Sir Elton John, as it emerged he plans to perform at one of the chain’s stores.
The global star suggested that big artists could support the collapsed entertainment chain by playing a series of in-store gigs.
The singer’s spokesman Gary Farrow confirmed the star would perform, saying the show was likely to be intimate, but could not give any more details.
David Joseph, chief executive of record label Universal UK, to which the Rocket Man singer is signed, said major and independent record labels were in close discussions with HMV to try to keep the business on the high street. He said he hoped for a 6 Music moment, referring to the support the BBC radio station received when it was threatened with closure, according to The Guardian.
“How HMV emerges is going to be an important factor for us, our artists and our record fans,” he said. “I’m hoping, and doing everything I can with them, to make this a bit of what happened with 6 Music, which looked like it was going away and all of our artists said it was a part of culture we didn’t want to lose.”
Joseph said HMV had to go back to its roots as a music and film destination, with more knowledgeable staff and a better system for recommending music to fans.
He added: “The way they survive is not to try to be Athena posters, Dixons, Apple and HMV all at the same time. They have to curate music. The conversations we have had which are healthy are about restoring it to its core values. Look at the way it works in Daunt Books or Waterstones, with recommendations on handwritten notes – that’s what I firmly believe HMV has to do.”
A source close to HMV said the company had been in discussions with various labels about artists performing in stores and would be “honoured” if Elton John performed. The source said that if the company emerged from administration a number of in-store events could help relaunch the business.