WORCESTER'S champions of Record Store Day have defended the independent celebration despite it facing strong criticism from Paul Weller.

The musician, who is often referred to as the Modfather, hit out at touts who re-sold his limited edition single, Brand New Toy, for inflated prices on eBay following the event on Saturday, April 19 and said he won't be taking part in the day again because he feels "disheartened".

However, Rise in CrownGate shopping centre enjoyed its best event with people queuing out of the door and around the corner to get their hands on hundreds of exclusive vinyl records.

Sam Jones, the store's assistant manager, says they often search eBay for releases being sold locally but they cannot be sure whether it has been bought at their store or at Carnival in Malvern and Rapture in Evesham.

"It's something that's always going to happen unfortunately. People are always going to do that, whether it is Record Store Day, ticket touts or limited releases that come out any other time of the year."

Mr Jones added: "If he (Paul Weller) was that concerned he would have done it on general release, then everybody can have it. Part of me thinks that maybe it's a strategy to just build up some news around him."

A spokesman for Record Store Day said they shared the former Jam singer's frustrations about the activity of touts but added some re-selling was expected due to only 500 copes of the single being available, while complaints of unauthorised sales were "well down" on previous years.

He added: "Record Store Day would not exist without the support and commitment of artists and labels and we take our responsibility to them very seriously."

In a statement on his official website, Paul Weller said: "It only takes a few to spoil a wonderful concept for everyone else. Shame on those touts.

"Don't support their trade and don't let them use Record Store Day to ruin the very thing it's designed to support."

Record Store Day came into being in 2007 when more than 700 independent stores in the USA came together to celebrate their unique culture, and 2014 was the seventh such celebration in the UK.