Sunday, April 15, 2012


A week in England took in a couple of record shops – Manchester’s Piccadilly Records, and York’s Attic Records. The former just amazing, practically every disc annotated and a section of new stuff up front, I felt almost overwhelmed by nostalgia for non-nostalgic record shopping, the thrill of the promise of the new. Not that my selections were particularly imaginative (see photo), but the shop definitely held that promise. The sections in Vinyl Exchange, across the street, were perfectly reasonable, especially as it’s all second hand, but cards saying things like ‘90s Indie’ (with no contemporary equivalent) struck me as inexpressibly sad. It didn’t hurt that Piccadilly Records had the new Saint Etienne single in, and that the b-side is a Scott Walker song – from Tilt, I realised, playing it this evening! ‘Manhattan’ is delicate and pretty, their way, but still deeply odd, and utterly transfixing. Attic Records is so named because it’s up several flights of stairs, over a hairdresser’s. A single small room with vinyl-only stock including a nice looking box of northern soul 7"s, and elsewhere something of a Paul Kelly bonanza, with East Village’s ‘Circle’ on 12", and Birdie’s ‘Such a Sound’ on 7". It’s the only East Village record I’ve ever seen, in fact, having relied hitherto on the kindness of zip files as their one album is unavailable. No one is to tell Brogues, please, that S. and I contrived to drop it outside (she was handing me the bag, we haven’t settled to anyone’s satisfaction who let go), slightly denting the corner – it would cause him real pain, I’m sure. The other good thing about Attic Records was a fanzine it had on sale (Salt, issue 10) whose cover boasted articles on Maher Shalal Hash Baz and Royal Trux. A nostalgic tug, again (‘I wish I had a thousand bucks...’), and another reminder that these connections have to involve the present somewhere along the line. All in all, a good haul.

Along similar lines, Record Store Day is coming right up.


Andy said...

I'm envious. I keep meaning to visit York at some point soon and will definitely have to add Attic into my itinerary. Used to visit Manchester fairly frequently in the past and Piccadilly Records was always a must to visit.

Did you buy the Salt fanzine? Been toying with the idea of doing a print fanzine again for a little while now but haven't got around to making a decision or starting it.

East Village are one of the great lost band. 'Cubans In The Bluefields' is an utterly lovely single.

Chris said...

I'd been to Piccadilly Records once before - the week Shellac's 'Excellent Italian Greyhound' came out, whenever that was. A joy to go back.

Yes, I got the fanzine - I'll lend it to you once I've read it. The shop was tiny, but well worth a visit.

Blog Archive