“The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl.” – Dave Barry
Kids, fancy a history lesson? In a land far, far away there was a time when the only way to listen to music was to remove huge frisby-looking objects from their well kept sleeves and to put them under a mystical looking player with the steadiness of a surgeon and hope you didn’t scratch it. There were no iPod’s, no Spotify and no earphones to aid you from talking to anyone. In the 1980’s there were more than 2,200 record stores in the UK, but the advent of music downloads on the internet has seen shops close, shutters pulled down and owners re-train. Record Store Day comes but once a year but thanks to a dedicated few, it is a ritual that the people of Liverpool can rejoice in whenever they please. Held on the third Saturday of April each year to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store, the day brings together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores across the world.
Here’s a list of places to visit and things to do this Saturday in Liverpool:
Enter Jacaranda, a cornerstone in Liverpool’s music scene that famously hosted The Beatles when they originally met. Alongside their reopening they’ve opened a record shop unike any other in the city. It’s a coffee shop and a record store that also morphs into a drinking space as you get further into the evening. The record store is selling both vintage vinyl and reissues/new releases, and you’re actually going to be able to open them up and play them at your table in the cafe while you get a drink. There’ll be exclusive record store day releases, live bands and DJ’s all day. More info here.
Photo by mobilevirgin
Dig Vinyl’s inspiration to open up was to rage against the machine, to offer a physical record shop in a city steeped in musical history. It doesn’t have a shop front, you can’t just stumble upon this place, you have to be in the know. It opened its “doors”, so to speak, to the public on where else but Bold Street? They’re located in the basement beneath Soho and truly define what it is to be a hidden gem as well as ironically stocking a shed load of them. They are more than just a retail shop, they are a source of knowledge in their hub for those who love music in which they offer like minded souls a step out of the frantic world to discover new music.
Photo by Getintothis
Rex: The Concept Store
What do over 50 entrepreneurs, makers and shakers all have in common? For the last couple of years they have all called REX home. This independent emporium is a unique collection of local retailers, artists, and designers ranging from Scouse greeting cards, oil paintings and vintage clothing. Whilst there being something for everyone, they have a rather lovely corner dedicated to the wonders of vinyl. Flick through the various covers, that are art work in themselves, and take some home to listen too.
When you talk about places with a cult following, Probe Records always come to mind. A compact music store, established in 1971, selling vinyl LPs and singles, CDs and T-shirts. Sounds normal, right? You’re so wrong. Throughout the decades, near enough half of Liverpool have a memory from Probe Records and more often than not is a fond one. It’s old school in Probe, and people like it that way. There might not be a big red ribbon to cut or some confetti to sling but any visit to Probe is special.
Buyers Club is the definition of a hidden gem. So much so, that Google Maps didn’t even have a clue what we were on about when trying to find it. It is just beyond the Old Blind School, a narrow corridor of nothingness that doesn’t look like anything special. But, how often we’ve found that down these unassuming roads we come across the most special of spaces. To celebrate this year’s Record Store Day, they are collaborating with some of Liverpool’s best collectors, sellers and selectors across the day and evening of Saturday 16th April. Entry is free to all from 12 Midday until well into the evening. More here.
Vinyl fair and ‘listening bazaar’ Stylus will be camping out at Arts Club for a Saturday special, complete with rare and collectable 45s, LPs and 12”s. They’re back for one day only and it just so happens to be their favourite day of the year. There will be the usual open deck policy and vinyl sellers along with some special guest taking to turntables to play you some of their favourite records. And those special guests have now been confirmed as Bido Lito! DJ’s, Edgar Summertyme and Dave O Grady. More here.
The reason record shops are still important is that they are seen as a focal point for the followers of their chosen specialities. Opened in 1989, they caught the tail end of the acid house scene before branching into deep house, techno, electro, breaks, trance and hardcore. A place for budding and established DJ’s to huddle round the decks. The legendary record shop are fully stocked and ready for you from 8am onwards. Patrons can also expect a special in store acoustic set from Tom Hingley later in the afternoon. Tom Hingley shot to fame as lead singer of revered Manchester sixties keyboard-led heroes Inspiral Carpets, before turning his attention to a solo career.
Picture by Getintothis
Liverpool Small Cinema
The old Magistrates Court has been revamped into an intimate cinema to show off local filmmakers work. A unique experience that embraces community and takes cinema back to the core of what it is. They’re also getting involved in this year’s Record Store Day with an evening of short films celebrating creative collaborations between local musicians and filmmakers (7pm, £2-£3). Sounds epic to us, find more info here.