Sunday, January 23, 2011
PICADILLY RECORDS - MANCHESTER AND THE INCREDIBLE INTERNET
So this is a first.
My reason for this review isn't a recent visit to their physical premises but rather the use of their on-line shop. Yes they stock a lot of faceless dance music bollocks but what a great site.
This used to be a regular port of call back in the early 90's when I was at college in Sheffield. I've only visited their 'new' premises a couple of times but when they were off the high street round the corner from 'Stolen From Ivor' I'd stick my head round the door at every given opportunity. The product mix always had a strong leaning towards 'dance' but it appears they have made it their bread and butter in the past years. Makes perfect sense I suppose: Selling 1 Shonen Knife album Vs 23 copies of Whigfield's 'Saturday Night' (Or whatever the fuck people dance to in 2011). Pure economics - Even if you are going to hell for it.
Anyway, enough already, back to the positive hyperbole.
There were a couple of new bits and pieces I was after so I popped down to Soho in my lunch to hook myself up. Well despite being friendly enough London's 'finest' could not product the goods. Disappointed, I was walking home when I heard a voice in my head all booming and Godlike:
'Try Piccadilly Records... They have a website... Go out and kill people'.
So I did. I'd been on the site before briefly in 2006 but never bought anything, I was living in New York at the time and a colleague (a DJ) swore by the site and bought pretty much everything he played from them. Now that should give you some idea of how 'on it' the guys at Piccadilly must be - One store in Manchester Vs the whole of the Eastern seaboard.
Anyway, the site's easy enough to use and even if a virtual flick through the racks is never going to compare to emerging smelling of mould from some backstreet real record shop, they had everything I was looking for so mad props for that yo.
The best thing about the site is the 'Just in' column on the right of the screen. As stock comes in it's featured in a rolling bar of clickable Jpegs. Sounds a bit like I'm getting excited about nothing but it is updated at such speed that you feel like you've got he freshest bread of morning at your fingertips.
So to summarize: Well worth a visit.
Okay, so that's great but what was the point of that particular plug?
Well, it just struck a chord. Its interesting to see how some stores are weathering this musical storm pretty successfully through savvy evolution.
Plus I fancied a trip down memory lane. It is 1991, I am in Piccadilly, I am wearing a fish-tail parka with a hand painted Sub Pop logo on the sleeve and a lumberjack shirt. Although my hair is slightly confused my direction in music is quite clear, it either comes from Washington DC or Seattle or it doesn't exist. The world is a very exciting place. Jesus, I used to get goosebumps walking into that shop, it was so fucking exciting, each record an adventure waiting to happen, every carefully thought through purchase a token of legitimization for my formative years, a bit like collecting Pokemon in a Tad t-shirt I suppose.
Anyway, that shit is all gone, the hair, the coat, the shop, my copy of the first Action Swingers album. What hasn't crumbled like dust in the wind is Piccadilly Records, so hat's off to you... Even if you do charge too much for post and packaging.