My record store is small, niche and boutique, but still big enough for an impromptu dance party, to the B-52’s, at 4pm on a rainy Tuesday.
The racks are stuffed tight with work-of-art sleeves, sheathed in shiny plastic covers, but we only stock the good shit. Trust me on that. The vinyl arranged not alphabetically, by artist or genre. But by mood and feeling. We ask the question – “Hey mate, how are you feeling today?”
Is it your birthday, so full of sparkle, about to explode from joy? Then may I point you to our ‘LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL’ section. It consists solely of sixty copies of Stop Making Sense, but frankly what else do you need? To accompany this album, we have a selection of grey oversized blazers for purchase, 30% off with every copy.
In a state of desperate yearning, two bottles of red and some poorly judged text messages, love? Head over to our ‘OWCH SAD FACE’ section and help yourself to a slice of Mr. Cohen and dollop of Billie.
Is the daily grind really pissing you off? Hit a left to ‘FFS WHAT NOW?’ – the entire Morrissey back catalogue, plus a nice cup of tea and a Hob Nob, is waiting for you.
On the far wall sits a row of listening booths in pastel pink. There’s velvet covered love seats, two sets of headphones, and a foot high stack of old copies of Q going back to 1995, in each. I know we say the booths are for listening, but we totally don’t mind if you make out in there. Just make sure they are kind, and not a dick to their Mom.
The walls are covered in posters, hundreds of them, pasted on top of each other, advertising local gigs from bands and venues long busted and gone – all lovingly hand-drawn by righteous local feminists. Zines printed, and wonkily stapled, on brightly coloured photocopy paper, the pages dense with thick black sharpie, lurk in every crevice.
A framed picture of Kathleen Hanna, ripped from a 1993 Library copy of Rolling Stone, adorned with a pasted on glittery halo, hangs above the door. Queen Kathleen greets you as you arrive. Our little shops Patron saint of ‘HELL-YEAH’. When we’re not busy, we lean on the counter, hazily daydreaming about her and Ad-Rock’s domestic bliss. We’re convinced he bakes her the most amazing desserts, a new one each Sunday, without fail. Now that’s love, we sigh to each other.
Every purchase from our store comes wrapped in a fresh, crisp, brown paper bag, sealed with a holographic kitten sticker. The paper smells of gin, cigarillos, skittles and Chanel. Teenage boys, and middle-aged-men, store them in their bedside drawers and inhale them deeply when they’re feeling blue – the scent of a life to come, or the life that they traded for a ring, three kids, and a respectable new-build in suburbia.
In each paper bag we place a small button badge that says ‘stay weird’.
My little record store might not exist…but it’s pretty wonderful.