About Assai Edinburgh
For clarity; I don’t own our record shop I just manage it. Which means I have the privilege of curating a shop without having to pay the bills! And to thank for that I have Keith Ingram who was my manager in HMV in Dundee when I was a teenage student weekender and nearly 20 years later, he hired me to manage his new shop which we opened in Edinburgh in April 2017.
This is the 7th record shop I’ve worked in since 1996. I’ve had a few different careers during that time including cheese mongering but I’ve always been a music retailer at heart.
Our ‘vibe’ is 100% customer focused. We have done everything we can to create an environment where all are welcome and feel comfortable. We have lots and lots of regulars who we are on first-name basis with and on top of that Edinburgh is home to the world’s largest arts festival, so we get lots of tourists excited to be in a ‘proper’ record shop. We love helping folk spend their disposable income and aim for everyone who walks through our door to be happier on the way out than they were on the way in.
First – Rolling Stones ‘Hot Rocks’
Last - Fat White Family - Champagne Holocaust
John Menzies in The Thistle Centre, Stirling where I bought a reissue of Monty Python ‘Always look on the Brightside of Life’ on cassette single.
Second hand – Grouchos in Dundee because I bought my first ever vinyl there and they have survived by always blazing their own path.
First hand – Concerto Records in Amsterdam. Incredible selection and a memory of a great weekend break when my wife told me she was pregnant.
I once asked a customer to finish up their purchases as we were closing and realised it was HRH Prince William but more memorably; last year a man came in with an extremely old and dirty flexidisc from WW2 and asked if we could play it so he could hear what was on it. We played it and a scratchy voice from the past whispered, ‘hello, I’ll be home soon…’ and the gentleman emotionally said ‘oh, that is my father’. He had not heard his Dad’s voice in 60 years so it was a pretty special moment. Only in a record shop!
David Bowie – SECC, Glasgow, 2003
Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums 19th Edition
Terminator 2 – Judgement Day
Funnily enough for my 40th birthday recently I recorded my Desert Island Discs in a studio as a present from my mate. He only let me have 6 picks (not the usual 8) and they were; The Ronettes – Be My Baby, Oasis – Live Forever, Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn Part 1, Midlake – Roscoe, The Beatles – A Day in the Life & Elliott Smith – Waltz #2 (XO)
Robert Johnson, Otis Redding, Wings, Oasis, Nina Simone and Pulp because I never got to see them at the time.
The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album)
Events Coming Up
Open at 8am with breakfast rolls & tea for people queuing
Assai Points – bonus points on Record Store Day
Goody bags the for first people in the queue
11.30 – 1.00pm Simon Fowler & Oscar Harrison (Edinburgh shop – short performance and signing)