Paul: As a web designer by trade, I’ve always wanted a workspace or cafe / record shop selling new and used records and used books, a relaxed place where customers can drink a great cuppa (tea in my case), read a used book, listen to some amazing tunes and get some work done… 


Fast forward 20+ years, a healthy records collection, a small web agency and three children and my brother inlaw, Alex, also a keen collector approached me to help brand his new barber shop here in Newbury. The space he managed to secure was amazing, bigger than he needed and one day he casually said ‘...fancy setting up a record shop with me…” I honestly didn't have to think twice, and B Side Barbers & Records was born, two companies under a single brand and shop.


I miss the days of doing mix tapes, and what I love best is making suggestions to customers, I always think of the moment where John Cusack's character in "High Fidelity" claims he can sell five copies of the Beta Band's “The Three EPs” by just by playing "Dry the Rain", that really sums it up for me :)


Alex: I've always wanted to own a record shop, more than I wanted my own Barber Shop. When I eventually found the premises for the Barbers we had more than enough room for something else! I had always planned on moving my turntables into the shop just to be able to have the odd mix during any potential quiet times. Once Paul came up with branding and shop name ideas, it kind of just came to me that we had to use the space to side hustle some pre-loved records! Before we knew it we had sorted a few wholesale accounts out and B SIDE was born. 

You enter ths shop through the barbers, and once inside Alex is often spinning his Hip Hop or Soul tunes. 


Alex has part of his collection in the store, and we have two technics 1210’s and a mixer, so we both often ‘jump on the decks’ to spin some tunes, if the tables are not spinning, then it's one of our eclectic playlists.


The shop has a laid back atmosphere, with a home from home feel. 


As we opened early March 2020 we didn't have long before we had to close our doors due to lockdown so it's been a slow start, we've now got to know a few of the regular faces coming through which is a nice feeling. 


We try to stock a bit of everything and currently have a great selection of excellent condition pre-loved stuff on the shelves.

The first, was to one of Alex’s old colleagues from Bristol’s Shotgun Barbers who bought “Marshal Mathers LP” by Eminem.


The last a Linoel Richie LP, the B52’s “Bouncing Off The Satellites” and a Labi Siffre LP and Pink Floyd’ ‘Relics’ all purchased by the same customer!


One of the more memorable albums we recently sold was an absolutely mint copy of Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the key of life” complete with the booklet and 7" vinyl.

Paul I can recall a record shop in  Inch's Yard, Newbury we used to visit, I’m fairly sure I purchased most of my Public Enemy cassettes’ from there. I also recall other first tapes which included a ‘learn to breakdance’ lp, which my sister recorded herself singing ‘Betty Boo’s doing ot doo’ over (I have the tape still!) or the brilliant, Street Sounds Electro 10.

Paul: Sound Knowledge in Marlborough, and I miss the old, original tiny Soul Jazz Records or the old Mr Bongo in Soho.


Alex: Sound Knowledge never disappoints and always managed to find something from Reckless in Soho, I think I always just got lucky but they seemed to have a great selection of British Hip-Hop whenever I visited. 


Alex: Probably finding a copy of Roots Mauva - Run come save me in a shop in Bristol for £5 I mean that's practically giving it away, right? 

After a bumpy start we are RSD virgins, so excited for our first year!

Most memorable, Years ago the “Freestylers” at Demontfort University, they were so unknown at the time only 10 people turned up, so they cancelled the gig and just DJ’d and partied with us all! 

Alex: Masta Ace & Marco Polo while on the Breukelen Story tour. (mind blowen)

Alex: Currently reading the Beastie Boys book, which I have to say is bloody incredible. 

Paul: Norman Jay’s Biography.

Paul:  Gross Point Blank or Baby Driver. 

Alex:  Twin Town

Alex: Masta Ace - Organised Konfusion - Tribe - Skitz -Beastie Boys - James Brown - Sam & Dave - MF DOOM - D.I.T.C - The Eagles - The J. Geils Band - Michael Jackson - Future Islands 

Paul: A firm shop and customer fav had to be anything by Tribe Called Quest, then I’d got for our wedding ‘favor’ for our guests, we made a mixtape CD, which looked like vinyl. The mix also featured on Lauren Laverns BBC 6 Music breakfast show “A Accidentally Romantic Show” Fleetwood Mac - Dreams, Orange Juice - Rip It Up, Paul McCartney - Coming Up, ESG - Dance, Little Barrie - Love you, Alan Vega - Jukebox babe, Thurston Harris & the Sharps - Little Bitty Pretty One, Brenton Wood - Oogum Boogum Song, Dusty Springfield - Love Power, The Allergies - Love's supposed to be, Sl2 - On A Ragga Tip ‘97 (original Mix), Luke Vibert - Officers Club, KW Griff - Footstompin', William Onyeabor - Fantastic Man, Hurricane Smith - Oh babe what would you say, Chris Montez - The More I See You, Andy Williams - House of Bamboo, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Beggin [Pilooski Re-edit], Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), Redbone - Come And Get Your Love, Finley Quaye - Your Love Gets Sweeter.

Alex: Absolutely gutted I never got to see Beastie Boys, so that's definitely on the top of my (past line-up). Imagine People under the stairs supporting them and guest appearances from Phife Dawg and Q Tip! 

Paul: Agree with Alex, Beastie Boys, IQ Tip and Tribe, ’d throw in Chuck Berry for and with my dad, gutted I’d never seen Chuck live when he passed in 2017.

Alex: This is a near impossible question. On this particular day It's a close toss up between 

MF DOOM - Operation Doomsday & Masta Ace - The Falling Season.

Paul: Wow! I guess anything in my go to 7” record bag always contains my recent favs. Recent one I cant stop playing REALLY loud is The Revolutionaries - Kunta Kinte… oh those bass vibes…

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