About Some Great Reward
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
Some Great Reward is a record shop and café based in the Queens Park area in the Southside of Glasgow. It was opened in March 2018 by myself (Olly MacFadden), I’ve grown up locally, and still live in the area. Opening the business fulfilled a long-held passion to open a record shop after rekindling an interest in buying vinyl again, and for establishing a more local working life after many years working away. One of my lightbulb moments was actually sitting in a Premier Inn in Norwich on a previous job, reflecting on the fact that I was really starting to follow in the footsteps of Alan Partridge!
The best part about owning a record shop has been the independence to develop the business, and to build a fantastic team along the way, while getting to listen to so much amazing music every day! It has also been lovely to build, and get to know, a really good community of regulars who have been so supportive of the shop over the last few years.
The store is situated in quite a residential area in the Southside of Glasgow which has been instrumental in creating a local, community vibe which we have encouraged by including a small café inside the store. Our customers often remark on the convenience of being able to pick up the latest releases without the hassle of having to trek ‘all the way into town’ for them. In terms of music we champion, each member of our small team is passionate about different types of music, although there is a lot of overlap! We tend to agree most on a lot of contemporary jazz and jazz-adjacent releases at the moment, with a real focus on labels like as Ninja Tune, Brainfeeder, Brownswood and Strut.
We try our best to support local acts and artists, and before the pandemic hit, we would host small gigs in store to this end. We actually hosted an in store for local act Broken Chanter (Last Night from Glasgow / Olive Grove) exactly 1 year ago to support their debut, eponymous album. At last year’s RSD we had local acts Nicol & Eliott and Lemon Drink play in the shop, and we have also had Avant Garde bassist Howie Reeve play several times too.
Our team is small, but perfectly formed and consists of Olly, Faye, Jess and Liam. Faye takes the reigns on some of the heavier music coming into the shop and, as a self-professed metalhead, has really missed Arctangent Festival this year. Jess loves her indie and can always be swayed by a song sad enough to draw a tear from a statue. Olly is an encyclopaedia of musical knowledge picked up from watching many musical documentaries and reading biographies, and Liam, being a bit of a local celebrity thanks to his drumming endeavours, somehow knows everyone who walks into the shop!
We have some really wonderful regulars who mean the world to us. During lockdown, we were offering free local delivery to people within the Glasgow area which gave us a chance to keep in touch with them and keep up to date on their listening habits. One of our regulars created a Facebook group called Desert Home Discs which began as a lockdown project for friends and has now exploded into a music-loving community which shares a broad range of tastes prolifically.
The first record we sold was a single by Scottish band FOUND called ‘You’re Really Quite The Catch’ which was bought by a young couple who were taking their new-born baby out on his first adventure outside of the house!
The last record we sold (just a few minutes ago as we write!) was Arthur Russell’s ‘Calling Out Of Context’.
What are your personal memories of spending time in record shops? Was this a big part of your childhood? How did it form your music taste today?
Olly’s first visit to a record shop was the old ‘HMV’ on Union Street in Glasgow where I spent a £5 gift voucher buying Paul McCartney’s ‘The Frog Chorus’ back in the 80’s.
Jess’s first visit was to Love Music in Glasgow, but she didn’t buy a record, instead buying a Kids In Glasshouses poster!
Faye’s first visit was to the old Virgin megastore at the top of Buchanan Street in Glasgow, where she bought ‘Iowa’ by Slipknot.
Liam’s first visit was to Europa Music in Stirling to buy a copy of ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana
Are there any other shops you really enjoy spending your time in?
Olly’s favourite shop is probably Piccadilly Records in Manchester, where there is always a superb selection of records to browse. Monorail in Glasgow has also been a consistently great shop over the years.
Last year we received a surprise visit by Gilles Peterson who is one Olly’s favourite DJs, who was playing a gig at Queens Park as part of the Melting Pot Queens Park Arena summer sessions.
Olly – The Cult @ The Livingston Forum, 1989.
Faye – Vola @ Audio, Glasgow, 2019
Jess – Janelle Monae @ Primavera Sound, 2019
Liam – Stevie Wonder @ Glastonbury 40th Anniversary, 2010
Wonderland Avenue: Tales of Glamour and Excess by Danny Sugarman
The Last Waltz by Martin Scorsese
Ibibio Sound Machine
Sun Ra Arkestra
The Doobie Brothers
Sly & The Family Stone
Some Great Reward by Depeche Mode