About Specialist Subject

Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?

Specialist Subject Records started as a fictional record label by co-owner Andrew for a university project in 2007. The name was resurrected for a release by his new band once he graduated, 10 years and 60+ releases later we’re now a full time punk record label and shop! We’ve never pretended to be a big business, if people want that they can buy from Amazon. We’ve always done our own mailorder through the website so the shop was our way of making the label and distro more accessible and open to people.

Our shop is on the first floor of EXCHANGE music venue in Bristol. We specialise in contemporary punk, indie and hardcore music, so you’re more likely to find records by Downtown Boys and Martha, than Sex Pistols and The Damned.
We opened August Bank Holiday 2017- the first record sold in the shop was ‘Silver Haze’ by Aye Nako.
My first CD album was Blur – The Great Escape, which would be cool if my second hadn’t been B*witched. I grew up in Wolverhampton and as a teenager would spend my wages from working in a supermarket at Our Price buying pop punk CDs. The local independent was called Highway 61 which closed when I was in sixth form, I remember it was owned by two older guys who always had time to school my friends and I on 70s punk.
I think MONO in Glasgow is a great record shop- similar to us they’re situated inside a venue & café, which is so perfect for collaborations and events. Banquet in Kingston have supported our label since the early days and do such great things for their local punk scene.
Going with someone to Banquet Records to hire a P.A from them which was then set up in the bedroom of a flat one Sunday afternoon- Andrew’s band played and I also remember it was Father’s Day!