About Spinning Discs Sheffield
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
I have lived in Sheffield for the majority of my life (other than heading away for my student years). I love this city and all that it is has to offer. In December 2014, I was in the pub (The Brothers Arms – owned by local celebrity Ukulele supergroup – The Everly Pregnant Brothers) with a few friends talking about how I'd seen a map of shops on the back of a local magazine (Now Then) and how in the part of Sheffield where we lived there wasn't a record shop. I've had music around me for as long as I can remember and shopped in independent record shops like Record Collector (in Sheffield), the now closed SelectaDisc (in my Nottingham days) and Wayahead Records in Derby (during a brief stint in the city) for years. I love the area I live in; it’s a fantastic community with some great local artists and musicians and I thought how great would it be to realise my dream of opening a record shop here. So, when a shop became available, in the right place I thought it really is time to give it a go (following a reality check from my ever supporting wife and family!)
So we opened our doors in April 2015 with around 500 new releases and a small selection of secondhand vinyl to choose from in the ‘Front Room’ of the shop. At the beginning of 2018 that’s expanded to around 1,800 new and reissue releases in the ‘Front Room’ along with 2,000 plus quality secondhand titles in the back in the ‘Record Emporium’.
We have a mix of music styles in the shop and don't stick to any one specific genre. We pride ourselves on being a friendly store welcoming all with all musical tastes. If a customer comes in with a request, then we'll try our best to help them out.
Most of the team that work in the shop are involved in music in some way shape or form with most being in local bands (Rehash and Delirium) or DJ-ing (DJ Leroy) so there’s a really nice mix of knowledge (and ages).
Being part of the local community and working with our neighbouring independent shops to put local events on and to host local artists is something that we do and enjoy. We often DJ in the bar next-door and enjoy our ‘Pick ‘N’ Mix’ nights where customers pick the tunes (from our box of 7s) and we give them a spin.
Our Christmas ‘Front Room’ gigs have hosted some great local artists over the past couple of years, like Ophelia, High Hazels and Tom Baxendale. We’ve also taken part in BBC Music Day continuing to support local talent and also playing host to some, now already pretty successful bands like The Sherlocks.
In early 2018 we’re going to be launching our online shop via our website www.spinningdiscssheffield.co.uk .
Being part of the independent record shop circle has been hard work but fun. We’re enjoying our customers new and old and continually keep our range of music broad and up to date.
So far it’s been a really great journey where we’ve met some fascinating people and we’re looking forward to it continuing!
An Afrika Bambaataa 12” (although the first item we sold was actually a coffee!)
The last was a secondhand copy of the Dead Kennedys ‘Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death’
I can't remember where I got it from but the first record that I owned was J. Geils Band ‘Centerfold’. I do have a lasting memory though of me and my older brother going in to Boots at the bottom of Fargate in Sheffield to get an album for my birthday. My teenage years were late 80s Pop years, so my first album (bought for me) was Bros's ‘Push’. At the time, I was sporting a bomber jacket and longed for Grolsh bottle tops on my shoes. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) my parents weren't big drinkers!
Whenever I'm away I make a point to try to visit other record shops. I don’t really have a favourite record shop because what I like is that all of the shops that I get to all offer something different in one way or another. That’s the joy of independent shops. They’re not chains and they’re all different. Recent trips have taken me (and on quite a few occasions my family - to their joy) to Canada's Dr. Disc in Windsor, Ontario, Speed City and The Village Idiot both in London, Ontario. All three were great and I managed to come home with some real gems along some new record store friends.
Our first ever customer had found his new boots that he was sporting that very day in a skip earlier in the day. They were indeed a fantastic looking pair of boots.
Two spring to mind - Neko Case at York's National Centre for Early Music and The Frames at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall.
If you ever have chance to see either of these artists then make sure you grab it! Glen Hansard (of The Frames – and also known as Outspan in The Commitments) has got a new record out and its yet another fantastic release.
Roald Dahl - Danny, the Champion of the World
The Housemartins - Happy Hour
The Blessing - Highway 5
Grand Drive - A Ladder To The Stars
The Black Crowes – Hotel Illness
Longpigs - Blue Skies
Neko Case – Blacklisted
The Frames – Star Star
Aretha Franklin - Respect
Lambchop – Is A Woman
Steve Winwood – Higher Love
In no particular order;
The Frames / Glen Hansard
The Black Crowes
The Hold Steady
The Barenaked Ladies
The Housemartins - London 0 Hull 4