About Wax and Beans
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open your store Wax and Beans?
It’s been a dream of mine (Ben) since I was a teenager to own a record shop. Back then it was very much a pipe dream, with no financial stability or experience of the world. Twenty-five years later, my love for records never dwindled. My partner (Louise) and I would spend hours, trawling record shops throughout the UK and across the globe and every holiday we had, we’d hunt down nooks and crannies to find any sign of a record shop.
One day, with my pipe dream still niggling at the back of my mind, I half-jokingly suggested to Louise that we open a record store together. Fast forward six months and my dream came true. On 29th June 2019, we opened the doors to Wax and Beans in our local town of Bury.
When opening the doors, we had planned our strategy for months, we took all the elements that we thought other record stores did well and combined them into a welcoming, modest community hub that we knew music lovers wouldn’t be able to resist.
We wanted to offer something a little different, so we decided to extend our opening hours to give those working full-time somewhere to unwind after a stressful day at work. And we knew the most important thing to get right from the outset was our customer service levels. We believe in going the extra mile for our customers; sometimes this means hand-delivering a record or sourcing non-UK releases via our US friends.
We see a varied demographic in our customers, with some as young as six enjoying the ability to play their own records on our customer turntable. We’ve also witnessed the older generation, with an intrinsic love for vinyl, sharing their music stories with all - we see them transfer their knowledge and experience to our younger customers, whilst the younger crowd absorb the invaluable information being passed to them. We have succeeded in becoming a safe, welcoming space for everyone to unite over their passion for music regardless of their age, lifestyle or the genre of music they prefer.
In addition to being a regular record shop, we are also an event space. We have scheduled a monthly listening party which has seen an increasing number of attendees bring their records to play, share and discuss. We have supported over fifteen local bands, stocking their records (and CDs), but have also been a space for them to use for intimate gigs. We have also started to support artists attending the local music venue (The Met) by hosting signing sessions.
Of course, we do - it’s part of our history! It was Oasis – What’s the Story, Morning Glory. An iconic album for an iconic moment at our shop. The very last to sell today is Dope Lemon – Smooth Big Cat. It’s an absolutely great album and fast becoming one of our best sellers.
Lou’s first record was kindly bought for her by her dad when she was about four, it was a 12-inch Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky. Mine was a classic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles picture disc (Turtle Power!) bought from Muse in Bury.
Rock and Soul DJ Equipment and Records in New York City. We found this place whilst wandering around Manhattan and it was such a great find. Full of US only releases, I picked up a great selection of items including The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Bob Dylan and Damian Marley.
One Saturday, Lou and I couldn’t decide what to do, this was pre the days of Wax and Beans, but as was typical back then, we decided to go hunt out a new record shop. We had been recommended Grey n Pink Records in Chester whilst we were in an RSD queue one year, so we decided to head there. The shop is a traditional record shop spanning two floors. After a while, we stumbled across some Bob Dylan boxsets and there it was, an absolute gem; an original pressing of Rolling Thunder Revue Bootleg Series Volume 5. This was a rare find and something I hadn’t seen in any record shop before. Despite the price tag, I couldn’t resist!
The Charlatans in Brooklyn has to be up there. We decided to treat my sister and brother-in-law with a surprise joint birthday trip to see The Charlatans and the gig did not disappoint!
Neither of us are big readers, we are too busy listening to music! But when we do sit down to read, it tends to be something music related like the Long Live Vinyl magazines or books from artists we love, like Tim Burgess’ Tellin Stories. It opens your eyes to even more music, which is what we absolutely thrive on!
Mine would have to be The Big Lebowski, whilst Lou’s is Overboard. We both tend to prefer the older classics.
Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan. Can you tell I love Bob Dylan? Lou enjoys it too, so it’d be perfect for us both really.
Bob Dylan, Meatloaf (Lou’s choice, definitely not mine!), Mando Diao, The Charlatans, Thievery Corporation, Khruangbin, Florence and the Machine (another Lou addition), Dope Lemon, Michael Kiwanuka, Idles, The Strokes, Stereophonics, Gerry Cinnamon, Mumford & Sons (again, Lou only on that one!) and that’s just scratching the surface.
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks