We’re regular visitors to Piccadilly Records and now our man up north Richard Hector-Jones has written a fantastic introduction to a book about this treasured record shop.
“2015 sees Piccadilly Records celebrating its thirty-seventh anniversary as a cultural cornerstone of the second city. In that time it’s weathered much as have the staff who’ve been there for the ride. Grunge, Brit Pop, Madchester, alt. rock, Indie, neo soul, disco, nu-disco, ambient, Americana, Balearic, synthwave, exotica, Italo, hip hop, techno, avant, folk, soundtracks, acid house, jazz, electronica, drum ‘n’ bass, new psych, the death of vinyl, and of course the current rebirth of vinyl. They’ve seen it all, heard it all and embraced almost all of it.
And let’s not forget the hefty 1500kg IRA bomb that pretty much took the city centre out in 1996. These myriad things have all played their part in shaping Piccadilly Records and the cultural vibrancy of the city’s music scene.
A city isn’t complete unless it has a good record shop. Music is too vital and good people will leave if they can’t get a regular fix. Record shops are spaces where cultural identity is explored and defined by both staff and customer. They are places where school kids meet on a Saturday morning to explore new and old music. They are places where kindred spirits meet that form bands or produce tracks. They’re places where keen young promoters dream up new club nights to launch the city ever onward. They are places that city workers go to to escape the drudgery of the nine-to-five for an hour or so. Record shops turn you onto music and thoughts proposed by some of the most out-there artistic musical minds. They are libraries of thought and emotion past and present full of ideas they don’t teach you in school. Their importance cannot be underestimated.
To its credit Manchester has had more than a few great shops over the years. Many have come and many have gone. Yet Piccadilly Records has survived and flourished. It isn’t hard to see why.”
You can purchase The Piccadilly Records book here.