Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Achosion I Laweni #6

(If you're wondering what this is all about, click here.)

#6 - Spillers Records

Every city needs a high-quality independent record shop, and Cardiff is no exception. Thankfully the Welsh capital is truly blessed in that department, The Hayes being home to Spillers Records.

As any local music enthusiast will proudly tell you, Spillers is the oldest record shop in the world. It was founded in 1894 and was originally situated in Queens Arcade, relocation to the current premises having taken place in the late 1940s. But it's not just stuck in the past - you can now place orders from their still-wet-behind-the-ears website. T'internet - it's the future, you know.

But much of the enjoyment of an independent record shop is simply browsing the shelves. Owing to the lack of space (the premises are small and narrow), albums in stock are represented not by CD boxes but by photocopied album covers in plastic sleeves. In addition to records, you can also pick up gig tickets and flyers for all manner of events and club nights.

Like Selectadisc in Nottingham, Spillers is very much at the heart of the city's music scene - for promoters as well as bands (I once bumped into the chap from Lesson No. 1 in there - me buying a Mogwai ticket, him leaving a load of flyers for a forthcoming gig). Unlike Selectadisc, however, it's not staffed by the sort of sniffily ubercool music enthusiasts who will look down their noses at your choices (and whom you're secretly desperate to impress).

As if an indication of the fond regard in which Spillers is held was needed beyond the proliferation of Spillers T-shirts on display at local gigs, it came after the recent announcement that the shop is up for sale and could be shut if it's not been bought from current owner Nick Todd by March. Since that announcement was made, there has been a flurry of concern and - promisingly - a number of parties interested in bidding for the shop to keep Spillers alive. Fingers crossed, then...

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