Piccadilly Records opened in 1978 and prospered in the post-punk 80s, selling a mixture of rock, pop, indie and alternative music. In 1990 the current management took over Piccadilly Records and continued to build upon its reputation as one of the world’s best independent record shops. In 1997 the shop moved to its current location in the vibrant Northern Quarter area of Manchester.
Stocking an across-the-board variety of genres from indie, disco, funk, house, Balearic, psych and everything in between, Piccadilly have a wealth of undiscovered music available on both vinyl and CD. Though this could be a daunting prospect, each release features an entertaining, informative and occasionally insane review by a different member of staff, intended to guide you towards your new jam. And if you’re still not sure, you’re welcome to give anything a spin on the in-store listening decks.
With an emphasis on friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic service, the Piccadilly staff enjoy nothing more than cross-counter convos about long-forgotten janglers, recommending their latest obsessions or naming that ‘one dance tune you heard in the club last week.’ This fervor for new music is reflected in their annual ‘Best of Year’ booklet, an essential compendium of their favourite LPs, compilations, reissues, box sets and singles.
They can be proud of their efforts, because despite some stiff competition, they are the city’s most famous independent record shop and a must visit for any vinyl fan heading to the North West.
In recent years, they have been voted Best Independent Record Store at the prestigious Music Week awards and Best Record Store at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards. They have also featured in the Observer’s World’s Best Shops, the Guardian’s Best Record Shops and at No. 1 in The Independent’s Top 50 UK Independent Record Shops.
I asked the team for which Proper releases they are looking forward to:
John Bramwell – Leave Alone The Empty Spaces
Since he flew the Kloot coop back in 2016, John’s fully embraced his role as contemporary troubadour, jumping in his VW Camper with canine companion Henry and covering all corners of the British Isles on a herculean 300 date tour. The result of eighteen months on the road and a lifetime in music is the beautiful ‘Leave Alone The Empty Spaces’, a (proper) debut solo LP of melancholy and magic, isolation and independence. Welcome home John…
Stick In The Wheel – Follow Them True
The East London five piece caused quite a stir with their 2015 debut, picking up plaudits and awards all across the board. It seems they were only getting started. A feat of production, songwriting and performance, ‘Follow Them True’ sees Stick In The Wheel bring the rootsy power of folk right into the present day. Finding lyrical parallels between traditional themes and contemporary issues, then delivering their message with a daring fusion of electronics, autotune and traditional instruments, Stick In The Wheel offer an exciting revision of folk without putting your uncle off his bitter.
Top tip – If you would like to know more about Piccadilly Records you can pick up a copy of Michael and Gwen Riley Jones’ excellent photobook, ‘The Piccadilly Records Book’, which was released to celebrate 25 years of the shop. You can find a copy in store.
If you would like to be Proper’s Featured Store, contact Graham Jones
Tel: 0161 839 8008
Vinyl, CD, merchandise, tickets, t-shirts
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
53 Oldham Street