Words: Kate McCann
With my pocket money pressed into my hot little hand, I’d often skip down to the likes of Our Price, HMV or Woolies as a girl to buy a record of one of my favourites. Streaming and downloading just doesn’t cut it for me, far more satisfying to actually hold something. I adored leaving the shop clutching my carrier bag containing the round plastic black disc that would bring me so much joy and, later on, nostalgia. I loved carefully handling the vinyl fresh out of its crisp sleeve as I put it on my trusted turntable, trying my hardest not to scratch it, and I loved browsing through my extensive collection with a sense of pride and happiness. Still do, so I was more than chuffed to get the chance to go to Dig Vinyl, an amazing independent record shop at 80 Bold Street, Liverpool. Shops like these are few and far between in the city, and no surprise it’s fast becoming a must-go location for vinyl lovers, locally and further afield.
With the great vinyl revival well and truly underway, it’s up to the likes of Dig Vinyl to remind us why records rightly deserve their standing in an overly-digitised music world. Over 3 million records were sold in the UK last year, and what was once seen as a hobby of devoted enthusiasts seems to be increasingly popular among the young and the old.
Dig Vinyl is a pure treasure trove of tunes, a right little gem, and is located in the basement of clothes store, Soho’s. It’s been around for 3 years and stocks every genre you can think of; punk, dance, classic rock, soul, indie, jazz… and so on. In April this year they expanded to give them much more floor space. The shop itself is warm, very inviting and houses literally thousands of records, encouraging you to dig deep and you never know, you might pull out a much-sought-after masterpiece, something you’ve been dying to add to your collection, or just spy some top tracks you fancy spinning on your turntable.
It’s heartening to know that Dig Vinyl get every type of customer under the sun, and even the youngsters are itching to get their hands on records these days, as manager Yvonne Page explains: ‘We get all ages; people as young as 12 will come in with their parents and they’re so excited, and we love that. When you have kids that get into it, they’ll probably start buying records as a hobby and they’ll stick with that. We see people now that first came here when they were 15, and they’re 18, 19 now, going to university and starting their own bands. There’s a few who are now putting their own gigs on and come in to put their posters up, which is great…We get university students who get their first record players for Christmas, we notice a lot of difference when the uni students have gone home… Also, older people who are re-buying their collection, they might’ve sold it, got rid of it, or moved to CDs.’
Primarily full of second-hand vinyl, any new stuff that comes in is mostly local bands or labels. They’re incredibly keen to champion the local music scene, and currently in stock are the likes of Strange Collective, Edgar Jones, Wicked Whispers, and labels God Unknown and 80s Vinyl Records. Yvonne says: ‘That’s the point, to support local bands and labels. So even if it’s a band that’s self-released, they can bring it down and we will put it out on the shelf.’
In addition to the store, they also celebrated an inaugural release in January on their own label. Nightdubbing by Frontline, an electronic disco track, has now sold out. Their second release, l’r by Burr Hoff Bau, will be launched at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia on 22 September.
For more information, go to www.digliverpool.co.uk or their Facebook page, Dig Vinyl.