5A Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter Manchester M11DN
Opening Hours:Monday - Friday 7.30am - 6pm - Saturday 9-6pm - Sunday 10am-4pm
Telephone: 0161 228 6555
Eastern Bloc is a bit of a legendary name for most Mancunian music fans of a certain age. Established in 1985 the shop was once partly presided over by Martin Price of 808 State, and was right at the heart of the Madchester/Acid House scene in the late 80s and early 90s.
The original shop was across the road on the ground floor of Afflecks Palace, and a cramped and somewhat chaotic place it was too. They then moved over to the much smarter and larger premises on Oldham Street. Originally they were split into two halves; Dance vs Indie but the Indie side was eventually closed (Piccadilly across the road had that covered to be fair). Eastern Bloc now concentrate on specialising on their one true love – the serious Underground Dancefloor Business – and strictly on Vinyl.
Since we wrote our review, Eastern Bloc finally moved from Oldham St in 2011 and can now be found at 5A Stevenson Square just around the corner – and doubles as a Cafe – one of the few Record Shops you can pop into at breakfast time! They’re still providing the usual Vinyl business, but the shop also functions as a cafe and a place to hang out, complete with free WiFi. You can get all the details on their smart website, and follow them on Facebook to keep in touch with live events, in-store DJ Sets and the absolute cutting edge in dance and electronic music (and whatever the cake of the day is!)
Here’s our original review of the Northern Quarter shop from 2009 written by our man Carl:
“Eastern Bloc has for a while been on my update radar. Truth is there was a time when I was a regular, however time and age can play merry tricks and the shop had kind of drifted off my horizon a little…somewhat like the Ghurka Grill in Withington, I love it but just dont go anymore. So, with this in mind I set out to the Northern Quarter on my first New Years adventure.
The shop now deals solely in the harder, edgier end of the dancefloor. This is the place for Deep House (the specialist end, no Scouse House or Handbag) , Techno, Drum n Bass, Dubstep, Electro and repressed classics. You will generally find affable Jim behind the counter supported by one or two of Mark, Will or Andro. Plenty of listening decks are available and the vibe is friendly and well informed. Got to say I was genuinely impressed with the feel of the place and the mission these guys are on.
Nearly all the stock is 12″ vinyl and they place the focus only on those labels that put vinyl releases as a priority….props fellas! This shop cares about, and focuses on, the underground scene, particularly the local Dubstep and Drum n’ Bass troubadours.
All in all my visit back to the Bloc reinforced for me why we are doing this site (the need to celebrate shops like this) as well as stirring some great memories of the dance scene past and excitement for the future. Top work lads.”