53 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JR
Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 18:00, Sundays 12:00-17:00
Telephone: 0161 839 8008
Where do you start with this one? As much a Manchester institution as a pint of Holts or Chips n’ Gravy! From its opening days in the shabby Piccadilly Arcade through to the rather grand Brown Street store and its current location on Oldham St. Since 1978 Piccadilly records has served generations of shoegazers, rude boys, anarcho-punks, goths, moshers, skate punks, grebos and every other indie derivative you can think of.
I first went in at the tender age of 12 and got my mitts on a 7″ copy of UK Decay’s “For my Country”. I went in last week and got my slightly older fingers on the new Bibio album. That says it all. From boy to man my money has passed over this counter so many times I wonder if it might have been better to cut a deal and just give them ten percent of my earnings every year. But what returns; first Bauhaus album – check, first Stone Roses single – check, first Devandra Barnhart album – check, and probably nearly a thousand others with a moment of joy attached to each one.
The current shop is a pleasure to visit. Bright, airy and spacious the floor space is taken up with around seventy percent vinyl including a 7″ rack deep enough and wide enough to justify a parking ticket. There are a couple of multi CD listening stations next to the racks as well as three turntables to browse away the afternoon, and a PC to browse the new releases on the website. Right at the front of the shop as you walk in is the ever useful new releases/recommends rack which I consistently fail to pass without picking at least one selection.
Piccadilly is still the champion of all things indie and by that I mean “Indie” in the old independent charts sense of the word; you know Cherry Red, Rough Trade, Cargo, Domino; small labels exploring the outer recesses and hidden nooks and crannies of the great big music machine. Folk, Drone, Psych, Americana, Kraut, Garage, Punk, Emo and Doom are all in evidence yet balanced nicely with a fine and varied selection of House, Disco, Electro, Hip Hop, Nu Soul, Beats, Reggae, Dubstep and our old favourites Downbeat, Weird and Experimental. If you ever wish to meet me, my office is rack 2 and a half Downbeat/Weird section!
New releases and particularly limited vinyl runs are the shops speciality and if if there is an ultra-limited edition to be had, Piccadilly will have it (but be quick!). The Website is updated every week and check the ‘Just in’ and ‘Released next week’ pages over the weekend to decide what to call in for on the Monday.
Step away from the racks sir and the shop also sells a range of magazines, fanzines,T shirts and record bags as well as having a counter full of flyers and events advertised by Manchester miscreants. The staff are great and very approachable, full of enthusiasm for the music and a shared love of the shop and all it gives to the Manchester scene. Each staff member is pretty much a specialist in one of the genres – just get Phillipa talking!! (I’m reliably informed its Andy you want to get talking! – ed) and from my experience and 2000 hours spent in there will happily share and explore your interests as much as their own.
Keep your eyes peeled for in-store events, special promotions and their regular Newsletters.