It’s been a while since we last posted in the ‘Diggers Guide’ section and that’s mainly because we are still clawing our way through the stock at two of our favourite shops: Custard Cube & Endless Music.
Here’s a quick update:
Custard Cube Records
Custard Cube: Unit 23, Accrington Victoria Market Hall, Peel Street, Accrington, BB5 1ER. Tel – 01254 399 669 Email – email@example.com
Accrington’s finest second hand record store has given us somewhat of a scare recently.
A couple of weeks ago Baggy paid one of his regular visits on a day off from work only to discover that the owners of the indoor market had informed Jim Bowes (Owner of Custard Cube) that he would be required to vacate tenancy of on his vast storage area (Located on the mezzanine level of the market) with immediate effect, making way for a cafe. This begged the question: What does this mean for the future of all those records and Custard Cube itself?
The depression only deepend after walking into what is usually a sanctuary for vinyl addicts to find that the shelves and catalogued filing system had been shot to shit. Gone were the custom made shelves with crates of records filed into impeccable order. Piles of LP’s slumped on the floor, stacked one on top of another with damp from the exposed walls sending Baggy into a state of panic, worrying if this would be yet another of his treasured stores that would soon no longer be with us, having to return to Manchester wondering if this would be the last time he visits one of the north west’s best kept secrets.
After several telephone and email conversations Niles & Baggy decided that at the first available opportunity they would pay a further visit to Custard Cube and find out exactly what was the future for the store.
On first entering into the indoor market the initial signs were not positive. Your intrepid explorers were greeted with a deathly silence where you would normally expect to hear the sound of music blaring from the speakers hung from the outside the shop front. As Niles & Baggy approached the area where Custard Cube is located we were shocked to see the stall completely boarded up. ‘That’s it!’ we thought. Our worst fears had been realised… After almost turning 180 degrees on the spot and heading straight back out of the nearest door and back down the M56 Niles spots a small A5 sized note attached to the hoarding that read ‘Custard Cube – Now on other side of market’. Thank f*ck for that!!!
Now located almost directly opposite (On the far side of the market) from the previous store you will find the brand new Custard Cube Records. (As pictured above) Open sided and approachable from all four surrounding aisles the new shop features increased floor space with racks of vinyl neatly presented to by-passers along the approaching gangways. You can of course still walk directly into the shop where you will find albums catalogued and filed in a clockwise fashion fitted onto a 4-tiered shelving system. Soul/Reggae/World/Folk/Jazz/Blues & Punk kick off the top racks (From left to right upon entering) followed by Pop & Rock (A-Z) organised along and around to the underneath shelving space.
As you can see, cassettes and CD’s are still in plentiful supply and are stored cubically on the walls in separate custom made racks found above the vinyl (The records are positioned at chest height, downwards). At present Jim has brought down approx. 70% of his album stock which has thankfully been re-filed accordingly, so once again you can peruse at your leisure. There is a listening deck inside the shop but this is the one that will be playing music you’ll be hearing so if you want to listen to that obscure Kraut LP you’ve just come across you will either have to have brought your own portable deck or politely ask Jim if he would kindly skip through the album on your behalf. Now, this isn’t a problem as Jim is only too happy to help however one of the strong points of Custard Cube’s success in the past was the availability of several listening decks.
Also, where are the thousands of 12 inch singles and 45′s you used to love ploughing through?
Well, at present all the singles are still upstairs (As are the listening decks) and we were allowed to take our LP’s upstairs as Jim is still granting limited access. However, there are plans afoot to bring all the remaining LP’s, 12″s and 7″s downstairs to join the new shop.
There simply isn’t enough space even in the new store to house the sheer amount of 12″ and 7″ singles so Jim has also snapped up a second unit that can be found directly across the aisle from the ‘New’ Custard Cube (In the corner of the market, next to the steps that lead you the mezzanine level) that’s going to christened ‘The Singles Bar’. This new unit was actually undergoing construction when we arrived so hopefully this will be ready within a few weeks. Basically, all the stock that’s still upstairs is being brought to the ‘Singles Bar’ where you can browse to your hearts content.
We emphasised that we’d still like to be able to listen to the records in a comfortable environment before we decide to purchase (Especially if the record is one we’ve never seen/heard before) as this always increases the amount of vinyl we take home. Hopefully Jim has listened to our comments and this will be the case in the not so distant future.
Keep posted as we’ll give further updates as and when the second unit is open. In the meantime, it’s business as usual so if you are in the area don’t forget to drop by and say hello to Jim in his new store and mention where you found out about him, he might even give you a bit of discount!
Endless Music: 418 Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1BD. Tel – 0161 772 0312. Website.
Endless Music in Prestwich, Manchester is another record shop that is high on our list of favourites. Located 5mins outside of Manchester City Centre this fine emporium has also had it’s fair share of trials and tribulations of late.
After a tenant in the upstairs flat fell asleep with a still lit cigarette that caused a fire, local authorities insisted that Mike (The owner) would have to go to the expense of totally fireproofing the property (Both up and downstairs) which left no option but to carry out a total refit (And a short period of closure) for the front of the shop.
However, after the initial inconvenience the store feels much improved as a result. With much more space for additional racks, Mike has had taken the opportunity to bring much of the stock that was sitting in the cellar up to the front of the store for those browsers who may not have necessarily been aware there is a secondary area available to those people who may wish to venture into the basement that lies directly beneath (And runs the full length of) the shop. If you want to check out the thousands of additional albums and singles that are still in the cellar just ask Mike who will be more than happy to show you down.
Endless Music is a very welcoming place to spend an afternoon looking for undiscovered treasures. With it’s portable gas fire (Making a HUGE difference in the winter!) and various chairs/seats to make yourself comfortable as you dig through crates of rare Jazz and Space Rock you’ll find yourself chatting with the owner on a matter of different issues, making scouring for records at Endless a pleasure.
One of the real positives about this store is the fast rate of turnover the stock experiences (In addition to the amazing value for money Mike offers his customers) ensuring that after only a short period of a few weeks you can be guaranteed that on your return you will have the opportunity to dig through a new collection that’s just been delivered or even better still, Mike has returned from one of his many trips to the U.S and has brought back a ripe collection of imported stock. Endless also has it’s own shop on EBay which showcases some of the rarer pieces so if you ask for the details of what items are yet to go online you might just be able to grab yourself a bargain before it gets listed!
Endless Music is again back up and running to full capacity so once again, it comes highly recommend as you’ll not only have a wide range of stock to choose from but you’ll get some great advice and recommendations from Mike, so pay a visit at your earliest available opportunity!
More reviews coming soon…