BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Saturday, February 03, 2007

SAVE CARDIFF PART TWO: Splillers, the oldest records shop in the world

“If you walk down Oxford Street you do not see niche record stores among the chains. We warned Mr Todd (owner of Spillers records) that he is standing in the way of progress. The rent in their present location will at some point be unaffordable” Those are the words of Michael brown, the man behind the plan to redevelop the land on which Spillers Stands. He is a tw@t.

Spillers is possibly the oldest record store in the world, established in 1894. It is something of a legend in South Wales, not simple because of its age but because it is such a damn fine shop. The sales staff are all fanatical music lovers and you can have intelligent conversations with them. Today as I was in there someone came in and asked about DJ Scotch Egg; anywhere else this would have resulted in a blank stare from some student on a gap year, but here it started ten minute chat about Scotch Egg’s set the night before and the merits of techno in the 21st century. Try walking into Virgin and asking about Llwber Llaethog, see if they rattle off a list of CDs available on the shelf; or ask about The Short Bus Window Lickers and see how long it will take them to get hold of a copy of thier CD for you.

As you would guess from the opening paragraph though, the shop is under threat from ‘developers’ trying to homogenise the city centre. It truly would be a tragedy if this shop is lost and replaced with another chain store. A petition to save the shop has been started by a local Assembly Member and an application has been made for a Blue Plack, to mark the site, which has played such an important part in Welsh music over the decades. Go on, sign it, you never know when you might need them to track down something special.

You will be hard pushed to find Robbie Williams in there, but you will find a veritable treasure trove of sonic gems, from Robert Johnson box sets to the latest releases by Aereograme. And if you want stuff by local bands, there is nowhere else to compare.

Over the years, this little dingy shop with photocopies of the sleeves shoved into the racks has probably been the single largest source of music in my collection. Only this week I have parted with my hard earned in there to get my hands on:

KILNABOY: Defy the Stars (local anarcho diddly punk folk.. been trying to blag this off the band but fed up of waiting. Got quite excited to see my name mentioned on the sleeve notes under ‘Thanks to’)

THIS SYSTEM KILLS/THE VIKTIMS: Victims of the system (Split album featuring old mates TSK, loud shouty anarcho punk of the highest order. Dones not mention me personally on the cover but says thanks to all those that have helped over the years, so I suppose it includes me)

TIDYLIKE RECORDS: Legends of The Dark Soul (Collection from this Welsh label with lots of d’n b and break beat stuff on… all packaged in a nice little tin)

FOUR LETTER WORD: Like Moths To A Flame (local punks done good, now have quite a big name on the anarcho punk scene)

ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION: Enemy of the Enemy (Nothing local about this, Bhangara/punk/dub/metal sound clash with attitude. Not sure why I did not get around to buying this when it came out in 2003, but at £4.99 it jumped out at me and has now filled a gap to complete my ADF collection)

MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD: Yell Fire (latest offering of soulful consciousness from possibly the coolest man on earth. Inspired by his trip to the war torn Middle East to make a film about how ordinary people cope with war)

No other shop in Cardiff could have supplied such a fine crop, go on SIGN THE PETITION (or are you some kind of capitalist bastard?)

William Elliott Whitmore Live in Spillers....


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home