Black Slab Records and Clothes Redcar
Black Slab Records & Clothes established in the winter of 2016 is located on Milbank Terrace just back from the seafront in *sunny Redcar (*Northeast Coast term for grey and overcast) and is listed by the local Council as the sixth greatest ‘thing’ in Redcar.
Neil and I walked in just after lunch to be greeted by Mark and Matthew (it was Luke and John’s afternoon off) at the front of the shop amongst stylish menswear, which appears to be top of the range to me but then again I could not differentiate between Christian Dior and George at Asda.
The shop has a very individualistic and Bohemian feel and is decorated with various vintage items from Joe 90 memorabilia to 60/70’s books & film posters and owner Mark is constantly updating the layout.
The extensive selection of vinyl is located in an area at the back of the shop which consists of new, second hand and seven-inch records and really does cover every genre and era of music.
I have uncovered some cracking records over the years from this shop (original New Order, Cure, PIL pressings and some hard-to-find soul & jazz issues) and all in excellent condition.
I have been introduced to and bought some great records from Mark that otherwise would have completely passed me by and if you should happen to search through their racks several records are marked as ‘Black Slab Favourites’, records that are above and beyond the usual safe standards.
There are records here that I have never found in other stores particularly in the soundtrack, reggae, jazz, and soul. Though eclectic is a much-overused word in the record shop world this store really earns that accolade.
The shop Hi Fi consists of a Vestax PDX Deck, Yamaha AS 201 Amp and Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 Speakers and it sounded great blasting out some great soul/funk Mark’s personal favourite genre.
Mark confessed it’s been a struggle business wise since Covid but things are improving and although he is at present not stocking new releases and completely shuns Record Store Day he would happily stock any new independent releases from Press on Vinyl.
Black Slab was featured in the award-winning BBC documentary series from 2018 which portrays Redcar has having a very strong community spirit and I have noticed that during my visits to the shop the many locals that drop in for a chat with Mark who seems to know everyone and there is a decent coffee machine located at the front of the shop.
Black Slab once a year is heavily involved with the promotion and organisation of Blam Blam Fever which involves various DJ /music events in and around Redcar venues and attracts punters from all over Europe and brings considerable revenue to the local community.
Mark’s – Five Vinyl Records I Can’t Live Without
1. Roger Waters – Amused To Death
2. Adam and the Antz – Dirk Wears White Sox
3. Big Audio Dynamite – Kool Aid
4. The Beatles – Abbey Road
5. Frank Zappa – Sheik Yerbouti
Mark’s selection for the Press On Vinyl collection
ROB – Self Titled
The Fantastic Peddlers – Self Titled
Matthew’s selection was only a fiver so we pushed the boat out.
Steve’s selection – Buddy Guy – Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues
Neil’s selection – Scott Walker – Scott 2
This store is great, so interesting and if you’re in Redcar go take a look you won’t be disappointed. You’ll definitely get a warm welcome from Matthew and Mark.
P.S. Luke and John don’t really exist.
P.P.S. We are now looking for Five better things in Redcar.
Check out more Vinyl Odyssey here