Hot Rats – Sunderland


Our odyssey this week takes us to the pretty market town of….. sorry, that was our last blog, our odyssey this week take us to Sunderland very much famed for not been a pretty market town.

I have to say that Neil’s navigational skills were bang on this week though he did give me a stern warning enroute not to get embroiled in discussions involving a very dodgy penalty decision in the recently played Tees-Wear derby.

The store we are visiting today is Hot Rats, and surely any store named after arguably Frank Zappa’s greatest album must be onto a winner.

The store only moved to this current location late last year after previously occupying several locations in and around the city.

The owner is one Marty Yule who started off in the business by selling Hawkwind records to hippies ‘back in the day’ and very much fits the profile of a typical owner of a good record shop (in our experiences) friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to help.

The shop stocks both newly released and pre-used vinyl with a slight bias toward the serious collector with strong Indie, Jazz, and Krautrock sections, although there was also ample stock of the more classic cuts.

We both felt the shop was of a decent size but then Marty upped the ante in true ‘Tardis style’ when he showed us a large storeroom at the rear of the shop stacked with heaving shelves of second-hand vinyl waiting to move into the shop.

I am sure should you visit this shop that upon request that Marty would oblige you with a viewing of this room.

There is also located on the wall behind Marty’s desk/counter a selection of very rare and valuable records (Van Morrison & Can to name a couple) although you may need to sell a kidney or two to cover the cost.

I often have to witness the rolling of Neil’s eyes during some of my conversations that he has to endure with the proprietors of these stores well today his eyes were positively spinning while I had chats with several of the shop’s clientele, young and old.

An older gent (i.e., our age) recalled visits to our beloved Alan Fearnleys in the Boro and recommended some Newcastle vinyl stores for our forthcoming jaunt and one of the younger patrons was a regular visitor to Sound it Out and asked me to pass on his regards to Tom.

Marty stated that he loves Record Store Day he always has a long queue waiting for opening time and makes a good profit on the day.

The store has a great sound system consisting of Technics deck, Naim amp and Kef speakers it’s so good in fact that at full volume it almost drowns out Steve’s chatter.

We both felt that this store had a strong community vibe about it and was a bit of muso’s meeting zone. Despite only recently having this store brought to my attention, it scores highly in my £100 test, which basically involves how easy would it be to spend a ‘ton’.

This store would have stormed a two ton test, now does anyone want to buy a kidney.

Marty Yule’s Five Vinyl Records I Can’t Live Without

  1. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin 1
 2. Can – Future Days
 3. Curtis Amy – Katanga!
 4. Frank Zappa – One Size Fits All
 5. Captain Beefheart – The Spotlight Kid

Marty’s selection for the Press On Vinyl collection – Bob Dylan – Desire

Steve’s selection – R.E.M. – Murmur

Neil’s selection – Ray Davies – Americana

Our classic album on sale at Hot Rats this week is David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars

The album was displayed on the wall looked like an early pressing and was in great condition the album wasn’t priced so I guess it’s up for negotiation.

Steve’s Track Ranking

  1. Starman
 2. Ziggy Stardust
 3. Lady Stardust
 4. Moonage Daydream
 5. Suffragette City
 6. Soul Love
 7. Hang On To Yourself
 8. It Aint Easy
 9. Rock N’ Roll Suicide
10. Star
 11. Five Years

Neil’s Track Ranking

  1. Starman
 2. Moonage Daydream
 3. Ziggy Stardust
 4. Soul Love
 5. Five Years
 6. Rock N’ Roll Suicide
 7. Lady Stardust
 8. Suffragette City
 9. Star
10. Hang On To Yourself
 11. It Aint Easy

Only one we agree on there but it is the number one song and really it couldn’t be anything else Starman the track that got us into Bowie, as two 14 year olds watching that 1972 Top Of The Pops performance well it really did blow our minds.

P.S. Our next blog will be part one of a two parter as we go a little bit further north to Newcastle. Our first stop is Beatdown Records and our selected classic album is the Who’s opus Quadrophenia a double album full of great tracks so a tough ranking.

P.P.S. If Steve sold all his bodily parts he might get something from the bargain bin

Check out more Vinyl Odyssey here

Copyright © Press On Vinyl Ltd 2022

Login to your account