Vinyl Guru – Newcastle-upon-Tyne
The second shop on our visit to Newcastle is Vinyl Guru located on the Westgate Road.
Neil has literally just dragged me out of Beatdown Records (something to do with expiring parking tickets and schedules apparently), Vinyl Guru is only a five-minute walk from Beatdown records, but as regular readers of this blog are aware (both of you) our navigational skills are on a par with Stevie Wonder and the short walk takes around twenty-five minutes.
I have to say I was initially disappointed when entering the shop not to find a skinny old guy with long straggly hair and matching beard dressed in white linen, sitting on an Afghan rug chanting ‘’you need more Radiohead records’’ but I believe this to be down to the national shortage of Gurus.
The shop itself is a single large square shaped room and with single storey racks around the walls and in the centre of the shop laid out in a very organised manner.
Now I am no ‘Laurence Llewelyn Bowen’ but I have to say with the shop’s high ceilings and low hung lighting it is one of the more stylish and tastefully decorated record shops that I have frequented, very Bohemian.
The shop is owned by the father/son partnership of Chris and Rob Larkin and today Chris is out front in the shop and Rob is busily working away in the back office dealing with the ordering of stock and mail orders (Vinyl Guru has an excellent online site).
Chris who had a career in the media business had also previously worked in a London branch of Our Price in the eighties after leaving university.
Chris returned to the music business when he set up his own indie record label which eventually led to him opening a mail order record accessory business selling cleaning products, sleeves, storage boxes and turntables (not to mention turntable mats, belts and styluses).
The home mail order business morphed into an industrial unit near to the airport before eventually moving to this current location in central Newcastle.
The increased space offered by these premises coupled with the higher customer numbers offered by a central city location has enabled them to give a greater focus on the selling of vinyl particularly on second-hand vinyl which includes records from the reasonably priced to the more expensive rarer finds
Rob came out from behind his desk to talk with Neil about his interest in Gaming soundtracks (there is a section devoted to these soundtracks in the shop) and the possibility of ‘Press On Vinyl’ producing records for him in the near future.
Chris Larkin – Five Vinyl Records I Can’t Live Without
1. David Bowie – Hunky Dory
2. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
3. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
4. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
5. The Beatles – White Album
Now there’s a list that any music lover over a certain age can agree with.
Chris Larkin’s selection for the Press On collection .
Buena Vista Social Club – Self Titled
Neil’s Selection – The Kinks – The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society
Steve’s Selection – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – B Sides & Rarities
I really liked this unique shop and a thank you to Chris, Neil and I very much appreciated our accessory samples.
Our Classic album on sale at Vinyl Guru is – Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
The album was priced at £29.00 looked to be in pristine condition an absolute classic just celebrating it’s 50th anniversary it’s got to be in every ones top 10 of all time at least if your our age.
Steve’s Track Ranking
1. The Great Gig in The Sky
2. Us And Them
3. On The Run
5. Speak to Me/Breathe
7. Any Colour You Like
8. Brain Damage
Neil’s Track Ranking
1. Us And Them
2. The Great Gig In The Sky
5. Speak to Me/Breathe
6. Brain Damage
7. Any Colour You Like
9. On The Run
We both found it very difficult to rank this album as all tracks are imperative to what is ostensibly one long piece of great music.
Our next blog will be from the Hartlepool record fair and our chosen classic album is The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
P.S. Hot off the press, King Charles has selected ‘Love, reign O’er me (ref. The Who: Quadrophenia review in our last blog) as part of his Coronation playlist.
You are welcome your majesty.
P.P.S Our day finished with a gig at The Cluny 2 to see Lizzie Esau and the real reason we went to Newcastle. Lizzie is fast becoming our favourite up and coming artists.
She and her wonderful band put on a great show in front of her home crowd and we are expecting great things from her this year, check her out and watch this space.
Check out more Vinyl Odyssey here