Image and words by Toby Smith
Containing an unestimable (over 200,000) records tapes and CD's
in a shop floor area equivalent to Mr. Minit. Rob's Records contains
mostly oldies, soul and jazz on 45's from jukeboxes, defunct record
libraries and closed radio stations.
enjoys the shop although embarrassed at the lack of organisation
and agrees that it is beyond the point of no return.
This attracts a strange blend of customers from
young trendy DJ's to home listeners or record collectors seeking
that track they heard on Radio 2 sometime in the early 70's.
The cataloguing and organisation of Rob's massive
stock officially ended over 10 years ago. Yet Rob has been the owner
and manager for over 24 years and he is keen to demonstrate his
eerily accurate knowledge of vinyl and its whereabouts. Including
helpful hints such as "somewhere over there" and "yes
probably but good luck finding it".
Every customer comes in the shop requesting a single
song but falls victim to the trap of searching endless piles and
boxes. The seekers are often fuelled by the knowledge that recently
a rare Beatles' single worth over £450 was unearthed. However
they normally leave with a large carrier bag full of vinyl and still
have change from a fiver.
The pricing system is also solely controlled by
Rob with mental estimations at the value of bundles of records brought
in for sale and also bagfuls sold to the keen eyed vinyl archaeologist,
grinning at their latest dusty find. Some have spent hours or possibly
years hunting the rare second press of Fried Green Tomatoes on 45
somewhere in the corner near the radiator.
just keep piling on top of one another and I never get round
to sorting it out.
(from Rob's records)
Rob's personal favourite genre is Northern Soul
although he is keen to point out that he will listen to anything
these days, proven by the bacolite radio in the corner bellowing
out Radio 1. An old black and white telly shows BBC 2 on mute although
as with any other flat surface in the shop its casing is precariously
piled with over a hundred records and the television itself is on
a plinth of yet more records.
The narrow lanes between the stacks of music are
approximately 12 inches wide only just large enough for overtaking
other customers in the unofficial one way system that develops around
Rob always wanted to own a record shop and took
seize of the opportunity when it arose by acquiring a large collection
of records belonging to a retired radio station.
He enjoys the shop although embarrassed at the lack of organisation
and agrees that it is beyond the point of no return. In his own
words, "things just keep piling on top of one another and I
never get round to sorting it out."
|Rob of Rob's