DOMINO'S FAVOURITE RECORD SHOPS AROUND THE WORLD - SPILLER RECORDS, CARDIFF, WALES

19/06/08

Image: Spiller Records

A short biog of Spiller Records:

Fact : We are the oldest record shop in the world (Est. 1894!!) and we are also very proud to be an independent store! We also just had a TV programme made about us documenting the history of the shop... We also love having bands in for instores and generally 'keeping it real' in the old fashioned 'face to face' shop experience kind of way : )

We stock a very diverse range of music with Punk and old blues records selling just as strongly as more mainstream release and are uplifted by the apparent increase in VINYL sales!!

Our Spillers T-shirts have been worn all around the world but not yet to the moon...(to our knowledge)....one day!

Nick, the owner got offered the job of manager while a customer here over 30 years ago! He was a dj at the time and was on his way to becoming a bank manager too! A lucky escape as some might say!?!

Ashli at Spiller Records


1) How did you end up working in a record shop?What makes it special?


I'm Nick's daughter , I worked here through school and Uni and ended up staying because I couldn't find a job as fun as this one! What makes it special? Every person I meet has the potential to make it special! That and listening to amazing tunes all day, everyday!

2) What do you love so much about music?

Well.. It's the power of music that gets me…how it can either compliment or indulge a certain feeling. More so, I love its ability to over ride a bad feeling. It sounds corny but music is drugs to me! That feeling when you hear something for the first time and know it’s going to be with you for life...or when you eventually get to see the artist make their music live in front of you… I pray I never tire of that excitement!

3) If your record shop was an album, what would it be? What does this album definition say about the shop?

Oh, now you're asking…Ummm! Well, I think we'd like to be as "relaxed" (!) as the Grateful Dead … but then we'd never get to work in the morning...! And like the Grateful Dead we do have a tendency to go off on a meandering tangent ... but if we we're an album by them we would probably be a rusty old tape recording of a live gig from waaay back when (made by some bloke called Dave who you haven't seen for 20 years!)

4) Do people come to your counter knowing what they want or do you have a huge role in turning people onto great stuff still?

I'm glad to say that really does works both ways. In a small shop like ours (and in a small City like Cardiff) you really get to know the people who come in and get to know their tastes. I'd say there are some casual music buyers who are keen to be turned on to something new and then there are those who know exactly what they want and are enthused to tell us about their new find! Our favourite thing that happens has to be when someone asks what we're playing and likes it so much they buy it…when you get 3 of those situations in a day you know you're playing the right stuff! It's all about sharing for us!

5) What's the local music scene like in your city? Is there a distinctive identity to the type of music coming out?

Cardiff has always had a strong Punk / Rock scene – but there's definitely more going on under the surface… there’s still a good DIY ethic here if you look hard enough… a lot of local promoters and independent labels… I wouldn’t say that it would be possible to bunch the music made together as an Identity as such… but, again, down to the size of Cardiff, people do end up playing / guesting on each other’s records or 'borrowing' band members from other bands.. It's a good economy of talent I'd say!

6) What's the place for record stores in the 21st Century?

You tell us! We certainly hope so… It seems like the world is getting way too homogenised… (We’re in the middle of a construction site at the moment) I don't think the average person realises how manipulated they are by the Majors and their advertising / promotion tactics… It's a tough one this virtual thing…We do like the internet but fiercely believe that there is still a place for real record shops as music is a social experience which can't be replicated on a computer ... the human aspect of music should be shared in real life with people face to face!

7) If you could make a perfect mix tape from your record shop collection* – what would be on it?

1)JJ Cale - After Midnight Mellow as fuck, effortless + cool! Saw a doc' on him recently and even as a 70yr old he is way more hip than some off the young kids these days!
2) Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a gravel road Evocative song writing, brilliant lady!
3) Skatalites - Phoenix City Awesome + uplifting! Happy smiley faces all round when this is on!
4) Half Man Half Biscuit - 24-hour garage people Hilarious and just plain silly!
5) Mazzy Star – Fade In To You A tender song that makes us want to fall in love again and again and....!
6) Young Marble Giants – Searching For Mr Right Beautiful and subtle track from a great Cardiff band from the 80s- and Neon Neon covered it recently and did a damn fine job of it too!
7) William Elliott Whitmore – Our Paths Will Cross Again This lovely chap always comes in to play instore for us when he's in the area - his songs send a life affirming message that every things going to work out ok!
8) Gindrinker - Work It Out Jerky 2 piece from Cardiff, one of our favourite bands of recent years - and this was their debut 7" on an independent +local label, yay!
9) Dinosaur Jr – almost ready J Mascis IS god! (but nobody seems to be making enough fuss in the press over here about his Witch project - criminal!)
10) Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham - You Left the Water Running - A song about heartbreak ... who can't relate to that, huh? Classic!
11) Chambers Brothers - You Can Run (But You Can't Hide) - It's off a great live album and has a wicked rhythm going on!
12) Yo La Tengo - You Can Have It All - again, a track with a positive vibe, "take it baby.. .. take it baby" and GREAT rhythm to it...ba ba ba ba da ba ba .... take it baby.(take it take it) !!
13) High Contrast - If We Ever Banging (and I mean BANGING!) drum'n'bass tune that when heard induces mental / crazy dancing from me! : )
14) Arab Strap - The First Big Weekend I can remember the 1st time I heard this track some 12 years ago. It's about the down sides of too much indulgence, which on a Saturday morning in work is apt for me!