Friday, 2 November 2012

Return to Wigan

The pre-Christmas ceasefire with my mother-in-law saw me up in Wigan earlier this week.  Normally I'm content to while away the duration out in the sticks, but on this occasion a re-tweet from Pete Paphides had me eager to brave central Wigan's baffling road traffic system. For you see, Static Records has reopened. I wrote a bit about the place once. Too often this blog has documented the closure of beloved eateries and ye olde record shops, so it's nice to see a slight reversal to the trend.

Situated just behind the bus station in what must be Wigan's bohemian quarter (we went to a vegetarian cafe across the road later on) I walked past it once, they haven't got a sign up yet.  I had hoped to be able to take a picture for the post, I just hope when they do get one it'll be as snazzy as the old one.

Anyway, I walked in and started to flip through the first box of records (Soundtracks). The owner emerged and after we'd exchanged hellos he gave me a little sideways look and said he thought he recognised me from the old shop.  Turns out that was ten years ago. Bloody hell. Very gratifying to be remembered. But maybe I need to update my haircut or something.  As I said in my previous post he's a really friendly bloke and we nattered away happily regardless of the ten year hiatus in our acquaintance.

But to business, what did I buy?  As always my wants list evaporated from memory the second I stepped over the shop's threshold so I resorted to looking at every single record in the shop.  I was tempted by a Shangri La's album (Charly reissue of Leader of the Pack) and by Chet Atkins picks on the Beatles whose fantastic sleeve warranted display on the shop's wall. By coincidence I'd given this album a quick listen on Spotify a few days earlier. It's not bad, but I'd have been buying it for the sleeve.

There were others but I'm writing this two days later recovering from the worst hangover I've had in months and my brain feels a bit damaged. I think there were some Jazz things, but they might have been a bit pricier (ie: a tenner each) and in fact they might even have been in a different shop. And an album entitled The Zither Goes Pop, that was definitely in there.

In the end I settled on the first Derek and Clive album and a recording of Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats (taking in, as the bloke said, both ends of the comedy spectrum). I've never heard the latter, read by the man himself apparently so looking forward to getting that back to the turntable. I was drawn to it by the sleeve, which shows that picture of the Jellicle cats dancing. It freaks me out a bit, they look so weird.

So there you are, if you're a seeker-out of vinyl and you ever find yourself in Wigan now you know where to go.


  1. I love mop top sleeves: especially literal ones. Did you spot Mr Guitar's typo?

  2. I did not, thank you John for your vigilance in these matters. I know you take an interest in record shop bags and I'm afraid it was just a plain paper bag here. He's just getting going though, I suspect fancy plastic bags might follow in the wake of such things as the shop sign.

  3. If I Feel should, of course, read If I Fell.

  4. Davy - It was great, he even threw in a couple of free 7" singles that his band had done. I should have mentioned that in the post really.

    John - I figured that out after a short process of elimination.

  5. I may need to re-visit Wigan shortly based on your review. I'll tell him you sent me

  6. My son lives in Sale. I feel an awayday to Wigan coming on next time I'm over. Maybe we should have a mingle?

  7. Could Wigan be the new hip destination? In a non orthopaedic surgery context? Stranger things may have happened. I'll not be back that way till Christmas time now, but will definitely be popping in then. If you do make a pilgrimage in the meantime let me know how you get on.