This is the Best Short Film About Old Record Shops You'll See All Year

Take a trip back in time to Manchester's hazy mid-90s heyday.
May 3, 2017, 9:46am

If I wasn't so enamoured with the easy availability of six sandwiches and rounds of pints so expensive that they necessitate remortgaging, I'd leave London tomorrow. I'd say goodbye to Ed's Easy Diner, bid farewell to Big Ben, break up with the 55 bus with a smile on my face. Where, I hear you ask, would I make my new stomping ground? The answer's an easy one: Manchester!

Manchester is great isn't it. Home to Bez, the Trendy Northern Quarter, and that burger place that does really, really, really big burgers, Manchester's a city that gets more and more appealing as the days go by, and my London rent goes up and up.

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It helps that there's a lot going on musically in the city too. Whether you're a Balearic aficionado scratching your chin at Pica Sounds, a sports science student losing your shit to Skream at Warehouse Project, or somewhere in between, you'll find somewhere to end up pretty much any night of the week. Then, during the day, once you've washed away the hangover with a refreshing glass of rain water, you can blow all the money you've saved on rent on records at one of the city's fantastic shops, like Eastern Bloc or Piccadilly.

We'd strongly recommend whacking a few quid a month into an ISA and eventually investing in a time machine that takes you back to the hazy days of the mid-90s, when the town hummed with the sound of swarming hordes of pilled-up punters chuntering their way home from the Hacienda or Konspiracy, and you could saunter into Manchester Underground and blow the rest of your student loan on 12"s.

The video above is a few years old now, and I was alerted to it over the course of a particularly idle moment during the bank holiday weekend just gone when I found myself wanting to know more about Russ Marland, the resident DJ at Out in the Sticks—the best deep house night every thrown in a small and distinctly occult-tinged West Yorkshire market town.

My quest to know more about a bloke I'd once spent a very pleasant half-hour on the phone with a few years back took me into the bespoke-bosom of Oi Polloi, a Manchester men's clothing shop which largely caters to blokes who like muted pastel windbreakers and old Bob James LPs. Sam Waller had conducted this illuminating and highly interesting interview with Russ, which touched on the Todmorden days, as well as delving pretty deep into the working life of a man dedicated to records and record shops.

Filmed back in 1995, the short but very sweet clip basically makes late-century Manchester look like a paradise. I mean there's more blokes with crew cuts and checked shirts than parrots and palm tress, but if you like charmingly amateur looks back into a time when buying selling, and loving dance music seemed freer and less restrained by the painful pull of elitism that's seen circulation run out at a rapid rate in recent years, you'll find a lot to love here. Highly recommended for fans of piano house, dodgy haircuts, and Noel Edmonds.

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