Good evening all. Hope you’re well. I’m sorry I haven’t written a blog post for a while. Here we are, autumn 2017 and Loafers has been up and running for nearly 3 months. The first thing I want to say is thank you to all the fantastic people who have visited Loafers and to all the loyal and return customers who pop in every week for a coffee or to buy a record. It’s brilliant to be part of something so special at the Piece Hall.
Like the Piece Hall, Loafers has become a destination and I hope my plan to create a haven for music and coffee lovers has been achieved. It’s certainly a wonderful place to work. I never thought I’d say this but I love Monday mornings as much as any other day! We now have people hosting their business meetings in Loafers and people are returning for their daily coffee fix, as well as their vinyl needs! I wanted Loafers to have an atmosphere where people were comfortable to sit, listen to the music, have a meeting, or plug in and do some work. I see this every day and I’m so pleased that our customers enjoy the experience.
I also wanted it to be the place where you could ask for an obscure record and I would do my best to find it. We have customers who come back every week for this very reason. Including a man in his 60’s who seeks rare 7” acid house singles and a local paramedic who today picked up ‘Men in Black’ by Will Smith and ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice. After enjoying a strong Crowtree cafetiere, he left a happy man! That’s the kind of record shop I wanted to create and long may it continue, keep your requests coming and we’ll do our best to find them!
As well as the obscure and second hand records, we stock all the new releases (when available) and continue to stock up on a broad range of vinyl to suit everyone’s taste. Last weekend, a group of students came in from Leeds and between them managed to buy the Dunkirk soundtrack, the Johnny Cash collection, Orbital live in Ibiza and The Prodigy, Fat of the Land. It was a great moment as they all left the shop with something they really wanted. Hopefully, the selection of records available will continue to cater for everyone.
There have been some great releases in 2017 and I’ve previously talked about the brilliant Stone Foundation. We saw them performing live in Holmfirth last night and I managed to grab a signed setlist after the gig. They’re a superb live band and really lovely blokes. We have copies of their 2nd album, ‘A life unlimited’ in stock now and will have ‘Street Rituals’ coming in again shortly. It’s a must listen!
Other records on constant rotation in Loafers are ‘A deeper Understanding’ by The War on Drugs and ‘As you were’ by Liam Gallagher. 2 superb records, which sound fantastic on the turntable.
With The War on Drugs, we have a record that is impossible to define. The musicianship is precise and beautiful and the melodies just take you to another place. It’s a fantastic album with so much grandeur, it tells a story, of how a rush of sound can take us somewhere we can’t explain. In these dark times, it’s great to lose yourself in a record and simply enjoy the sound of it. Its a real work of genius and I’ll make sure we have plenty of copies in stock!
Growing up listening to Oasis and the cocky cry of Liam’s voice, I’ve been looking forward to his first solo album. ‘As you were’ is everything I’d hoped for. Solid songs, plenty of attitude and a nod to our favourite bands of the past. It’s nothing ground breaking but a really good album that outshines everything Oasis released since Be Here Now. There was a stampede for his new record when released so there will be plenty of copies available in Loafers by the end of this week.
We’ve been organising our diaries for the next 3 months and there is so much to look forward to as we head towards Christmas. This Thursday, 26 October, we’re hosting a poetry evening, 7-9pm. Come along for coffee, cake and an evening of poetry and spoken word. On 2nd November, we’re having a coffee tasting evening with our suppliers, Darkwoods. The science behind coffee is intriguing so it will give you an opportunity to understand the different types of roast and blend and to taste some great coffees. Tickets are available on our website. Again, there will be plenty of coffee, cake and I’ll spin some great records. Try and come along if you’re free.
December at The Piece Hall will be a magical time and throughout the month, we will be hosting some great musicians in the shop. On 2nd December, Mark Whiteside who has a dark and introspective sound, nestling somewhere between Bowie, Nick Cave and Tindersticks will be playing his acoustic. On 9 December, Christopher Mullen will be playing his folk and world influenced music on his ukulele. And on 16 December we have Adam Barry and Dan Sealey from Merrymaker playing in Loafers. Great lads and brilliant musicians, this will be an afternoon not to be missed! More news on these events will follow soon.
Running your own business is hard work but so much fun and it’s been amazing to meet some lovely people in the shop. I’ve got a new friend called George who is 84 years old and has a coffee with me every week. All being well, he will be joining us for Christmas lunch this year. His only request is that we play Simon & Garfunkel on the record player. We can definitely make that happen. Last week I received a message from a lady in Italy, who asked for some purple moccasins in a size 8! I had to explain that we were a record shop and I could only get hold of ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince! Only today did a lady ask me to dance in the shop when ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless kicked in. I had to decline as I had 6 hot chocolates to make! And on Friday, a lovely chap gave us a hand made wooden spoon that he’d made especially for us to scoop up the coffee beans with. He’s a regular customer and a great lad. At this rate, we’ll have 30 people round for Christmas!
So, with Christmas fast approaching, don’t forget we have music, merchandise, artwork and coffee available to buy on our website. Gift vouchers are also available in the shop. It promises to be a wonderful Christmas at The Piece Hall so do join us for great coffee or hot chocolate and even better music!
Thanks again for all your support. Please keep spreading the word and supporting us and all the other independent small businesses in The Piece Hall. If you have any comments, questions or recommendations, please let us know.
See you soon. Mark and Sarah.