Lately i've wanted to buy a few Cd's. No CD's in particular, but i've decided that i should go get them from Swordfish records. this has been inspired by a conversation i had with a customer at work, I saw that she had a beanie with 'Pie and Vinyl' written on it and it led to a painfully hip conversation about local record stores and vinyl players, in which I recommended Swordfish, but mentioned that it is a real hard place to find.
Swordfish was hard to find in it's old location down by pigeon park, in that alley way it was hard to miss. but it was always a nice little diversion, even if you could get burned under all those records and it was a bit small and dark in there. Swordfish records moved at a new location at 66 Dalton Street, Birmingham City Centre, which is much nicer, the new store has more room, more natural light, and i never felt that the stack of promo cds could fall over and kill me like i did at the old store (ok thats an exaggeration).
This record Store has a hell of a history too, and the record label that is ran alongside the shop put out early releases by bands such as 'Godflesh' 'Lilac Time' and various other obscurities. while also Swordfish has had store appearances, Henry Rollins, Billy Bragg, Mark Ronson & Duran Duran, and Lenny Kravitz. While notable customers include John Peel, Dave Grohl & The Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, The Horrors, Jamie T, Stuart Maconie, Franz Ferdinand, Mud Honey, Neil Diamond, John Cale, Primal Scream & Jamie Cullum.
The two old blokes running the place seem as if they have been doing it for years, (the website says Swordfish was founded in 1979) and while normally when speaking to a specialist in any store it becomes a competition. I have had conversations with blockbuster staff members where i was struggling to uphold my geekiness. Yet when discussing the amazing local band Table scraps and cassette tapes i almost felt cruel talking at the pace that I did, to such laid back guys.
I Bought a copy of Table Scraps Cassette EP (I don't even own a cassette player) and walked out vowing to carry on supporting this great little Record Store, and the next time i have the time and the will to walk all the way to the Cul-De-Sac Behind Scruffy Murphy's I will.
Long Live Swordfish Records!
read more about this great place at