Marrs Plectrum

Monday 15 December 2014

Christmas opening times...

Christmas Opening Times:

This week we're open our normal hours Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm and Saturday 11.00am to 2.00pm.

22nd December - 10.00am to 4.00pm
23rd December - 10.00am to 4.00pm
Christmas Eve - Closed
Christmas Day - Closed
27th and 28th December - (Saturday and Sunday) - Closed
29th December - 10.00am to 4.00pm
30th December - 10.00am to 4.00pm
New Years Eve - Closed
New Years Day - Closed
2nd January 2015 (Friday) - Closed
3rd January 2015 (Saturday) - Closed

From January we will be opening Tuesday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm and Saturdays 11.00am to 2.00pm. We will be closed Sunday and Monday.

Online order will continue to be processed over the holiday period, subject to Post Office opening times.

As always, if you can't make our opening times feel free to give us a ring and we'll see what we can do to help.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. x

PS. Record not for sale!

Monday 8 December 2014

Playing our part in the vinyl revival...

Vinyl sales continue to rocket. It's probably mostly down to us, right? Well, we're playing our part.

So it’s now getting on for two months that we’ve had the shop up and running. Seems like only yesterday. From the start we knew that we’d be improving and learning as we went and so it’s proved.

Firstly, access is no longer through the house! Clearly this was never ideal and was only ever a temporary plan. Now resolved. A little juggling of the sheds has opened access down the side of the house. As always, please ring the doorbell if the gate is closed. This isn’t to keep you out, but to the keep the Plectrum’s hound, Hector, in.

Secondly, we didn’t have a turntable in the shop. You’re in for a treat now! We’ve got a demo table of the Rega RP1’s that we also sell. These fantastic pieces of kit have scored 5 star reviews across the board. Up and running virtually straight out of the box, with plenty of scope for even further improvements down the line. You’re welcome to hear anything in the shop. There’s also a pair of headphones available.

Stock wise, as with our online side, things are constantly moving. Behind the scenes we’re always sourcing new records. This is the most challenging and rewarding aspect of running the shop. Online we sell Internationally with records having gone to  an astounding 43 countries so far this year.

Somewhere in the world there’s always going to be a vinyl head after pretty much any record we stock. In the shop we’re getting a joyfully diverse mix too. We’re listening to what you’re after so we can keep giving a fix to the local vinyl junkies…

Finally, we’ve hooked up with another excellent company to supply us with quality cartridges, phono stages and accessories. We’ll be making an announcement shortly.

Once again, a huge thank you to all those who’ve supported us. Particularly those regular customers who have been spreading the word. Social Media is great, but nothing beats word of mouth!

Cheers Matt.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Opened with a bang...

Well, it’s been a week that will live long in our memory. The metaphorical ribbon was cut and doors opened to the shop on Saturday 18th October 2014. We’re open for business.

Launching any new business is always going to jangle some nervous. Those were settled swiftly by the presence of customers. Thanks so much to all that showed up on Saturday and through the week. Your support has been fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The original idea was to have a soft launch, just inviting our Facebook followers. Resisting everything but temptation, I pinged off a press release to a few radio stations and some music websites. And then it exploded!

A couple of interviews on BBC Radio Cambs, a shout from Tom Ravenscroft on BBC 6 Music followed and a feature on Fab Radio. The NME rang a story on us and the snowball ran away. You can view some articles if so inclined…

We’re open Monday to Saturday. Come and say hello, have a cuppa and hit up the racks. The shop might be small, but we’ve packed in several 1,000 gorgeous slabs of vinyl.

Cheers, Matt. x

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Press Release 21 October 2014


New Vinyl Record Shop Opens In Peterborough

This week has seen the opening of a new vinyl record shop in Walton, Peterborough. Marrs Plectrum Records claims to be the smallest record shop in the UK.

The owner, Matthew Hawton, says that “ for many of us, vinyl has never been away  but its popularity is certainly on the rise. So far this year 844,122 vinyl albums have been sold compared to 829,243 for the whole of 2013. It’s an exciting time for record collectors.”

The shop stocks vinyl across all genres. “I think that it’s important that we satisfy all tastes. It’s not just about the records that your mum and dad played. New and relevant bands are all releasing their music on vinyl again. It’s at the point where the pressing plants can’t keep up with demand.  That’s why we’re mixing new releases with the classics and collectables.”

“Many people believe in that beautiful, warm analogue sound that vinyl has.  The little ritual you go through dusting the record, dropping the needle, examining the incredible artwork. Digital just doesn’t compete. More than that though, playing a vinyl record becomes the thing you do. It’s just you and the music. It’s so easy to get distracted by other things these days. Nothing beats it.”

The new shop is actually situated in the owners garden. Matthew explains that “it was simply impossible to open a shop in the town centre. This way we can keep the costs down which is great for our customers.  I can’t complain about the commute to work either.

The shop is open Monday to Friday 10.00AM to 4.00PM and Saturdays 11.00AM to 2.00PM. There are several thousand 7”, 12” and LP’s available, both brand new and collectable.  They also sell turntables and accessories and offer professional record cleaning services.

Matthew Hawton
Marrs Plectrum Records
387 Fulbridge Road,
PE4 6SF.
Tel: 07884 357021
Facebook: Marrs Plectrum Records


Thursday 11 September 2014

Work continues on Marrs Plectrum HQ...

The stud frames are up and insulation is 90% complete. Yesterday we picked up the plasterboard sheets ready for installing over the weekend. These were 20mm wider than our car boot which kind of sums up my experiences with DIY!  We packed them in at an angle which drew warnings and horror stories from a couple of B&Q customers. They clearly underestimated my silky smooth driving skills... all safely arrived intact.

Here we see Charlie modelling an insulated wall. He's the skill and knowledge behind the conversion, currently learning construction at college. I'm the wallet. If I was paying him, wages would have been docked for the dinged insulation sheet (now repaired).

 The counter will be placed below the window, together with the VPI Record Cleaner. Excellent light for grading.
Electrics have been installed.

In an ideal world, with the wind behind us, plasterboard will be up and painting started over the weekend. Every step closer is nagged by a single thought.... I'm going to have to move several thousand records, in the right order, into the completed shop. Brace yourself, mind and body. 

Sunday 31 August 2014

We're going bricks and mortar...

Exciting times at Plectrum HQ. We’ve got ourselves a new location. Early days and a lot of work to do but we couldn’t more excited. They say that location is everything and we’ve got that nailed - still close enough for Mrs Plectrum to make the tea!

Our new home is solid, double glazed and damp proofed. A couple years ago we insulated the ceiling, now we’re about to get moving and get the walls insulated and plaster boarded. We’ve done a ton of research and had some professional advice. The room will have a damp monitor, dehumidifier and thermostated heating to keep the records in tip top condition. Most importantly, it’ll have several thousand choice cuts in delicious vinyl.

Once up and running we’ll finally be in a position to allow our customers to come and have a browse and dig themselves. We might even offer coffee and biscuits. They’ll be a little headphone setup too so you can give your picks a spin.

We’re hoping that this development will finally allow us to take part in Record Store Day 2015. It’s such a crying shame that Peterborough has missed out on these events. With your support and crossed fingers perhaps we can put this right…

I’ll keep you posted through the blog and put a few pictures up as progress is made.

Cheers, Matt.

Compact and bijou but to be filled with vinyl treasure...
 Just a shell right now...
 Hector, the HQ hound, in a her vinyl black coat comes to say hello...

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Vinyl Sales Chart 2014

We've been submerged in paper work and figures these last few days at Marrs HQ. I didn't start selling vinyl for a love of administration. Like many things in life, put your head down, plough through, and you're on the other side before you know it. Whilst learning to Excel in Expletives in Microsoft Office, it dawned on me that I'm but a row and a column from a Marrs Plectrum Chart.

So, based on sales over the last 12 months of the new records we stock...

1. Public Service Broadcasting - Inform Educate Entertain
2. Elbow - The Take Off and Landing of Everything
3. The Horrors - Luminous
4. Solaris OST - Cliff Martinez
5. St Vincent - St Vincent
6. Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love
7. Sting - The Last Ship
8. Beck - Morning Phase
9. Lily Allen
10. Broken Bells - After The Disco

Personally, I'm so thrilled to have Public Service Broadcasting at number one. It's no secret that we love that band at Marrs HQ. In fact, we got in touch with their manager to find out how we could start stocking it on their behalf. This start the ball rolling, or disc spinning, in us stocking new records.

We're very proud to have ended up with such an eclectic chart. Proof, if ever it was needed, that diversity in music remains despite the Corporates endless greed and artless quest for money.

So, best selling bands/artist over the same period? We're not going to need a drum roll for this one...

1. Queen
2. Rolling Stones
3. Rush
4. Iron Maiden
5. Johnny Cash
6. Kraftwerk
7. Madness
8. New Order
9. Pink Floyd
10. Stevie Wonder

In someways, no surprises but dig a little deeper and there are some interesting points...

Firstly, no Beatles or Led Zeppelin in the top ten. I think Led Zeppelin are easily explained. Earlier this year they reissued their early LP's. The build up, as the massive hype machine started rolling, perhaps saw customers holding out for the remasters. I've not heard these myself, but plenty of reports on the net seem to be report multiple pressing issues. We decided not to risk stocking them.

The Beatles? Well, I had to double check the figures! Obviously a constant seller with generation after generation getting to discover their energy and wonder. I remember getting the Red and Blue albums, some 100 years ago, and being aghast at just how many of the songs I knew without knowing them to be Beatle songs. I miss being 15.

It's worth saying that Zed Zeppelin and The Beatles are 11th and 12th in the chart. Further, that Queen, Rolling Stones and Rush were largely bought by customers across Europe rather than the UK. A chart of sales to UK customers would have had Joy Division at number one.

The top ten (or twelve) clearly have a massive back catalogue which generally puts them at the top of any charts like this. This chart could be 20 years old.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Record Store Day 21014

So, today is Record Store Day 2014. Unfortunately, we're not able to officially participate. The idea is to celebrate bricks and mortar shops, which in the current financial climate, we can only dream of. One day, my friends, one day... It's so sad that Cambridgeshire can't support an actual Record Shop.

Thought that it might be worth sharing our namesakes Mr Johhny Marr's comment on this...

"To me a record shop isn't a "specialist" shop , or a thrift store either, it's just a kind of shop, a very important kind of shop.
Record shops were meeting places where you learnt about music, clothes, style and clubs. Everyone in my town who was interesting was in the record shop at some point.
There's so much talk about the death of vinyl versus the download boom as if we all fled away from records because we love our iPods too much, but that isn't exactly the whole story.

One of the main reasons why vinyl sales have declined is because when we walk down our streets we don't see any. The greed of local councils and lease owning landlords has meant that our towns and cities have replaced the record shops (and clothes shops) we all liked with over priced sandwich shops and Bistro Bars.

All through the nineties stores that were rented and run by enthusiasts of say, photography and cameras, as well as music, got totally priced out of their premises and livelihoods, and our culture, by councils and landlords with The Next Quid and Starbucks Dollar in their eyes, it wasn't all the fault of The Megabyte and Pixel, and now what's left ?, high streets that are so expensive to rent that only the richest, and therefore blandest of commercial giants can afford to ride out the recession there; bad news for us, especially if you want a great piece of cultural art, which is what a record actually is.

Record stores aren't selling quirky old artifacts. We're starting to think of them as quirky and specialist because our greedy high street culture has told us that's the case.
If they were able to function as commercial premises on our streets then the stuff they sell would flourish, and that doesn't mean ditching our beloved iPods, It just means owning a great piece of work by our favourite band with a piece of real art on the cover, and something that actually sounds good too. Not bad for the price of two Lattes."

Wednesday 2 April 2014

We have ourselves a celebrity shopper...

When I sent our celebrity shopper his record, a South African pressing of Do It Yourself by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, I rather cheekily asked for a selfie of him with the record. Mr Phillip Jupitus has delivered! We at Marrs HQ salute you, sir. Thank you so much.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Famous people and their vinyl...

These days you can pretty much guarantee that you'll spot some vinyl during every single TV ad break. Records have become ubiquitous with product placement. It seems the stars of yesteryear once played the same card...

Can we get ourselves a slice of that glamorous cool by association? I think we can... you just need a black and white filter...

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Vinyl album covers in LEGO...

We've got to the point where humans have finally created an alternative universe entirely built of LEGO. Being such meticulous species it seems that we've got vinyl record art covered too.

I stumbled on this site whilst aimlessly wondering  researching record covers on the internet...

Sometimes people with to much time on their hands just make ace stuff.

Matt. X

Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm Saturday 11am to 2pm.

Buying, Selling and Trading Vinyl Records


07884 357021

387 Fulbridge Road, Peterborough, PE4 6SF.