The Warrington record store bringing the town’s music community together
The popularity of record collecting has soared in the past few years, with sales of vinyl records continuing to increase year on year.
Record collectors across the country regularly visit their local record store for the latest releases from their favorite artists, to rediscover classic albums from decades past or purchase limited edition releases on Record Store Day.
In Cheshire, there are many record stores to visit including Up North Records, Tasty Records, Electric Church and Warrington’s Lizard Inc Records.
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Lizard Records Inc is located on Legh Street in Warrington’s town center and has become a must visit destination for music lovers and record collectors.
The store was set up by owner and DJ Steven Davidson, who has been a record collector since he was young.
“I’ve been a DJ for years and a record collector for years. I’ve been into music since I was a kid, since I was really young, and because everyone knew I had an interest in records they’d ring me up and I would visit people’s houses and buy records from them. I’d get them from charity shops, markets and car boots. I’d amassed a lot of records, which were all just at home. “
When a friend had a spare room next door to his business, Steven decided to use his passion for record collecting and turn it into a business.
“There was this little room here at the back and I said, ‘oh what are you doing with the little room?’. He said, ‘I don’t really know’. Then I thought about it and I said, can I have it? I’ve got loads of records, I could open up a little record shop.
“I got it, came in and I was working in the construction industry at the time, so I came in and did the work in the shop – did it up. Then I put the records in and just opened.”
The record store describes itself on their social media as “Your favorite little vinyl emporium nestled deep within the heart of Warrington’s Cultural Quarter.
“Racks of lovely vinyl and in a large enough quantity to keep any crate digger digging for hours.”
Lizard Inc Records buy and sell records in store, stocking new vinyl record reissues and second hand stock. They also offer a mail order service.
“First and foremost I buy vinyl. If people search, ‘where do I sell my records in Warrington?’, I want me to be right there,” says Steven. “I go to flea markets when I can, record fairs wherever I can.”
“You do get to know your customers,” adds Steven. “I genuinely have a desire to turn people onto music. I’ll say, here, have a listen to this. Most of the time when I do that, people leave with the records.”
Lizard Records Inc also host events in store, which have previously featured big name DJ sets from artists such as Starsailor, and pop-up stalls at music festivals.
“Sometimes we have DJs playing in here, as we are DJs as well. We’ll promote our own nights.
“Starsailor did a gig in here. Grandmaster Flash – we ended up going and DJ’ing for him, warming up for him at the Parr Hall. We’ve had quite a few DJs through the shop, some great names.”
“At the end of this month, we’re putting a stall on at a festival in Cambridge. It’s called the ‘We out here’ festival. We’re putting the record store in there. My partner and I, we’re going to be DJ’ing there as well, so we’re buzzing over that. “
Steven is always keen to share his love of music with customers and the store has become a community hub for people who are already record collectors and those just starting their collections.
“The shop is a cool little place. When people come in, I want them to feel like they belong. It’s their shop.
“If young kids come in here, with their dad or whatever, I always turn to them and say, ‘is this for you? Are you just starting your collection?’ I’ve got this bargain bin of things that are like £ 3 and I’ll say go on, help yourself to one of them, my compliments to help you get your record collection going. “
Reflecting on the popularity of vinyl records, Steven is passionate about encouraging younger generations to collect records, adding that “vinyl is the way. There’s no substitute for vinyl.”
“I think the reason it has become popular, is because they’re big, they’re cool, you’ve got sleeve notes you can read, they look brilliant in a collection. Any apartment always looks cool with a wall of records I think, and you’ve got something tangible.
“You can hold it in your hands, you can look at it, you can cherish it and you can listen to it. You can read the sleeve notes while you’re listening to your record. For the young kids, it’s a new phenomenon . It’s not an old phenomenon. “