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Manchester City Centre

Clampdown Records

Record Shops

The shopfront of Clampdown Records must be one of the most recognisable in Manchester, and not just because it’s been featured in numerous TV shows and films. (Most recently, it had a starring role in Russell T Davies’ It’s A Sin). 

It’s been in this spot, visible from the busy thoroughfare between Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly Station since 1996 – and is verging on Manchester icon territory thanks to its longevity in a constantly-changing part of town. 

Owner Neil Clarke took over in 2010, around the start of the vinyl revival that coincided with the advent of downloads and streaming. Nowadays it’s not just vinyl that brings in the music fans; cassettes and CDs are back too, with new albums often released across all three formats.

In Clampdown Records you’ll find a mix of secondhand and new stock (it’s about a 70/30 split) covering a wide range of genres – electronic, house, hip hop, soul, funk, jazz, metal, indie, pop, country. It’s a fairly small shop but it’s very well organised. There are sections devoted to Manchester artists and rare or sought-after records are displayed on the walls. 

He buys as well as sells so you never know what might be in from week to week. A £250 Radiohead promo for example, or a Porno for Pyros 12-inch. (Nineties vinyl is particularly popular right now).

Clampdown has an online store, but let’s face it, it’s not as fun as flicking through a crate of LPs not knowing what gem you might stumble upon next. And you can have a good chinwag with Neil about music while you’re at it (you don’t get that on Discogs).

CLAMPDOWN RECORDS, Paton Street, Manchester, UK
Tel: 0161 237 5932 www.clampdownrecords.com
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