Norman Records is an online record store based in Leeds, United Kingdom that offers a diverse selection of music from all around the globe. They sell Indie, Rock, Kosmiche, IDM, EBM, Dancehall, Jazz, Library, Math Rock, Cheesecore and all the other crazy music genres your could ever imagine. We decided to give them an L-CA+ to get a backstage glimpse of life in an online record shop.
Hello Norman Records staff! Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Hello! We are your friendly Norman Records staff. There’s Phil the founder and overlord, Nathan the brainbox, Kim the expert tea maker, Li’l Biz the workhorse, Brian the lunatic, Ian the pontificator, Ant the techno guru, and me (Clinton) the misery guts. Plus a motley crew of assorted freelance vagabonds who chip in with reviews.
We have been going for about 18 years with the simple aim of selling the best music with the best service at the best prices (to the nicest people). We have a big office and warehouse in a concrete, grey, brutalist building not far from Leeds train station. Most of our business is done online but we welcome folks down to our little shop to collect their goods. Think of us as a lo-fi Argos for records!
There has been a recent surge in vinyl buying, have you noticed this change at Norman Records?
Yes. It has increased phenomenally in the last few years. Not a week goes by without some classic/obscure record or other getting the vinyl re-issue treatment, and even the massive bands are issuing stuff on vinyl these days. It’s not just the oldsters or the hipsters buying it either – we’re selling vinyl to all sorts of folk. Great news all round.
What’s the appeal of vinyl over other formats?
It’s big, it looks nice, it feels nice, the sleeves are like proper pieces of art, and it sounds lovely. You just can’t love a computer file in the same way.
How was your experience shooting with the LC-A+ camera?
Great! It’s a nice piece of equipment. We learned to use it in quick-fire time and started snapping away. Unfortunately we were two staff down for a couple of weeks so we kept forgetting to document
things but we soon got back on track.
You guys are based in Leeds (North of the UK). Is there a good music scene in your town?
It’s unbelievable. There are a load of great bands from round our way
and some ace promoters. The Brudenell Social Club, Belgrave Music Hall and Wharf Chambers are all bringing the best touring bands through. We now have the massive Leeds Arena too, so whether you want to see the mega stars or some little DIY gig there is always something to do.
If your photos could have a soundtrack, what would it be (5 songs, title and artist please)?
Here are a few of the fantastic records we’ve been listening to whilst the camera has been resident in our office:
- Carbo Flex: ‘Trifolium’
- Brian Jonestown Massacre: ‘Food For Clouds’
- Great Ytene: ‘Birds’
- Pye Corner Audio: "Black Mist’
- Can: ‘Halleluhwah’
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to open a record shop?
This comes direct from Phil: “Don’t. Unless you’ve got a load of money to burn through and even more time.”
What plans to you have in the future at Norman Records?
We’ll never be the biggest but we wanna be the best. So the plan is simply to focus on our strengths: best music, best services, best prices.
We love you Norman Records! Thank you!