This will be the first in a series of review/visits of some of the record shops in Northern Ireland. It won’t be as expansive as my Scottish series back in 2012, simply because of logistic limitations, but I will do my best to visit all the main players in independant music retailing in the north of Ireland.
I first thought of doing this a few years ago and alas from then to now at least one music retailer has vanished from the independent music retailer roster in the North, with the closure of Sick Records back in October 7th 2017. Sick was in many ways like Monorail in Glasgow, though on a smaller scale and with no attached cafe, as this shop run by Kenny Murdoch sought to provide the road less travelled music that Monorail also, to a degree does. Sadly after 3 and a half years Sick closed its doors and I guess for many without even being noticed. For those into the more unusual, less mainstream October 2017 was a sad day for them with Sick closing. and for those iwho purchase more mainstream physical music media in Ulster, 2019 is also shaping up to be a difficult year with the strong possibility that HMV will vanish from Belfast, after HMV once again went into administration late in 2018. Of course many will not care much for HMVs plight, but it is sadly, despite the resurgence of the vinyl record, a strong indicator of the increasing lack of interest in owning or playing music off a physical format, something I personally can not understand.
Despite these gloomy times there are still pockets of light shinning in the darkness, and it was to one such beacon that I recently travelled to, a wonderful record store, based in the ancient ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, and this lodestar is called Armagh Music.
Armagh Music based at 3c Dobbin St, Armagh has an extensive inventory, made up of new releases, covering many genres, on CD, vinyl, as well as a very good back catalogue in both mediums. Also stocked are music collectables, T shirts, music magazines and some music video material. One of Armagh Music’s big draws is a very large stock of new vinyl -larger than the CD inventory- and new old stock -often out of print- vinyl. Armagh Music calls these Ware House Finds. Armagh Music is also I think unique in the North in that they also keep a nice selection of audiophile vinyl, with records in stock from the likes of Mobile Fidelity.
The shop is well lit, and nicely layed out with a very helpful owner in the shape of John, who while not keen on being in the photographs (1) I took of his shop, was very helpful answering questions regarding his stock, and talking about music in general.
My first visit to Armagh Music was back in Jan 2018, after hearing lots of positives regarding the shop, its stock and owner, and it is very much worth a visit, and deserving of local, and further afield music enthusiasts, support.
Once again I enjoyed my visit to Armagh Music, chat with John, and I left the shop having bought three vinyl records.
Armagh Music – Highly Recommended.
Armagh Music’s details are:
Address – 3c Dobbin St, Armagh BT61 7QQ, Northern Ireland, UK
Website – https://en-gb.facebook.com/armaghmusic/
Phone – 028 3752 5452
(1) -which I hope gives a good idea of the shop, stock and layout.
© Text Copyright 2019 Adventures in High Fidelity Audio. All photos bar the Armagh Music logo are my copyright.
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