On the record

Although we’re frankly sick to death of hearing about pop-up stores, popping up decidedly un-spontaneously at every available opportunity, we’ll make an exception for The Vinyl Factory.

Maybe its due to a long-standing penchant for Duran Duran, or the fact we wish we were half-way as cool as Grace Jones or, indeed, that our record player was more than just about functional, but there’s something very special about the art form of the vinyl record sleeve.

The Vinyl Factory creates limited edition vinyl box sets, and has recently worked with such geniuses as Damon Albarn (swoon), the Pet Shop Boys and David Lynch, to name a few.

Duran Duran
Duran Duran

Usually these can only be seen online, but now, they will be brought to the masses at this (ahem) ‘temporary’ store at the St Martin’s Hotel in London’s Covent Garden.

The Vinyl Factory will be occupying the store space for three months, during which time there will be a series of new editions launched, changing exhibitions and a carefully curated selection of music releases.

Sean Bidder, creative director of The Vinyl Factory, says, ‘We’re always interested in showcasing what we do. We sell mostly through the website, so we’re always looking for opportunities to showcase in a retail environment.’

GJ, Superstar in Motion
Grace Jones, Superstar in Motion

He adds, ‘there’s nothing else like it – it’s music and art and presenting those editions in that way – there’s a sense that everything you look at is quality.’

He’s right – clichéd as it may be, a download or MP3 can never measure up to the tangible pleasures of a beautifully designed vinyl sleeve or the crackle of a record player.

Massive Attack
Massive Attack

Works on display will include a limited edition box set of music from The Most Incredible Thing, the forthcoming Sadler’s Wells ballet scored by the Pet Shop Boys – a band Mark Farrow has been heavily involved in designing for.

You can also feast your eyes and ears on a limited edition of Duran Duran’s latest album All You Need is Now, with artwork by the acclaimed British artist Clunie Reid, in collaboration with Pop magazine art director Rory McCartney.

The store will be open from 10 March – 10 June, at the Front Room at St Martins Lane Hotel, 45 St. Martin’s Lane London, WC2N.


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