Eastern Bloc at 30 years: Interview – Bane

Nanny Banton interviews Jim Spratling aka Bane:

Seeing as I’m getting a load of grief at my 9-5 about not completing peoples mid year reviews at the moment, I thought it was only fitting that I touched base with my good pal and DJ partner Jim Spratling aka Bane at Eastern Bloc to see how Manchester’s favourite record store is getting on and find out a bit more about a big party they have planned. 


Last time we caught up was just before Christmas, how has 2015 treated Eastern Bloc so far?
It has been a good year, loads of new customers and great new music in the shop.

What’s been the highlight of 2015 so far?

I think RSD (Record Store Day) was the biggest day we have had this year, we had a huge line up of local superstars playing their favourite records, Matthew Halsall was definitely the highlight. We also had Todd Terry turn up for an impromptu dj set. and Jazzy Jeff passed through to buy some records. Always good to catch up with Jazzy, a real gent and one of the “realest” DJ’s out there.

Its been quite a while since you moved to Stevenson Square, does this now feel like home, have you pissed the neighbours off much?

Oldham Street does feel like a long time ago, this feels like our home now and has done for quite some time. The neighbours are cool, we all get along very well, It is a good community feel round here, everyone smiles at you and says hello.

What have been the biggest sellers of the year so far?

Calibre – Four:Fit EP 04 (Soul:R)

D-Ribeiro – Purple Ghost Dance EP (Meda Fury)

Equinox – Hard Meditation / Hold Jah Hand (Stand Firm Hi-Fi)

Which acts should we be keeping an eye on for the remainder of the year?

“Mako”, fairly new signing to Metalheadz, he manages to keep the essence of what Metalheadz stands for but also pushes quite a new school approach to making D&B.

The “Stand Firm Hi-Fi” label is now on it’s 2nd release. Proper jungle, tearing beats and heavy bass, exactly how it should be done!

“G.H.O.S.T” are a crew from London who recently started their own label. “Goldman Records” . Every release has been of an extremely high standard. They are now on their 3rd release and arguably the strongest so far.

It’s very cheap to get in, we just want to throw a big party and get everyone dancing and smiling.

Having worked for Eastern Bloc for so long, what are biggest changes you have seen in the city’s music buying habits?

Over the last 10 years many of our customers have been very genre based, as in they would only buy a style of music if it fit into “their set”. If they were buying House it had to be a certain speed, same with Techno, D&B etc. However, in more recent times people seem to opening up a lot more and buying music just because they like it. For example, this year I have sold Gospel Soul classics like The Supreme Jubilees “It’ll All Be Over” and spiritual jazz from Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Orchestra to die hard techno & jungle heads. People seem more open to good music these days.

Eastern Bloc turns 30 this year, I believe there is a pretty big party planned, can you tell us a bit more about what you are doing to celebrate? (as much info as possible)

Yeah, 30 this year. We’ve got Band On The Wall booked for Saturday 5th September, 2 rooms, kicking off at 7pm and running til 3am. We have a whole host of dj’s, ex staff members, current staff members, friends, family and some very special guests on the night. Expect a broad range of music. We will be keeping it electronic in the main room from House & Techno through to D&B and Jungle, the back room will be anything goes from Hip Hop to Soul to Jazz. It is also very cheap to get in, we just want to throw a big party and get everyone dancing and smiling.

More info and tickets can be found here



Anything else in the pipeline from you guys which you want to let us know about?

We will be teaming up with The Warehouse Project for one of their big events in this year’s calendar. They’ve got Leftfield / Adrian Sherwood / Martyn / Pearson Sound / Justin Robertson / Hodge and many more on.

Saturday 12th December


Here is the 30th bday Facebook event:





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