Inside Sleeve with Fair Play: Community Vinyl Lovers

Taking place on the first Thursday of the month, the Behind Closed Doors basement packs a room full of vinyl available to purchase, with rotating sellers each month, so each Fair Play event always promising something different.

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 4 June 2018

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Organised by the Fair Play team at Dig Deep Records, the record fairs are as much a social event as an opportunity to unearth that gem you’ve been looking for.

Fair Play Fair attracts sellers from all over the county with the aim of bringing some fresh records into the city. Crates of boogie, funk, disco, soul, nu disco, edits, latin, jazz, house, techno, DnB, hip hop, and afrobeat, rub shoulders with rock, indie, prog, folk, reggae, and dub!

Next Fair Play NQ Evening Vinyl Fair – Thursday 5th April @ 5pm

Sellers this month include Vinyl Lovers, Boogie 1 Records, El Diablo’s Social Club, Custard Pie Records, BBE, Dig Deep Records, Andy’s Records, Black Bicycle plus more to be announced.

Doors open from 5pm, with DJs selecting a soundtrack of upbeat funk, soul, disco, and boogie, playing well into the night. Residents and guests include Reiss Johnson, Phil Austin, Pablo Blanquito, Dale Nortier and Paul Watson.

Entry is free, but you can support the cause by buying a drink from the well stocked bar.


With 3 Record Fairs coming up in the next 5 weeks, we caught up with one of Manchester’s foremost veteran record dealers, DJ Tomlin.

What’s the name of your stall and where are you based?

“We are based in Manchester, we go by the name of Community Vinyl Lovers …. it gets abbreviated to Vinyl Lovers.”

Join the Vinyl Lovers group on Facebook:


What kind of music do you sell?

“We recycle rock, pop, blues, RnB (the real meaning and the modern meaning ), northern soul, jazz, nu jazz, Latin, jazz funk, Afro, electronic, reggae, dub, disco, broken beats, experimental house, music, beats, samples, sounds, textures, no fillers, all hand picked…. the only criteria is quality. “


How did you get into selling records?

“I got into the game through natural progression. I started doing this privately and it just grew” says the quietly reserved Tomlin. After just spending short time in his company it quickly becomes clear Tomlin has lived for the music he deals in all his life. It’s in his blood and it comes with a knowledge gained through years of being an integral part of the Manchester music scene as member of the Jam MCs, and resident DJ at club nights such as Konspiracy.

Check out Tomlin’s DJ mixes and radio shows on Mixcloud –


Is your stock all new or is some of it used?

“It’s new stuff… it’s new old unplayed stuff ….”


What is your favourite record of all-time?

“I don’t have a favourite record as that is always changing …..”


What has been your best record find?

“They’ve all been good. The most recent being last Wednesday…”


What is the best bit of being a record dealer?

“The best bit of recycling records is the interaction and communication, getting to know whoever and their likes and tastes. Everybody’s different. I’m into a lot of different styles and the crates reflects that … it’s the hunt … discovery … it’s going that one step further to acquire stuff …. “


What makes Fair Play special?

“Where it is. What it looks like decor wise… everyone involved …. that gateway to the weekend evening vibe … cool clientele ….. “


What is coming up next at Fair Play?

“As well as our regular monthly events, we are also putting on a Record Store Day Special on Saturday 21st April, to celebrate record store day the proper way!. It’s an all-day record fair starting at 1pm with the sound track being provided by some of the best crate diggers in the City.” says Frankie Fairplay.


To find out more or book a table head over to the links below: