Inside Sleeve with Fair Play: Custard Pie Records

Fair Play is quickly becoming Manchester’s coolest evening record fair. Situated in the heart of the Northern Quarter, Fair Play takes place on the first Thursday of the month in the Behind Closed Doors basement.

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 packs a room full of vinyl available to purchase, with rotating sellers each month, so each event is different.

Now 6 months old, Fair Play 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!

Sellers this month include Vinyl Lovers, Boogie 1 Records, El Diablo’s Social Club, Custard Pie Records, BBE, Dig Deep Records, Andy’s Records, 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.

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

Interview with Chris Keaney from Custard Pie Records

What’s the name of your stall and where are you based?
Custard Pie Records and I’m based in South Manchester

What kind of music do you sell?
The grooviest I can get my grubby little mitts on! I’m constantly working on evolving my stock to include more of the exotic, erotic and esoteric! Currently I’ve got a bit of everything! (That’s a lot of e’s!)

How did you get into selling records?
I have a morbid fear of proper jobs. Record dealing is the last refuge of a scoundrel!

Is your stock all new or is some of it used?
It’s about 70/30 used to new.

What makes Fair Play special?
Fair Play is a really friendly and knowledgeable collective of like minded souls peddling their wares in a funky, fun environment. All the dealers have different musical backgrounds and it’s a great forum for expanding ones musical psyche.

What are the 3 hottest records on your stall right now?
Wonderwall – George Harrison
Funkadelic – Parliament
Little Fictions (DELUXE BOXSET) – Elbow

What is your favourite record of all-time?
That’s so difficult to answer because there are lots!
2 that come to mind are:
Koochie Ryder – Freaky Realistic
Mon Manège à Moi – Etienne Daho

What is the most valuable item you’ve ever sold?
Please Please Me – The Beatles 1st Pressing Stereo -Gold Parlophone (£2,500)

What does your own record collection look like?
The Taj Mahal ….I wish! More like the M6 around Birmingham, in constant need of repair and upgrading!

What has been your best record find?
Apart from the Please, Please Me it would be a PROG rarity BAKERLOO by BAKERLOO on the Green EMI Harvest Label.

Do you have a story that you’d like to share about your time as a record dealer?
Mmmm…When I had a record shop in Stockport I was fortunate enough to meet Dee Christopolus who was the singer/frontman from Wimple Winch (Wikipedia Job!). The Winch had emigrated from Liverpool to Manchester back in the 60s. At the back of my shop we had the ‘Sinking Ship’ coffee bar/club, whose only real claim to fame was booking a certain James Marshall Hendrix & Experience for one evening in 1967. It was actually Dee, who lived in the flat above the ‘Ship’, who booked the band and went on to take Jimi (and his girlfriend) into Manchester City Centre after the gig to ‘experience’ Manchester nightlife. According to Dee, Jimi was in his Hussar jacket with resplendent bandana! What a fantastic sight that must have been! I didn’t sell Jimi any records that night but the only other story I have involves being threatened with litigation by the PRS for not having a valid music licence!..So I got one.

What is the best bit of being a record dealer?
Being around the wacky and wonderful world of vinyl and meeting other souls who dig it as much as you do.

What is your number one tip for buyers?
For Used Records: Buy the best condition you can afford and upgrade when you can.
New: Buy off an independent dealer, they need your business and give you better deals!

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