US musician Jack White (of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, Kool And The Gang etc etc) has done a lot of shit apart from plugging guitars into amplifiers and making sure he has a couple of spare 9V batteries for his stomp boxes. He’s produced other people’s records. He’s on the board of the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Foundation. He’s recreated 1940s-style recording booths. He was a professional furniture restorer (Third Man Upholstery). He runs a record label (Third Man Records). He has a record shop in Detroit (Third Man Records). He has a record shop in Nashville (Third Man Records). And now he has a record shop in London. It’s called… Third Man Records. For such a creative guy, White sometimes seems a bit short on the old nomenclative inspiration. Still, it’s a tremendous film, so hey.
Third Man Records, the London version is on (appropriately) Marshall Street in Soho, traditionally the heart of the capital’s music publishing and retail scene. It opened last weekend, and consists of a shop selling White’s trademark pressing in obscure, limited-edition vinyl formats, plus a live venue and a ‘record label HQ’, which could mean… anything. A rolodex and an Ikea desk? Initial images suggest a black-and-orange colour scheme. In a wizard wheeze, the actual shopfront was preceded before opening by eight ringers in different prismatic colour schemes, including ‘Swank’s Muscle Tee Emporium’, ‘Jack Sharp’s Upholstery Tacks’ and ‘Harry Lime’s Penicillin’.
White, who continues to cut a sort of Willy Wonka figure, is clearly passionate about what he does, however niche it might seem in the general scheme of ‘music-to-do-a-TikTok-to’ things. Plus, it is an actual new record shop that has opened in central London, so that’s good news too. Expect queues.
Third Man Records, 1 Marshall St, W1F 9BA. Open now.
Things to do in London this week.
Wilfully obscurantist? Here’s a very very secret station in London.