Archive for October, 2014

New shop update

victoria streetSo a few people have asked if we are opening in Victoria Street and there was a plan but sadly it’s not happening . It had been suggested to me that the shop next to and belonging to Espionage would be free at least for a while and it was to be honest perfect as I could have cleared off a lot of the great stock I’ve sorted out and then had time to plan further. We might even have stayed ! It falls within the Grassmarket BID and they had kindly been looking into it for me while I was busy with the King’s Stables Road site. I have been let down a lot over the last year or so but in this case I have to stress this was just an idea that looked like it might work perfectly for both parties but unfortunately the timing simply wasn’t right in the end for Espionage and it wasn’t possible. I really am gutted simply because it was such a perfect fit. 

As seems to happen these days I had another amazing suggestion the day before I found out and I’ll investigate that further tomorrow and then discuss more the following week but time is marching on and I was sure I would be open by now. I could do a few pop ups but I’d really like to do more than that and also it simply isn’t feasible to do anything outside where stock might get wet/damaged. I need a secure space and reasonable footfall so not asking much ! Any ideas do get in touch. Everything else of course is going very well indeed and hopefully in two years time we will have a lovely indoor market in King’s Stables Road and no worry about the weather.

I had stocked up with vinyl ready for opening this month so I’m now having  a mini sale with great stuff at great prices just to keep some money coming in. Please buy stuff !

Vinyl A to Z

CD  A to Z

Many thanks for all the kind comments. It never ceases to amaze me when people based abroad buy something on Discogs and say they were in the shop many years ago and want to keep supporting now. Very kind !

Weezer’s New Album – Why Everything Won’t Be Alright In The End

The High Street – Why nobody wants to be there and nobody wants to leave

Why New Release Sales In Independent Record Shops Are Unravelling

We Were Promised A Level Playing Field

Edinburgh Arts Quarter update

king's stables road outline

I was shown round the King’s Stables Road site on Tuesday by the council’s surveyor. There are various buildings some of which will need demolished and others that could stay.  A fairly small part of the land has most of the value to a developer so there is undoubtedly room for discussion on some, possibly even much of the land being used to help develop an arts quarter. The council are looking for something more interesting than simply a hotel, flats and a couple of shops if the area and its footfall are to be improved as they wish. While there has been a lot of interest in the site from developers there has also been a lot of interest in The Evening News article and the plan will be that when the council announces its short list at the end of October some of those short listed will be people we have had discussions with.

The council then want to have a preferred bidder by the end of the year and hopefully the arts quarter idea will be a part of that. Obviously I know the area very well and have some expertise in the retail side of things but I’ve been very lucky to enlist the help of Tom Watton who recently finished working on the St Margaret’s House project at Meadowbank

Much of the chances of success will be based on “credibility and deliverability” so hopefully we now have all bases covered. If we are successful then there can be more detailed discussions about how we best use the space secured. I can only thank everybody for their good wishes and interest. This will of course only be a small part of a larger plan and I’m told there will still be a public meeting in The Usher Hall in November to discuss in particular live music.


Dear Kevin Buckle,

Your Evening News report is exciting, but may I ask, if you did not know that there is already a new culture quarter, now over 2 years old, Summerhall at east end of The Meadows, open free to the public every day of the year?

We have 150,000 square feet of various buildings around 3 courtyards, and where we co-produce and host 900 music, dance, theatre and art shows, far more than any other arts centre, a cultural village etc. annually, with over 400,000 visitors, a top-20 arts/culture visitor attraction in Scotland, where 300 people work, and with a new sound recording studio among workshops, studios, 8 theatres, many gallery space, libraries and pub, restaurant and cafe. It is the biggest multi-arts centre after The Barbican, and biggest private arts centre in Europe.

Edinburgh may need more. We have expansion plans too. But may I express a small disappointment you do not know or recognise us.

yours sincerely,
Robert McDowell
director & founder of Summerhall