Thursday, 27 September 2007

Probe Records - bit of background

"Since 1971 this CD and record store has been the leading light of Liverpool's underground music scene." -- Beatlemania

“There aren’t many independent record stores left now, which makes it really difficult to get your records out. It is only the likes of Probe Records [an independent record store in Liverpool] who will stick our flyers up to advertise gigs.” -- Stephen Hart, Edge Hill University

Probe Records was founded in 1971 on Clarence St. Liverpool. After two relocations it moved to its current home in Slater St.

The shop still holds gigs and promotional events. Local band The Dead 60s were set to play there but cancelled at the last minute. It also seems to stock tickets for a number of selected events in the area and does limited print runs of CDs.

Probe has had a number of employees that have subsequently gained recognition. Pete Burns and Pete Wylie are among those who have worked there before their success.

Local culture photographer Mark McNulty exhibits a couple of photographs of the store on his website. Indeed, one of them is used on the current Probe website and there is a selection of his framed photographs available from the shop itself.

The MySpace seems to be updated more often and serves as a substitute for a frequently updated site. Comments there seem to hark back to the 70s and 80s when the shop was presumably in its prime. The MySpace is actually an extension of the store, with people posting flyers for upcoming gigs in the area. Maybe I could include on the site a section where people can submit their own flyers for an 'upcoming events' section.

"During the 1980s one of the great independent record stores, Probe Recordss, was next door to The White Star (Pub). A Mecca for the city's up-and-coming musicians and future stars, who would purchase the latest records from the irascible staff. Access to the shop was hindered by gangs of mohicaned punks who sat on the steps (this reviewer included). Probe also had its own record label, Probe Plus, who gave the world bands such as Birkenhead's Half Man Half Biscuit."

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