If you wander down Goodramgate, it is quite easy to miss the sign upon the gate - just past the Snickleways Pub - which directs you to the newly opened Earworm Records. However, I suggest you pay extra attention, as what lies behind the unassuming shop facade is a lifetime of passion and expertise, all whittled down between four walls in a hallowed musical emporium.
Richard Clark and Paul Jackson have been working in the record retail industry for many years, both employees of the late Wildcat Records on Micklegate, they have become authorities on music in their own right and their joint venture under the name “Earworm” is testament to the two men’s passion and knowledge. “The name is a word that was branded around the (also) late Finsbury Street Studios in South Bank 20 – 25 years ago” Rich explains “Steve Coop and Tim Wright were at its heart and it was the music community of its day, so seemed the rightful name for our shop”.
Earworm as it stands mainly specialise in House, Techno and Disco, things which the two founders of the Earworm brand are heavily associated with due to their popular House nights “Freakin”; which have regular sell out DJ sets nationally. “We however want it to be clear that Earworm and Freakin are very different ventures, and that although many people know us for one we also have a very eccelctic taste,” one which will show through the specialist stock in the shop. They stock a mixture have new albums, eg Mount Kimbo, Artctic Monkeys. Etc. Some early issues too." They have Soul, Hip-Hop, Reggae (all new stuff which Dan from Heatseeker brings in from Jamaica) – everything except classical and Jazz, simply because the chaps like to be experts on their product and they don’t feel that they know enough about it. It’s a mix of new, second hand. It’s mainly records they sell, but there are bits and bobs of equipment, CDs, DVDs etc and are looking to go further into the design element; working with Gavin Burke (Bison) and Ben Popel they are looking at "T-Shirt designs, totes, that sort of thing."
The shop itself is in the great tradition of all great record shops as its two founders are looking to create a scene around the shop, They have both done the Freakin night for so long and have built up a reputation for great product. Therefore this next chapter of their careers is looking to be an exploration into design and some more low key, specialist events.
And with that in mind, long may they prosper. What is their expertise?
They have been ten years in record shops and are avid music lovers, both collecting vinyl since they were knee high. People assume that they are just dance music fans yet there is a lot more to it than that. If you go into the shop it will rarely be playing – so it is important for music fans from any fan base should get to know the men working there, to revel in their expertise and use the shop as a sort of “hang – out”.
“There is nobody selling new house/ techno/ disco music in York so we have hopefully filled that gap in the market. Anyone who opens up a music shop in York is brilliant yet they sell different stuff to us, so we are definitely different to anyone else in this city.'