No Mole Jazz - Closing Down 19th November
Please note this is an old page and Fly Global Music has now moved. Please follow this link and search for the entry in the new site.
Originally sited on the island block between Gray’s Inn Road and Pentonville Road, it was within spitting distance of Kings Cross mainline station.
This was quite a large shop and had row upon row of albums split up into all the different genres of jazz you could think of. As it was a mere cigarette smoking distance from my workplace at the time, nearly every other lunch hour (remember them?) was spent in the shop searching for Gilles Peterson’s ‘Jazz With Attitude’ playlists.
The Pentonville Road shop was subject to the eagle eyes of property developersand it closed before the days of home PCs (never mind the Internet and mp3s). So whilst the block has been boarded up for 10 years awaiting the Channel Tunnel Rail Link redevelopment windfall, Mole tunnelled under Gray’s Inn Road to relocate at No. 311. The old shop still has a banner announcing the news of the move, which is looking very bedraggled now. The banner doesn’t cover up the original logo of a Mole cartoon character on the shop sign happily blowing his sax on a mound of freshly dug earth.
With the move to 311, Mole (the cartoon character) put on a little weight and the shop’s character also changed. The CDs that we looked down upon in the old shop as ‘upstarts’ took prominence. The new shop that was much smaller and vinyl addicts got sent upstairs to the unloved first floor for a much-reduced selection.
Whilst you can’t stop progress, it was never the same. The staff remained as helpful and as knowledgeable as ever but like policemen, they seemed to get very young.
Due to their incredible knowledge, I was always in awe of the staff. Due to its location next to a mainline train termini, jazzheads from all over the country would visit the shop and spend serious amounts on all jazz variants. My few quid spent on the ‘Second-hand Fusion’ section over the last 20 years may have helped, but never matched the extremes of serious collectors from early jazz blues to Japanese Blue Note import collectors (these vinyl treasures weighed nearly as must as they cost).
I suppose until recently, their main competition was Ray’s Jazz that was just off Shaftsbury Avenue. This is another shop that had served the jazz community for decades that closed down in the Internet/MP3 era. Thankfully, Ray’s found a new home nearby on the first floor at Foyles book shop on Charing Cross Road.
Similarly, Mole Jazz moved from its Kings Cross base soon after Ray’s. The new home was also on the 1st Floor, above Classical Music specialist Harold Moores. However, this proved to be only a stopgap before the end. It was only the other week one of the staff was playing Miles Davis’ ‘Bitches Brew’ so there was no let up in appreciation of the music, but the black plastic bags didn’t have the trade mark Mole logo printed on them anymore and the record purchasing experience was much the worse for that.
At the time of writing there is very little vinyl left, but I’ll visit again before the 19th to say one last goodbye. Tell us of your memories of Mole Jazz?
Visit Fly's new Amazon shops:
Fly Music Shop UK / Fly Music Shop US
UK Live Music Listings - Jazz, Folk, Beats and Global Gigs
Charlie Gillett - 1942 - 2010
Vortex Jazz Club - New Membership Scheme Launches
70th Anniversary of Blue Note Records - The Blue Note 7
Between The Ears - BBC Radio 3, Mole Jazz (Sat. 06.12.08)
|Search Google for more about: No Mole Jazz - Closing Down 19th November
|CC Some Rights Reserved FLY 2012 || Add to Del.icio.us|