"Paul would always seek out record stores wherever wewent on holiday. On a visit to Naples in 2012 we came across Fonoteca- aclassy record store and bar(!) with delicious aperitivo, good espresso andcocktails. We'd not experienced the hybrid record shop before. Thenew to our ears Visions by Grimes was playing as we flicked through anexcellent jazz section; the place had vibes! After picking up the Grimes,Lucio Battisti and a copy of Sun Ra's Atlantis we retired to the bar, wherewe discussed at length why this could never work in Watford!
Roll ahead to 2013 and with the help of friends, family and the local community we opened the doors to The LP Cafe, serving speciality coffee and homemade cakes with walls decorated by a modest selection of records.
We stock used and new records- across a variety of genres,actively encouraging investigation and inquiry. A shrine to the album,there is an LP spinning on our turntable all day everyday; start to finish,both sides. Sam, Q and Miki set the tone of the day with Yussef Dayes,The Stone Roses and Say Sue Me.
Our Record Store Day celebrations involve the whole town, as we work with the local council and college to showcase live music in multiple venues across Watford - last year featuring 100 bands.
With so much brilliant music being made locally, we started a record label, creatively named The LP Cafe label. We are currently taking pre-orders for LP005, a second release for self-described glock-rockgroup Lakes - a band now making waves (sorry) on both sides of the Atlantic.
Since opening the cafe has been a hub for creatives,entrepreneurs and musicians in Watford. It's been a privilege to play apart in the development of local upcoming artists and provide a more intimate space for more established artists to connect with fans, such as Frank Carter and Milk Teeth.
The recent pandemic has caused our doors to close for the first time since we opened (in the past we only ever closed on Christmas and New Years day). Our store has been where we have always done most of our business,with our website and Discogs pages acting more as a signpost to what we have in the shop. Buying a record is an experience, I look at my collection and know when and where each piece comes from. The shop, the person I spoke to,ambience, the records I left behind. If we can leave a bit of this story online we're going in the right direction. It's been a lifeline to be able to speak to our customers, keep them updated and connected whilst forging new connections along the way. We are so grateful to everyone that has supported us, it really does mean so much and I hope the records have provided some musical comfort!
While fulfilling orders we have used the time to have a small makeover and reshuffle with a view to re-open soon with a focus on keeping all customers and our team safe.
We look forward to seeing you soon x"