September 1, 2023
Two hours in import heaven.
Open since April 2023, Diggers Club Records is one of the UK’s appointment-only record stores. Located in Windsor Place, Cardiff, the store offers customers a 2-hour slot, access to a Technics SL-1210 turntable and a huge collection of records to browse.
“It’s a space where discovery and digging is encouraged,” explains owner Luke Pybus. “I always make the point of letting every person who walks through the doors know that this is a place where you can feel totally comfortable and I actively encourage building up big stacks of records next to your turntable and making a mess”.
Pybus himself has been a crate-digger for “well over ten” years and started Diggers Club Records with a goal “to make the store [he’d] always wanted to find [himself]”. “The amount of times I’ve felt uncomfortable or awkward in record stores – when I’ve wanted to listen to something, or just check something out, has been crazy,” he says.
“I decided to make the store I’d always wanted to find myself. The space has been created by a digger, for diggers. So, that’s how The Diggers Club was born. I absolutely want to abolish the cliche of the grumpy record store owner – “put that back”, “don’t make a mess”, “be careful”- these expressions don’t exist at The Diggers Club. Come in, have a dig and enjoy yourself. I don’t want this to be just a record store; I want this to be an experience”.
The store hosts a far-flung collection, specialising in imported records. Boasting a selection including Nigerian records, Brazilian records, South American 45s, Canadian garage, Zambian 45s, Northern Soul, Bollywood and Japanese psych, Pybus has a steady supply chain from all over the world. “I work tirelessly to maintain these international relationships and work hard to do the heavy importing so that the people who come to the spot have a ridiculous selection,” he says.
One of the most alluring elements of Diggers Club’s offering is that nothing goes online. In an era when direct sales and online collecting have rapidly increased, this is a space to find rarities and discover new music–in person. “The whole idea behind the bookings and the listening stations was that you can actually listen to a big pile of stuff you’ve never even heard of and properly enjoy the discovery of music you’ve never heard before. This is what we’re all about”.
Have a look at Diggers Club Records below and find out more here.
Photos by Jake Rowles