|Address||Eastern Bloc, 5A Stevenson Square Manchester M1 1DN|
|Opening Hours||Monday-Sat 1000-1730|
|Phone||0161 228 6555|
|Sells:||Dance, Drum n Bass, Jungle, Dubstep, House, Techno, Electro, Underground Dance Music|
Eastern Bloc is a bit of a legendary name for most Mancunian music fans of a certain age. Established in 1985 the shop was once partly presided over by Martin Price of 808 State, and was right at the heart of the Madchester/Acid House scene in the late 80s and early 90s. Pretty much all the Hacienda DJs, and various Happy Mondays, Stone Roses et al will have passed through these doors many a time.
The original shop was across the road on the ground floor of Afflecks Palace, and a cramped and somewhat chaotic place it was too. They then moved over to the much smarter and larger premises on Oldham Street. Originally they were split into two halves; Dance vs Indie but the Indie half is long gone and Eastern Bloc now concentrate on specialising in the serious Underground Dancefloor Business. Eastern Bloc finally moved from Oldham St in 2011 and can now be found at 5A Stevenson Square.
“Eastern Bloc has for a while been on my update radar. Truth is there was a time when I was a regular, however time and age can play merry tricks and the shop had kind of drifted off my horizon a little…somewhat like the Ghurka Grill in Withington, I love it but just dont go anymore. So, with this in mind I set out to the Northern Quarter on my first New Years adventure.
The shop now deals solely in the harder, edgier end of the dancefloor. This is the place for Deep House (the specialist end, no Scouse House or Handbag) , Techno, Drum n Bass, Dubstep, Electro and repressed classics. You will generally find affable Jim behind the counter supported by one or two of Mark, Will or Andro. Plenty of listening decks are available and the vibe is friendly and well informed. Got to say I was genuinely impressed with the feel of the place and the mission these guys are on.
Nearly all the stock is 12” vinyl and they place the focus only on those labels that put vinyl releases as a priority….props fellas! This shop cares about, and focuses on, the underground scene, particularly the local Dubstep and Drum n’ Bass troubadors. The guys also do a session on Unity Radio every Monday evening 7-9 where you can hear what’s bubbling, breaking or essential as well as some old classics.
Eastern Bloc is all about the Record Shop experience, if you want the tunes you’ve got to come in and get ’em so there is no Online shop or Website. You can visit their Facebook page to get on the mailing list for events and news as well as details of their regular monthly gig ‘Function Room’ at the Sevenoaks.
All in all my visit back to the Bloc reinforced for me why we are doing this site (the need to celebrate shops like this) as well as stirring some great memories of the dance scene past and excitement for the future. Top work lads.
Since our review Eastern Bloc has now moved to a very smart and iconic looking new base at 5A Stevenson Square at the heart of the Northern Quarter. They’re still providing the usual Vinyl business, but the shop also functions as a cafe and a place to hang out, complete with free WiFi.
You can get all the details on their smart website, and follow them on Facebook to keep in touch with events, the absolute cutting edge in dance and electronic music and whatever the soup of the day is!