Jump to content

Macari’s’ have left london.


dave_bass5

Recommended Posts

I don’t know if this has been talked about already, but i saw this when i was talking down Charing Cross road today. Very sad sight. 

When i started playing music this was the first music shop i ever went in. I came out with a Truckersound Combo, A Craftsman Les Paul copy and a Coloursound fuzz pedal. My mum came with me and we got the bus back home with it all. 

Back then we also had Rose Morris in Shaftesbury Ave, The Fender Sound house in Soho Square and many more shops spread out around the Denmark st area. 

I also noticed one side Denmark street has only two music shops left. 

Sad times, but a sign of them i guess. 

4EAF5822-71D3-475F-BE0C-140E8E2C3CD1.thumb.jpeg.7fe3c861caf1d39fead8e55fc8721f3c.jpeg

 

Edited by dave_bass5
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
  • Sad 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

When i started playing music this was the first music shop i ever went in. I came out with a Truckersound Combo, A Craftsman Les Paul copy and a Coloursound fuzz pedal. My mum came with me and we got the bus back home with it all. 

Back then we also had Rose Morris in Shaftesbury Ave, The Fender Sound house in Soho Square and many more shops spread out around the Denmark st area.

My first proper guitar came from Soho Soundhouse in Soho Square, my first proper amp from Rose Morris in Denmark Street. I bought them on the same evening and a couple of my mates came into town for the occasion to help me get the stuff home on the tube. I think both stores were frankly amazed that I had finally bought something costing more than a tenner.

This was in the mid-1980s, so of course I was doing highly paid temp work at a mortgage company before going to university, and on the way home I realised I had left my Filofax on the counter at Rose Morris. Went up there first thing the next morning, feeling like a right muppet.

There can't be many retail operations that generate as much nostalgia, and as much love, as music shops in and beyond Denmark Street. Good luck to Macari's, and to all who sailed in her.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Denmark St a shadow of it's former self and the entirety of the area has and is being ravaged by developers. Some greedy and trashy buildings.

However, Wunjo has a cellar with some Basses. Noden and A stairway to Kevin are still doing repair work. There's also a snooty boutique style shop charging top dollar.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, JottoSW1 said:

Denmark St a shadow of it's former self and the entirety of the area has and is being ravaged by developers. Some greedy and trashy buildings.

 

This is true and, to be honest, I think it became more of a tourist attraction, than a place for anyone local (ish) to actually go shopping there and, for the most part, the service was appalling, so it’s not surprising that shops moved away (the rents and rates much be astronomical).  I bought a Gretsch from Anthony Macari back in the day; it was always a strange shop.
 

I remember when it was called the Fender Soundhouse and they were in Tottenham Court Road, in my memory, it was massive. Rose Morris were in Shaftesbury Avenue (saw Rory Gallagher in there once) before they moved to Denmark Street. Thinking about it, the area was a good place to see guitar celebrities: I saw Laurie Wisefield window shopping outside Macaris and Hank Marvin in Argent’s.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that the company are concentrating on their Colorsound fx pedals mail order, but if anyone wants to visit the shop when everything reopens, they are in what is still called Carousel Music in Haywards Heath. Realy close to the station, and probably 45/50 minutes on a good run from Victoria (also on slower line from Kings Cross Thameslink). 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

Anyone remember the BBC footage of Macari's getting looted by thieves during the Poll Tax demonstrations?

To this day I can remember seeing footage of looters pulling up the shutters and a young kid running off with a saxophone.

Roll on to about the six minute mark here for Macari's. 

 

Fascinating seeing that again. Remember mates getting involved solely for the looting - free clothes doing the rounds.
Pre CCTV, everyone seemed to get away with it too. Felt like victimless high jinx at the time.. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is strange that when the masses are angry about something their way to make it right is destroying other hard working people property, not to mention the inevitable stolen trainers & widescreen TVs that come with that. Poll tax, police brutality, you name it a new pair of Nikes and a 56 incher makes it all better.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

It is strange that when the masses are angry about something their way to make it right is destroying other hard working people property, not to mention the inevitable stolen trainers & widescreen TVs that come with that. Poll tax, police brutality, you name it a new pair of Nikes and a 56 incher makes it all better.

Or, indeed, a lectern ...

capitol-lectern-theft-gty-jef-210111_1610402617445_hpMain_16x9_992.jpg.bb40bc3f40dd38bb59cd0bfd05569822.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To come back to Macari's moving away from Charing Cross Road. It's just another nail in the coffin of Soho. Crossrail was so keen to get people in to Central London they destroyed all of the reasons anyone would want to go there. Its not to visit Primark or Pret that's for sure. Now that no one needs to come in to London at all, the whole episode is looking very sad. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...as it will be in many city centres and high streets. Greedy landlords and developers (I hate to say it but most of these in the UK are backed by private Russian, Chinese and Indian money) excessive business rates and gentrification, coupled with the online retail book and COVID have done for high st shopping. Where I grew up, most town centre shops have closed down and been replaced with housing. What’s the point having a flat in the centre of town when there’s no longer any special reason to be there?

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Alan Rider said:

Now that no one needs to come in to London at all, the whole episode is looking very sad. 

As a kid, I used to go up to London a two or three times a month, gigs/music/books; it was always the same thing, train to Waterloo, tube to Tottenham Court Road, visit Virgin, then Denmark Street (when Forbidden Planet was still there), walk up the Leicester Square to Tower, then get a cab down to the Hard Rock, then find a tube station and home.  Later we'd just drive up, stick the car on a meter in Bruton Street until midday (it was free parking after that) and then do the same thing.

It used to be bliss.  There's no point in going now at all.   

 

  • Like 5
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shame , but expected due to the reasons mentioned . 
I have fond memories myself , as I used to work next door to soho soundhouse in soho sq. ( was it also turnkey?) 

Bizarre happening one Monday morning , when me and my boss went to collect the post from rathbone place . We noticed a homeless guy walking around our building with a grey blanket . ( This was about 6.45 am). 
we said good morning to the local Hare Krishnas , while pushing our large trolley . On returning , we noticed the window of soho soundhouse smashed , and a guitar or 2 got nicked . In all truthfulness ( and hindsight), I could have helped myself as well, but was too honest and no basses were on display. A police officer showed up early afternoon , but not much was said really . 
 

myself and my friends used to always be in those shops many  a lunchtime .

The last time I was in Denmark Street , was about 2015, to get my steinberger looked at by Graham Noden . I used to be a customer of his a few times over the years. Top bloke . 
I've still got my Washburn status purchased in macaris back in'88 when there was a train strike . Graham took the active circuitry out about 12 years ago .

I do miss the '80s. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, FDC484950 said:

...as it will be in many city centres and high streets. Greedy landlords and developers (I hate to say it but most of these in the UK are backed by private Russian, Chinese and Indian money) excessive business rates and gentrification, coupled with the online retail book and COVID have done for high st shopping. Where I grew up, most town centre shops have closed down and been replaced with housing. What’s the point having a flat in the centre of town when there’s no longer any special reason to be there?

A bit hard on landlords: they are getting absolutely caned by their retail tenants foreclosing (Debenhams, House of Fraser, Arcadia etc.) and a lot of other tenants are using 'Administration' to renege on their leases. The biggest investors / landlords, by a very long way, in UK property assets are actually UK pension funds, who pay the pensions of millions of pensioners.

Agreed on business rates - need to have a rebalancing of the tax regime away from business rates to taxing online platforms such as Amazon (being looked at carefully by a lot of governments at the moment). 

But even more important it needs Joe Public to want to buy stuff in stores rather than online; as you mention the decline of our town shopping centres is a direct consequence of some massive changes in consumer behaviour and the direction of travel is clear - there is going to be more online shopping in future, not less.

The key has gotta be making shopping an 'experience' and a fun day out to make the travel & parking etc worthwhile. Town centres can still be cultural and entertainment hubs and, once Covid is sorted, the music industry has got a key part to play in keeping our town and city centres vibrant. For example, Wembley Boxpark combines food and beverage with live music at the heart of their shopping arena and my band has loved playing there. It's a model we could do well to encourage other venues to follow.

BoxPark 04.png

Edited by Al Krow
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE said:


I've still got my Washburn status purchased in macaris back in'88 when there was a train strike . .

I do miss the '80s. 

Wow, i got mine from there are well. Not sure of the year, but i do know it was late 80’s. I then traded it in at Rock Stop for something i cant remember lol, 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Al Krow said:

But even more important it needs Joe Public to want to buy stuff in stores rather than online; as you mention the decline of our town shopping centres is a direct consequence of some massive changes in consumer behaviour and the direction of travel is clear - there is going to be more online shopping in future, not less.

This.  No point in nostalgic threads about where you bought stuff in the past unless you actively support the businesses now.

Personally I never liked Macaris - I always found the staff a little standoffish.  I have bought guitars from three or four other places in Demark Street. 

I've been to Denmark Street a lot over the last 10 years because all the local shops are gone.  A few years ago I could go to six or seven music shops withing three or four miles of home (West London outskirts) but now there's only one small shop nearby.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Nicko said:

This.  No point in nostalgic threads about where you bought stuff in the past unless you actively support the businesses now.

Personally I never liked Macaris - I always found the staff a little standoffish.  I have bought guitars from three or four other places in Demark Street. 

I've been to Denmark Street a lot over the last 10 years because all the local shops are gone.  A few years ago I could go to six or seven music shops withing three or four miles of home (West London outskirts) but now there's only one small shop nearby.  

That’s a bit rude. I don’t see anyone in this thread particularly pining the loss of Macaris. I take it you’re not pining the loss of your local shops, then? In fact it’s a surprise Macaris lasted that long given many of the music shops/live music venues in the wider area are long gone. If it’s OK with you, I’ll allow myself a drop of nostalgia about Turnkey (just up the road) as I bought a lot of recording equipment from the, right up until they closed after the Sound Control débacle.
Truth is that bricks and mortar retail at scale is largely doomed, and whilst “experience” shops might be the future, the extra investment/running costs to sustain such a business will likely see them go bust even more rapidly when the next recession hits - particularly as such units are usually rented and rental in any town or city centre has up to now been exorbitant, no matter who’s financing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to always go up to that area on a rare visit to London for a shopping day out as a kid. I have to say that there seems less of a reason to go than there used to be as all high streets are becoming the same, even London's. 
I never like macaris but there were others of interest.

I disagree that shopping needs to be made an "experience", you just have to get some level of service to make people want to shop there. Sort of a wunjo level.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, FDC484950 said:

That’s a bit rude. I don’t see anyone in this thread particularly pining the loss of Macaris. I take it you’re not pining the loss of your local shops, then? In fact it’s a surprise Macaris lasted that long given many of the music shops/live music venues in the wider area are long gone. If it’s OK with you, I’ll allow myself a drop of nostalgia about Turnkey (just up the road) as I bought a lot of recording equipment from the, right up until they closed after the Sound Control débacle.
Truth is that bricks and mortar retail at scale is largely doomed, and whilst “experience” shops might be the future, the extra investment/running costs to sustain such a business will likely see them go bust even more rapidly when the next recession hits - particularly as such units are usually rented and rental in any town or city centre has up to now been exorbitant, no matter who’s financing it.

I wasn't meaning to be rude, just saying that we have a choice of where we shop and our choices don't really support local businesses.

No one seems to be pining the loss, but "I bought my XXXX there" is a bit nostalgic - no?  Would anyone be nostalgic if Thomann closed? I do regret the loss of local music stores and when they were here I used them as often as I could.  Denmark Street was a great day out, but I only used to go there when I couldn't get what I wanted locally.

Bricks and mortar retail is only dead if we let it die.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Nicko said:

Personally I never liked Macaris - I always found the staff a little standoffish. 

My first visit to a Maccari's was to their Wembley shop in the mid 60's. I encountered the older generation of Maccari but their intrusive "hard sell" methods didn't sit well with me back then. I just wanted to look around but got pressure and comments instead. I never went back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...