Glasgow's beat emporium

To outsiders, Glasgow can seem a remarkably unified place.

For those who reside within the city, though, nothing could be further from the truth. Glasgow's famous thirst for electronic music has produced countless gangs and tribes, each searching for the perfect beat.

Sitting at the centre of it all are the staff of Rub A Dub. Located just around the corner from the infamous Sub Club, the shop has prospered where others have fallen by the wayside.

Remaining at the core of Glasgow's dance scene, the staff are knowledgeable without being pretentious, friendly without pushing the mark. It's not unheard of to walk into Rub A Dub intent on buying just one 12 inch, and emerge clutching a near ton of freshly purchased vinyl.

Launching our new series focusing on the last surviving independent record shops, ClashMusic tied down the staff for a quick email back and forth.

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Acid House hit Glasgow pretty hard, do you know which shops began stocking imports / British issues first?
Well, let's see..there was 23rd Precinct which as far as I know had been going since the 1960's selling Soul and various US imports - they eventually became a big player on the Happy Hardcore scene so they kind of strayed from the path of righteousness a bit :)

There was also A1 records at the top of Renfield Street where Lars (Funk D'Void) used to work (and Nigel from Universal Principles) which was a forerunner to Fopp. The Virgin Megastore (remember them?) on Union Street was also well known for Import 12's going back to the mid eighties.

When did Rub A Dub open?
1991

What made you want to run your own record shop?
A love of good music and a desire to spread it out to as many people as possible.

Did you have any shops in mind as an inspiration?
Yogi Haughton's Raw Records was an inspiration for having all the good stuff and the sense of excitement when new deliveries arrived.

Glasgow is renowned as a techno city but Rub A Dub is quite varied, have you actively pushed to be more eclectic?
Everybody in Rubadub has a slight leaning towards one "type" of electronic music or another but equally we've always got open ears to anything that's good.

Who decides what does / doesn’t get stocked? Is it a group decision?
Martin, Jackmaster and Richard do the bulk of the buying and it's a combination of what they see as sellable and interesting - through our distribution arm we get approached by a lot of small labels who bring music to you that you'd rarely hear otherwise.

Do you feel a commitment to supporting new producers?
100% - it's harder than ever to keep pushing new music as peoples' budgets are so stretched (they tend to stick to more established producers who's work they already know - same goes for the shops that are buying from us) but when a scene relies only on reissues and 20 year old tracks to keep things moving forward then it's time to get out the life support system.

How many people in the shop are also DJs? Do you find the two roles compliment one another?
Everybody DJ's or has played out extensively over the years but eqully I'd class everybody as Music Lovers before I'd class them as DJ's. I think it's really important to remember that the vast majority of our customers aren't DJ's and there's more to music that what's big on the dancefloor this week. I had been buying music for 8 or 9 years before I even bought a pair of Technics - I was a one deck wizard before that!

There’s always a great atmosphere in the shop, what do you attribute that to?
It goes back to the root of why Rubadub was founded - we're not afraid to take the piss out of ourselves and anyone caught behaving like a typical "moody record shop guy" gets a sharp kick in the plums.

How did the role as a distributor come about?
Same as the reason for opening the store - we had direct access to the good stuff (particularly through our relationships with Detroit, Chicago and New York labels) and it made sense to buy in bulk and sell on to like minded shops over the UK and beyond. Nowadays we're as known for our own labels outputs' as we are for importing Detroit and Berlin releases which gives us a bit more scope for doing different things.

You sell online, how has the internet changed the way the shop approaches selling music?
It's great that it gives us that ability to reach out to people all over the world and gives people who dont live near a specialist music shop the chance to reach in to us - these days that's probably about 80% of the population.

Why stock equipment as well?
It was a natural progression to us from the DJ side of the business and then as more and more DJ's became producers it also made sense to continue moving in that direction.

What’s the daftest request you’ve been asked for?
The list is endless - last week a woman came in and asked us if we could fix the zip on her handbag.

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Keep up to date with Rub A Dub by visiting their official website.
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