We spoke to Rich Perri about his experiences starting up Ignite Record Store located in Birmingham’s Oasis Market and running the Speedowax record label.
How did you start up Speedowax?
When I was about 15 John Peel used to play records I loved. I just thought I wanted to do a label. I spent about 2 years saving up and started when I was 17. I did everything to save up; paper rounds cutting grass. Eventually I managed to save up up £600 and got 300 copies of a Rhythm Collision/Travis Cut split pressed. It basically just snowballed from there. Every release broke even. My idea was to do 20 splits with one UK artist and one US artist so each gets recognised in different places. We initially did 300 neon coloured vinyl. We did 20 issues of that then number 21 was a picture disc, a band Scotland. After that I got into hardcore really. And now we’re Up to under 100 releases now. But yeah, that was 17 years ago that it started.
How did you start Ignite?
I used to work at Tempest [in Birmingham] where I also did the ordering. In the end the boss closed it down cos he wasn’t well. But because I dealt with all these people when I was ordering, I thought I’d come over and do it on a smaller level at the Oasis Market. I’ve also noticed vinyl has taken CDs over and wanted to carry on.
What do you think of the Birmingham punk scene?
It’s good, yeah. Lots of underground pockets. It’s always the same people, though, but it’s good because everyone knows each other.
Is it difficult running a record shop in Birmingham?
Nah it’s cool in Birmingham. I want to just keep going and keep breaking even. Just keep pushing forward. Just keeping something going.
What are you listening to at the moment?
The Nothing, Pity Sex, Superheaven [previously Daylight]. The new Young and In the Way record. An instrumental band called Toe. Loads of little thrash bands; Born Wrong. White Lung. Old Flings. Backtrack. Expire. Then there’s loads of underground 7″s and bedroom singles and stuff. Vegatative State is really good.