Shining a light on the tastemakers behind the desk
In the lead up to RSD 2022 we’ll be featuring some of the legends behind the scenes at participating stores in a short interview segment we’re calling Turning Tables—shining a light on the faces, names, minds and tastemakers behind the desk who greet our crate-digging friends with invaluable knowledge and an undying love for all things music.
Today we’re featuring Chris Gill aka the King of Funk of Northside Records, Fitzroy aka The Soul of Melbourne, pictured here (clothed) playing for The Megahertz at the Reclink Community Cup.
Take it away, Chris!
What store can we find you at and how long have you been there?
Northside Records on Wurundjeri Country down south. I’ve been here for 20 years. I’m still funky
How has the store and its customers changed over time?
People are still funky.
What’s your general vibe to kick off the morning music when doors open?
Whoever was working the shift before has to leave the first song of the day for the next funky freak.
Ever had any notable cameo walk-ins in store?
Daily I have amazing musicians walk in all the time. Recently the woman who painted the artwork for the Hiatus Kaioyte’s incredible GRAMMY NOMINATED “Mood Valiant” walked in the store with her family. I was suggesting funky local goodness to them and that was the first record I showed them, she demurely told me that she was the artist who painted it. I squealed and span around in excitement. I started filming her with the cover and her 10 year old asked her if she was famous, to which I replied yes, very. She is a superstar.
They walked out on my rainbow beaming
Do you remember the first record that started your own collection? Was it bought, gifted or handed down?
TINA TURNER “Private Dancer”
What about the first record you purchased for someone else? Where’d you buy it?
TINA TURNER “Private Dancer” – even though my nana gave me the Brashes Gift Voucher to use, she said to me that I could buy Tina Turner “Private Dancer” – I think she wanted to watch me dance to it. So I think I really was making sure she’d get it.
Favourite debut record of all time?
Tell us about the most valuable (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
The most important record in the collection of the store would have to be my birthday record 50 YEARS OF FUNK. An incredible echo of love from the local bands that make our dance floors pulse.
Tracks were made from artists like THE BAMBOOS, HIATUS KAIYOTE, MILDLIFE, JOSH TESKEY, SURPRISE CHEF, COOKIN ON 3 BURNERS, KYLIE AULDIST, RITA SATCH, AUDREY POWNE, KARATE BOOGALOO, 30/70/ SO. RATES, QUARTER STREET, ELLA THOMPSON and NKECHI ANELE, TIANA & RYO and of course SILENT JAY And LORI.
They presented it to me on my 50th birthday as a TOTAL funky surprise, done by the beautiful legends who work here!
Favourite Australian release of all time?
HIATUS KAIYOTE “Tawk Tomahawk” maybe or Archie Roach “Charcoal Lane” or SAMPA THE GREAT “The Return” or
What’s your number pick of the 2022 Official RSD releases?
NIKODIMOS “The World Of Nikodimos” LP (equinox)
What record has been on repeat for you lately?
POOKIE “Flick” – local hip hop artist Pookie is fresher than a fuckn embryo.
Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
I have no favourite artist, they are there for my different moods, all my different feels. If I had to pick someone important to show to people then JAMES BROWN would have to come to mind. And when an artist is prominent, relevant and constantly being referred to even today, has been about for 5 decades then there are many different phase of that artist. My favourite album of that artist is THE PAYBACK though.
Favourite in-store performance of all time?
There have been so many, and so many favourites but SAMPA THE GREAT really did stop traffic.
Best thing about working at a record store?
People, music and energy. The ability to be able to help people through connecting them to wonderful music or even other people is a great opportunity. Oh, and the funk.
It’s closing time in the store, what’s spinning?
James Brown “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”
236 Gertrude St
Phone: (03) 9417 7557
Open 11am-6pm every day of the week!