In Photos: Ragged Words @ Elastic Witch, Dublin
As many of you will already know, there's a brand new fixture on Dublin's sadly now-dwindling musical landscape. Housed within the main room of The Twisted Pepper – itself a mecca for fans of live independent music in the city – Elastic Witch is the brainchild of Logikparty drummer and former Road Records employee Gib Cassidy. With a little help from the good souls at Bodytonic, who look after leasing arrangements down on Middle Abbey St., Gib and his shop are hoping to breathe new life into the flagging retail sector by providing an outlet where hard-to-find releases can be bought across several formats (yes, they stock cassettes!) and, perhaps most importantly, a platform for local acts to distribute their wares.
More than this, though, Elastic Witch acts as a much-needed nodal point for members and fans of the thriving Irish music scene. Gib himself prefers to think of it as a record store-cum-hangout space, a social hub that just so happens to sell great records too. Of course, it probably helps that he's one of the most jovially enthusiastic characters you could ever hope to meet – not to mention the fact you've got some of the best coffee in town being served under the same roof by 3FE, as well as The Loft Bookshop upstairs – but there's an overall feeling of community and inclusiveness as soon as you walk through the door that can only be a good thing. It's a bit like Rough Trade East without the MacBooks (albeit on a slightly smaller scale), or New York's Other Music without the sometimes off-putting attitude.
We decided to call in soon after the shop opened its doors to get a sneak peek of the place, and Gib was kind enough to let Mark Earley take a few photos (below) - even though at that stage he was still in the process of ordering in stock to pad out the shelves. The eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that Choice Music Prize-winner Adrian Crowley also popped in for a chat and a browse while Mark was busy snapping away!
We know we're not alone in hoping Elastic Witch can stay the course and succeed in sticking around for good; indeed, there's a lot of admiration out there for Gib's fearless approach to getting the store off the ground. As luck would have it, this very evening the shop is going to be celebrating its first month or so in business with a launch party (quite literally) in its own backyard. So, if you've nothing else planned later, why not rock on down and pick up some juicy Warp vinyl or maybe a Quarter Inch Collective cassette, and then stick around for the homegrown sounds of tieranniesaur, Bantum and Magic Pockets, all of whom will be taking to the Twisted Pepper stage. The night kicks off at around 8 bells, and there's a Facebook event yoke with more info right here.
For the time being, Elastic Witch is open from 11am 'til 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday (midday opening on Saturdays). You should hit up the shop's recently-launched website – where you can sign up to their mailing list and also shop online – for a full lowdown as well as regular stock updates. They also have a Tumblr that's good for laughs and general music nerdery. And what do you mean you're not already following them on Twitter?... Don't make us come up there!