Jack White’s Third Man Records is going international.
Today, the company announced it will open a storefront at 1 Marshall Street in London’s historic Soho neighborhood, marking the first Third Man Records store to open outside the U.S. and the third overall. The other two stores are located in Nashville and Detroit.
The London store will boast a two-level retail space, an intimate live music venue named The Blue Basement and a European headquarters for the label. Slated to open on Sept. 25, the space was personally designed by founder White alongside Third Man’s “creative hive of artists,” according to a press release. The store was conceptualized and created throughout 2020 and 2021.
Additional features of the London space include the “Literarium,” a token-operated lucky dip book machine designed by Toronto-based artist Craig Small, just the second of its kind; and a token-operated recording booth where artists and the general public can record their own material straight to vinyl.
To celebrate the opening, Third Man Records solicited several U.K. artists – including Paul Weller, David Ruffin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Cornershop, Gina Birch of The Raincoats and “lost” Manchester band The Magic Roundabout, who will release their debut LP on the label – to either record something new or contribute previously-unheard recordings to the Third Man catalog. The resulting releases will be available to buy on black vinyl beginning Sept. 25 from the Third Man webstore (which will soon expand to the U.K. and the E.U.), at all three physical Third Man locations and at independent record shops everywhere. In addition, the London store will exclusively host limited-edition yellow vinyl versions of all of these releases.
Today’s announcement was preceded by the appearance of eight fake, rotating storefronts at the London store’s Marshall Street address which bore names like Swank’s Muscle Tee Emporium, Jack Sharp’s Upholstery Tacks and Harry Lime’s Penicillin — all touted by the Instagram account of a company calling itself Absurd Scam Records. As many Third Man fans correctly surmised, those businesses were all just part of an elaborate marketing scheme designed to build hype around the new location. Last week, physical invitations to the store’s Sept. 25 opening — arriving under the name of one of the fake companies — were sent to U.K. subscribers of Third Man’s The Vault subscription service.