THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Third Man Records' first ever store outside the US is situated in the heart of London's historic Soho - an area renowned for its rich musical history - and completes a trio of Third Man physical spaces that includes facilities in Nashville, Tennessee and Detroit, Michigan.
Third Man founder Jack White personally designed this space with the store being conceptualized and created throughout 2020 and 2021 during the Covid pandemic, with the aim of creating a physical space to help keep record sales and live performances alive after such a tough period for everyone. Its two levels include a retail space, an intimate live music venue named "The Blue Basement," and all the quirks, details and idiosyncrasies they have become renowned around the world for: a token-operated lucky dip book machine, the "Literarium," a recording booth where artists and the public can record their own material straight to vinyl, and much more.
Located on 1 Marshall Street in Soho, London (W1F 9BA), the new store officially opened to the public on September 25, with hundreds of people queuing around the block to get in and being treated to a performance by Jack White himself.
Prior to his rooftop performance, White performed in the blue basement of the store where he rolled through The White Stripes' 'Hello Operator', 'Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me' and 'Icky Thump' as well as solo favorites 'Sixteen Saltines', 'What's Done Is Done' and 'Love Interruption'.
White, who was in town and on hand to oversee proceedings, then took to a neighboring rooftop – owned by artist Damien Hirst – on Beak Street to deliver a performance on a balcony above a huge Third Man Records banner.
He opened with The White Stripes' 'Dead Leaves On The Dirty Ground', after which he said to the crowd: "Good evening, London." White then launched into 'Lazarretto', followed by The Raconteurs track 'Steady As She Goes', before which he asked those in attendance: "London, let me ask you a favor again, can you clap along with the snare drum?"
Fully aware of the fact that there are people who live in the surrounding buildings who might have found his impromptu gig an inconvenience, White said: "I wanna play a song to all the neighbors we're upsetting now, to the neighbors we're about to be friends with now, and to Damien Hirst who let us use his balcony." He then performed White Stripes track 'We Are Gonna Be Friends'.
"Thank you, London," White said, before ending his performance with the classic White Stripes anthem 'Seven Nation Army'.