Support Our Shops: It’s Dirty work at music shop

Dirty Entertainment shop owner Joe Hargreaves and manager Corrinne Gunn.
Dirty Entertainment shop owner Joe Hargreaves and manager Corrinne Gunn.

Customers of Dirty Entertainment in the Arndale Centre sometimes get confused about what the shop actually sells.

“We do get the odd person coming in to ask if we sell blue films,” laughs Corrinne Gunn, shop manager.

“I usually say: ‘No, but we do blu-ray, love!’

“But hey, if Virgin worked for Richard Branson, then Dirty Entertainment works for us.”

The naughty name definitely gets the shop attention, even though Dirty Entertainment sells nothing more sinister than music CDs and DVD films of the non-adult variety.

Dirty Entertainment opened opposite Tesco in Morecambe’s shopping centre in April.

For owner Joe Hargreaves, music is in his blood. Joe originally worked for his dad Mick’s CD wholesale company Multiple Sounds.

“I remember going to the airport to pick up 20,000 Michael Jackson number one CDs with my dad when I was about six years old,” he says. “We had to put them all in cases and send them out.”

Mick also owned Music For You in the Arndale and DMC on the Euston Road precinct until both shops closed many years ago.

Morecambe was without a music store for a long time until Joe opened Dirty Entertainment.

Corrinne, who worked for Multiple Sounds when she lived in Singapore, then came on board.

Joe admits it’s been a tough first year for the business.

“It’s about getting people out of their houses into shops,” he says.

“A lot of people don’t know we’re here.

“We need help with massive business rates. It costs me £1,000 a month.”

Joe says that in order to survive, shops need to sell stock over the internet.

“A massive percentage of our business is done online,” he says.

“We could survive on online sales alone. I only really keep the shop open just so there is a music shop in Morecambe.”

Joe and Corrinne are enthusiastic to get things moving in the town and want to try different projects. Recently they welcomed the town’s top band The Heartbreaks into the shop for a Saturday afternoon acoustic set.

But Corrinne says: “It’s hard to be motivated when there’s nothing much going on in the town.

“People in Morecambe’s attitudes are very negative. A lot of people don’t have respect for the place.

“Anything new that comes along, people object to it, like having live gigs at the Globe Arena. It’s frustrating.”

Music, though, is a passion many can get excited about. Corrinne and Joe are no exception.

“I love live music and gigs,” says Corrinne.

“I like all sorts, mainly indie rock. I’ll give anything a listen.”

Joe says: “I like dance music, and I’m into The Killers at the moment.

“The good thing about this shop is while we’ve got a lot of CDs and DVDs on display, if we haven’t got it we can order it for you.”

Hopefully the town’s only dedicated music CD shop will go from strength to strength in 2013.

As for the name? To avoid further confusion, Joe and Corrinne say they might change it to ‘Dirty Music’!