Help us reach our campaign target: Become a member
The Bristol Cable

Listen: A short history of Purple Penguin, the record shop at the heart of the Bristol Sound

As part of this series of podcasts about underrepresented parts of Bristol’s history, the tale of the Purple Penguin record shop is one of community, creativity and underground culture.

Feature illustration: Jon Trace

Your Bristol Life

You have all heard about the Bristol Sound, and the Bristol street art scene is well documented. But have you heard of the small record shop that was at the heart of it all?

Peter Hall presents this short history of Purple Penguin. A tale of community, creativity and underground culture.

This is a story about a distinct community that grew from a widely unknown establishment that was situated on Colston Street in the mid 90s. It was a hub for all things underground hip hop, funk, soul and beats, and was the only place in Bristol you could get hold of certain US imported music, video tapes of scratch DJs, graffiti magazines, clothes, spray cans etc.

Purple Penguin soon became a mecca for anyone interested in hip hop culture, sample digging, beat making, and it would later develop into a foundation for creativity.

In this podcast we hear from the people that worked at Purple Penguin, and discover how it influenced their lives, as well as the lives of countless others, who ventured through its doors.

Your Bristol Life is a new series of podcasts shining a light on underrepresented aspects of Bristol’s history. This BCfm series was made with the Bristol Cable, Bristol History Podcast and In The Dark.


Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

We’re working to diversify the Cable team. Let’s start with our freelancer base

The Cable exists to challenge the structure of the media, but we are not representative enough of our city. Here’s what we’re doing to change things.

Watch: Why you should back the Cable – in 60 seconds

A breakdown of all the things we've managed to achieve for Bristol in almost a decade of reporting.

Explainer: How Bristolians are keeping proper journalism alive

If all our members gave £2 more a month, we’d smash our campaign target overnight.

How starting an arts festival helped me find community in Bristol

Grassroots groups have birthed a movement that celebrates and represents people from East and South East Asian communities. It has unleashed a ‘warm, communitarian energy’, writes the co-founder of MOON FEST, which takes place this weekend at the Trinity Centre.

Analysis: It’s time for politicians to come together on mass transit

A leaked report has concluded that underground sections are needed and achievable in Bristol’s future mass transit system. As we move to the next stage in the process, we need our politicians to work together.

Row over shopping centre demolition decision grinds on after government walks away from intervening

Council planning lawyer argues decision to refuse proposed redevelopment of Broadwalk Centre in Knowle in May did not rule out this being reversed – as happened a few weeks later.

Stand to be a Bristol Cable director

Do you think the Bristol Cable is an exciting project with potential to grow? Do you want to help us improve what we’re doing, further...

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning