Soundtrack: James Shaw, Albam

The Albam co-founder shares his love of The Smiths and tells us why There Is A Light That Never Goes Out is brilliant shop music

The Smiths There Is A Light That Never Goes Out single artwork

Over the last year or so, I’ve been reconnecting with music I remember growing up to, like Rollin & Tumblin (Clapton) and 93 til Infinity (Souls of Mischief). But I would say The Smiths’ single There Is A Light That Never Goes Out is a track that has been with me since I was a kid, listening to my sister’s records and tapes. I found it again when we opened Albam Soho in 2006, and I heard it just the other day when I was in the studio.

The Smiths have a timelessness about them, they give me a feeling of doing what we love, and doing it well… I’m still here, and their track is as good as it was when I first heard it. It reminds me of a whole bunch of clothes that influence us today, and will always remind me of where I started, and where I’m going to.

When I first listened to them, The Smiths meant no more to me beyond being a band that those around me were in to. Living in Manchester from the late 90s to the mid-00s, I picked up on the importance of the city and the bands it produced, although this time was not spent listening to The Smiths. When we opened the Albam store on Beak St, it was played from the opening day and onwards. As store music, it clicked with those who walked through our doors – for many it reconnected them with a previous time; good memories; great music and often the comment, “I’ve not heard this for a while”. I’m no music expert, but The Smiths had a feeling of learned experience and a rawness that defined an era before the churn and veneer of music today. They had a point of view, a belief in themselves and they got on with it. Good things, as with anything in life, hold their value, and they are worth it.

Click to watch the 1992 video for the single, or listen to The Smiths on