In 1977, a 29-year-old Pete Howard (now known as Mr. Sifters) opened his own record store using 700 of his own LPs. After multiple“punks,” as he called them, started coming into his store and causing mayhem amongst his collection, he moved Sifters from its original location in Burnage to Fog Lane in 1983, where it’s located to this day.
The small record shop attracted a lot of attention from the locals of Manchester and started to become quite popular. The store also caught the eye of two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, who used to visit Sifters in the late 80s, years before they started making music as the band Oasis. Liam and Noel have both said they used to go into Sifters at least once a week to buy, or nick, records. In an interview, Pete Howard said, “The other lads from Oasis have said in the press that they used to come in and nick stuff, but I don’t think that’s true, really, I kept a close eye on them!”
The Gallagher brothers fell so in love with Sifters that when they were creating their first album, Definitely Maybe (1994), they wrote Mr. Sifters into one of their songs, “Shakermaker,” which ended up being the second single off the album. The lyrics go: “Mister Sifters sold me songs / When I was just sixteen / Now he stops at traffic lights / But only when they’re green”
At its peak, “Shakermaker” reached the 11th position in the U.K. singles charts, with the album going on the reach number one and selling over eight million copies with worldwide critical acclaim that forever launched Oasis into stardom and cementing the legacy of Sifters Record Shop.
While the song is now over 20 years old, Oasis fans still visit the shop nearly every day, according to Howard. While talking to Manchester Evening News, he stated, “All these years on I’m still basking in this reflected glory. All I’ve done is flog a few records and be lucky enough for the lads to come in back in the day. It’s incredible that it’s now 20 years since Shakermaker came out, but the fans have been coming ever since—and still keep on coming.”
The Gallagher connection doesn’t stop there though. Just to show his appreciation once again for Sifters, Liam Gallagher’s clothing brand, Pretty Green, did a fashion shoot in 2014 right outside of Pete’s store. This small, local record store is now a concrete part of rock and roll history and definitely a location worth visiting for any hardcore music fans.