New owner of Dots Music Shop to keep it just the way it is

This is more than a music shop, says new owner Madi Solomon

Monday, 22nd May 2017 — By Gabe Evans

madi-solomon dot Fraser Dots music shop

New owner Madi Solomon with Dots founder Dot Fraser outside the shop

A CELEBRATED music shop in Camden Town is to live on beyond its founders’ retirement after its new owner said she wanted to keep it just the way it is.

The New Journal reported last year how Dot and Noel Fraser, who run Dots Music Shop in St Pancras Way, were ready to retire after 20 years behind the counter. But fears that this would be the final note for a shop have proved unfounded after a musician who read the article came forward to take it over.

Madi Solomon, who is classically trained in piano and plays banjo, guitar, ukulele and the Irish harp, will get the keys to the shop on July 1.

She said that, after reading our article, she “walked in, met Dot and Noel and realised how special this place is”, adding: “It’s more than a music shop, it’s a bit of an institution – if you ask me I think this shop has the biggest heart in Camden.”

Over the years the shop has come under strain from large-scale corporate and online competition but has survived on its reputation. Ms Solomon said: “The goal is to have a seamless transition, to honour the shop. I believe it’s on a special vortex and you [Dot and Noel] have been the keeper of this vortex flame.”

The couple, who travelled the world as musicians before opening the shop, are stalwart figures of the neighbouring musical community. In 2011, the then mayor of Camden Jonathan Simpson declared them “unsung heroes” and handed them an award at a ceremony celebrating the people and places who help maintain the area’s reputation for music.

Ms Fraser said of selling the shop to Ms Solomon: “It feels like I’m taking my child to nursery for the first time and feeling like they’re going to have a wonderful time with their new carer.”

Ms Solomon will be working in the shop over the next few months to learn the tricks of the trade and meet the shop’s loyal customers. She said: “I’m in my apprenticeship right now and am discovering that it’s much more than a shop. They have a big heart but they also serve as the village therapist and the village keeper of [post] boxes from neighbours. People love them”

There is a plan to celebrate the switch on the shop steps on July 1.

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