McKee’s giant mural in Harrogate town centre

My Favourite Record Shop, a new large scale public mural by Yorkshire artist Pete McKee at The Factory in Harrogate.
My Favourite Record Shop, a new large scale public mural by Yorkshire artist Pete McKee at The Factory in Harrogate.
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By Graham Chalmers

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians passing Station Bridge in Harrogate may have noticed something colourful, giant and new on the side of The Factory building.

My Favourite Record Shop is a new large scale public mural by Yorkshire artist Pete McKee.

The series of music-related paintings feature shop scenes with records specially selected by McKee and an esteemed group of friends including Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Sir Paul Smith, Mary Anne Hobbs and Irvine Welsh.

The public can view the mural from Station Bridge and Victoria Avenue in Harrogate town centre and from all in and outbound trains from Leeds to Harrogate.

The piece appeared overnight last week to tie in with McKee’s Thud, Crackle, Pop exhibition at RedHouse Originals Gallery.

It’s the second mural on the side of the Poliform North building which has been organised in conjunction with this successful Harrogate gallery in the last six months after the success of a Tour De France-themed one.

McKee said: “I’m a great believer in making art for the people and one of the best ways of doing this is street art.

“My Favourite Record Shop” is a celebration of music and is also a fanfare for the independent retailer who puts his passion on the line.”

The pop-up exhibition itself attracted large crowds of art lovers and music fans during its two-day run at RedHouse Originals which is located at Cheltenham Mount.

Following in a long line including Sir Peter Blake, Gered Mankowitz and Terry Cryer, McKee himself made a personal appearance at the gallery.

Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser’s Graham Chalmers, he said his own personal favourite album cover as a piece of art was Andy Warhol’s iconic ‘Peel to See’ banana on the sleeve of The Velvet Underground and Nico.

Surrounded by real album covers and his own paintings of famous sleeves, he said: “Whenever I paint record racks, I always try to get that one in somewhere.”

A huge fan of indie, pop and rock music, he revealed he had his own band in which he played ukele. When I tell himI went to school in my hometown of Grangemouth at the same time as Liz Fraser and Robin Guthrie of cult band The Cocteau Twins, Pete revealed one of the band’s numbers was his and his partner’s “special song.”

For those interested, the track in question is Iceblink Luck off the Heaven or Las Vegas album.