I was born in beautiful Provence, yet spent my teenage years in the French Alps and yes, I was a pretty good skier in my days. But my one true passion was music and my dream was a move to England.

When I was a kid I had access to the record collection of a friend of my parents. While they played cards, I was locked into the headphones, browsing his records. I discovered Kraftwerk, Tangerine dream, Albert Collins, Virgin Prunes, James Brown, the Siegel Schwall band and even D.A.F, yes, that’s right, that’s the German industrial Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft I was listening to aged 9!!! Amazingly, 20 years later he passed on those records to me and I still have them today.

My first gig was Depeche Mode in Lyon, 1986, aged 14. We lived in the country side and any trip was always an adventure. No phone, just a thumb to hitchike and a map. Before the end of the 80’s I had seen Michael Jackson once and Prince twice (this time hitchhiking all the way to Germany).
Following compulsory national service I finally made the move to London in January 1997 and right away dived into the dance music scene. It was a great time for us Frenchies to land in town : everyone had fallen in love with our expats like Cantona, Henry, Air and Daft Punk. Well, almost everyone anyway…

A couple of years later I was a working DJ and small events promoter. I had the honour to play alongside Andrew Weatherall, A guy called Gerald and a few other luminaries of the acid house scene, I played DJ bars and small club nights to pay the rent. Eventually, after 10 years or so, it was time to settle down and work more regular hours.

After a rather stringent musical knowledge test, I got the job at Rat Records in Camberwell and I ended up being it’s manager for 15 years. It was a great place to work, it kept me passionate about music and taught me the ins and outs of the job. Sadly, Tom, the owner, retired in June 2022 and the shop closed down at the peak of it’s popularity.

During my time at Rat, I’ve learned to respect and appreciate all music tastes. Record shops may have a reputation for being intimidating sometimes, but I believe you won’t find that here. I’ve come to realise that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” music: there is only what touches an individual’s heart and soul, and what makes their feet move. I go out of my way to find my customers what they want, whether it’s my bag or not-simple as that. I’m always amazed by the level of passion from customers, and find that to be contagious. That’s why I’m starting Upside Down Records, to keep my passion alive.

“Philippe was asked to leave France 25 years ago for liking the Cure a little bit too much. Naturally he ended up as the final and greatest manager of Rat Records.

His eclectic tastes and undiminished passion for new exciting sounds made him the perfect man for the job. Philippe’s in depth musical knowledge veers from ragtime blues all the way to techno via post rock, indie and electronica, reggae and jazz …Philippe took care of the smooth running of the business. Desperately trying to research and price the vast amount of records that Tom was constantly bringing in, Philippe was also known for driving seasoned record dealers to tears with his infamous ‘price challenge’….”

— Tom Fisher (Rat Records)

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