orbscure

Record shops & Record Fairs in London and the South East

Recommended Posts

Super Wammer

I'm currently trying to work my way around many of the new/second hand record shops situated in and around the Greater London and South East area, so I thought I'd share my travels with you all, just in case fellow members find themselves in the same areas and wondered what shops were hidden away which they could visit.

Flashback Records

Flashback01.jpg.d76035b3ffc14215ec28ce92edc5528c.jpg

Only a short 5 minute walk from Angel tube station, this shop is one of three Flashback shops located in the London area and the locations of the other two can be found via the same website. The shop is split on two levels. The ground floor features CD's, DVD's and new issue vinyl. The basement houses the second-hand vinyl and is neatly categorised by major artists and genres to enable quick and easy searches. I didn't purchase anything, so cannot comment on the quality of the vinyl being sold. Prices for new issue LP's seemed to be around par for the course, between £15 to £30 depending on the artist etc. Record decks are available for punters to check and play their prospective purchases.

Sister Ray Records

sister03.jpg.5eacd7b53b6ad4fa6cac688170c9a007.jpg

This is the first of four record shops I visited which are within easy walking reach of Oxford Circus tube station and all are within the Soho area. This is a clean, airy and well lit store, the ground floor features CD's and DVDs, whilst the basement holds a large selection of new and second hand vinyl catalogued by genre, artist and alphabetical. Most of the artwork on show is photocopied, but the cheaper second hand material includes the original sleeve. Some tour programs are also included. Record decks are available for punters to check and play their prospective purchases too. I bought three items here, two were new issue and one was second hand. I was offered the chance to check the second hand LP, but not the new issue vinyl. One of the new issue LP's still had its cellophane outer, but this had been cut along one edge so that the record and its sleeve could be removed. After a clean at home, the quality of the second hand LP was excellent, however, one of the newer LP's had two nasty looking marks on one side and my heart sank. Fortunately, neither affected playback, so I could breath a large sigh of relief. If I'd been given the chance to check this LP in the shop though, I'd have rejected it, so I'd bear this in mind before shelling out your hard earned cash and where possible, double check.

Reckless Records

reckless01.jpg.df7b578e04d461d3934713268a496c1a.jpg

Another of the independent Soho record shops on the same road as Sister Ray. This is a single floor shop with more of an earthy feel to Sister Rays and is a quite narrow but deep shop. It can a bit chummy along the tight isles but there appears to be plenty of new and second vinyl is available. It is catalogued alphabetically by artist with smaller genre centric groups held separately. Again, nothing tickled my fancy, so I can't comment on grading. Prices for new vinyl again seemed par for the course for the area. There are no record decks available for vinyl testing, which is apparently a bone of contention for some.

Sounds of the Universe

sounds01.jpg.638fb2eb1e0d2797e9feffe51a517701.jpg

Situated in a former pub, above where apparently the first incarnation of the Rolling Stones first met and practiced in Spring 1962, this is a well-appointed, tidy and airy shop which appears to primarily specialises in dance orientated material. Isles are tight, but categorising by genre and artist nice and clear. The first floor covers new LP's and CD's, and a basement apparently houses a large selection of DVD's, second hand vinyl and books. As this wasn't particularly evident to me, I didn't venture beyond the ground floor. However, next time I'm on the manor, I'd take a good look around and report back.

Phonica Records

phonica01.jpg.24682ed4de8be619a70608ff26c2cf04.jpg

This is more of a specialist shop with plenty of new issue dance centric LP's, CD's and 12". This is very much a DJ outlet with at least half a dozen record decks included for punters to play their prospective purchases. Small amounts of second hand LP's which fall into the same genres as the new material are also available. Nothing tickled my fancy here too, so I can't comment on grading.

More shops to follow... so watch this space :)

Edited by orbscure
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was working in London last year and took a wander one evening to the Bethnall Green Flashback via Rough Trade on Brick Lane. Both shops had a decent range and were not more expensive than shops in Bristol. The curry on the way back was lovely too :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SOTU is my favourite and spiritual home of the Soul Jazz record label; releases on which you can usually pick up a week or so in advance of their official release date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Baggawire said:

SOTU

my fav and always buying from them online................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
19 hours ago, Waxy said:

I was working in London last year and took a wander one evening to the Bethnall Green Flashback via Rough Trade on Brick Lane. Both shops had a decent range and were not more expensive than shops in Bristol. The curry on the way back was lovely too :)

I was on that manor a couple of weeks ago for what quite quickly turned out to be an abortive Saturday visit to the Spitalfields Record Fair. Memo to myself for the next time... don't plan to do a CAMRA London Pub walk at he same time :pint: 

Hasten to say, I plan to visit this regular record fair again, but on a Friday, so I'll try and take in Rough Trade and Flashback at the same time :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ben's Record Store (Ben's Collectables?) just off Guildford High Street has a good reputation. He runs a record fair in the town also.

Jack NSM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

That's on my list Jack, I'm trying to tie in a trip there with a visit to my brothers in Woking over Easter... I'll also try and get to the next Guildford record fair on 29th April 😀

Edited by orbscure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Second attempt at posting this...

Time for another installment in my ongoing odyssey to discover and record my visits to the record shops and fairs in London and the South East. Today's three venues can be found within easy walking distance of Aldgate East or Liverpool Street tube stations in the East End of London, which on a glorious sunny spring day like today, is a rewarding exercise even without the need for vinyl. The area is diverse and multicultural with sights, sounds and smells to match. Designer boutiques rub shoulders with second hand shops/stalls and with the jewel in its crown Brick Lane running north/south at its very centre.  

Spitalfields Record Fair

58e7a1ecc09de_Photo07-04-2017114854.jpg.c6248b4a9a42d4668b6017f12300effa.jpg

This is held every 1st & 3rd Friday of the month between 1030am and 1630pm at the site of the fruit and veg market at Spitalfields. The venue is a huge space with a diverse selection of stalls, selling all manner of items. Food stalls are dotted about at regular intervals, with the smell of fresh food filling the air, but thankfully I'd had a big breakfast before leaving home... 

There were several rows of dealer stalls selling all manner of vinyl, CD's and other music related merchandise. However, according to one of the dealers, there were less of them there today, apparently due in no small part to another fair elsewhere in Europe. It was fairly busy, with some dealers more busy than others, but pateince is rewards with gaps eventually appearing. Most of the vinyl was well labelled, primarily with genres and artists. But grading appeared not to be prevalent, so it was just a simple matter of slipping the disc from its sleeve and taking a gander. I picked up Paul Simon's Graceland LP, U2's The Unforgettable Fire LP and the Orb and Youth Impossible Oddities on 2xLP all for around £30. New pressed vinyl was also readily available too, although compared to the to dedicated shops I was to visit later in the day, were generally a couple of £ more expensive. Given the number of tourists browsing and the venue itself, its no wonder prices were on the high side, so resist and you'll be rewarded. However, there were also plenty of boxes with cheaper vinyl available. Indeed, one vendor had buy 4 LP's for £10. I didn't check out the quality of the vinyl on offer from the tired looking sleeves, but they were selling well, which is always a good sign. The one benefit of the venue not particular evident is when taking him/her in doors along. Thankfully there are plenty of non-vinyl related stall and shops to keep them busy. So good news, its very much a better half friendly location, always a good thing if you have a spouse easily bored with you wanting to spend more time than they'd like browsing box after box of vinyl.

Flashback Records

58e7a1eee75e5_Photo07-04-2017122350.jpg.a4ec5667396eb8ce3b9065961e62cd05.jpg

This is the second store of the Flashback three I've visited and can be found at the very north end of Brick Lane. Unlike the Islington Flashback, this is a light and airy shop with large amounts of well labelled vinyl and CD's. It wasn't particularly busy, but there was plenty of space between the isles to allow easy browsing. There was a broad selection of materials with plenty of genres. Grading was again missing, but as with Spitalfields, it was easy to slip the vinyl from its sleeve and check its quality. I paid £4.99 for a Jean Michel Jarre LP and after a clean, it plays very well indeed. There was plenty of new pressed vinyl, available too, slightly cheaper than the market. 

Rough Trade East

58e7a1efc0f47_Photo07-04-2017124546.jpg.5b6d307d31b24c18b189771da6a23679.jpg

My final port of call may look unassuming on the outside, but once you pass through the entrance which incorporates a small coffe shop/cafe you're greeted by isle after isle of new pressed vinyl and CD's. I didn't see much in the way of second-hand vinyl, but there was plenty of new/reissued material, much of which I didn't know existed. Prices, compared to the market, appeared keen and there was a diverse selection of genres... by far the biggest selection of electronic music I've come across so far, which is of interest to me.

All in all, a great day out was had, aided in no small way by the superb weather. The whole area has a good vibe with plenty of cafes and restaurants dotted about... and if your partial to a ruby, Brick Lane is one of the must visit places in the capital. It seems to stretch on forever and despite the touts standing outside trying to get you to step across their threshold getting a touch irritating, persevere, press on and embrace the positive cultural hotpot... with some nice slabs of the black stuff to enjoy when you get home :) 

Edited by orbscure
Updated address
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree that Rough Trade East is the dog's bollocks of a record shop. Only Piccadilly in Manchester comes close. I've been to that record fair too and it had a great selection but I find second hand vinyl in London to be overpriced compared to the north. 

One comment on Brick Lane - didn't you find it comical that every single curry house has got loads of signs outside telling you about the awards they have won. They have all got them so it makes it meaningless. 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
On 09/04/2017 at 18:28, JD68 said:

One comment on Brick Lane - didn't you find it comical that every single curry house has got loads of signs outside telling you about the awards they have won. They have all got them so it makes it meaningless. 😀

I always make sure I've had a big breakfast at my local cafe before heading there John... so no temptation :) 

Just a quick single addition to the thread today and one that to all intents may well be vanishing in the next few months. Once upon a time, there was a record shop called Beanos, it was apparently the largest second-hand record shop in Europe and from 1980, it was at the centre of my musical universe. When it moved to a larger three level shop a stones throw from the dingy Surrey Street shop, it took on an almost mythical status for me. Hour upon hour could be spent there and in the days before the internet, there was never any need to shop anywhere else. Fast forward to today though and Beanos  (which closed in 2010) is but a distant memory... and that leads me onto today's entry:

101 Records

  • Website: n/a
  • Discogs: n/a
  • Address: 11 Keeley Road, Croydon, CR0 1TF

58ef66b887236_Photo13-04-2017101454.jpg.9e3ac041aca10831fd5ce34f3edc1241.jpg

Tucked away at the back of the Centrale development, you'll find 101 Records. If you do decide to venture into Croydon for a visit, be warned, this is a real spit and sawdust no frills record store, with a hotch-potch of LP's, 12" and 7" spread several boxes deep along tight isles. Cataloguing is alphabetically only and all vinyl is simply graded A, B & C. Prices are cheap, generally between £4 and £7 for single/double LP's, at least when compared to the other stores I've previously mentioned in this thread. Although there is no shortage of the black stuff, the selection of artists is fairly random and in some areas quite sparse. For example, I've never seen any Pink Floyd or Rolling Stones LP's out in the isles, so perhaps the owner Duncan saves that for his eBay portal? Who knows, but there is still plenty to reward your search. You'll also find some higher priced offerings on shelves behind the till. With regards the vinyl itself, nearly every one of the LP's I've bought there have been in good condition and (fingers crossed) I've yet to return any. One word of advice, hit the cheap boxes first though. I've picked up some decent £1 and £2 LP's there in good enough condition when the same LP's can be found in the alphabetical section for £4 to £5. There is also a large selection of second hand CD's, all at nice cheap prices - but be warned, as I mentioned earlier in this post, due to a decrease in footfall closure of this shop is imminent. So if you do plan to travel (10 min walk from East Croydon station or a tram to Church Street) do it sooner rather than later, you may pick up a bargain or three...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

First up, a small addition to one of the entries above:

Sounds of the Universe
I happened to be in the vicinity of this shop again recently so popped in to check out what I'd missed out on in the cellar. I'm pleased to confirm that a large selection of Jazz records/CD's, in fact, more Jazz than Mr Jazz from Jazzville could shake his jazz shaped stick at.

Next up, I made a special trip to visit the Guildford Record Fair, taking in this popular event, as well as visiting the towns second hand record store.

Guildford Record Fair
Website: http://www.guildfordrecordfair.com/
Discogs: n/a
Address: Guildhall, 131 High St, Guildford GU1 3AA

5905ba15c32cd_Photo29-04-2017113255.thumb.jpg.8bca41c65169f75d32b79457eaf49018.jpg

5905ba1757e9a_Photo29-04-2017113834.thumb.jpg.bc05722ffee65dec1b246279ca57e50d.jpg

The brainchild of Ben's (see below) this popular event is situated in the Guildhall, there were around 10-15 dealers with a wide selection of vinyl and CD's, for the best part, set out in easily accessible boxes & cases. Prices seemed keen and there was nice wide selection of genres available . I haven't played any of my purchases yet, but on visual inspection alone, all of my goodies appear to be fine shape. My Okki Nokki is earning its corn today. Shop around though, there were many double/triplicates with varying sleeve condition, available at differing costs from one dealer to another. Access to the stalls was good, but that may have been down to it not being particularly busy. I arrived around 1130am and spent a relatively unhindered hour perusing at my own speed. One or two of the stall holders did comment that it was quieter than usual and as you can see from the photo I took, if it were to get busy, elbow bumping could become and issue.

Ben's Collectors Records
Website: http://www.benscollectorsrecords.com
Disogs: n/a
Address: City Centre,, 5 Tunsgate, Guildford GU1 3QT

5905ba18cb9b6_Photo29-04-2017141417.thumb.jpg.a3d8616c00b0581a616af53dc2300d64.jpg

Bens had been recommended to me by a fellow Wammer (thanks Graham67 :) ) as a good source of nice clean vinyl and very competitive prices. Again, visual inspection of the vinyl I bought, they all speared clean, but, here is the good bit, at prices to make me weep. Vinyl I'd seen and bought in some of the stores previous visited above were much cheaper here. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was only able to spend half an hour inside, but during that short time, I picked up several nice pieces. As for the shop itself, its a quite narrow with limited space if two or more want to look along the same line. But there is plenty of shelves to keep you busy. Another bonus is that Ben himself was serving behind the jump and what a friendly chap he is. Some shop staff can be a touch stuffy and look down their nose at you, but not Ben, he was chatty and friendly. I'll be winging my way there again in the not too distant future to spend a lot longer than half a hour there. Definitely recommended.

One final thought on Guildford itself, the good news is that its very him/her in doors friendly town, with a nice chilled vibe. There are plenty of boutiques and shops to keep those who don't share our passion busy. So they can shop and you can search. Indeed, if you were to suggest a visit on a Record Fair Saturday, you could kill two birds with one stone... just as long as you don't go too mad with your vinyl purchases :) 

Edited by orbscure
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
On ‎13‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 13:28, orbscure said:

101 Records

  • Website: n/a
  • Discogs: n/a
  • Address: 11 Keeley Road, Croydon, CR0 1TF

There is also a large selection of second hand CD's, all at nice cheap prices - but be warned, as I mentioned earlier in this post, due to a decrease in footfall closure of this shop is imminent. So if you do plan to travel (10 min walk from East Croydon station or a tram to Church Street) do it sooner rather than later, you may pick up a bargain or three...

Update
Just had this important update from Duncan @ 101 Records via his mailing list:

"CLOSING DATE UPDATE! As you may be aware, we were planning to close at the end of May. This is now not going to happen. If you want the long version, buy me a pint and I'll tell you.... the short version is we are still trying to get notice acceptance from the landlords, so we are going to be here for a while yet. As soon as I know, you'll know!"

So some good news... :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

I can't believe its three months since I last posted here, but as it was a nice day and I was at a loose end, I was able to visit a new shop south of the river. So after a nice breakfast with an friend on my old manor, I jumped on a train and headed off to see what was on offer. 

Rat Records
Website: http://www.ratrecordsuk.net/
Disogs: https://www.discogs.com/seller/ratrecordsuk/profile
Address: Rat Records, 348 Camberwell New Rd, London, SE5 0RW

59a06b5725cd2_Photo25-08-2017121211.thumb.jpg.d2cb45c7408c6f28db8fd213f9f2a609.jpg

This shop was recommended to me by an acquaintance at football, who has a big soft spot for prog music and who doesn't like to spend much in his collecting. So after a sweaty bus, train and overground journey, I found myself in the in deepest Camberwell. The shop was relatively easy to find and there were only a handful of people inside. Two long racks of vinyl were separated by a double sided rack of cd's. The vinyl was simply displayed by genres, there was no sub-dividing by artists. So it was a matter of flicking through records, checking if there was anything of interest. Prices were cheap and given the general condition of the sleeves, it was little wonder. More expensive LP's were housed in protective plastic sleeves and I can't think I saw anything priced above £20. There was no grading, but plenty of record decks for checking vinyl were dotted about if required. Nothing of note really tickled my fancy, so I didn't check to see what condition any of the vinyl was in. However, the shop does offer a record cleaning service, which is handy.

The racks of CD's were split into £2, bargains, £3 general releases and a variety of other titles up to around £20. There didn't appear to be any method to the way they were displayed, but as with the vinyl, I find it quite therapeutic to flick though whats on offer.  I was disappointed to find several unofficial releases (or what Discogs call unknown) dotted amongst the official stuff. So note to myself, check before you buy. I'm not particularly comfortable with whipping my phone out in a shop and checking before buying, but after spending £5 on what I thought was a kosher release, I'll not be so shy next time . So be warned! 

I have to say that after the build-up given to this shop, I was a little disappointed with what was on offer. Having said that, if I'd been especially looking for something, rather than being in an apathetic/couldn't be bothered mood, perhaps I could have found a gem or two.

Reminder

Its Guildford Record Fair tomorrow 26th August, so see post 11 for venue/details or click on the link below. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may take the bus/train across and see what's on offer :) 

http://www.guildfordrecordfair.com

Edited by orbscure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

A bit of preamble to start with, but hang in there. It's been a strange week, I spent most of last weekend waiting for a response to an email asking about the sale of a Luxman amp on eBay, only to get an away on holiday bounce advising that the seller would be back on the Monday. I should, it went on to say, get a response from a colleague in 24hrs. That deadline came and went, but an email did duly arrived mid Monday AM, but advised that the amp was sold pending payment. However, I was next in line if the sale fell through. Later the same day, another email advising that as payment hadn't been received, the amp was mine! Whoooooooo!!! I booked today off and was to simply waited for a payment link. I was happy as Larry and ready to count down the number of sleeps until it arrived... but yet another twist was waiting when an email arrived early the next day advising me that the original buyer had indeed paid and the amp was no longer available.... Oh bugger.. :( 

Anyway, what had this got to do with this thread? Well, having booked today off, I was at a loose end with nothing  else to do.... so....

Rollin Records
Website: http://www.rollinrecordsuk.com/shop.html
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/label/253099-Rollin-Records-3
Address: Rollin Records,6 Station Road, West Wickham, Kent, BR4 0PR
Open: Thursday/Friday/Saturday only 1000am to 1730

59b2aee9ce6c8_Photo08-09-2017113313.thumb.jpg.1b96e458dd317b6e6d317f8a8fb43ae0.jpg

So today's vinyl adventure took me to Rollin Records in West Wickham. A small, tight but light and airy shop with a huge selection of records and CDs packed into every nook and cranny. Indeed, the vinyl was packed so tight, it was difficult to browse without the need to pull bundles of records out to enable easy sorting. There are also wheeled boxes at floor level crammed with yet more vinyl, but stools are available to enable you to sort through them in relative comfort.

Around 90% of the stock is vinyl and this is primarily spit into 50s 60s and 70s rock, jazz, soul and punk. Bigger rock artists like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who etc have their own dedicated racks and although none of the vinyl is graded, each is enclosed in a sealed plastic protective cover. Prices appeared to be generally around what I'd expect to pay and there were a fair selection of clearly marked first editions at higher prices. Oh, and if you expect to pay for your purchase using the dreaded drastic plastic, think again, it's cash only. Also note from the details above that they 're only open three days a week, so check before you travel.

In conclusion, one of the better second-hand record shops, so recommend :) 

Edited by orbscure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shame you didn't pop down the road to Croydon Road, Beckenham. If you would like tips on where else there are more record shops just ask, London is my specialist subject :geek:

23056836.jpg

Edited by whizzkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.