orbscure

Record shops & Record Fairs in London and the South East

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Super Wammer

Its on the list, I just didn't have enough time to fit the two in on what was a filthy rainy day. Fortunately, its not too far from me, so it'll be visited sooner rather than later :) 

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1 minute ago, orbscure said:

Its on the list, I just didn't have enough time to fit the two in on what was a filthy rainy day. Fortunately, its not too far from me, so it'll be visited sooner rather than later :) 

Cool, I edited my post while you were posting with an offer.

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Super Wammer

By all means fire away, its good to get some/any feedback to my travels & experiences so the more suggestions and pointers I get, the better... I'll just have to change the combination on my wallet, carry less cash or leave the bank card at home :) 

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Sounds Original - 169 South Ealing Road - I'd check opening times.

Alan's Records - 218 High Road, East Finchley

All Ages Records - Pratt Street, Camden

Crazy Beat Records - 87 Corbets Tey Road, Upminster

Honest Jons - Portobello Rd (top end by Cambridge Gardens) Notting Hill

There's a few you might not know I'll try an add a few more if I can. 

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Super Wammer

Many thanks for those, Crazy Beat is on my to do list so I've just Googled the others and have four of those lined up. Its just a matter of checking how easy it is to get from one to another so I can visit more than one on any one day, especially if its at weekends :) 

Edited by orbscure

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If you go to Honest Jons, the original Rough Trade is around the corner on Talbot Rd. Also on market days there are some stalls selling records.

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Super Wammer

Heads up for tomorrow vinyl lovers:

30th October Guildford Record Fair - Guildhall, High St

http://www.guildfordrecordfair.com

Edited by orbscure

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Super Wammer

Its been a while again since I'd had the opportunity to try and tick another London based record shop off the list, so with a beautiful autumnal Friday off, I travelled back up to West London to specifically visit one of Whizzkids previous recommendations posted earlier in this thread:

Honest Johns
Website: http://honestjons.com
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/label/8895-Honest-Jons-Records
Address: 278 Portobello Road , London W10 5TE 
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As many of you may know Portobello Road is usually associated with Fridays and Saturdays when numerous street stalls complement the usual brick-a-brac and antique shops  dotted along its entire length. Having taken the tube to Notting Hill Gate, we had to walk along most of it to find this record store, which is great for the wife/girlfriend/boyfriend when the market is in full swing,  as there is plenty to keep other halves happy. But not only is it jam packed with tourists, watch out for cars and lorry trying to negotiate the pedestrian packed streets.

Unfortunately, as I had a non-record loving mate in tow, I wasn't able to spend as much time browsing as I'd have liked. Honest Johns can be found hidden away at the furthest end of Portobello Road and if you don't have your wits about you (like me) you can walk past it without seeing it. Fortunately, my mate had his wits with him so was able to point me towards it so that I could make a short fray inside. Most of the stock appeared to be reissued vinyl with jazz and blues appearing to be its major stock. I did find s small selection of rock and looking at the prices, as you would expect from what is primarily a tourist area (ground rent must be astronomical too) they were a touch on the high side. Labelling of the various sections wasn't great, but access to vinyl was easy, without it being tightly packed. I'd definitely return again for a more detailed look and given the popularity of the area as a whole, its a great day out.

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I used to live in Brighton (I went to Sussex Uni in the 80s) and for an interesting write up and stroll down memory 'Laines' may I refer the reader to an article under the title 'Brighton Record Scene - the ones I cant remember', by John Lias, wherein various customers and old record shop owners discuss what must have bee one of the most vibrant towns then for vinyl lovers.

Geoff Finch was the owner of 'Vinyl Demand' in Trafalgar Street and Sydney St back then and I was a regular visitor. His sidekick Rik used to run a record stall at the University tuesday market, alongside Dave who became and/or was Borderline Records. Dave was on the corner in Trafalgar street and moved to Gardner Street in the North Laines 'bohemian' shopping district.

Across The Tracks was also in the N. Laines and still survives to this day, unlike all of the above. It still is as ramshackle as it ever was, but prices are high it seems to me and I was not impressed when I went on a recent tour of the current scene. (I have recently returned to live in Lancing - a short bus ride away.)

Monkey Music is still there in Baker Street, off the London Road and that was and hopefully still is a source of cheap vinyl. He used to sell bits and pieces of hifi in the back room.

I also remember a real collectors shop on the bend up by the railway station and I believe that is still trading.

Brighton is not what it was due to rising rent but there are some regular record fairs where punters can get some bargains - I'm referring to the monthly Sunday Record Fair at the Komedia Comedy club. Prices are reasonable and there is a wide selection of music on a dozen or so stallls. Josh runs it and you will also find Geoff Finch and 'Little Rik' from VD days there. (Rik DJs at the Hop Garden in Kent.)

VIP now run a record fair at the Racecourse too.

There is much more to be said but no time or space at the mo..

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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Super Wammer

Many thanks for that Jack... the last time I visited Brighton's record stores must have been over 20 years ago, so the plan was to head in that direction once my odyssey around London and the SE had more or less been completed. Ground rent in some of these more fashionable areas must be a killer and invariably accounts for higher prices, which is a real shame. 

With regards  upcoming record fairs, what ones are you attending on the lead to Christmas? I see the next Guildford Fair is on a Sunday 26th November... and there is also one planned for Tunbridge Wells on the 18th November, so I may look at heading out that way for a change :) 

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Im doing Tunbridge Wells 18/11  and a Christmassy one at The Keep pub in Guildford 2/12.

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Super Wammer

Looks like it'll be Guildford on 2nd Dec Jack... I clean forgot that I'm pencilled in for Lurch's bake off next weekend, so that's Tunbridge Wells out of the equation...

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

:o Crikey, I really can't believe its some 21 months since I updated this thread, so I'd better put that right now... 

With it being a nice day, I decided to make the short journey to Beckenham and visit Wanted Music. When I  was on the tools with the Trams back in the early/mid 2000, we'd pass this shop on a regular basis but for whatever reason, I'd never been inside. So after bumping into one of my footballing friends a couple of weeks ago, he recommended a visit, so I thought why not.

Wanted Music
Website: https://www.facebook.com/WantedMusicBeckenham/
Discogs: n/a
Address: 415 Croydon Rd, Beckenham BR3 3PP

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The size of this shop is deceptive. Not Dr Who Tardis deceptive, but its far deeper than it looks and is packed to the rafters with vinyl, CD's, DVD's and a small section of music books. Space between the isles is OK, but I can imagine that it might get a bit chummy if it were busy. There are facilities to play vinyl, which is always handy.

On entering the shop, one is greeted by a large selection of sale/jumble/bargain CD's. Imagine charity shop fodder, but perhaps a touch better than we'd generally find when visiting one of the many that have appeared on every high street. I had a good look through and picked up three CD's for £3.00... sorted. In fact, when I'd left the shop, one of the staff followed me out with a large box of CD's and DVD's and took them into the charity shop further down the parade. So some semblance of sorting does appear to be taking place, as I can confirm by not sighting one Robbie Williams CD in the Wanted Music bargain rack. The same can't be said about the charity shops I visit :)

I next took to the many genre and alphabetically stacked higher price CD's. Every taste appears to be catered for and prices seem at the mid/higher range of second hand CD's I've mentioned in previous posts. Towards the rear of the shop are shelves and containers full of vinyl. Again, every conceivable genre appears to be available and are easily found by genre and artist. The higher price collectable vinyl is pinned to the walls in clear plastic covers and prices appeared to be in line with what I've seen in other shops and at record fairs. There isn't any recognised grading system on the price labels, although the word mint appears where the seller deems  it to be that condition. As my SP10 is currently in dry dock again/armless, I didn't spend as much time looking at vinyl and to be fair, there isn't much I'm looking for at the moment, especially when CD's can be found at cheap as chips prices.

Definitely one for a regular visit, so recommended :) 

Edited by orbscure

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Super Wammer

Its like waiting for a bus, you wait ages for one to arrive, then several turn at one time... but as it was a nice day and I was up at sparrows fart, I thought a trip up town was in order...

Flashback Records
Address: 144 Crouch Hill, Crouch End, London, N8 9DX
Website: https://www.flashback.co.uk
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/seller/FlashbackLondon/profile

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After making an abortive trip to Alan’s Records near East Finchley which despite says that it would be open at 11am was still shuttered up at 12 noon, I took the short two stop Northern Lone tube back south to Archway so that I could check out the latest addition to the Flashback chain. Message to myself, double check the distance from the tube station to the shop before attempting to walk it, especially on one of the hottest days of the year!

Extremely hot, bothered and knackered, I arrived in Crouch End and found the shop with no problems. It was tiny inside,  with one wall catering for alphabetically sorted singles and CDs,  whilst a twin middle isle and the second side storage included new and second hand vinyl. Prices seems around par for the course but given its small size, there wasn’t a huge selection o material. Facilities to play CD and vinyl were a welcome sight, for those like me who like to check/play their vinyl rather than trust our eyesight. With no obvious scope for expansion, it’s difficult to see how they could add more material.

Unless they were to list something I was really looking for and I wanted to collect, I wouldn’t be making a special trip again especially as the previous two Flashback outlets (covered earlier in this thread) offer much more selection. Rather that brave the heat and walk, I jumped on a bus back to the tube station.

Sounds Original
Address: 169 South Ealing Road, Ealing, London, W5 4QP
Website: http://www.soundsoriginal.co.uk
Discogs: n/a

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Also as a result of Alan’s Records not being open and having more spare time than I’d planned, I decided to schlep across London to Ealing. Another message to myself, long tube journeys in the middle of summer are not a good idea either!

Once I’d arrived, after a short walk from South Ealing, this is another small and incredibly tidy and retro shop which primarily specialises in 50s 60s and 70s vinyl albums and singes. As with Flashback Crouch End, both side walls include alphabetically stocked vinyl albums, whilst the middle two isles were similarly arranged singles. Boxes of additional stock could be found at floor level. A small section of CDs can be found near the checkout and on seeing me flick through the CDs, the proprietor asked if I was looking for anything in particular as he had a large selection of discs in stock but not on display. So if your looking for any specific CDs, so be afraid to ask. There were very few CDs or vinyl that tickled my fancy, but those that might were competitively priced. Not being a collector of 50s 60s material, I could comment on how they were priced. Its also worth noting that this shop has an Amazon store too, which can be accessed here

That was it for today, 10.4km walked so back home to rehydrate in front of a fan... :)  

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