Scratch beneath the surface and London has a wealth of diverse and individual record shops that won’t make the Record Store Day headlines.
Last week it was announced that there are now more independent record shops in the UK than atany point in the last five years. For shops to survive in the age of Amazon, it’s been well documented that in-stores, coffee, exclusive events and (whisper it) Record Store Day have become invaluable promotional tools to get people through the doors. Perversely, the internet has been equally influential in spreading the word and getting people off their computers and back among the racks. But what of London’s second-hand treasure troves that have existed for years without so much as an email address? What of the record store owner (true story) who wasn’t aware vinyl sales were on the up again?
While much of this ‘revival’ is down to the increase in new releases being pressed to vinyl, any true collector will tell you that the essence of the experience is to be found elsewhere, digging through crates of dog-eared records on a Saturday afternoon not knowing what you might stumble upon. However, spend any time in your Rough Trades or Sister Rays and you’ll know that there’s not much in the way of crate digging to be done at London’s better known independents. Go deeper though and among London’s fifty or so record shops you’ll find more than enough to keep you busy.
You can read more at the Vinyl Factory