Londons Alternative Record Shops

A well hyped and known new (ish) store from the rough trade label. I used to love the little store underneath Slam City Skates in Covent Garden, but am officially a convert to the new, massive warehouse space on brick Lane. It may not have quite the intimate, cosy, unfound and unkempt feel of the old store, but the sheer volume of stock is worth the move. A haven for Musos this store is crammed with a vast selection of all your alternative genres, ranging from; hardcore to acoustic, funk to punk, folk to anti-folk, noise to riot girl, dub to drone, and so on…you know the score. There is a small café at the front which adds to the easy, friendly atmosphere of the store. You can sit and relax listening to the latest obscure selection by the staff, or try before you buy and listen to whatever you want. A vast selection of CD’s and decent vinyl selection, all categorized to perfection and labelled with brief description to help you find something new/ different. With selected new stuff being pushed each week it’s hard not to leave with something new, as well as something old, due to the

Vast back catalogues for most artists and bands on the shelves. A good collection of journals and books, which are hard to find in other more mainstream stores, and a good selection of free music magazines for your pleasure- don’t forget to leave without your copy of Stool pigeon- you may just regret it! With small intimate in store gigs frequently its hard not to feel like this store is one of the most dynamic and friendly record stores there is in this part of London. It is sometimes worth becoming a member of Rough Trade for access and early invites to the in store evening and afternoon gigs in addition to a new CD delivered to your door each month. In short, this is a large and comprehensive store fit for a label such as rough trade, and with long opening hours, a perfect place to stop on your way home for a coffee or beer and a few good records.

Haggle vinyl, Essex Road, London

Haggle is a shop like no other. It is literally stuffed full of vinyl. You cannot move for 12 inch plastic joy! Don’t be fooled though, this shop takes some serious time and dedication. It is not a quick, easy shop, but if you’re looking for some old/ second hand records and don’t want to search through every charity shop in London, you will no doubt find it in the piles of stock at Haggle. The condition of the records varies a lot and I recommend you look closely at the condition of the record and the sleeve and weigh this against the price before you buy. An incredible array of material available here, if you have some time. I find it’s best to go with some cash and no list and be happily surprised by what you find. With a wide ranging collection varying from rock classics to indie, shoe gaze, prog…and a lot more. There are CD’s on offer too but the shear quantity of vinyl is really what Haggle is all about. If you look hard there are some rarities to be found too. It’s definitely worth a visit, but beware, you need time, passion and it’s not the friendliest of record stores in London.

Flashback, Essex Road, London

Flashback is one of those record stores you love to have on your local high street. I never pass this store and don’t go in. I find it impossible to resist. The store itself is friendly with helpful staff, that enjoy what they do. Upstairs is full of CDs DVDs and Books. The CD selection does not look too vast but contains all the things you are looking for. Impeccably categorised and sorted it is hard not to find something you want. The variety is impressive focusing largely on rock and pop with more explicit sub genres such as hardcore and folk etc thrown in for good measure. Ok, so there is a lot more than this but I can’t write it all, you’ll just have to visit for yourself. Downstairs a whole new world opens up with a vast selection of Vinyl. Lots of rarities and seminal pieces of any back catalogue to find here. Prices are usually very reasonable. Don’t overlook the second hand books and DVDS too as there are some great TV series’ and music biographies at very reasonable prices. The stock isn’t as comprehensive as the bigger label stores, but for an independent selling second hand stuff it’s great. And there is always a cheap box of slightly more worn records outside to rummage through for a true bargain and some promo CDs on the counter for the last minute purchase. If you can’t get to Essex Road visit their other store in Crouch End.