Record Store Day 2018: UK’s Best Independent Record Shops
This Saturday marks the return of the annual Record Store Day. Over 200 independent record shops all across the UK are involved this year with many offering special vinyl releases as well as hosting artist performances to mark the occasion. But rather than head down to your local HMV (as much as we love you, Nipper), here’s a rundown of some of the UK’s finest and most celebrated independent record stores who need your love and cash!
Rough Trade East, London
Location: Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL.
The king of all record shops in the UK, it’s hard to believe that Rough Trade East has only been around little over a decade having only opened in 2007. It may be the much younger brother of Rough Trade West (just off Portobello Road) but for us it’s still the best independent record store in London and probably the country. It’s also the biggest with a whole load of new vinyl and CDs racked up across a huge 5,000 square-feet. There’s also a nice little café to make this Brick Lane haunt more of a hangout that just a shop. With Rough Trade being an influential label too, it’s hardly surprising that they’ll have over 500 exclusive Record Store Day titles available to buy in store, as well as the likes of Hinds and Tim Burgess performing too.
Spiller Records, Cardiff
Location: 27 Morgan Arcade, CF10 1AF.
Established in 1894, Cardiff’s Spiller Records is said to be the oldest record shop in the world. Established over 120 years ago, founder ‘H Spiller’ originally dealt in phonographs, wax cylinders and shellac discs. As the decades passed, the shop has unsurprisingly evolved along with the music industry and now stocks a wide selection of CDs and LPs, and hosts many popular intimate in-store gigs. Alongside the armfuls of exclusive releases this Saturday, Spiller will be hosting their usual range of DJs and live music to keep you entertained throughout the day.
Sound it Out Records, Stockton-on-Tees
Location: 15A Yarm Street, TS18 3DR.
Stockton may be known for its Durham University students and close proximity to Middlesbrough, but believe it or not, it also has one of the best independent record stores in the UK. Sound it Out Records is a pillar of the local community, welcoming everyone from from Abba to Zappa fans, and everyone else in-between. Known for their personal touches, Sound It Out take want lists and also buy vinyl records too.
Probe Records, Liverpool
Location: 1 The Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX.
With as musical pedigree as strong as it is in Liverpool, there are many record stores to choose from. From Probe Records has always stood out among the best of them having been knocking about since 1971. It’s moved premises throughout the year and recently ended up on School Lane but the selection has never suffered. Probe has always been close to the pulse of the Liverpool music scene with the likes of Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and the late Pete Burns having worked here.
Pop Recs Ltd, Sunderland
Location: 29 Grange Terrace, SR2 7AQ.
The most recent indie record store on our list to pop up, Pop Recs Ltd in Sunderland only came around when local band Frankie & The Heartstrings had the novel idea of releasing their second LP, The Days Run Away, in a pop-up record shop. What originally started as a two week pop-up has quickly turned into one of the most beloved music emporiums in the country. As well as selling a host of genres, the shop also promotes inclusiveness and enterprise by selling locally produced coffee and hosting art exhibitions. Maxïmo Park and the Ordinary Boys have already played here for free in the past, while Franz Ferdinand did a gig for a fiver. The original Pop Recs location was sold off in 2015, but a Kickstarter campaign saved the stop and it’s now based on Stockton Road in the city.
Piccadilly Records, Manchester
Location: 53 Oldham Street, M1 1JR.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester’s Northern Quarter has a fair few indie record shops to peruse on a Saturday afternoon. But for us and many other, Piccadilly Records is the one you’ll always end up spending most time in. It has one a reputation as one of the best in the North-West and for Record Store Day they’ve handpicked a selection of just over 300 of the best releases, so there should be something for everyone. As well as having a huge amount of limited edition RSD vinyl on offer, they’ll also be hosting some very special instore activity to keep everyone in high spirits on the big day with DJs and live music performances.
Record Store Day takes place on Saturday 21st April. Find out all the special releases for Record Store Day 2018 here.