Even if we’re missing out on Record Store Day 2020, it’s every bit as vital that we support our favourite places to browse for records for hours on end. Here are some of our writers’ favourite places to spend the day surrounded by music.
Banquet Records, formally part of the Beggars Banquet Records retail chain, became a fully-fledged independent record store in 2002. Based in Kingston upon Thames, the shop stocks a range of music spanning across various genres, and on both vinyl and CD. Although the shop is a little cosy, the staff are always very friendly and very prepared to have a chat about the latest releases in the music world.
The store is widely known for its instore acoustic shows and signings, and live events at local venues where artists play a live set ahead of their album or EP releases. One of the most notable live events would be when The Who played two shows at pryzm nightclub in February 2020, 50 years after their intimate Live at Leeds set, and both shows sold out within seconds. Other names that have played shows in Kingston for Banquet Records are The 1975, Foals, Fall Out Boy and Ed Sheeran.
It’s a great little shop and definitely worth going to check out if you have the time.
Above Bar Street Market
Go down to the market on Southampton’s Above Bar Street on a Friday or a Saturday and you’ll encounter one of the best places to buy vinyl in the city. Ran by an avid collector of all genres, there’s a stall right in the middle of the market that sells just about any LP you can think of, as well as mountains of old cassettes and CDs. From collectors pieces to old beaten up and well loved records, you’ll find pretty much anything here; a personal favourite find of mine was an original pressing of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, which now sits in a proud spot on my record shelf. The owner is also always down for a chat! The thrill of coming across that one LP you’ve been looking for for years in some old forgotten pile, or picking up something you never would have ever dreamed of nabbing, or even just rifling through records with your pals, is always going to outrank browsing for vinyl online for me. Sure, ordering vinyl from big suppliers like Amazon or HMV is convenient, but it takes away the fun of it all, reduces it to a transaction rather than an event and pastime. If you’ve got a couple of hours to wile away after quarantine is over, be sure to go down and check the stall out!
Oxfam Music Shop
There are only a handful of Oxfam Music Shops across the country, but luckily we have one right on our doorstep here in Southampton. One part charity shop, one part record store, this is the perfect place to be surrounded by music, pick up a bargain and support a charity all at the same time. Every time I go in for a quick look around, I’m blown away by the selection of CDs and Records, and I’ve never left empty-handed. From throwback pop to indie gems, second-hand vinyls to books and sheet music, there’s something for every music taste. And of course, the selection is different every time you go in. Be sure to check it out next time you’re in town, and you’re find the album that your music