ICMP loves Record Stores

We asked the ICMP community to choose their top indie music shops to celebrate Record Store Day... 

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Record Store Day (RSD) is an annual celebration of all things independent music retail. 

It's a big day for indie stores and one supported by many leading artists and musicians. It's also a great opportunity for music fans to get their hands on some super limited releases.

Check out what's going to be available from the RSD site. 

To celebrate, we asked some members of ICMP community to name their favourites too.

Check out their selections below...

Flashback Records

My favourite record shop in London is Flashback. There are actually three of them - one on Essex Road, one in Shoreditch, and one in Crouch End. All are excellent, welcoming places. Theirs is the only record shop I've ever seen a quadrophonic version of 'Planet Waves' by Bob Dylan and the Band *and* a screen-printed edition of 'Mouse and the Mask' by MF DOOM and DJ Dangermouse on display. The Essex Road branch is particularly worth visiting for the Phil Collins 'No Jacket Required' mural.

I saw Mick Turner - who made one of my favourite albums of all time with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - playing in the basement once, and my pal Mike met his wife while they were both working there, before they both moved up to Edinburgh together.

Liam Trench, Quality Officer. 

Independent Label Market, King's Cross

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Something I have done recently which was great was the Independent Label Market day at King's Cross in Coal Drops Yard.

We were signing records special editions as Skunk Anansie at the weekend a couple of times. We met fans and collectors and signed their records after they bought them."

There were also white labels a test pressings available as they were selling directly from the label 100% records. And obviously lots of selfies with fans!

Ace, ICMP's Head Industry Partnerships and Business Development.

Next Door, Shepherd's Bush 

I love Flashback and Next Door as they regularly host gigs. ICMP formed band Saint Boy are among those to have played too.

Freya Everest, ICMP alumna, artist and staff member.

Banquet Records, Kingston 

Independent record stores provide a pivotal artery for local music scenes to thrive, and for local music fans to have an intimate connection with the scene that in-turn launches some of the most dynamic, forward-thinking and interesting music produced in the country.

As an avid supporter of record shops (I've been purchasing music for 26 of my 32-years on earth) I buy my albums (and gig tickets) from Banquet Records in Kingston. A fantastic selection of albums at good prices and they host some of the best, most exclusive gigs in the city. I also recommend Jumbo Records in Leeds as an excellent independent record store outside of London!

Dan Green, Teaching Fellow in Popular Music Studies.

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I guess it counts as London, but it would be Banquet records in Kingston.

They just go that little bit further than other stores. They have lots of exclusive items including lots of signed goodies from bands and they regularly hold in store gigs. They stock a lot of music that is tough to find elsewhere, including lots of vinyl and the chaps that run the place are very knowledgeable. Plus you will find a signed polaroid of me on the wall!'

Adam Burton, Admissions Advisor. 

Music & Video Exchange, Greenwich and Notting Hill

Being one of the oldest independent record stores in London, it has everything I want! From wonderful 50p bargains to rare soul records from the sixties and even CDs!

Sometimes I wish I could live inside one of these shops forever."

Karl Mak, Student Engagement Officer.

Virgin Records, Notting Hill Gate (RIP)

My favorite record shop in London, huh? Great question! There are two - both from way back in the day... Virgin Records in Notting Hill Gate and Dobells in Shaftesbury Avenue (both long gone). Virgin was where I'd go to regularly buy all kinds of new releases back in the seventies. The most memorable thing about it was ... the smell! The wonderful smell of vinyl and cover print, plus they'd play great tracks in the store itself.

Dobells was a specialist jazz shop. I remember the day I went into a listening booth (wow those things were fabulous!) and heard Cannonball Adderley's 'Operation Bread Basket' album for the first time. I nearly died from hearing a euphoric groove I'd never heard before.

Julian Marshall, ICMP Teaching Fellow.

Dash the Henge, London 

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My favourite record shop is Dash The Henge in Camberwell. They are a relatively new store that are really friendly and host fun in-store concerts. 

Lia Mice, Programme Leader, MA Creative Music Production.

Norman Records, Leeds

Generally it’s mail order from Norman Records (which I’ve never been to) or artist direct Bandcamp stuff. Or the record shop I work in here in Aylesbury over the summer.” 

Tim Elsenburg, Songwriting Tutor.

Rough Trade 

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Rough Trade is a great spot for me! It is a record shop, cafe and venue with an amazing atmosphere. So it is a great creative space to relax, work, buy recordings and watch music! I genuinely love that space. 

Josh Hills, Programme Leader, Audio Engineering and Production

I'm more the streaming type than the record shop type, but my favourite one since I moved to this country has always been Rough Trade. 

I can't really pinpoint the exact charm, but it's like stepping into a community hub where music enthusiasts look for timeless classics and/or cutting-edge releases."

There's just a really lively vibe to it.

Martina Busi, Venue Co-ordinator & Facilities Administrator.

Dreamhouse Records, London 

Dreamhouse Records is a great independent record shop based on Francis Road in Leyton. They always have an excellent selection of new and used vinyl, alongside in-store events and an excellent cup of coffe

Austel (Annie Rew Shaw), artist and MA Creative Music Production alumna. 

Brighter Day Vinyl

I stumbled upon this on Twitter and have never looked back, whilst also spending the GDP of a small country on vinyl through the Sunday Service.

It's a unique experience and delivered in a friendly, jovial, and knowledgeable manner by Joel who in short is a legend. Be warned, there is little chance of you walking away empty-handed.

Sister Ray Records

My go-to place for bargain jazz, soul, and blues. It's a treasure trove of vinyl and has been educational for me as well as I have found so many great albums from taking a punt on an unknown artist. Also, it's on the cover of '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?' so will always be a special place for me.

Paul Wilson, Head of Estates, Facilities and IT

Photo credit: Alessandro Gianferrara

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School of Music Business
by ICMP staff writer
April 16, 2024
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