ICMP loves Record Stores

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


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 the 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 screenprinted 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 

Sounds of the Universe, Soho

It's not easy to pick but my favourite record shop is Sounds of the Universe in Soho. To be fair, the whole Berwick/Broadwick street area could do it for me! Sounds of the Universe is home to Soul Jazz Records, a brilliant record label. Their compilations are an endless pool of musical gems. My favourite has got to be 'Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound'.

Lara Magnelli, Marketing Executive

Sounds Of The Universe Record Shop in Soho, London

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


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 

Eldica Records, Dalston

One of the top record spots in London for me. Cosily tucked down a Dalston side street, Eldica is a well-established comfortable spot to spend an hour or two amongst well-stocked racks. Vintage stereo gear and interesting artefacts provide for that 'living-room' feel. You may even get a cup of tea.

You'll find gems and rarities in many genres. The sections are substantial - The 'Soviet Jazz' and 'Funk' areas being personal favourites of mine.
Regular new stock of hauls from around the globe always make it worth dropping in. The staff are very relaxed, passionate, and welcoming - essential for a comfortable experience.
...I've never left Eldica empty-handed!

Ian Seller, Facilities Assistant

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 

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

Rough Trade West

Rough Trade West is by far my favourite record shop in London, the original alternative outlet and a small place compared to Rough Trade East. I have been visiting since the eighties when it was associated with Slam City Skates.

The shop is managed by my school friend Chris Summers, a super cool and knowledgeable guy who even managed a cameo in the following Lily Allen music video! 

Jason O’ Bryan, Programme Leader of the BA (Hons) Creative Music Production

Eel Pie Records, Twickenham

Or Banquet in Kingston. Banquet has had numerous in store showcases, promotes local artists and see crowds round the block on Record Store Day every year. Eel Pie has a great mail out and always promote great deals - it's also at the back of a craft beer shops - what's not to like?

Chris Catchpole, Facilities Manager 

Photo credit: Alessandro Gianferrara

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School of Music Business
by ICMP staff writer
April 21, 2023
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