On Saturday April 16 the world’s independent record shops come together to celebrate Record Store Day 2016, and London’s top music boutiques are set to join in the fun. Whether you’re an avid vinyl collector or just want to catch some great live music, be sure to get involved.
Free special events, gigs, DJ sets, pop-ups, exhibitions and workshops will be taking place at record stores around London, and lots of one-off vinyl and CD releases – some recorded exclusively for Record Store Day – and promotions are available on the day. Here’s our full guide to the best of RSD in London.
Find a Record Store Day event near you
Head to Soho to join the fun at London’s biggest cluster of music shops. Special events include a music video shoot (extras welcome) at Reckless Records and in-store DJs at If Music.
The Soho Hotel hosts a ‘Pitchblack Playback’: hear Ian Brown’s album ‘Solarized’ (reissued for RSD) through a top-end soundsystem in a darkened screening room. And the Soho Theatre joins the fun with DJs in the foyer all day.
If you’d rather dodge the Soho crowds then head to Brill/Clerkenwell Music on Exmouth Market, where singer-songwriters L and Charlotte Campbell are playing live.
The biggest independent music shop in town, Rough Trade East hosts live music and DJs all day on Saturday, including singer-songwriter Glen Hansard, Fuck Buttons spin-off Blanck Mass and DJ and producer David Holmes. RTE is also screening the new Miles Davis biopic ‘Miles Ahead’ in partnership with Record Store Day on Monday April 18.
Head to Hackney Wick for Vinyl Pimp’s all-day event, featuring DJs from Secretsundaze and more plus caffeine (and caffeine-based booze) from Giddy Up Coffee. Instead of the usual RSD releases they’re adding 5,000 new house and techno records to their usual stock, so get ready to rummage.
Love Vinyl in Hoxton has live acts in store all day including old-school acid house duo Paranoid London, and the Crust Conductor pizza bus parked outside. Up in Clapton, Lion Coffee & Records hosts live acts and DJs from some very hip bands and labels… oh, and Geoff Lloyd from Absolute Radio.
Vinyl heads should also enjoy the exhibition of this year’s Secret 7"s, with sleeve art designed by the public and top artists for Amnesty International. All 700 are on display until May 1 at Sonos Studio in Shoreditch.
Also participating in east London is Sister Ray Ace in Shoreditch.
One of the oldest shops in town, Putney’s Soul Brother Records celebrate 25 years of groovy business with in-store signings by Natasha Watts and Tony Momrelle, plus ‘Soul Brother 25’ T-shirts. Over in Greenwich, at Casbah Records there’s an in-store live set by psychedelic songwriter Tess Parks at 3pm.
Newer additions to the south London scene are getting involved too. Turnstyle Records in Streatham has jazz vinyl DJs plus retro bopper The Lone Groover playing live, and The Book and Record Bar in West Norwood hosts a DJ set by The Orb’s Alex Patterson.
Afro-jazz collective Soothsayers play a live set at Pure Vinyl Records in Brixton, while Container Records round the corner runs a special market for south London labels then a Kartel party till late. Lion Vibes, also in Brixton, has a live set from reggae artist Kiko Bun. And Rye Wax in Peckham is throwing a non-conformist two-fingers-to-RSD party with in-store DJs till 10pm.
Further out, there’s live music at Head Records in Bromley, including renowned folk-punk Robb Johnson. and Banquet Records in Kingston hosts a cool-looking outdoor stage on Ashdown Road, with live acts including indie-folk band Midday and alt pop act Bleeding Heart Pigeons.
Raven Records in Beckenham is also participating in RSD this year.
Flashback Records have three stores in London, two of which are north London stalwarts. All three of its branches – Flashback Islington, Flashback Crouch End and Flashback Shoreditch – host live acts at 5pm, including The Franklys, Dead Coast and The Bin Bags: the new project from cult garage rock heroine Keel Her. Meanwhile, over in Muswell Hill, Les Aldrich Music has live music from 2pm, with The Cold Heart Revue and The Carraways performing in-store.