Record Store Day
Join the capital's independent record shops as they celebrate RSD this April
It’s strange to think that Apple’s iTunes Store launched ten years ago next week. Since then it’s become the world’s biggest music shop, selling about 15,000 songs every minute – but there’s a very different revolution in music sales going on in traditional record shops around the world. Worldwide sales of vinyl records hit a 16-year high in 2012, a reminder that shiny black plastic isn’t just popular among fetishists. More people are remembering why records, and the shops that sell them, are important, and Record Store Day is the time to celebrate that fact.
This Saturday (April 20), for the sixth year running, the UK's independent record shops come together to celebrate Record Store Day and the capital's top music shops are set to join in the festivities. For the occasion, special events, gigs and workshops will be taking place at many of London's record shops, and one-off albums and promotions are available exclusively on the day. Whether you're an avid record collector or simply a sucker for live music, be sure to get involved.
What's happening on Record Store Day in London?
• Berwick Street (Soho) will be closed to traffic for a free Record Store Day mini-festival set up by Sister Ray (open from 8am). From midday–7pm, catch 20-to-30-minute sets by Wire, Frank Turner, Matthew E White, Gabrielle Aplin, The Beta Band's Steve Mason, Brainiac 5 and Smoke Fairies. Berwick Street market will have street food, a 'music history experience' and a vinyl fair too.
• Sounds of the Universe (Soho) will have an outdoor soundsystem, hosting Floating Points and other guests.
• BM Soho will serve up free cocktails alongside big-name DJs like Giles Smith and Blawan.
• Phonica (Soho) will have instore DJs including 2manydjs and Little Boots, plus a basement pop-up by The Vinyl Factory, with a screening of the 'Last Shop Standing' documentary and a Q&A with author Graham Jones.
• Various clothes shops will host special events. Underground (8 Berwick St) will have DJs outside the shop and live music, and will offer a 15 per cent discount on their shoes on presentation of a receipt dated April 20 from Sister Ray. The Candy Store (26 Berwick St) will host DJs, serve drinks, and offer a 30 per cent discount on all non-sale items. Oliver Spencer (81 Berwick St) will have live acoustic sets in the afternoon by Robyn Hitchcock and Simon Lord, as well as booking instore DJs.
• Brill Records (Clerkenwell) will serve special food (including record-shaped cookies) and host live folk by Deep Fried Fiddle at 3pm.
• Audio Gold (Finsbury Park) are offering expert advice and discounted repairs at a free ‘turntable surgery’. You can pick up a range of turntable accessories, browse guest stalls from record dealers and collectors, and watch a live performance by William Anderson at 2pm.
• Flashback (Essex Road) will have sets by DJs including Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne and Liam Large of Jukebox Jam.
• Rat Records (Camberwell) are offering a nine-hour DJ schedule playing everything from funk, soul and garage rock to old-school D&B.
• Head (Bromley) are hosting six live bands including local boys made good Van Susans, protest singer Robb Johnson, and R&B singer Carl King.
• Banquet (Kingston) will host live music in store, including a sold-out performance by the ubiquitous Frank Turner.
• Soul Brother (Putney) are stocking a broader range of music for RSD than its normal funk and soul speciality. They will also be serving drinks, offering discounts and jiving at midday to the slick funk of The Doggett Brothers.
• Casbah Records (Greenwich) will be running competitions, giveaways and special discounts.
• Rough Trade East (Brick Lane) are hosting live music in store, with headliner Paul Weller (8pm) joining Public Service Broadcasting (2.30pm), King Midas Sound (6pm) and The Strypes (4pm). A children’s area will have Ziggy Stardust face-painting and a RSD colouring wall.
• Kristina Records (Dalston) will host DJ sets by The Horrors, Maxmillion Dunbar (Future Times) and Jamie 3:26.
• Vinyl Pimp (Hackney) will have cutting-edge dance music DJs, pop-up shops from forward-thinking independent labels Planet Mu and Erased Tapes and (weather permitting) a burger grill run by local hangout The Hackney Pearl.
• Plastic People (Shoreditch) hosts IF Music’s afterparty at until 3am.
• The Notting Hill Music and Video Exchange will have DJs and competitions and, like its Soho and Greenwich branches, is knocking 10 percent off all secondhand music. Weather allowing, there will be a soundsystem on the roof, and DJs include Sean P, Richard Sen, and Jaybird Slim and Dr Kruger.
• Rough Trade West (Notting Hill) hosts six live acts from 1-4pm, which include UK Decay, Fimber Bravo, Lewis Watson and Night Beds.
What's your favourite record store in the capital?
Our interactive music map of London plots our pick of the capital's record shops (along with live music venues, musical hangouts and music stores), but if we've missed your favourite record haunt let us know and we'll add it the map.
Watch now: top musicians celebrate Record Store Day
Joining the annual Record Store Day celebrations are some of the world's biggest, hottest and most upcoming musicians. Check out the videos below as Tom Odell and Suede take us through why they're so on board with the occasion. Watch this space: we'll be adding more exclusive videos here soon.
Tom Odell performs at the Record Store Day 2013 launch. Produced and directed by Simon Oxley & Michael Legge from Greatcoat Films.
Suede perform at the Record Store Day 2013 launch. Produced and directed by Simon Oxley & Michael Legge from Greatcoat Films.
Ghostpoet performs at Record Store Day 2013 launch. Produced and directed by Simon Oxley & Michael Legge from Greatcoat Films.
DELS discusses his love for records. Produced and directed by Simon Oxley & Michael Legge from Greatcoat Films.
Brian May discusses his first records. Produced and directed by Simon Oxley & Michael Legge from Greatcoat Films.
Frank Turner talks about Record Store Day. Produced and directed by Simon Oxley & Michael Legge from Greatcoat Films.
Our top five Record Store Day releases
? – ? (Rhino)
Part of a series of special ‘Side by Side’ releases: two takes on the same song by different artists. This one comes without artist or track details, neatly capturing Record Store Day’s crate-digging, pot-luck mentality. Happy hunting!
David Bowie – ‘Drive-In Saturday’ (Capitol)
A picture-disc reissue of the Duke’s elegiac single, 40 years old this month and still great – considering it’s (apparently) about post-apocalyptic humans studying old pornography for reproduction tips.
Pulp – ‘After You’ (Rough Trade)
A new Pulp single? Sort of – they wrote it back in 2000, but recorded this stonking version with James Murphy late last year. With some classic Jarvis wordplay, an awesome funk bassline and a banging Soulwax remix on the B-side, this will go quickly.
GZA – ‘Liquid Swords’ (Get On Down Records)
The Wu-Tang Clan man’s ace solo album, which is littered with chess references, is reissued as a vinyl box-set. The inside of the box doubles as a full-size chess board and it comes with wooden chess pieces. Check it out, mate.
‘The World's Shortest Album’ (Earache Records)
A five-inch vinyl compilation of 13 tracks by artists including Napalm Death and Wormrot. It has a running time of 83 seconds, including the silence between tracks. If you like brief and brutal grindcore, you’ll love it. If not, at least it’ll be over quickly.
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