Top 10's: Record Stores in Camden
Camden Town – birthplace of BritPop, and considered by many to be a go-to centre for live music with venues Roundhouse, Dingwalls, Boston Arms, Koko, Underworld and Electric Ballroom practically within shouting distance. But what about take-away? The vinyl revival is thriving in Camden and here are our top 10 record shops, mapped out so you can plan a platter-ful afternoon in Camden Town.
1. All Ages Records
Start your journey at All Ages Records: Independent punk and hardcore record store, “totally DIY since 2003”. In addition to new and second-hand vinyl they stock CDS, DVDs T-shirts, fanzines, books, patches, badges gig tickets and more, including cult film and tv show DVD’s from the 1930’s onwards.
All Ages also stock many unsigned bands so a great destination for discovering your next favourite punk group. More information here.
Wander over to Parkway, home to legendary live music venues Jazz Café, Dublin Castle & Greennote … and three great shops offering an interesting range of take-away tracks…
2. Sounds that Swing
Sounds that Swing is chock a block with new and second-hand blues and rockabilly vinyl delights with a good selection of R&B and soul. Owner Martin has been serving up rock n roll there since 1995. They stock LP’s 45’s CD’s, DVD’s, books and magazines. The shop not only sounds great, it looks the part and dare we suggest, a great photo op. More information here.
3. Vinyl Boutique Records
Complimenting the upstairs fayre, is the appropriately named Vinyl Boutique Records operated by no other than Morrisey’s long-time musical director and Polecat co-founder Boz Boorer. In this cozy room you’ll discover an ever-changing selection of Rock’N’Roll, Rockabilly, Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady, Country, Pop, Rock, Punk, New Wave, Indie, Prog, Glam … in addition to lots of rarities, international pressings and various gems picked up by Boz & his wife Lyn on their global travels. More information here.
4. Rock 'n' Roll Rescue
Travel up Parkway just a few shops and you will be rewarded with Rock ‘n’ Roll Rescue, a treasure trove of memorabilia including vinyl, guitars, books, prints t-shirts, DVD’s, badges and just about anything rock-related. Brainchild of Vibrators’ founder Knox to support local charities, it’s a sociable shop and a great place to find unusual rock ephemera. More information here.
Next, over to Inverness Street for some rock and reggae, and a maybe a stop-off at the recently re-opened Good Mixer.
5. Out on the Floor
Out on the Floor is Camden’s longest-established record shop with 30 years of bragging rights selling new and second-hand records. The shop holds an impressive amount of original press reggae and stock includes roots, digi, rocksteady, dancehall and more! More information here.
And if you head downstairs...
6. Ra - Ra Rok
Ra-Ra Rok lives and thrives underneath Out on the Floor. Packed with interesting pickings and a strong collection of rare vinyl from the 1930s to the present day and now a record label too. More information here.
Before you leave Inverness Street, drop in for a refresher at the recently re-opened Good Mixer. Of course it’s not a record store, but represents everything that made Camden such a cool part of town, playing host to Britpop royalty and rivalries, and latterly to local celebrities such as Amy Winehouse & Pete Doherty. It still has the touch.
Then, on to and into the stables …
7. Camden Lock Vinyl
Perennially busy shop, with a constant stream of tourists picking through their rock and roll, blues and punk collections that include many well-priced re-pressings. You can find it at 35C Camden Lock Place.
8. Disc Disciples
Run by the very engaging Danny Haywood, a passionate merchant of soul, funk and acid jazz, with a good selection of rock, punk and folk. Always good sounds coming from Danny’s decks. More information here.
9. Massive International
Massive International has been a Camden presence since 1989, supplying rare dub, new UK music and Jamaican imports, plus a large range of merchandise from t-shirts, posters and stickers to authentic Jamaican arts and crafts. These guys are experts, spinning their rare dub plates on a bass-heavy sound system. More information here.
10. Let it Roll Records
New kids on the block, and a short few blocks north-east of the stables, independent vinyl shop Let it Roll Records kicked off in 2018 and offers a thoughtfully curated selection of new, limited edition and second hand records in pleasant surroundings. You will find owner Kieran and buyer Gary (late of Sister Ray) playing a tasty selection of classic indie rock, electronic, hip hop or soundtracks on their top-end sound system.
Take a break at the handsome 50’s bar and soak up some tracks before heading back to Camden Town Station. And come back for the evening events that include signings, DJ nights, talks and performances. More information here.
Find out about our annual programme Camden Vox!