ROUGH TRADE EAST
The grandaddy of them all; when the venerable Rough Trade store off Portobello announced it was opening an east London branch, and a huge one at that, there was a lot of head-scratching. Wasn’t vinyl dead? Instead Rough Trade East was the pointer towards the rise of the new East End record revival. Much more than just a shop, Rough Trade East pulls in big names for its in-store gigs and readings, provides a great Record of the Month club (which is a perfect gift for that vinyl-lover in your life) and, as seems obligatory in the new breed, has a great little coffee shop attached. Throw in a hard-to-find books sections and a rolling collection of local artists’ work and you have the kind of place you can easily waste a whole day.
This is a Dalston institution – owner Andy Westbury started out as a collector, with a taste for all strands of black music, but once his collection outgrew his house he started to buy and sell. The result is the wonderful Eldica – a scruffy temple to soul, house, R&B, Hip Hop and electro. Don’t come expecting to pick up chart hits, this is the home of the vinyl obsessive. Crate diggers come from all over Britain to browse through Andy’s endless bins of rare club records.
Where: 8 Bradbury Street, Dalston, London N16 8JN, Tues 11am – 7pm, Thurs– Sat 11am – 7pm, Sun 12 – 5.30pm, Mon & Wed – closed
Travel: Dalston Kingsland Overground
LION RECORDS AND COFFEE
Quickly establishing itself as a firm Hackney favourite, Lion Records and Coffee does exactly what it says on the tin. It serves up excellent Allpress Espresso (and a great line in cocktails later on in the day) and some wonderful records. It’s the brainchild of Florence and the Machine drummer Christopher Lloyd Hayden, which obviously helps in pulling in famous pals for the in-store performances – Courtney Love and Gruff Rhys are among the big names who’ve taken the mic in this tiny space. Watch out for their poetry nights too, they’ve built up quite a following among the Hackney cognoscenti.
Where: 118 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0QR. Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm, Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm
Travel: Hackney Central Overground
What do you get when you cross east London promoters (Stuart Patterson from East Village James Manero of Another Party) with two of dance music’s best record dealers? You get Love Vinyl. There’s something pleasingly old-fashioned about Love Vinyl; it’s not flashy, isn’t packed with hipsters looking for artwork for their walls. Instead it’s simply just about the best selection of club vinyl you can find anywhere in the capital. rare Groove classics, so-new-it-hurts white labels and everything in between – if you can dance to it Love Vinyl probably has it. Of course their are some concessions to the new wave. Their DJ Q&A nights are a blast with big-name and up-and-coming selectors playing their favourite tunes and then talking about building a set, musical influneces and anything else the crowd chooses to ask them.
Where: 5 Pearson Street London E2 8JD. Mon-Sat: 11.30am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Travel: Hoxton overground
THE RECORD DECK
Unlike the other shops on this list The Record Deck has no address, no set opening times, no online shop. That’s because this floating record store, set on a barge that winds its merry way through east London’s bevy of canals, is a hard one to pin down. To catch a trip on The Record Deck you need to be checking out the website for details of where it’s next going to be or you could just haunt any musical hackney event that’s close to the water. Chances are you’ll hear the strains of a barge-born vinyl party soon enough.