While going to iconic London record stores like Rough Trade, Banquet, or Sounds of the Universe, can be exciting, it sure isn’t cheap or a short journey. However, the great thing about Record Store Day is that it doesn’t matter where you are from, you are more than likely to find an independent record store that suits your needs, that you maybe didn’t even know was there.
Here are 5 of the Best Record Stores outside of London:
Probe Records, Liverpool
Probe Records has got one of the finest history’s of any record shop in the UK. Established in 1971, they took Liverpool’s strong music history and helped scenes from around the city. During the late 70s, the record store was the go to place to grab the latest punk records, and the store is famed for artists like the late Pete Burns, and Paul Rutherford from Frankie Goes to Hollywood working there throughout the years.
Open from 9.30-6 Monday-Friday, and 12.30-5 on Sunday, they already work harder than most other stores, but even better is that if they are busy, they’ll stay open later so make sure you keep their business thriving this Saturday!
Probe Records, The Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX
Sound It Out Records, Teesside
The last remaining record shop in Stockton-on-Tees is a reminder of how the high streets can change over many years. Once an area filled with record shops, one by one, they all began to (as they say on their website) pass away to the great high street in the sky, leaving only Sound It Out. This has not disheartened the local music community however, fans of all kinds of music, from ‘Abba to Zappa’ can come along find something for them, making it the ideal place to find something that fancies you this Record Store Day.
Also check out the documentary made about the store and the history of records in the Teesside area made by Jeanie Finlay!
Sound It Out Records, 15A Yarm Ln, TS18 3DR
Soundclash Records, Norwich
Celebrating their 25th Anniversary last year, Soundclash is the staple of the Norwich music scene. The store was voted one of the best small shops in the UK by the Guardian in 2007 due to its unique business model, allow the shopper to listen first before they purchase. The front desk is set up with several turntables where you can go to listen, get expertise, and similar recommendations from the team, as well as purchase records at a competitive price.
This choice is a little biased as it was my hometown record store growing up, but that doesn’t hinder how great the store actually is, from the wide range of records and CDs, to being the only place in the town centre you purchase tickets for gigs in the local area, Soundclash helps keep Norwich’s music high street community alive.
Soundclash Records, 28 St. Benedicts Street, NR2 4AQ
Pop Rec Ltd, Sunderland
Opened by local band Frankie & the Heartstrings, initially as a two-week pop up store, this record shop has given local music fans in an unsuspecting area of the world a new lease of life. The store is not only a record shop, it also is an open space for local artists and sculptors, as well as a live gig venue, many of which happen for free (or very cheap!). Previous artists include Maximo Park, the Ordinary Boys, and Franz Ferdinand.
The original location shut down in 2015, but thanks to the dedicated local fans, they managed to raise £14,000 on kickstarter to move to their current home, and they got Frank Turner to play an intimate acoustic gig to celebrate the opening.
Pop Recs Ltd, Stockton Road, SR2 7AQ
Piccadilly Records, Manchester
The final record store of choice has already (when writing this) got fans queuing outside, over 24 hours before the doors even open for Record Store Day, showing not just how crazy music fans are in Manchester, but, how popular the store is. Known for having the best choice in the whole Northern Quarter, as well as a great website listing all the staffs top choices in a wide variety of genres, new, and old releases.
Piccadilly Records, 53 Oldham Street, M1 1JR