Nottingham has an impressive abundance of record shops across the city, ranging from large chain shops, to small and quirky independent outlets. The vast array of shops selling music may be quite daunting for the passer-by, as we really are spoilt for choice here in Notts. Therefore, a selection of our music contributors here at Impact have chosen their favourites shops to visit to make the music consumerist’s life slightly easier!
Situated on Broad Street, Rough Trade is a must-visit location for any music lover in Nottingham. On the ground floor, you will be met with a haven for beautiful old and new vinyl records, neatly allocated based on genre. Of course, you can look through its plethora of options for the most notable and popular categories, such as rock, metal and hip-hop, but the shop also holds a good quantity of records from more obscure styles and world music options.
“being in a place surrounded by music and music lovers is a great experience”
At the back there is a wide range of CDs available as well (though admittedly not as mouth-watering as the vinyl), and the right side of the shop also displays a wide range of books available to buy. At times on the top floor the shop holds events, most notably live performances by different musicians, and though I have never experienced one myself, I’ve heard nothing but good things.
The biggest drawback of Rough Trade, it must be noted, is the price. Since it’s a well-known chain of shops and label, all the records are new and sealed in pristine condition, meaning they often go for a higher price. Nevertheless, being in a place surrounded by music and music lovers is a great experience. I especially felt the excitement of this during its annual Record Store Day event, having the sense of being part of a community of people with a passion for music, in its physical and tangible form.
Mateus de Sá
The resurgence in the popularity of vinyl records has expanded the richness and depth of many music shops across Nottingham. Forever Records has capitalised in the vinyl comeback by establishing itself in the very heart of the city centre, next to iconic music venue The Bodega.
“The boundless passion for music is expressed through the store’s vast record collection”
A fiercely independent shop, the team at Forever Records pride themselves on their range of music expertise, enabling them to curate uniquely individual record suggestions to match your taste. The boundless passion for music is expressed through the store’s vast record collection, spanning genres and decades. Spaciously petite, yet expansive in range, Forever Records offer reasonably priced vinyls perfect for any collection.
Oxfam – Beeston
Oxfam, Oxfam, Oxfam. You hold a dear place in my heart. Not only do you have a vast array of interesting books (usually for a great price); your music selection, although not as grand as the specialist vinyl and CD shops, fills me with suspense and anticipation as I flick through dozens of jewel cases, looking for my next sonic indulgence.
“I don’t even have to feel bad about spending (perhaps too much) money on books and music!”
You gift me with such diverse genres! One minute I’m holding a £0.49 Bartok CD from two decades ago (the orchestra conducted by Mr Mark Elder); the next I’ve discovered a folk album recorded by a Nottingham-based duo. And when I find The Ting Tings We Started Nothing album, scratch-free, for 99 pence, of course I have to buy it.
Another great thing about Oxfam – it’s a charity shop! Which is good for two reasons: the majority of items are cheap, and, of course, you’re donating to charity with each purchase. So I don’t even have to feel bad about spending (perhaps too much) money on books and music!
Aside from recorded music, Oxfam also sells various items of sheet music, including music for beginner clarinetists and a collection of piano repertoire. Perfect for instrumentalists/vocalists just starting out, and for experienced musicians alike.
Mateus De Sá, Ben Standring, and Hannah Pickard
Featured Image courtesy of Amy Carter via Flickr.
Image use licence here.