Catch some top performances and DJ sets, buy as much vinyl as you can physically carry and support your local record store in the process
Though the music industry on the whole has faced significant changes and hurdles over the past decade, recent sales figures highlight that there is still a healthy appetite for new music in the UK. In January, the BPI reported that there had been a 9.5% increase in album sales over 2017, largely driven by audio streams. But there was also a 26.8% increase in vinyl sales for 2017, 'with 4.1 million LPs sold compared to just 205,000 a decade earlier.'
Though the figures are positive and point to growth in the industry, independent record shops need support now more than ever to survive and ultimately benefit from this increased spending on physical formats. Record Store Day is all about celebrating those independent shops, with special vinyl releases made exclusively for the day, performances and events in shops around the country and much more. This year's Record Store Day falls on Sat 21 Apr so make sure you put the date in your diary and head along to support your favourite shop. Here are just a few suggestions of places you can try in London to track down all that mighty RSD stock (scroll to bottom of page for map of locations).
Rough Trade East & West
You can always count on Rough Trade to deliver the goods on Record Store Day. As well as having over 500 RSD titles to buy in store, there are performances from bands and DJs throughout the day. The lineup for 2018 is still to be announced but last year's guests included Joe Goddard, Ibibio Sound Machine and David Rodigan so you can expect a similarly awesome bill this year. Doors open at 8am and there will be queues so make sure you arrive in good time for any planned purchases/live performances.
Head to Brixton's finest shipping container for a day of record shopping, activities and DJ sets. There'll be a label market in the events space, with sellers including ashes57, BLACK ACID, Teklife Records, Holy Roar Records and plenty more, alongside a raffle where you can win prizes like gift vouchers, records, t-shirts and other goodies. There's also some great food and drink available on site from Homegrown, Other Side, Viet Box, Made of Dough, KOI Ramen Bar, Baba G's Bhangra Burger and Mama's Jerk. Keep an eye out on the lineup of DJs playing on the day, which will be announced shortly.
The Lower Clapton Road record store, live music venue and coffee shop will be open from 9am–9pm for all your Record Store Day needs. Expect to find the standard RSD 2018 releases, plus vintage records and cocktails to accompany your shopping. There'll also be live performances from whenyoung, Swimming Tapes, Focus Group, Davies, Wood & Salvidge and Mata; spoken word courtesy of Sinead O Brien and David Phelan; and DJ sets from Mark Moore / S'Express, Rhys Webb (The Horrors and The Cave Club), Jordan Cook and more.
Sister Ray Records
Soho's Sister Ray started out as a record stall in Camden Market in the 80s but has blossomed into a two-floor mecca of alternative vinyl and CDs. You'll be able to find pretty much anything here, including classics, rare and second-hand records. As expected, Record Store Day is Sister Ray's craziest day of the year with hundreds of exclusive releases, free goodies and more. This year, they've compiled a handy list of stock and prices so look out for your favourites.
The BBE Store in London Fields, which is housed in the collaborative space The Institute of Light, is usually open Wednesday to Sunday with a huge variety of new releases and second hand vinyl in stock. On Record Store Day, BBE will be hosting a free all-day party in celebration of the new vinyl imprint Alim Music, which aims to provide treasures from the BBE archive as well as exclusive new material. DJs Mr Thing, The Herbaliser and Al Kent, the first three artists to have releases on the imprint, will be in attendance, supplying tunes until 8pm.
Incredible Society Record Store Day Party at Amersham Arms
Once you're done queuing at your record store of choice and making all your purchases for the day, why not treat yourself to a party? Incredible Society are hosting a RSD bash at Amersham Arms from 7pm with Lost Map boss Pictish Trail, who is down to play a solo set in celebration of the re-release of Future Echoes on deluxe vinyl. French chanteuse and Snapped Ankles' bassist Clémentine March will be joining him on the bill along with Glasgow psych duo Gift Horse. At midnight, Super Best Friends Club will take over proceedings, followed by DJs until 3am. Get your tickets now.
Don't forget to look out for events at Phonica, Sounds of The Universe, Kristina Records, Rye Wax and Cosmos Records.
388 New Cross Road,
Bohemian super pub from the same people behind The Lock Tavern in Camden that's popular with students and locals. You'll find a traditional pub at the front and a 300-capacity live music venue at the back which regularly hosts musicians, comedians and…