Top 4 "Sh?? They've Got My Jam!" Record Shops

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Whether you’re an MP3 negatory or just a big old hipster, there’s no denying the allure of a good record shop. Ah yes, getting vinyl jacket dandruff on your mitts before finding that elusive Rod Stewart number lurking creepily behind the Tina Turners. My favourite find was a Vic Reeves LP that was quietly waiting for me in a charity shop bin in Islington. If I had a vinyl shop it would sell exclusively Reeves and Mortimer records but I’m assuming I’m alone on that one.

We embarked on a North London vinyl cruise to revisit the crispy crème brûlée of record purveyors.

North Four, North London magazine, Zen Records, Record Shop

No.1 : Zen Records

Thin yellow shop full of reggae and soul

This is the kind of place more reminiscent of the record shops I used to peruse in my hometown waybackwhen. An authentic treasure trove, where you’ll find a unique gem with Robert’s help.

Geeks of?  Reggae and Soul 45”s.

What’s the groove? You won’t find them on t’interweb, this is old school vinyl hunting all the way.

Bonus track? It may be worth giving a little call ahead if there’s something in particular you’re after, or even just to check Rob will be there cos he is ??????.

Zen Records 69 Broad Lane N15 4DJ  (020) 8365 1145

Open Mon-Sat 11:30am – 6:30pm

North Four, North London magazine, Flashback Records Essex Road

2. Flashback Records

The king of the in-store gigs

They may have cottoned on to their own popularity, but that hasn’t affected their quality stock. A good mixture of new and old, but you may want to rethink your weekend plans budget-wise: you’ll come out with heavy arms and considerably lighter pockets.

Geeks of? Used to be reggae, now better for hip hop.

What’s the groove? It depends on the day and who’s working, but you’ll always find something special.

Bonus track? The DVD selection! You’ll discover some rare treats like my copy of the Shooting Stars game and book.

Flashback Records 50 Essex Road N1 8LR

Open Monday – Saturday 10 – 7pm, Sunday 11 – 6pm

North Four, North London magazine, Kristina Records

3. Kristina Records

If Wes Anderson had a record shop

These chic vinyl mongers carry a wide range of quality underground music in most genres, in an incredibly neat and organised fashion. Tuesdays are appointment only so bear that in mind when you’re planning your next mid-week vinyl haul. 

Geeks of? Organisation and presentation, you won’t get lost with their cataloguing skills and knowledge.

What’s the groove? O’ so neat! Prices are more on the costly side but it’s a different style of record perusing.

Bonus track? They have a rather swanky range of merchandise – record bags, tees and totes. Even their gift vouchers are a work of art.

Kristina Records, 127 Stoke Newington Church St

Open Mon: 12pm – 8pm, Tues: Appointment Only, Wed – Fri: 12pm – 8pm, Sat: 12pm – 7pm, Sun: 12pm – 6pm

North Four, North London magazine, Lucky Seven Records

4. Lucky Seven

The time machine: buy records for a tuppence

But seriously, there are records on sale for a tuppence. Plus shelves of paperbacks, piles of old Marvel comics and community noticeboards. Don’t forget to trundle down to the basement for even more bargains and hidden delights.

Geeks of All the soul, but a lot of everything else too. Just start looking and finally emerge three weeks later.

What’s the groove? This isn’t pristine acetate for putting in pretty frames. This is digging for music you want to whack on the player ASAP. 

Bonus track The bargains are a-plenty if you have the time to really root about through the discount crates. Get dusty and save your dollar.

Lucky Seven 127 Stoke Newington Church St N16 0UH

Open Mon-Sun 11am-7pm



Photos Mike Barry, Lucky Seven and Flashback Records

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