REPORTS of the death of vinyl have been greatly exaggerated. Having seen off challenges from cassettes and CDs, 7” and 12” records are now holding their own in the age of music streaming services and downloads. Chris McCall looks at six of Scotland’s best independent record stores - and asks what their best-selling titles are.
It’s the record store within a venue. Established in 2002, Monorail operates from within the stylish Mono cafe-bar, a short walk from Glasgow’s Trongate. With Stephen McRobbie - the songwriter behind Scottish indiepop legends The Pastels - among those working the counter, there’s never a shortage of expert suggestions on what to buy at this well-stocked store. Regular in-store performances enhance its reputation as a must-visit.
Top selling record of the year so far: Sacred Paws - Six Songs EP
12 Kings Court, Glasgow
People ask for Rumours everyday. We can’t get enough copies of itFrank Mills, Groucho’s
The city known for jute, jam and journalism can also boast having one of the nation’s favourite record stores. Groucho’s is a treasure trove of rare vinyl singles and LPs as well as offering the very best latest releases. For more than 40 years, and via several different locations, the store has been the number one destination for Dundee music fans. Its ticket service also means you can by-pass Ticketmaster for many forthcoming Scottish gigs.
Top selling record: Fleetwood Mac: Rumours. “People ask for Rumours everyday,” said manager Frank Mills. “We can’t get enough copies of it.”
132 Nethergate, Dundee
Cockburn Street was once home to several independent record stores and Underground Solu’shn has outlasted them all. It began life as a specialist in house, techno and hip-hop but now offers a huge range of music incorporating pretty much any style you can think of. “We opened in 1995 as one of the main club music shops,” said owner George Macdonald. “I took over in 2006 and immediately started to expand the range of music on sale. We have everything from classical to punk.” The store also prides itself on selling a wealth of high-end musical production equipment, from turntables to mixers. Their online service via Discogs regularly lists gems you may have missed in-store.
Top selling record: Various: Mac-Talla Nan Creag LP
9 Cockburn St, Edinburgh
For more than two decades, Rubadub has been selling records and musical equipment to those in the know and earning a reputation as a dance market leader north of the border. If you’re looking to kit out your home studio with some proper synths or drum machines, or simply want to pick up the kind of dancefloor slayer you won’t hear on commercial radio, this is the store for you.
Top selling record: The Florist: Phenomena EP
35 Howard Street, Glasgow
It once boasted several locations across Edinburgh and Glasgow but now focuses its attentions on one store and growing its online business. Following moves in recent years from premises in Cockburn Street and the Grassmarket, Avalanche has established a new base in St Mary’s Street. From classic indie inprints to the best of new Scottish music, Avalanche has three decades’ worth of experience to guide you in the right direction.
Top selling record: Laurie Cameron: The Girl Who Cried For The Boy Who Cried Wolf. “It was until recently the new album by Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells (Everything’s Getting Older),” said owner Kevin Buckle. “We have a lot of customers asking us to recommend Scottish albums.”
21 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh
The Living Mountain
A new kid on the block, The Living Mountain was opened in the Summerhall complex by Lindsay Todd of respected label Firecracker Recordings last year. Its opening times vary, so it’s always worth checking the shop’s Facebook in advance before venturing out to browse the incredible mix of rare, avant garde and leftfield vinyl found on its shelves. Todd told Krossfingers: “I just stock a limited amount of titles but try to get things that might have sold out elsewhere and that go under the radar with most distributors.”
Top selling record: LNRDCROY: Much Less Normal
Room 2, Hope Park Church, Summerhall, Edinburgh