Monday, 13 September 2010

Secondhand Record Shops #5 : Bastille, Paris, France.

For comics and vinyl, the best place to be in Paris is the Bastille area.
Two of the finest are Bimbo Tower, and Born Bad. Bimbo Tower is situated in Passage Saint Antoine, and is very difficult to find. Needle in a haystack job as most maps don't mention this little alleyway. Last time I was there in 2005 I remember having a print out from the internet to help me, this year I had to use memory and assistance of Simon Kane (a man that could get you lost looking for the toilet in your own home).
Bimbo Tower is old and new vinyl, CD's, cassettes, books, T-Shirts, DVD's, videos. fanzines, badges etc. It is one of those shops that you can easily spend an hour or two browsing and also spend a months wages in one go. The genres are all split and easily found - from New Wave to Cold Wave to Experimental Electronics to Post-Punk to Jazz to Noise and so on..thousands upon thousands of releases. The nearest I have been to such a shop is These Records in London. (R.I.P.) but Bimbo stands out for its' friendliness and unpretentiousness. I didn't look through the secondhand CD's or singles but most LP's were running between 5 and 10 euro.
Opposite Passage Saint Antoine, a little to the right and then first left (are you following this)? is Born Bad. A classic secondhand vinyl shop dealing in punk and rock n' roll vinyl + CD's. It has some new re-issues (in the post punk section) but it has rack upon rack of secondhand LP's and singles. A euro for Modern English third LP, thirty five euro for a mint copy of Psychic TV "Just Drifting" 12"EP. I bought the latter, putting the former back in the rack...a tad too much I thought.
In between both shops there is a bar to peruse over purchases. Beautiful.
A trip to Paris will not be complete without a trip to either of these shops.
If you know of anywhere else in Paris that could be entered here, please let me know.

1: Now treasured Psychic TV 12"EP.
2: Me outside Bimbo Tower.
3: Born Bad Record Shop. (with Simon Kane in corner).

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