Friday, 16 March 2012

Secondhand Records Shops #16 : Nottingham

There used to be a catchphrase, a slogan, a saying used by the HMV Music Store chain here in the UK in the 1990's, it went something like "HMV, Serious About Music"...sometimes there would be a question mark at the end and I used to think "yes I am actually and that is why I shall never buy owt from your fucking shop"!
Nottingham has always been serious about music. I began buying vinyl (new and secondhand) from little independent record shops situated down small, dark piss smelling alleyways in the late 1970's. Even today the city is littered with small secondhand vinyl emporiums - my time in Nottingham this weekend was being kept busy by others but I did manage to catch some time to explore a couple of old favourites.
Robs Records is situated in an alleyway known as Hurts Yard. Go to the centre of Nottingham aka Market Square and head towards Yates pub. Once there start walking out of the centre and you will discover (on your right) a small alleyway called Hurts Yard. It is easy to miss....if you make it to the Dragon you have gone too far! Rob's shop is a collection of rooms stacked with vinyl. Tens of thousands of records packed in to racks and in to boxes. There is some form of cataloguing - Northern Soul, Reggae, 50's Rock N' Roll, New Wave, Rock etc...but I do recommend digging in the "80's" sections and "New Arrivals".
Robs is always busy. Be prepared for a bit of frottage amongst the ten inchers! Rob also has a lot of unpriced vinyl, so be prepared to barter...always good fun! In the past 20 plus years I don't think I have ever left Robs' shop without some vinyl in my bag. This time it was a couple of Bill Nelson double 7" EP's for 30 bob a piece. (£3 the pair to you youngsters).
Serious about music? Get yourself to Robs!
If you return back on to Market Square and carry on walking out of town...towards the Dragon pub you will see the West End Arcade. There are a few secondhand vinyl / book shops in here. A couple of dance specialists and a 50's/60's records, posters, books type shop...but also in here lies Big Apple Records. Big Apple used to be in the "trendy part" of Nottingham known as Hockley but now is more central...thank goodness. Cheaply priced vinyl and a good selection of punk and new wave - this visit I bought the Lurkers "Fulham Fallout" LP (1st issue) for a great £7.00!

And for this weekend that was it unfortunately. A real sad site to see empty shops where Selectadisc once were. There are secondhand shops on Mansfield Road if you are heading towards the BoHo area of Nottingham. Forest Fields. I have shopped in Anarchy Records before, bought a Portion Control 12" for a pound, but alas (for me) was shut on Sunday. There used to be good secondhand record shops on the Derby Road and Sneinton Market...but I haven't been to those places for a while.

1: Robs Records. Hurts Yard.
2: Big Apple Records. West End Arcade (off Chapel Bar).
3: Anarchy Records. 213 Mansfield Road.

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