Brighton is a city steeped in rich musical history. And the record shops dotted around bring this history to life. There’s nothing more rewarding than spending your spare time flicking through records and forking out your well-earned money on something that lasts a lifetime – all whilst supporting small and independent record stores.
Here are five record stores we can’t wait to visit:
Where? – 104, Trafalgar Street
Rarekind Records is by far a personal favourite of mine. The shop specialises in hip hop and sells loads of funk, soul, reggae, jazz, and so much more. Located between Brighton’s famous North Laine and the busy and bustling London Road, it’s a perfect spot to have a flick and pick something up, new or old.
Everything is fairly priced, and you can genuinely spend hours flicking through their £3 second-hand section: where you can often find absolute gems. They also sell t-shirts, zines, CDs, books – the lot.
Where? – 34, Sydney Street
In between Rarekind Records and Mr Bongo, you’ll find Punker Bunker, which opened in 2001. This record store is located in the basement of Immediate, a vintage mod shop. The tiny shop is packed to the brim with all the best new and old punk and metal, loads of original pressings and second-hand bits too. This is a place filled with personality and a staple for anyone interested in punk and its sub-genres.
Where? – 178, Sackville Road
Well worth the trip to Hove, Uptight Records have thousands of soul, funk, disco and jazz records. Located just minutes away from Hove Park and about a ten-minute walk from Hove Station, it’s definitely worth the £3 return train fare. If you’re looking for something special, ask at the counter as there are always some prized rarities, like first pressings and limited editions in stock.
Where? – 27-28, Kensington Gardens
Resident Records is another truly independent record shop in the heart of the North Laine. Perhaps the most extensive record shop on this list, the shop prides itself on creating a genuine warmth: the perfect environment for discovery and, ultimately, great music.
This is where you’ll find music for all ears, from all eras, with no genre or generation boundaries. Selling records, singles, CDs, magazines, books and more, this is perhaps Brighton’s most renowned record shop and the original home of Record Store Day.
Nick Cave has visited the shop and has this to say: “You are the best fucking record shop in Britain!!!!”
Where? – 6, Gloucester Yard
Mr Bongo started life in 1989 as a small record shop on Berwick Street in London. After relocating several times, since 2016, they’ve been operating out of their Brighton store.
Renowned for their in-store events, they’ve hosted Nick The Record, Geology, Sassy J, DJ Format and others. Hidden away from Brighton’s North Laine, the shop always has a great vibe and is a fantastic place to pick up anything from independent hip hop to hard-to-find, classic Latin music.
Start with these, and then go explore even further! Music runs through Brighton’s veins and there is always somewhere new to go and explore for your next vinyl fix! Don’t forget how good some charity shops can be if you’re on a bit more of a budget.
You can find out more about what life in Brighton is like, here.