I’ve always thought there’s something special about listening to music on a traditional record player, the crackle as the needle hits the vinyl, the beautiful artwork that adorns the sleeves, the physical interaction with the artist’s work is something you just don’t get from a download. I still regularly listen to my treasured collection of soul, funk and disco records on my old Bush record player; It’s in desperate need of a service but I adore it!
It would seem I’m not alone with my love of of the retro format, there’s been a vinyl revival recently, record sales are at a 25 year high and the UK’s annual Record Store Day in April gets bigger and better every year!
Shoutout to @RagNBoneManUK this year’s #RSD18 ambassador 🤘🏼 get down to your local record shop today for your one chance to get your hands on these two new tunes! SOO GOOOOD! pic.twitter.com/HdIwstjB7q
— Record Store Day UK (@RSDUK) April 21, 2018
In honour of #RSD18, a day when over 200 independent record shops across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture, I have put together the ultimate guide to vinyl shopping in Newcastle. (Stores listed in no particular order – they are all awesome)!
RPM MUSIC: Old George Yard, NE1 1EZ
Tucked away on Old George Yard behind the Bigg Market, this hidden gem is one of Newcastle’s best loved record shops. The shelves are packed with indie, rock, hip hop, electronic, funk, soul and blues. RPM also sells refurbished vintage record players so if you need something to spin your tunes on, this is the place to come!
BEATDOWN RECORDS: Unit 1 Bewick Street, NE1 5EE
Beatdown is an aladdin’s cave for vinyl hunters, you could easily lose half a day trawling through the racks of records and chatting with the muso staff. The stock is regularly refreshed with new & old LP’s (as well as CD’s and DVD’s) and there are often rarities waiting to be discovered. You’ll find this jewel of a shop just a stone’s throw from central station.
J.G WINDOWS: 1-7 Central Arcade, NE1 5BP
The beautiful Central Arcade in Newcastle is home to J.G Windows, one of the UK’s longest established music stores, it’s been at the heart of the North East music scene for over a century. There are two floors filled with instruments, audio equipment, printed music and of course, a huge selection of brand new vinyl!
REFLEX: 23 Nun St, NE1 5AG
Reflex is a small but perfectly formed record store in the heart of Newcastle. Friendly, helpful, enthusiastic staff who you would definitely want on your team for a music quiz – plus a vast collection of records in every genre imaginable, what more could you want?
BEYOND VINYL: 88 Westgate Road, NE1 4AF
Newcastle’s newest vinyl hangout only opened this year but has already enjoyed a successful Record Store Day, treating customers to an amazing selection of new releases and pre-loved records.
LONGPLAY CAFE: Sandhill NE1 3JF & Grainger Market, NE1 5AE
The folk behind Longplay Cafe have combined their passions for coffee and vinyl and created two of the coolest record stores in the city. Their first opened on Newcastle Quayside a couple of years ago and more recently they moved in to the Grainger Market (one of my favourite places in Newcastle). They serve up some rather scrummy food too and host regular live music events, what’s not to love?
QUAYSIDE SUNDAY MARKET: Quayside, NE1 3DE
There are usually a couple of music stalls at the weekly market that takes place on Newcastle Quayside every Sunday. I once bagged about a dozen soul and Motown LP’s for a fiver, so it’s definitely worth a rummage!
STAY FREE: Antiques Centre, 2nd Floor, 142 Northumberland Street, NE1 7DQ
Tucked away on the second floor of the Antiques Centre on Northumberland Street, there’s a treasure trove of old LP’s waiting to be discovered at Stay Free Records. Take a trip down memory lane as you rifle through the records and enjoy a natter with Tony the owner who is a veteran of the Newcastle music scene. Opening times are a bit a sporadic so check on Facebook before you visit.
VINYL GURU: 69 Westgate Road, NE1 1SG
Following a recent move from Kingston Park, Vinyl Guru can now be found in the city centre, not too far from Beatdown Records and Beyond Vinyl. It seems this part of Toon is becoming a bit of a mecca for vinyl lovers!
586 RECORDS: 3rd Floor, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim St, NE1 6QE
#586_records is open Fri 1030-1700 Fresh deliveries of new & 2nd hand records! Approx 1,000 Disco & Soul 12″s, ready to go, next week. Over 10,000 records for sale,in store & online https://t.co/fSllcE2Zxt @NewcastleNE1 @ne1_records @recordstoresne @BnDstudios #NewcastleUponTyne pic.twitter.com/N0WZaClKg9
— TD_586 (@antonydaly) March 23, 2018
568 Records was brought to my attention by several followers on Instagram and Facebook (thanks guys)! It’s located on the third floor of a building I pass nearly every day so I can’t believe I’ve not discovered it sooner, I guess it just goes to show how important it is to ‘look up’!
Do you still listen to music on vinyl? Do you have a favourite record store? Share your thoughts be leaving a comment below 🙂
This post was originally published in 2017 but updated in 2018 to include even more fantastic record stores in Newcastle, if you think I’ve missed any let me know!