Independent record shops: 10 of the best in Britain?


From our archives:

Jude Rogers writes:

Amid recession, failing high streets and the ubiquity of digital music, a handful of quirky independent record shops are quietly thriving by doing things a little differently.

Union Music / Leeds:

Running a burlesque boutique in a Sussex market town wasn't enough of a challenge for Stevie Freeman. With musician husband Jamie, she'd always dreamed of running a folk and country record shop, with a tiny stage in the corner, just like bars in Nashville. But she knew that 2010, post-recession, wasn't the best time to do it.

"And then we saw this place," Freeman says. Union Music came to life in a quirky one-storey building near Lewes railway station, and the husband-and-wife team then got to work, making the shop furniture themselves in their garden, "from bits of wood to keep things really cheap". The shop quickly became a community hub. The Freemans host regular gigs, work with a local youth charity, Starfish Youth Music, to support new musicians, and even run their own record label.