Keeping vinyl alive: Where to buy rare records in the Midlands
Despite existing in the digital age, the classic vinyl is thriving. Vinyl sales are at their highest sales since 1991, meaning that original 7” of your favourite artist is even more desirable than ever. Luckily, the West Midlands is full of independently owned record shops tucked away on side streets and alleyways away from the busy high streets. Help keep both local businesses and the record industry alive by hunting down those rare records at these Midlands based stores.
We’re starting off with one of the oldest record stores in Birmingham, establishing itself in 1952. The Diskery has become synonymous with Birmingham for over half a century, with faded concert posters adorning the walls and retro record sleeves covering the ceilings, showing just how long The Diskery has been standing proud in Birmingham alongside its stellar collection.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 09:30 – 18:00
Christmas Opening Hours: The Diskery will be open until 16:00 Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day and reopens on Boxing Day. The Diskery will close on New Year’s Eve and reopen on January 2nd.
A connoisseur in rare and vintage records, Psychotron in Sutton Coldfield pride themselves on their generous trading scheme, and of course their collection! With a rainbow retro theme across the store, it’s easy to get lost in this psychedelic wonderland. Whether you’re looking for a fresh new sound, the missing piece of your collection or wish to trade in your old gear, be sure to visit this far-out store.
Opening Hours: Wed-Fri 11:00 – 16:00 Sat 10:00 – 16:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Psychotron shut December 23rd and will reopen on January 3rd.
Tucked away amongst the other vintage wares in city centre’s Oasis markets lives Ignite, holding a more than impressive genre spanning collection. However, its metal, hardcore and punk that this store specialises in, helping you find that alternative diamond in the rough.
Address: Oasis Markets, 110-114 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6SX.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 – 17:20 Sat 10:00 – 18:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Ignite is open at usual hours, although the Oasis Market is closed on bank holidays.
Vinyl and Vintage
It’s not just the store which holds history, as Vinyl and Vintage’s owner Claire has her own stories to tell. She has been selling records since the age of 23, trading in the UK, Europe and even USA before finally setting up shop in Wolverhampton for over seven years. Releases new and old are welcomed at Vinyl and Vintage, alongside merch, memorabilia, autographs and much more for any music fan to fill their boots!
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10:00 – 17:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Vinyl and Vintage close at 16:45 on December 23rd and will reopen on December 27th.
Those Old Records
Irrespective of rarity or genre, Those Old Records take pride and care with their vinyl. If you’re lucky, you can grab a rare record in mint condition, unopened and un-played. Their other records are cleaned to the highest spec and only played on high end equipment for some real TLC. Some of their calibre in a wide range of genres is available online, however a visit to this independently run store is needed to fully grasp how extensive their hoard is.
Address: Brewery Street, Rugeley, WS15 2DY.
Opening Hours: Thu-Sat 09:00 – 17:00
Christmas Opening Hours: The store is closed for Christmas and will reopen January 4th.
Left for Dead
Left for Dead have become notorious for their heavily stocked modern indie records, although have been known to have a few rare classics hidden in the mix. Left for Dead recently left their abode in Birmingham’s Custard Factory to set up shop in Shrewsbury, finding a new home amongst the cobbled streets and other independently owned businesses along the riverside.
Address: 14 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, SY1 1XB.
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10:30 – 18:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Left For Dead will be open until 16:00 on Christmas Eve, and will reopen on December 28th. Left For Dead will also close on New Year’s Eve and reopen January 3rd.
Another record store that promises a rare find, those for a love of soul, motown, reggae, punk and house will find no trouble whittling the hours away, flicking through music that time forgot. As Oldies Unlimited do not have an online store, the hunt must be done in person, making it even more rewarding finding that vintage gem!
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 09:00 – 17:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Oldies Unlimited are open Christmas Eve and Boxing Day 12:00 – 15:00, the store will be closed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
This record shop doesn’t just keep its music inside the sleeve! As well as an abundance of vinyl and CDs to peruse in store, Swordfish records have their own record label and in store performances from acts such as Duran Duran, The Kooks, Bill Bragg, Lenny Kravitz and many more. Despite all their musical contacts, Swordfish are keeping to their roots of an independent store with music at the core, roots that were well established way back in 1979.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 09:00 – 17:30
Christmas Opening Hours: Swordfish close on Christmas Eve and will reopen on January 3rd.
Polar Bear Records
A store that has become local legend, Polar Bear Records is hailed by Kings Heath regulars as not only having an extensive range of jazz and blues records new and old, alongside other genres, but also an almost infinite amount of music knowledge and advice from the well respected store owners.
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 11:00 – 18:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Closed from Christmas Eve and reopen on Friday 29th December, 11:00-18:00
Compared to other stores in this list, Seismic Records is the new kid on the block. Although they opened fairly recently in 2005, their repertoire is off the scale! New releases and rare vinyl, music equipment, merchandise and even event tickets can be found at this one stop shop, providing Leamington Spa with a knowledgeable, truly independent service.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 17:00
Christmas Opening Hours: Seismic is open 11:00 – 15:00 on Christmas Eve and will be closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Store is open 11:00 – 16:00 on December 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th, it will be closed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Have we missed any off this list? Let us know where you visit in the Midlands for your rare records.
By Sophie Hack