I had the privilege of visiting one of the many great independent purveyors of great music today – Rough Trade.
Located across four stretches of UK life in Bristol, London, Nottingham – and even a managing to branch itself across the pond in NYC – Rough Trade has been an integral staple in the discovery of modern music mania here on our doorstep in the UK and in the US.
A somewhat fanciful term for such a warehouse-etiquette but, their ‘headquarters’ are situated in the west of London. They first opened in 1976, right on the doorstep of punk. Now, in their 45th year of trading, they have become a global constituency in the world of music and its industry. Still to this day – as they did in the 70s strife with the punk mania that came before it – they’re celebrating the most exciting new music.
Situated in the most stylistic and cultural pockets of stark cities, their chosen locations were by no means accidental. Diving off main roads into kernels of art graffiti, tapestry and masterful architecture to independent bistro bars, awash with international food stalls and eventually into the crowds who are ready to spring into the new groove of life. Often situated in the most vibrant, culturally contrasting communities in the UK – as well as in the US – they are flagships to the strength of the accompanying cities’ music scenes.
From Portobello Road, Old Truman Brewery to Rockefeller Center itself, it really paints a story.
“As far as we’re concerned, our stores are where the magic happens.
Sure, we sell great music, but the bigger picture is bringing together artists and audiences within a celebratory, inspiring environment, one that welcomes all ages and taste under one roof.”
It’s important to note that they are not merely just record stores, oh no no no. They have also become some of the most celebrated music venues, playing host to some iconic acts in past years that put on simply fantastic, immersive and illusory performances surrounded by an arching wave of artist vinyls and band merchandise.
For me today, I was able to notch off another on the list of all four venues as I visited Nottingham’s store in the area of Hockley. With only one UK venue to go in Bristol, (as well as the obvious one in NYC) I’m holding out hope that I can provide myself an opportunity to visit this one too.
With these being such iconic stores within our music retail, purchasing and general perusers of music, I just had to buy something.
With its fitting home of a tote bag to take home in, I managed to pick up The Cinematic Orchestra’s beautiful story of Ma Fleur, pressed on a clear vinyl with a rarity of exclusive art work present – it was certainly one of the more fitting vinyls to purchase.