Scratch the Record
Love it or hate it, Black Friday looms like a heavy cloud over many independent businesses every year. At a time when it’s more essential than ever to shop local, the team here at Comes With Fries have personally curated a list of some of our favourite record stores from all over the globe.
Van’s go to: As the Record Turns
While vinyl always tends to draw you in with its completely unique sound, this store feels like you’re actually stepping onto that turntable and being spun around with options, stories, and history. Every time I walk in and walk out I know so much more, taking a new discovery along with me to add to my collection. Half the fun of it is just heading in and seeing where the visit takes you.
All in all, it’s known as the vinyl collector's and industry insider. Fair prices and rare finds. A true gem amongst the madness of Hollywood.
Andy's selection: HHV Records
This record store also sells really nice clothing. You can spend hours here searching through all their records, then browsing the clothes, then trying to decide which of both you can fit in your budget.
You’ll reappear after spending way too much money on both clothes and vinyl, but inevitably feeling happy - new threads and new sounds means it’s good vibes only from here on out. I also got this rare Mark Ronson remix record here that is one of my favourites.
Emma recommends: Friendly Records
“Every day is Record Store Day” at Friendly Records in Bristol. Bristol is home to some great independent record stores, but if you head south of the city you’ll find one of my favourites.
Collectors of vinyls old and new, you could spend a whole afternoon here looking through the wide variety of genres and records they have on offer while getting some top recommendations from the lovely team that work there. With their bar next door and regular in-store sessions, comedy nights and quizzes, it’s much more than just a record store.
Cooper’s choice: Red Eye Records
Red Eye Records is one of Australia’s oldest and largest record stores. They’ve got a diverse and expertly curated array of new records and reissues.
You can also grab books, magazines, posters and DVDs, but the store’s particular talent is for tracking down rare, out-of-print and unique Australian items for its customers. Expect items like an Eddie Munster life sized doll, posters for cancelled Rolling Stones gigs and discontinued 90s console games, to name just a few. It's a real experience.
That said, the atmosphere is what keeps me coming back. There’s nothing quite like the shop staff flexing their weird trivia knowledge in one ear while an old patron is causing a right scene in the other.
They’ve even got their own Black Friday promotion going on.
Alice’s pick: Flashback Records
I love getting lost in their basement, digging through the used section. To me, it's the type of store where you can't go in with any expectations – in the words of Marie Kondo, you just need to see what sparks joy. The staff are super friendly, helpful and always curious to see what you bring to the till.
Harry endorses: Wilderness Record Store
Manchester is world famous for its music scene. More rock stars per capita have sprouted from its rainy cobbled streets than any other city in the world, and there are record store juggernauts, like Piccadilly Records, to match.
In the spirit of all things local, though, I want to highlight Wilderness Record Store, just south of the city in Withington. This intimate space is a real hub of the local music community. They stay open from 12 til 9pm every day - if you hang around you can often catch a live gig, DJ set or even a book reading. Alternatively, it’s nice to just soak up the “sun” with a coffee or beer and enjoy handmade British delicacies (I'm talking scotch eggs, pork pies - the good stuff) in their quaint little café.
They’ve also recently started their own show on steam radio, a grass roots and community centered radio station. What’s not to love? They’re an all-round remedy for Black Friday blues.