I was in Camden Town to check out a certain vinyl shop when I passed by here. It didn't look appealing outside, plus the name is not catchy at all - Music and Video Exchange. I could have made a better name, like 12s and Beta Freaks, or something. Okay, I can't make up a good name in 5 seconds but if given time, I bet I can.
The shop didn't have posters outside to lure in people. Nothing. It was so generic. But because it said 'music', it was all I needed. I stepped in. Lo and behold, 2 stories of new and used/vintage 12s, 45s, tapes, lots of CDs and I think they have DVDs based on the store name. Didn't really check the movie section. I went straight to the dubstep section, and I wasn't disappointed. I spent a few hours here. I picked up a few CDs that I couldn't get across the pond. They were £3-6 each. That really made my trip! I went again and found more CDs and I bought a couple of 12s. They had a lot of 12s for dirt cheap.
The one thing that I would advise specifically with 45 diggers, don't go here unless you want to spend more than £5 for one 45. They know their stuff and they have a lot! I wanted to buy a whole lot but I wasn't willing to spend when I can buy it here for a dollar or less (if I find it). Overall, I love this store. I would compare this to an unattractive restaurant that satisfies the palate.
If you wander past Camden Market Hall (mecca for all vinyl gems) you can browse through the Music & Video Exchange's selection of CDs.
This place has it all for a wee shop. It reminds me of Avalache in Glasgow - knowledgeable staff, a tonne of choice of all genres and eras in a pretty relaxed atmosphere. This is one of the few independents left as the big chains take over one by one.
The prices are always pretty good, unless there's something more rare, which will, of course, be a little more expensive. I recommend stopping by here - a great place for music fans.
This is Camden's best second hand music and video store. If you're so old school you can't bear to get rid of your original Sony tape walkman, Music and Video exchange offers hundreds of tapes too. While browsing I took note of the vast age differences between customers, and then got to thinking about the universal appeal of music, and how accurately it's represented by this shop. But don't let my incontinent thought patterns distract you: this shop is best visited for its vast collection of vinyl.
Something I marvel at every time I walk into this shop is the discovery of a genre of music I've never heard of before. Cases in point include 'Canada Techno' and 'Indie Goth Electro'. All your other favourite genres are including too, like west coast rap, R&B, US and European house and rock dating from the 50s up. The downstairs section specialises in R&B and rap, and even features a rare collection of 2nd hand vinyl that is priced between £35 and £110.
Having been to the other Music & Video Exchanges in London I was delighted to discover that there was another one in Camden.
The shop contains pretty much every genre you can think of with most of the CDs for sale at low prices, much lower than High Street chains. One of the reasons for this is that the CDs are second hand, either belonging to other punters or journalists who have reviewed promo copies of albums and have finished with them. This method of obtaining stock means that the shop has a lot of collectible items for sale.
There are also lots of older second hand albums in the bargain bin for as little as £1. They're not in any particular order and the stock is very random and inconsistent, but worth browsing through if you have times. This bin is right next to the promos and main albums and so this little section of the shop can get a little crowded meaning patience is required. You might have to wait to get to the section you want.
To the right of the counter is a new arrivals bin where new stock is dumped before a member of staff puts them in their allotted space. If you are waiting then pop over to this section and get to the bargains first.
If you have a little more money to spend or are gift hunting for a music fan then there are collectible items available in the glass cabinets which are on the walls all around the store. The staff are passionate about their music and if you need advice or recommendations, they are willing to provide confident answers.
Camden High Street is a busy road and is impossible to park in. Parking is available in surrounding roads but even then it is quite hard to find a spot. Beware of the chuggers which line the street to as they will try and nab you at every available opportunity.
The Soho branch of this chain is one of my favourite places in London, so i was extremely excited upon my first visit to this shop. I couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed. I was promised that they had a vast selection of tapes, i love tapes and seek them out obsessively. They didn't have any?! Think they must have been changing the stock, but i was very disappointed. They had a really small video selection too - maybe it's time for me to give up on obsolete formats?!
Good selection of cd's though, and given the shop is small it's very well stocked. The staff are very very nice and know their stuff.
Yet another Music & Video Exchange in London, but it slightly differs from that in Soho and Greenwich. This one in Camden has more bargain records to choose from and a larger selection of hip-hop, r&b, and disco. However, it has a smaller selection of other dance genres such as techno and house. It wasn't a big deal since I dug those bins for hours and found a couple gems. The prices on records are pretty much comparable to the other MVEs.
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