Pure Groove is a friendly, intimate space that feels more like a cafe than a record shop. In addition to selling music and related photos, the bar offers a good selection of beers, spirits and coffees. When I was there last, they even had cakes from a local bakery.
I discovered Pure Groove while hunting for free music in London. Make sure you check their In-Store events as often, you can find some gems performing in such an intimate space. It's a great place to spend an afternoon, checking out each record on display, sitting on the couch reading some books or grabbing a drink and watching a gig!
This is a superb record shop. It started in Archway, and developed a strong reputation for being able to supply very cool records on both CD and vinyl. The owners soon got their own record label together (Marquis Cha Cha, named after a song by The Fall).
Recently, they moved here, to West Smithfield. They put on lots of very good in store gigs. They also have a (significantly increased) selection of CDs and vinyl. Definitely worth a visit, and a bit of a rival to Rough Trade.
Located right next to the Smithfield markets. It's a fairly non descript area with not much around it.
I didn't come here to buy any records or CDs, but to see an in-store performance by John Vanderslice. Never heard of him, but it was an enjoyable set. The space felt more like a coffee shop and cafe with a small stage for performances. You can get drinks - both alcoholic and non alcoholic. They have a few books and magazines that you can read. Also, good place to learn about new acts.
As a tourist, it was a nice way to spend an hour in the city.
OK, this place is weird. It's not just a record shop, it's a little cafe which is why I found myself here earlier. I had a meeting in Smithfield market and walked past spotting the all important free wi-fi sign. And they do indeed have free wi-fi.
They also have some shocking choice in music. There's nothing good about trance music. Especially not on a Monday morning. Ouch. The music changed from trance to ska and even a little bit of Muse, but it was loud and obtrusive. But then, what did I expect from a cafe that's also a record shop? They've got a blackboard with "bands to watch" on which was a nice touch - good choice in music on there, too. Although they weren't playing any of that stuff.
But I liked that latte. In fact, it was one of the best lattes I've had in London. The fact that it was only £1.80 surprised me too (so did the 50p surcharge for paying on my card). I even got a little Green & Blacks chocolate on my saucer.
If you like your music loud and your wi-fi reliable, come here. I prefer my tunes to be a little less annoying. Especially on a Monday morning.
This store recently re-opened with a fresh approach to running a record shop. The store only sells 100 items of music which are displayed on the back wall of the shop. While this isn't a lot, what they have there is great and it means that you can take in all their recommendations. All the items have a little description so you can see whether it sounds like something you will like which is a great way of finding out about new music. The store also has a selection of other items on sale such as clothing and books and frequently has in store performances from some of the best up and coming artists around.