Monday, August 23, 2004

The Lost Record Shops Of London
I’ve had a couple of nasty shocks in recent days when trying to do some record shopping…. First off, I wandered down Berwick Street and into where Daddy Kool’s was supposed to be, only to find a bolted door and vague promises that something else would be opening there soon… I know Daddy Kool’s could be overpriced and under-friendly, but it was a treasure trove despite that. I remember buying Sylford Walker’s Burn Babylon straight off the deck in there once (I was massively overcharged for that one, but I just couldn’t keep the kind of poker face necessary to kid the vendor that I hadn’t just heard the best roots reggae record ever).

In the end I went and spunked a chunk of my wages away in Soul Jazz/Sounds Of The Universe round the corner and managed to pick up a copy of Boops and Cedric IM Brooks cut of Shaft on 7” so it wasn’t all bad..

If that weren’t bad enough, a couple of weeks ago when waiting to meet my girlfriend in Camden, I wandered nonchalantly into Rhythm Records, headed straight down the stairs to the vinyl and was met with another bolted door. The smell should have given it away – that mouldy smell you always associate with Music & Video & Tape & Lawnmower Exchanges. Rhythm wasn’t a key destination on record shopping trips, but it had some character and seemed to get some prime reggae sevens in there that didn’t seem to crop up elsewhere.

I guess it’s all about the ground rents? I mean, Koobla was no great loss, and it seems to have been replicated in shinier, more painfully trendy fashion just around the corner at Phonica anyway. But Daddy Kool was a landmark and I’m sorry to see it go…

posted by dubversion at 12:36 pm

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