The North Lanes
Resident is like an alternate universe HMV, which is a little bit cooler, and more likely to cater to your hipster needs. It’s really slickly set up, and I remember being very impressed by their end of year free booklet that talks about their favourite music. They also recently expanded. This is the twenty-something’s paradise, if your music taste is a little deep, but not that deep. They have records too, and I reckon you will most likely find your modern releases that you can’t seem to find anywhere else here. This is the place that will probably please the greatest number of music-lovers.
Wax Factor is probably my favourite music shop in Brighton. In the first section of the shop, they have a little bit of everything, with records, CDs organised by decade and books. They will have artists you are familiar with, but will likely yield some hard-to-find stuff.
Across the tracks feels like it was made for middle aged people. The shop focuses on CDs and there are a hell of a lot of them. It doesn’t feel very cool to be inside, and there is so much stuff it feels a bit stressful just to browse, but if CDs are your thing, then this place is really essential.
If you are a mad Vinyl collector, you will be going into Snoopers Paradise. Make sure you look all over the Market, because music isn’t all organised in one spot. You’ll find some sellers will have bargains, and others know just how valuable their stuff is.
Rare Kind is another one that focuses almost entirely on vinyl records. A little bit more youthful, as indicated by the larger hip hop collection. This isn’t a place I personally know very well, but it is close to Wax Factor, so it’s worth trying it out. This place is also on the cusp of London Road, so depending on which way you go on your grand tour, this is a good transitional place.
This road has a huge number of charity shops, which should please collectors, and take up a lot of time. You’ll find a lot of records, which are more miss than hit, as you would expect.
Throughout my three years living in Brighton I never actually found Monkey Music Emporium, and it feels much more old school, and more for serious collectors than young adult hipsters. It’s the sort of record shop that I feel a bit intimidated going into, and embarrassed if I walk away empty handed. I think it is great to go to if you are seriously into vinyl.
The High Street
Cult Hero is not really to my taste, and seems to be getting less-good as it goes along. Before HMV started increasing their vinyl selection, this really felt like a micro-HMV where you could also get the most essential, but also uninteresting vinyl re-issues. Think Nirvana, Iron Maiden and Guns n Roses. The stuff that the majority of young people would want. They also have a cool foreign film focus along the back wall. The CD section has shrunk, and the records have grown, but now their job has been taken by HMV they feel redundant to me.
I’ve just spoken about these places in the order I felt like it, so here is the order in which you will encounter them if you want to do a crawl. You can reverse the list depending on your start position.
> Cult hero, Resident, Snoops Paradise, Across the Tracks, Wax Factor, Rare Kind, Monkey Music Emporium, Charity shops <
Are there places I don’t know about? Please tell me!
Also, if I learn that any of these places have closed down since time of writing, I will be sad.. Then again, Resident has grown since I first visited it!