10 of our favorite independent Scottish record stores

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TODAY, music is often as insubstantial as your average ghost. When a song is released to the world, it drifts and drips on the ether – on Spotify, iTunes or SoundCloud – before slipping into the listener’s skull via a plastic earpiece, where it haunts the head of the listener. a fragile, scintillating and fleeting way.

But the music was a solid thing. Something you touched with greedy hands. It was vinyl. Or a CD. Maybe even a tape.

There were album covers to adore; lyrics to study on the back of a record cover.

Now all of that is gone…but not quite. Because hardcore obsessives maintain the culture of the long (and single) player spinning on a turntable that refuses to stop. In independent record stores across the country, vinyl is making a valiant last stand.

Here’s our pick of the best stores where this music war is being fought, and maybe even won, by the good guys…the Battling Brigade of Renegade Record Collectors.

monorail music

97 King Street, 12 Kings Court, Glasgow, Tel. : 0141 552 9458

OPERATING from the ever-hip Mono cafe-bar, Monorail Music is just a short bohemian stroll from Glasgow’s Trongate.

If you do not know what to buy, you can seek the help of an expert. A number of genuine musical icons have been spotted behind the counter, including Stephen McRobbie, melodist for Scottish indie pop legends The Pastels.

The store has strong ties with many other local bands including Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai

There are also regular in-store shows to enjoy or endure, depending on your taste. (Just kidding. It’s all nice. Just ask Stephen McRobbie, if you don’t believe us.)

elvis shakespeare

347 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, Tel. : 0131 561 1363

TODAY, gender fluidity is the thing that is happening. But what about commercial fluidity? Elvis Shakespeare is a record store that also bills itself as a bookstore. Or is it a bookstore that presents itself as a record store?

You decide. Better yet, don’t decide, just search. You will find many rare vinyls and CDs there.

Specialties include punk, alternative, indie and dance, with classical for any shopper who arrives wearing a tuxedo jacket and monocle.

Save Fayre

13-15 Chisholm Street, Glasgow, Tel. : 0141 552 5696

ONE of the few independent shops that not only profited from the Thatcherite 1980s, but thrived.

Founded in 1983 as a simple stall in Argyle Street Market, today it is a global mega-chain with branches in New York, Paris and Rome. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. There is only one store in Glasgow. But it’s a very nice shop, too.

The owner has a particular affinity for punk and rock, although there are also many records by other artists.

There are also some smart and stylish items, including t-shirts, hoodies and studded belts, just like Val Doonican wore.

Aberdeen VINYL Records

101-103 Union Street, Aberdeen, Tel. : 07917 752 713

IN France, there are truffle dogs, which are dogs trained to sniff around the forests, looking for highly prized mushrooms that taste delicious when sprinkled with fancy taunts.

In Scotland, the truffle dog is less widespread. Although you will find the vinyl dog, especially if you visit Aberdeen VINYL Records, the natural habitat of the vinyl dog.

The staff at this popular store buy records from the public, and they have a good nose (and ear) for musical perfection.

They also sell stocks to lucky customers, of course.

So remember that a vinyl record can be enjoyed for life. (Unlike a truffle, which suddenly disappears once you sprinkle it over a truffle omelette and then bite into it.)

Rubadub

35 Howard Street, Glasgow, Tel. : 0141 882 9900

There are gadgets galore in this store, including drum machines, samplers, and other dance music gear. Rubadub also stocks a wide variety of vinyl records.

As you might have guessed, the specialties are house, techno and electronica. The kind of stuff that would make Bob Dylan’s ears bleed.

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, but it’s probably best not to walk around with your acoustic guitar and then ask them to sing along while you strum Puff The Magic Dragon.

VoxBox Music

21 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh Tel. : 0131 629 6775

There are many great boxes in the story. The blue box in which Doctor Who appears for a quick tour of the universe.

The well-wrapped boxes that Santa Claus places next to the Christmas tree.

And, of course, VoxBox, which specializes in high-quality new and used records. This store is a veritable vinyl vestibule for lovers of soul, pop and psychedelia. The back room is the perfect place to pick up a bargain.

vinyl villains

5 Elm Row, Edinburgh, Tel. : 0131 558 1170

WE learn that Vinyl Villains recently sold a tape of the TV show Heartbeat, featuring Nick Berry singing the theme.

But don’t be put off.

It’s another one of Edinburgh’s best music emporiums, where you can dig through piles and find gold rather than Nickish Naffness.

An old-school boutique, you’ll spot a slew of obscure gems. (And, no. Obscure Gems Galore isn’t the name of a band fronted by Nick Berry, with fellow soap opera renegade Kylie Minogue on drums.)

love the music

34 Dundas Street, Glasgow, Tel. : 0141 332 2099

THIS legendary record store is a stone’s throw from Queen Street station. Or should that be a Rolling Stone throw, given the type of chuckable discs on display in Love Music.

But don’t throw them away, even though they look a lot like Frisbees. Because many of the discs on display are rare, and all of them lovely.

The busy browser will find plenty of used CDs and vinyl, as well as an assortment of new releases.

There is also a wide range of products, including the obligatory T-shirts and somewhat less obligatory fridge magnets.

Love Music specializes in all forms of rock. The store supports local bands and record labels, stocking hundreds of unsigned artists. Past in-store appearances have included Moby, KT Tunstall and James Blunt.

Assai Files

33 Union Street, Dundee, Tel. : 01382 205 671

THIS bustling record store is dedicated to new music, especially local Scottish. The shop regularly hosts concerts and in-store signings, and brings major artists such as Snow Patrol and Lewis Capaldi to the city for larger shows at local venues. Upcoming events include Travis and Kate Tempest.

In addition to releasing music by local artists on the Assai Recordings label, they have launched Assai Obi Editions, which are hand-numbered, exclusive copies of new releases, often signed by the artist.

Missing records

51 Oswald Street, Glasgow, Tel. : 0141 248 7546

ANOTHER mainstay of the West Coast scene, this store has been a right of passage for many Glasgow yoofs.

Because you can’t really say you’ve become an adult until you’ve done all of the following…

1) Had supper a pint with your old guy at the local booze.

2) I glanced at your first payslip and mumbled, “The taxman took THIS amount, old man?!”

3) Rummaged through Missing Records, desperate for that piece of vinyl that truly defines you, and everything you stand for.

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