Music Muse

Tour of York's Record Shops

Tom Killingbeck tours York in a desperate search for rare, black plastic

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It's a tricky time to be selling records on the high street. The changing landscape of the music industry has caused many traditional record shops to disappear, due to the advent of downloading and the increasing perception of music as a free product. Yes, music has been liberated, but the consumer has never been so apathetic towards going out and buying it. Record nerds now live behind computer screens, squabbling about their favourite bands on rather than hanging out in the record boutiques of old.

The record shop is an essential component of the pantheon of rock 'n roll. Unhappy at this state of affairs, and longing for the more social, intereractive and fun record shop experience of yore, my companion and I decided to attempt to map out the various vinyl vendors in town, to create the ultimate York record shop guide. The epic quest was hard and fraught but we succeeded and coming home tired and happy with an armful of LPs.

10A Coney Street, YO1 9NA
Best Find: Donkey Punch DVD
Rating: **

As we began our mission, walking into town from Gallery bus stop, there loomed Mordor-like the most obvious of record shops: His Master's Voice, also known as HMV. While the shop was huge, the lack of phonograph records dismayed us. Even HMV used to stock trance and drum 'n bass 7"s, so we felt a bitter resentment that commercial music stores have finally rejected the vinyl format. We flicked through the CDs for a while though, and finally settled on buying a reduced copy of 'Donkey Punch' on DVD for three quid.

Rebound Records
5 Gillygate, YO31 7EA
Best Find: Pussy Galore - Historia De La Musica Rock
Rating: ****

Heading up Gillygate, amongst several vintage shops and a Chinese takeaway is this gem. A very smart and well designed boutique, this place is too clean to truly capture the grotty record shop experience (a record shop needs to reek of smoke for true authenticity) but has a fantastic selection of folk, country and blues CDs.

I was cheered up by the burgeoning vinyl area at the back of the shop, which was choc-full of post-punk, eighties indie and classic rock vinyl, as well as plenty of electronica, breaks and dance.

The assistant was also extremely knowledgable and helpful, and offered plenty of musical titbits for our appreciation while engaging with our entirely over-enthusiastic banter. Well worth a browse, especially for specialists.

Banks Music
18 Lendal, YO1 8AU
Best Find: A Shaky Egg
Rating: ***

Our spirits buoyed by finding an actual record shop still in business we travelled on. However, looking for shops recommended on the internet, we discovered that the vast majority of these have disappeared. The Lamb CD Shop, which The Independent placed in their 50 best record shops list six years ago is no more. Walking towards Betty's for a cuppa we came across Banks, and while it looked like a shop for instruments, we thought it might stock some CDs. It had plenty of books of sheet music, but, as neither of us are musicians, it was hard to enjoy reading these. Despite buying a percussive shaky egg, I left disappointed.

Attic Records
1 Patrick Pool, YO1 8BB
Best Find: Black Lips - We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow
Rating: *****

We were just about ready to accept that the 'High Fidelity' record shop breed was extinct when we chanced upon Attic Records. Hidden on a street corner near Milk Shack, and up several flights of stairs, it is literally an attic. Walking up to it feels like you're going to the dentist. A tiny room next to a hairdresser's curated by a bloke chilling out and spinning records all day (best job ever?) it was just what we were looking for. With sexy t-shirts, gig tickets, obscure art rock LPs for sale, and not even a single CD in sight it was a vinyl fantasy. I felt euphoric sniffing the aged Black Sabbath 12" goodness.

We need more of these classic labour-of-love establishments, with music fans foolish enough to put livelihood on the line to bring real music back to the high street.

Music fans should stop hiding in their rooms and come together. The true record shops that legend tells of are still out there: let's strive to keep them alive.

Latest in Music


Kirstie Posted on Sunday 31 Jan 2010

This is a great feature, although it's a shame that it missed out the Oxfam bookshop on Micklegate which has a small but interesting selection and the guy on the market who sells a load of great vinyl for PS4.00 a shot.


Jeff Posted on Wednesday 17 Feb 2010

I found Attic Records a few months back. Excellent little shop, just what a record shop should be! A better collection than anyone else in the area.


Bill Aitken Posted on Wednesday 17 Feb 2010

'Rebound' has good stock, but his LPs are very pricey. Go to any record fair and you'll see the same records at a fraction of the price. Get yourselves along to the record fair at the 'Duchess' on Stonebow on Sunday 25th April ad you'll see what I mean. It's great what the guys at 'Attic' are doing, but I wasn't convinced about the condition of a lot of the vinyl. Best bet for me is Phil on the market, every Saturday and Sunday - great records, not expensive and good crack. Check him out !


'Vinyl' Phil Posted on Thursday 4 Mar 2010

Just read your review of the local record shops and its a great feature. I'm 'the guy on the market' and its nice to see some favourable comments from your readers. If you've got time come and visit the stall, open every Saturday and Sunday, you'll see what buying music is all about. There's two music stalls on the market so don't confuse me with the other chap, a really good bloke but he caters for a more (shall we say) easy listening crowd!
There's always LOADS of great records in amazing condition and they're priced to sell. I also stock CDs and a few DVDs.
If you've got any items you don't want I can guarantee I'll pay the best prices or do an unbeatable part-ex deal.
If you're serious about music look me up, as that Bill guy said - 'great records, not expensive and good crack'.


Leif Posted on Wednesday 2 Feb 2011

I'd like to echo the person who said Oxfam on Micklegate, which is always worth it. They're very on the ball there, so don't expect any bargains, but otherwise...if you can't find anything to buy there, don't call yourself a vinyl enthusiast ;)

And hallo, guy on the market- I bought a Police LP from you a year ago and I've listened to it about 100 times since then. Fab selection! Great prices too.


Gary Posted on Sunday 13 Mar 2011

Took all these recommendations with me for a weekend in York. All well worth a visit but "Phil on the market" really got my pulse racing with a good selection of well priced collectors' vinyl and a good chap to boot. Highly recommended.


Jack Posted on Tuesday 17 Apr 2012

Attic Records seems to the be the best, if a bit pricey for some secondhand stuff, but market guy does some amazing stuff toom like 3 for a tenner deals etc.


Sally Adams Posted on Thursday 4 Oct 2012

The Inkwell on Gillygate has been going for a while too, mix of old and new vinyl, books and stuff too. Cool shop.


Squall Posted on Friday 5 Oct 2012

It's not in York but only a 25 min train journey away... "Therapy - The Hub" in Leeds is probably the best record store I've ever been in. Weird name and hard to find the store (Google for it), but so many records, and the owner seems like a great guy.


Ang Posted on Sunday 2 Jun 2013

How do I get in touch with 'Phil on the market' have a load of vinyl to sell


Joanne Robinson Posted on Sunday 2 Jun 2013

I also have a lot of vinyl to sell and would like to get in touch with the guy from the market.


richard clark Posted on Thursday 15 May 2014

are you still wanting to sell some vinyl joanne ?


john parkinson Posted on Sunday 8 Dec 2013

Hello all,
My son Eddie is disabled and is looking to set up a small business (with me as the leg man!) buying and selling vinyls and sports memorabilia.
We are looking to buy stock at the moment. Can be collections or selected single albums.
We will treat your treasured items with respect and not just trash what we don't fancy.
Cash paid and we will collect in the York area ( and a reasonable radius).
If you want to contact at the above email address; we can see what can be done.
Thank You


David Posted on Wednesday 29 Mar 2017

Hi John, have a lot of singles and a few albums for sale


Anonymous Posted on Sunday 2 Apr 2017

This thread has been a bit silent lately!
Just pop em into us and we will have a look

jacob brown Posted on Monday 23 Dec 2013

hi peps i hav about 3000( trance)( dance)( house)( electro) id like sell as one email me


Arthur Mytum Posted on Monday 5 May 2014

Sadly attic records has now closed down, so realistically its either Inkwell on Gillygate which has a good collection of blues and they do some good three LPs for PS10, or the market dude who does similar deals and has a larger collection.


john parkinson Posted on Monday 5 May 2014

My son will be opening up in about three weeks on Tadcaster Road near the Fox & Roman Pub. Just about to start shopfitting. He has got a great collection of vinyl including some really rare stuff eg 1st pressing Dark Side.
A holding webpage is live (we are new to this!).
Sorry about Attic; just when vinyl is making good strides forward too.
We plan to get in touch with Student Unions soon and will offer discounts.
Will stock some good t shirts and posters too. Even getting a coffee machine.
Hope to see you soon


steve Posted on Thursday 18 Sep 2014

Phil is still on the market every Saturday and Sunday. Check out his new website or facebook for details....
Still got the same great deals and loads new stock every week. He is always looking to buy or part exchange as well.
Vinyl still alive in York !

Simon Posted on Thursday 26 Mar 2015

Hi guys, don't forget vinyl Eddie shop based at tadcaster road 2 steps left holiday Inn, they got best records off all,and the owner really know a lot about music, really brilliant, have a look ciao


Stuart Hatfield Posted on Wednesday 17 Jan 2018

Sadly it looks like Inkwell record shop on Gillygate closed this week. A new opening is the Vinyl Cafe in the city centre - as you'd expect - a cafe with many crates of new and used LPs.