Record Stores in Bristol | 12 of our favourite local spots

Record Stores in Bristol | 12 of our favourite local spots

Posted on: 20 Apr 2022

Shop new releases, classic cuts and hidden gems at some of the city's best-loved locations.


Record Store Day 2022 is almost upon us, inviting the British public to show some love for (and buy some records from) more than 260 independent record stores currently operating across the country.


Taking place this year on Saturday 23 April, Record Store Day often sees an influx of releases land during its buildup, as established and emerging artists look to make the most of the annual boost in sales.


Being a notoriously musical city, it's no surprise that Bristol is home to a glorious array of renowned record stores, from internationally-renowned spots like Idle Hands to beloved, community-minded independents such as Friendly Records.


With the sun shining, and Bristol music still very much in a post-pandemic recovery period, there's never been a better time to get out in support of your local record shops.


Read on for a rundown of some of our Bristol favourites, and be sure to set your alarms bright and early on Saturday morning!



Idle Hands

32a City Rd, St Paul's, Bristol BS2 8TP


Chris Farrell's universally-loved label and store have been integral parts of the Bristol music scene for the best part of ten years now, and are firm favourites among fans and artists alike.


Coming direct from artists based locally, across the UK and around the world, Idle Hands' catalogue spans the very best in house, disco, techno, drum & bass, Italo, electro, reggae, dub, jungle and much, much more.


Pop in to the welcoming store on City Road or find a full library of music over on Idle Hands' website.



Friendly Records

59 North St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1ES


Not defined by a single genre, Friendly Records have been stocking a diverse selection of staff picks since 2016, becoming a real Bristol frontrunner over the course of their six-year lifespan.


Situated in the heart of Bedminster's vibrant North Street, Friendly Records has established itself as a household name locally, forming close relationships with a host of renowned Bristol-based acts, including IDLES and Ishmael Ensemble.


The team set up their own in-house record label, Friendly Recordings, in 2020, and have so far released music from Claude Cooper, Alison Cotton and Floating World Pictures.

Friendly Records.

Shall Not Fade

11 St Nicholas St, Bristol BS1 1UE


World-renowned record label Shall Not Fade has carved out a stellar reputation for itself over the years with a long, long line of well-received releases, spanning a broad spectrum of dance music that covers house, techno, UK garage and more. 


From humble beginnings, label founder Kieran Williams opened Shall Not Fade's first-ever bricks-and-mortar store in late 2021, establishing a long-awaited focal point for the imprint. 


Located in St Nick's, the Shall Not Fade store stocks hundreds of records - some from the label itself, some from friends, some staff picks - alongside an impressive selection of house plants from their in-house plant shop, Plant Works.


Find out more about Shall Not Fade's flagship store over on Instagram, and be sure to pay them a visit this weekend to get your hands on exclusive test presses, in-store exclusives, a special Record Store Day Mystery Bundle and free gifts with every purchase.



Rough Trade Bristol

3 New Bridewell, Nelson St, Bristol BS1 2QD


Arguably one of the world's most famous record labels, with stores located across the UK and the US, Rough Trade Bristol has been selling a mix of locally- and internationally-sourced releases since opening in the city centre in 2017.


Major supporters of Record Store Day, Rough Trade host unmissable annual events to celebrate the occasion, this year inviting Skinny Lister, Lande Hekt, Olivia Dean, Tamzene and a host of renowned DJs to perform in-store throughout the day.


Find out more about the all-day event and register for your FREE tickets here.



Specialist Subject Records

72-73 Old Market St, Bristol BS2 0EJ


Bristol firebrands Specialist Subject Records have made a home at beloved Old Market venue Exchange since 2017, operating as an independent label and shop.


Alongside passionately flying the flag for Bristol by releasing music from homegrown acts likes Caves and Dogeyed, Specialist Subject stock an extensive selection of vinyl, CDs, tapes and more from some of the world's leading punk bands.



Longwell Records

36 Temple St, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1EH

CARGO 2, Wapping Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 4RW


Opened in 2016 on Temple Street in Keynsham, Longwell Records have become an integral part of their local musical community in recent years.


Alongside stocking new music and classic releases from an array of artists based both in Bristol and further afield, their flagship store has hosted a series of intimate gigs and live performances from the likes of Razorlight, The Allergies and Amber Run.


Almost exactly a year ago in April 2021, Longwell Records opened their second location on Wapping Wharf, bringing their vibrant catalogue to central Bristol for the first time.


"We're hoping to bring some big names to our new home, making the most of the great relationships we have with so many record labels," Longwell Records owner, Bristol-born Iain Aitchison, said at the time.



Wanted Records

1 St Nicholas Market, Bristol BS1 1HQ


Tucked away inside the historic St Nicks Market, Wanted Records is a cosy store stocking rare and collectible releases spanning a broad spectrum of genres and sounds.


Beloved across Bristol and beyond - HiFi Choice once called it "one of the UK's best record shops" - Wanted has a stellar reputation thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and friendly team. 


Wanted Records also buy music, too, but be aware that Country & Western, Pan Pipes and Trance are just three genres included on the strict will not buy list on the shop's website.

Wanted Records.

Plastic Wax Records

222 Cheltenham Rd, St Andrew's, Bristol BS6 5QU


Plastic Wax does exactly what you want an independent high street record store to do: it's unpretentious, totally welcoming, and stocks a seemingly endless array of hit records, hometown releases and hidden gems.


Next time you're on Gloucester Road/Cheltenham Road, pop your head through the door and have a look around - we're sure you'll find something to take home with you.

Inside Plastic Wax Records.

The Centre for Better Grooves

33 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AA


Just up the road from Plastic Wax sits The Centre for Better Grooves, a small, homely record store located at the back of Paul Roberts Hi-Fi. 


The CFBG stocks everything from jazz and funk to soul, reggae, hip-hop, classical and much more, available to purchase either in-store or via Discogs.

The Centre for Better Grooves, located inside Paul Roberts Hi-Fi.

Planet Caravan

10-12 Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3DB


Fairfax Street venue Strange Brew has become a vital part of Bristol's venue landscape since it finally opened in 2020, hosting a vibrant programme of live events, club nights, exhibitions, performance art shows and more.


Alongside its main stage area and smaller, more intimate second room, Strange Brew is home to Planet Caravan, an in-house record store stocking new and used vinyl, books, merchandise and more. 


If you're not already familiar with Strange Brew, you can read a full interview with co-founder Leigh Dennis here, published in December 2021 as part of LOUD Bristol Issue Three.

Inside Strange Brew's record store, Planet Caravan.

Black City Records

16 Trenchard St, Bristol BS1 5AN


The only dedicated heavy metal record store across the entire South West region opened in central Bristol in April 2021, creating a space for the city's extensive community of metalheads to dig through a broad selection of new and classic releases. 


Stocking everything from new and second-hand vinyl to CDs, cassettes, merch, magazines, books and more, Black City pushes a wide range of sub-genres, and promotes hometown artists wherever possible.

Inside Black City Records.

Collector Cave

15-19 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PY


Situated inside the eclectic Vintage Market at the bottom of Stokes Croft, Collector Cave stock a broad range of new and used gear, from an extensive selection of vinyl, tapes and CDs to video game consoles, signed memorabilia, musical equipment. 


Surrounded by vintage clothing, antique and furniture stalls, Collector Cave is a great spot to get lost for an hour, and a real crate-digger's dream, home to everything from hip-hop to jazz, pop, rock and more than a few classic Bristol releases.

Inside Collector Cave.

Have we missed your favourite record store from this list? Are you the owner of a record store in Bristol and want to send us an angry email asking why we've forgotten you? Please do! Get in touch here and we'll be happy to make amendments. 


Alternatively, to find out more about Record Store Day, head to the event's website.


Main Image: Shall Not Fade

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Article by:

Matt Robson


Editor - & LOUD Magazine

Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at