Posts Tagged ‘music’

Nanu Maps: Record Shops


Nanu Maps: Record Shops

In this edition of Nanu: Maps, Ellie and Elyse map the best places to pick up a milk crate of vinyl in Edinburgh.

Tune in to Nanu: Live on on Wednesday at 7pm to hear us chat a bit more about our favourite record shops and the vinyl revival.

View Nanu Maps: Record Shops in a larger map

21 St Stephen Street
Wed-Fri: 12.00-17.00, Sat: 10.30-17.00, Sun: 12.00-16.00

VoxBox is a wonderful shop. It looks great, both outside and in: tidy rows of vinyl divided into all sorts of categories (“Bowie/T-Rex/Glam” a favourite). Some of the best records are to be found among the “Just In” selection: there are many reasonably priced classics to be snapped up here before they’ve even been categorised. Delve a little deeper into the back room and flick through a huge assortment of LPs and singles for £1.50 (or seven for £10!). This may, understandably, fill you with dread and expectations of old country B-sides. Thankfully, this is not the case and there are gems to be found in every box. A special mention must be given to VoxBox’s owners, George and Darren (who we interview here). Clearly serious music enthusiasts, both are incredibly helpful and friendly – even approving Ellie’s purchase of “The Best Disco Album in the World”. Now that’s what I call service.

Vinyl Villains
5 Elm Row
Mon-Sat: 10.00- 18.00, Sun: 12.00-16.00

Not too far down Elm Row, Vinyl Villains has an enormous selection of music – particularly CDs, but the vinyl rows are nonetheless tightly packed. This has to be one of the best value record shops in Edinburgh. Although there didn’t seem to be any bulk buy deals, their average record price is far below £10, and often below £5. This is especially relevant here in that Vinyl Villains’ selection of classic records, albums which should be considered essential by any collector, is second to none – and these are often pricey. For new releases, Vinyl Villains probably won’t hit the spot. However, new music enthusiasts need to give themselves a little history lesson now and again, and this shop provides a great resource for that very purpose.

Oxfam Music Shop
64 Raeburn Place
Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat: 10.00- 17.30, Thur: 10.00- 20.00, Sun: 13.00- 17.00

Giving money to charity by buying great music? Everyone’s a winner. Having a branch of Oxfam dedicated solely to music is unusual, and something that Stockbridge should be proud of. It does feel like any other second-hand record shop, with approachable and knowledgeable volunteers staffing its floors. The actual quality of vinyl in here is possibly slightly lower than other shops in the Edinburgh market, but their grading system is sufficient to ensure there are no surprises when you get your purchase home. Cheap and cheerful, the musical selection itself is fairly pop-based, and there will be plenty of things you’ve never heard of (and nor would you want to). However, it’s worth a rake through, all for a good cause, and at prices mainly ranging from £1.99-

£4.99 some of the unfamiliar material could be worth a gamble.

Record Shak
69 Clerk Street
Mon & Thur-Sat: 11.30-18.00, Tues: 14.00-18.00

Record Shak is a great place to go for a browse, with a wide range of music in across many genres. There’s a small selection of CDs available, but it’s the sheer quantity of vinyl that makes Record Shak stand out. Focusing mainly on more specialist material, this isn’t the place to go for new releases or big pop numbers, but it excels in managing to find rarities that the real collectors go for. For this reason, Record Shak’s prices are a little higher than you might find in some of Edinburgh’s other record shops – but once you find that impossible-to-track-down-limited-edition-one-off press, it’s going to be very much worth it.

Elvis Shakespeare
347 Leith Walk
Mon-Sat: 10.00-18.00

It’s all in the name really. Elvis Shakespeare is the place to be if you’re after really great sounds and really great words. Deep drawers line the Leith shop and are chock-a-block full of all kinds of vinyl from punk and indie, to hip hop and dance. It’s a good place to go if you’re looking for inexpensive classics or after something rare and particular. Glance upwards and you’ll find an organised jumble of literature lining the walls. Books mostly range from cheap to very cheap. There’s even a selection of cassettes for the car, comic books, and a box of “reasonably good videos”.

Underground Solu’shn
9 Cockburn Street
Mon-Wed: 10.00-18.00, Thurs: 10.00-19.00, Fri-Sat: 10.00-18.00, Sun: 12.00-18.00

Underground Solu’shn began literally as an underground shop in 1995 and has survived since then as the sole independent record shop in Edinburgh specialising in dance and electronica. As a bit of a serious DJ shop, the predominantly vinyl stock is in top quality condition and a load of top quality stuff to play it on is available in store too. Mixed in with its underground specialities is a healthy collection of disco, classic rock, pop and new indie releases. Prices are top end but perhaps that’s because there isn’t a floppy, scratched vinyl in sight.


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can watch out interview with the store for Record Store Day 2013 over on youtube.


3-15 Rose Street
Mon-Sat: 9.00-21.00, Sun: 11.00-18.00

Owned by HMV, Fopp straddles the gap between high street music retailer and independent music store. Most shop space is taken up by DVDs, CDs and books but there is a steadily increasing vinyl selection upstairs as interest in newly released 180g vinyl grows. Records are shelved rather than boxed with album art on display making a really inviting section to browse in. As well as new releases, re-released classic albums from little known artists The Beatles and The Smiths are available, as are bargain secondhand records for a mere £2.

Avalanche Records
5 Grassmarket
Mon-Sat: 11.00-18.00, Sun: 12.00-18.00

Last week Avalanche Records announced that they will be closing their doors on 6th January next year. In a statement on the website’s blog, the store’s owner explained the reasons behind the closure;

“The biggest loss has been in selling local and Scottish bands. While our reputation has grown, our sales have plummeted.”

Avalanche has been seen as a platform for new Scottish music and unsigned talent but has been the subject of criticism. Perhaps a revised and revitalised shop would work for Avalanche in the future. In the meantime, there are hopes that Avalanche will return as an online presence and keep promoting Scottish talent.

Update: the shop remains open, you can check out an interview we did with store owner Kevin Buckle here.


Meursault In Session


Technical difficulties have riddled this series of In Session as guests have had to postpone and shows have had to be pre-recorded or scrapped altogether. However, these troubled times will not stop In Session marching forwards albeit with a few step backwards as we reach into our archives for some sessions that we’ve been holding back for such an occasion.

In May, In Session was delighted to welcome Neil Pennycook of Meursault into the studio to sing us a few songs, old and new, and tell us a few tales about his thought processes and completing Meursault’s first European tour. A month later they wowed us, along with a large cross-section of Edinburgh, at the Queen’s Hall for the launch of their new record “Something For The Weakened”. This album heralds a move away from electronica and reverb in favour of expanding the rich sound resonating from Meursault’s string section; drawing greater appreciation of Neil’s dynamic voice which effortlessly manages to convey the ferocity of his frustrations and the poignancy of his fears. It is a move towards accessibility, which is no bad thing, as tracks like Dull Spark, the first single from the album, are the most poppy the band have sounded in their career. Listen to these tracks in isolation and you’d be forgiven for gaily tapping away to melodies which conceal lyrical themes of abandonment, expectation, and loss. Listen to Something For The Weakened as a whole, however, and you’ll find these melodic joyrides are segued

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by affecting laments on piano that make up the framework for the band’s most complete record to date. Having been the darlings of the Scottish music scene for the last 5 years, Meursault’s latest release may very well be a contender for next year’s SAY award as well as a giant leap towards the widespread adulation that many feel they deserve.

Meursault – Something For The Weakened is available on Song, by Toad Records.


1. Untitled

2. Pretty Good Day (Loudon Wainwright III cover)

3. Salt Part 2

4. Fib

Nanucation Season 2 Episode 3 – Acid House with Emma Segal

Acid House

Nanucation is a series of documentary podcasts which take a closer look at the music you love. We will have a new episode each week focusing on a different era/genre/local. This

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Emma Segal as she explores the acid house and rave scene. for dig. font-weight: bold;” href=”” target=”_blank”>Nanucation Season 2 Episode 3 – Acid House with Emma Segal by Nanu Nanu on Mixcloud

Nanucation Series 2 Episode 2 – 2 Tone with Elyse Jamieson


The brand new series of Nanucation continues, this week with Elyse Jamieson

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and the legendary record label 2 Tone.

Nanucation is a series of documentary podcasts which take a closer look at the music you love. We will have a new episode each week focusing on a different era/genre/local.

Nanucation Series 2 Episode 2 – 2 Tone with Elyse Jamieson by Nanu Nanu on Mixcloud

Written & presented by Elyse Jamieson and produced by Finlay Niven for

In Session, nice to meet you

In Session 500x333

Hey, you”re listening to In Session live on with me, Christian Illingworth, and beside me, Lily Higham. Today we”re welcoming…

The usual introduction won”t cut it this time as In Session is leaving its nest in the airwaves and branching out into the densely populated world of blogging. One more vessel launching with fleeting fancies of being virally tumblogged or retrended at the risk of being snuffed out by overcrowding or dwindling enthusiasm. How will In Session fare in the blog jungle? Heck knows but it is without question that we”ll be passing questionable judgement on music and the arts whilst creating unique content with a lot of little help from the Scottish music scene.

See, In Session is a passion project which caters for the presenters” self-indulgence by inviting one of their favourite musicians to sing a few songs and tell a few tales to them in the studio each week. Over the last twelve months, since the show began broadcasting on Fresh Air Radio, In Session has been fortunate enough to meet the likes of The Twilight Sad, Meursault and Frightened Rabbit with gleeful expressions even if the subject matter of their songs encourage otherwise. 

It was so much fun for the presenters that, in February, they did their bit to restore order in the universe by releasing the In Session Series 1 Mixtape which compiled session tracks from every musician that performed for the show. It was released for free back then and remains free now via so do check it out as it”s a great sampler of the Scottish music scene featuring session tracks from Endor, Broken Records, and long-awaited new material by There have taken care of immediately the Nj Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), and casinos Control Commission (CCC), responding towards the petition for participation which was filed through the American Gaming Association (AGA), with regards to the Rational Group’s application for Interim casinos Authorization (ICA). Will Be Fireworks. The mixtape also also boasts, through watery eyes, unique performances from Aerials Up and Loch Awe who sadly decided to call it day in the last six months.

In Session, however, has been going strong since February, scooping a Best Radio Show nomination at the Scottish New Music Awards,  and continuing to record sessions on the road and in the studio. It won”t be long now, a fortnight perhaps, before the second mixtape drops and reminds everyone that, “hey, Scottish music is thriving right now, isn”t it?” You can look forward to an alarmingly eclectic compilation this time around as Scottish powerhouses Frightened Rabbit and Meursault will be alongside a plethora of the show”s favourite newcomers such as Kaiho, Zed Penguin, and Michael Cassidy. The release of the second mixtape will coincide with the announcement of In Session”s Winter broadcasting schedule on Fresh Air Radio which, to let you in on a little secret, may be our strongest guest booking run to date. That may look like PR hype 101 but, rest assured, the line-up is tremendously exciting.

And so ends this pseudo-third person introduction. Until the radio show resumes sometime in late October, In Session”s weekly updates on Nanu-Nanu will be discussing the week in gigs, if we go to any; or profiling bands new and old which have caught our attention. Between each post you can follow the show on Twitter @InSessionRadio for more updates plus myself @RadioBlagger and Lily @Lily_Higham for free-formed musings.