Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sister Ray

A recent walk through Soho's trendy Berwick Street and came across the following, disturbing sign. Whiteout on the windows? Bill posters everywhere? Shop closed?

No more Sister Ray Records? Please say it ain't so!

Thankfully, it turns out that Sister Ray Records in Soho have moved from their older store to newer premises literally across the street, replete with black and white livery, plenty more of the same CD and vinyl stock, and have been for about eight months or so. I'm surprised that it actually took me this long to notice or failing that it has taken me more than eight months to find the time to look around Soho and all my favourite music shops there.

A quick look around the shop reveals that they have benefited from the move, not least of which for a bright coat of paint on the walls inside and out. If memory serves, the green, blue and black carpets, walls and ceilings of the old place were looking well past their prime. While the older shop with its years of history and slightly worn appearance giving it a sort of charm as a hipster's record shop, at least now staff and customers have a clean and well presented store to enjoy.
It also seems that the store provides everyone a lot more cat-swinging space and now sports an upper floor dedicated to CDs, with racks along two side walls, and a basement dedicated to vinyl releases and back catalogue LPs (with cool stencil art in hi-vis day glo paint along the staircase).

I was also pleased to see that they continue to stock low amounts of quality drum and bass albums, including some classics from the likes of Good Lookin' Records that sit shoulder to shoulder with newer albums from Shogun Audio and Hospital Records. Aside from HMV (now located in Bond Street in a significantly smaller store after its phoenix-like resurrection) there's not really anywhere that i can pick up low-price drum and bass LPs from a store and certainly not one that isn't quite so welcoming.

In separate news, there's also a second Sister Ray shop in Shoreditch, so there's a good excuse to take a tube over there to check it out as well as another look at Rough Trade East.