The in-depth history of the rise, fall & rebirth of the UK’s independent record shops.

Going For A Song

Author Garth Cartwright has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, conducting more than 100 interviews with some of the icons of the record shop trade and the wider music industry, including Martin Mills (Beggars Banquet), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), Andy Gray (Andy’s Records), Ralph McTell, Chris Barber, The Specials and many more. Featuring a foreword by the great comedian and writer, Stewart Lee. From the UK’s first record shop, indeed recognised as the first in the world, H.Spiller in Cardiff opened in 1894, Garth traces the history through more than a century of unprecedented social, cultural and political change. From the Jazz and swing scene of Soho, the birth of Calypso and Ska following post WW2 migration; The North End Music Store (NEMS) and the birth of The Beatles; the baby-boomers of the swinging 60’s and pscyhedelia; The Rock era of the 70’s with Richard Branson’s Virgin, Andy’s Records and Beggars Banquet; The punk and alternative scene of the late 70’s and 80’s with Rough Trade, through to the huge challenges faced by music retailers in recent years and how the independent shops have adjusted and reinvented themselves today.

Available in store and online.

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