At a time when CD price wars and music downloads are putting entire High Street chains at risk, independent retailers Rough Trade are opening what they say is the country's biggest music-only specialist store.I remember visiting the Rough Trade shop in Notting Hill many times during my frequent pilgrimage trips to London as a wide-eyed innocent punk rocker in the late 1970s. It was just the most magical shop where the reggae and punk rock 7 inch singles sounds wafted out of the shop as if it was Notting Hill Carnival time permanently. Not only the music was important. Also the piles and piles of fanzines and badges. Every punk rocker worth his second hand clothes and hairstyle either played in a band or published a fanzine (sometimes both) and not would be complete without lapels full of badges.
If all goes according to plan, the 5,000 sq-ft Rough Trade East on Dray Walk, just off Brick Lane, will start trading on Friday, 20 July.
The first Rough Trade shop opened in Notting Hill, west London, in 1976, and soon became known as one of the best places to find new wave music and fanzines.
A record label of the same name followed, but the two businesses went their separate ways in 1982 and are now run independently of each other.
Reading about Rough Trade always makes me quite nostalgic. I still have a pile of Rough Trade singles and fanzines (the badges seem to have gone AWOL while moving between countries and continents).
And it does prod me to finally do an English translation of my BA Sociology dissertation and put it online. Maybe when I'm retired.