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Casbah Records: From Greenwich Market to Creek Road


Discover the evolution of Casbah Records from Greenwich Market to Creek Road, and its vibrant role in the music community since 2009...

What led to the transition from trading at Greenwich Market to establishing Casbah Records on Creek Road in 2009, and how has the journey been since opening?

We ‘d been trading on the Greenwich market since the 80’s in one form or another. In 2008 we learned that the market was not able to renew its license and would be sold off to developers. As luck would have it we had the offer of taking over the shop in Creek Road from some friends of ours who owned the lease and they very much wanted to retain the independent nature of the business and so it was not a difficult decision to make. We’d always wanted our own shop so this seemed like the right time to give it  a go and we moved in around February 2008.

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With a broad spectrum of music from R.N.R, Soul, Prog Rock, to Indie and Electronica, could you highlight the main genres that Casbah Records specializes in?

Our specialist areas would reflect what we enjoy and are most knowledgeable about, which would include classic 60’s/70’s rock /pop, Psych,Prog and folk but also current Indie rock and new Soul and jazz.

Can you describe the type of community that has formed around Casbah Records since its inception? What kinds of events or gatherings do you hold in the store to strengthen this community bond?

We have a wide selection of regulars who shop all the time for second hand collectables and new releases. These regulars span the age groups and sexes. We try to involve as many customers as we can on social media with regular posts and the odd competition/giveaways. Anything to make  a connection with the locals and to hopefully make the ‘real’ shopping experience a pleasant one.

Considering your openness to using the shop for filming and other promotional activities, could you share any memorable moments or events that have taken place within Casbah Records?

Over the years we’ve had numerous documentary films made about the vinyl revival by local students and these have all been very enjoyable to be a part of. Lots of music videos , fashion shoots and adverts We’ve also had ‘the One Show’ film here and Danny Baker for ‘The People’s Pop Century’ which was great as Danny is an old friend. We’re planning on making our own promotional film in a 1960’s Pathe news style, with real film which should be interesting!

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Casbah Records seems to be a haven for music lovers who yearn for a more tactile and immersive shopping experience. How do you see the role of independent record stores evolving in the digital age?

It’s all about making the shopping experience a memorable one as I’ve already said. You have to make much more of an effort these days and there’s no resting on your laurels as it’s very easy for people to sit at home and click a button. We go out of our way to curate the stock and present it in a fresh and interesting way, we like to have themed window displays,(at the moment it’s a homage to ’A Clockwork Orange’), featured labels , genre based displays, and constantly changing stock.   This all helps to create a mood and an atmosphere which encourages people to be a part of.  We enjoy recommending choices old and new to customers or playing new music which they may not otherwise hear. This is very much how we see our role as a shop. Hopefully this eye for detail and inclusion will result in a bright future for like minded businesses on an ever increasingly bland high street!

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For individuals looking to sell their record collection to Casbah Records, what specific conditions or criteria do you look for in vinyl and other formats, and are there any genres or items you are particularly interested in acquiring at this time?

We’re always on the lookout for classic ‘shop stock’, which means titles that are perennial sellers in nice, clean condition. Not expensive, but popular: Steely Dan, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Bowie, Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc. There are always trends to keep abreast of as well. At the moment, we’re selling a lot of AOR rock, 80’s rock, pop, and indie, as well as music from the Britpop era. On the collectable front, we’re looking for modern rarities from the 2000s onwards, which I think is where a lot of current interest among collectors lies.