University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Top 5 Record Stores in Brighton

Sophie Martin

BySophie Martin

Mar 7, 2024

Walk five minutes in any direction and you’ll be sure to run into one of the many record stores that are scattered around Brighton. From smut record sections to hosting Declan Mckenna, I’ll be ranking my top five record stores and all the weird, wonderful and wacky quirks that come with them.

1. Resident

Located opposite Snoopers Paradise, Resident is hard to miss and usually one of the first record stores that Sussex freshers fall into. It’s undoubtedly the biggest on this list, both in terms of shop size and social media presence, boasting an impressive 25.2k followers on Instagram (@residentbrighton), and they even publish regular newsletters. The layout has spacious walkways and ramp access, so it is fully accessible. Resident is also well known for its vast array of live music events.  From Declan McKenna to Crawlers, and more recently the star-studded The Last Dinner Party, there is something for everyone here. They have an amazing book selection offering graphic novels such as Heartstopper, which features Sussex’s own Kizzy Edgell in the Netflix adaptation. The biggest stocked category is rock-indie, averaging at £25 per record, while Jazz runs slightly higher at £30, which in terms of Brighton pricing, isn’t terrible.

2. Cult Hero

Cult Hero is the second most followed on the list, with 12.4k followers on Instagram (@stalk_cult_hero). Unlike the others, Cult Hero’s exterior is light and airy, covered in little gold doodles and, like Resident, has step-free access and wide corridors. I adore the corkboard-like interior and plants which give it a modern and fresh feel, similar to the fancy art house cafes scattered around Brighton. Be sure to take photos of their decor! I wouldn’t categorize it as only a record store since it contains just as many art prints. A big pro of this is the affordability; the prints are priced at £8, whilst mini prints come in at around £4, making the perfect addition to any student bedroom.

3. Wax Factor

Wax Factors’  Facebook (@waxfactorbrighton) boasts that it’s “one of Brighton’s oldest secondhand record and book store[s]”. The owner is more than happy to help, always checking if you need assistance with anything. Opening in the mid-80s, it definitely feels like more of a hidden gem than the others on this list, with its only social media presence being Facebook (@link) with 11 followers. Although it is not the most flashy shop, their solely second-hand stock reminds me of a charity shop, due to being less curated and more of a case where you have to dig around a bit to find what you’re looking for. It’s definitely a labour of love.

4. Across the Tracks

Due Across the Tracks being located right on the corner of the Lanes, I fell victim to walking past it when I first moved here, unaware of its existence. One thing that is definitely ‘unique’ about this store is that it’s the only one I’ve come across that has a smut section. They really do offer something unique for everyone… Swiftly moving on, one drawback is that there’s no step-free access and the store itself is quite cramped, making it hard to navigate, let alone in a wheelchair. Their prices vary hugely depending on what you buy, with collectable vinyls reaching the £100 mark. If you’re looking for something cheaper, however, there’s a huge array of second-hand CDs to bring you back to the 2000s.

5. Rare Kind Records

Covered in eye-catching graffiti and full of Brighton charm, Rare Kind Record is hard to miss. Inside lies a huge selection of dance music spread over three floors available in new and used vinyl records ranging from £15-£30, along with books, magazines, artwork and tapes. Despite having a considerably smaller social media presence (@rarekindrecords)  than the front-runners of this list, Rare Kind Records doesn’t let this prevent it from being involved in the live music scene as scattered around the store you’ll find various pamphlets promoting local gigs happening around Brighton, or even in Rare Kind Records itself. Definitely a store to keep your eye on!

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