As you’ve no doubt worked out by now, we love record shops. Whether big or small, rocking a minimalist aesthetic or packing enough vinyl into their overflowing crates to wear down several lifetime’s worth of needles, we love how each and every one has something special in store for its customers. From the quirkiest locals to the big, gig-hosting powerhouses, every thirty-odd days we pick one to be our Record Store of the Month. They get a tasty gift from the Record Tokens team, and you get to discover the best independent record shops this country has to offer – it’s a win-win!
January's Record Store of the Month: Strummer Room Records, Banbury
We've started the new year over in Banbury to celebrate Strummer Room Records, north Oxfordshire's only independent record store and our Record Store of the Month for January. Owned by Chris Oakes, with the valuable assistance of David Webb, Kai Smith and Dominic Smith, the shop has grown from its humble roots in 2018 to become the destination for vinyl enthusiasts and local music lovers that it is today. Pictured are Chris and David in front of the store.
Chris tells us what makes Strummer Room Records well worth a visit:
"The journey began in 2018 with a small second-hand vinyl record shop on the top floor of an antique emporium in Banbury's Old Town. In February 2020, I opened a pop-up shop nearby, which allowed us to expand our musical offerings.
The shop is now located in Cherwell Business Village on the outskirts of Banbury, and include a huge range of brand new vinyl and pre-owned records, CDs and cassettes, catering to collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Furthermore, Strummer Room Records are about to participate in Record Store Day for the 4th year in April.
Strummer Room Records remains dedicated to fostering a love for music and supporting local artists and bands. We started hosting live music events towards the end of last year, and now throughout 2024, we will be putting on two gigs every month in two separate venues. Each gig involves three bands or musicians and embraces a cross-genre, community approach.
Strummer Room Records also hosts the quarterly Banbury Record Fair which takes place at Banbury United Football Club and attracts a large crowd of vinyl record enthusiasts and collectors.
I also present the Eardrum Buzz radio show on Tuesday evenings, featuring news about local music events and playing tracks from the bands in action over the coming week.
We invite you to visit our store, explore our extensive vinyl collection, and immerse yourself in the world of music."
Chris and the team have been selling and redeeming Record Tokens since 2021, and this is actually their second win in that time. Congratulations to everyone at Strummer Room Records, who have been sent a case of delectable dark beer to celebrate!
You can find Strummer Room Records at Unit 29, Cherwell Business Village, OX16 2SP. If you're local, be sure to head on over and give them a visit – and don't forget your Record Tokens!
Previous Record Stores of the Month
December 2023 - Keep Audio Co., Cornwall
November 2023 - Beyond Vinyl, Newcastle
October 2023 - The LP Café, Watford
August 2023 - Crash Records, Leeds
July 2023 - Applestump Records, Nantwich
June 2023 - Spillers Records, Cardiff
May 2023 - Spinning Discs Sheffield
April 2023 - Truck, Witney
March 2023 - Trading Post Records, Stroud
February 2023 - Dreamhouse Records, London
January 2023 - Stylus Records, Lichfield
December 2022 - Hundred Records, Romsey
November 2022 - Tasty Records, Altrincham
October 2022 - The Record Shop, Amersham
September 2022 - Black Circle Records, Leighton Buzzard
August 2022 - Love Music, Glasgow
July 2022 - Empire Records, St Alban's
June 2022 - David's Music, Hertfordshire
May 2022 - Banquet Records, Kingston
April 2022 - Sister Ray, London
March 2022 - Reflex, Newcastle
January / February 2022 - Low Port Music, Linlithgow