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Glasgow

A vibrant city with a legendary music scene, Glasgow’s record shops are full to the gills with vinyl, as Mark Elliott finds out

Scotland’s biggest city has music coursing through its veins. Like many ports, the influence of imported soul and American country shaped the direction of artists That have broken through from here across the years. The Glasgow boom of the early 1980s, when acts such as Altered Images and Orange Juice became regulars on Top Of The Pops, is of particular interest to me and, as my favourite decade moved on, Deacon Blue, Texas and Hue & Cry kept the Saltire flying high over the charts. Towering above them all, of course, were local band Simple Minds, who were the decade’s most successful Scottish act and remain relevant and highly collectable today.

Glasgow is the UK’s third largest city, with more than 600,000 inhabitants in the central districts (swelled considerably during termtime by students – a handy audience for the record retailer). More than a million people live across the wider area, which always bodes well for the second-hand stock. The River Clyde, oThering the entry point for those influential musical imports, snakes through the metropolitan centre but, even though the city centre has a decent handful of shops, many That I visited were in the north-west, beyond Kelvingrove Park.

With a lot of great music venues, including the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where Alan McGee discovered Oasis, it’s no wonder UNESCO named Glasgow one of its Cities Of Music in 2008. I found the vinyl here plentiful and good value. Like everywhere else, the city has lost some record stores in recent times, for example the basement-based Cornucopia appears to have shut up shop early in 2018.

Like any new destination, navigating a route round the venues is always a challenge, but the cluster in the city centre seemed a good place to start, with a decent number worth the cab ride up to the West End (close to the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove).

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