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Mark Elliott heads to the home of Robin Hood in search of vinyl, discovering a varied selection of stores catering for all…

The trip

Illustration Ben Talon

Nottingham is, of course, a city famous for Robin Hood and his merry men; it’s sometimes been suggested that my record buying is a form of charity. Buying the discs that no one else wants and giving them a good home… I’m not entirely sure about that. There are, after all, only so many JoBoxers releases a man can store, but I do my best. I hadn’t been to Nottingham in almost 20 years, and knew little about how the city had changed since I was last here.

Sleaford Mods are the standard-bearers for the city’s vibrant music scene, but what of the record shops?

Nottingham is famous for Robin Hood – some say my record buying is a form of charity

Like most towns across the country, there has been a renaissance of sorts (with strong rumours of another store opening this side of Christmas), and although many talk of retailers that have shut up shop, this makes for a decent day’s cratedigging (and maybe longer, if you have time to try a couple of places outside the city).

There’s a lively and thriving arts scene – check out Gate To Southwell Folk Festival and Rockingham in October – there are some great bands to catch, too.

You can’t necessarily escape the shadow of Robin here, but I can promise no one mentioned Bryan Adams once…

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