Denmark Street has been the musicians go to street for decades and Wunjo has been around almost as long. It sells both new and vintage guitars such as Fender and Gibson plus pedals, accessories and lots and lots of amps. You can indulge all your Almost Famous fantasies here.
126 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0LA, +44 20 7379 0737
Also on Denmark Street is Regent Sounds, who have been working with Fender and Gretsch the longest out of anyone. From acoustics to amps, Regent Sounds are a den of all rock knowledge and they can repair pretty much anything.
4 Denmark St, London WC2H 8LP, +44 20 7379 6111
75 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 8RP, +44 20 7734 3297
Howard of London
Into woodwind? Then it’s off to Howard of London with you – they almost look they belong in a Harry Potter book. This is a traditional expert woodwind shop full of every oboe, clarinet, flute and so on you can think of. If you play an instrument like that then this is your nirvana.
31 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7PN +44 20 7935 2407
The daddy of all record stores in London, these guys have been slinging vinyl since ’76. Rough Trade has reinvented itself as both a record label and event space in Brick Lane and spears the Independent Record Store Day every 22 April. If you’re into vinyl, then this is the big one.
The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, +44 20 7392 7788
Flashback on Essex St is one of those record stores to treasure. It sells new and second hand vinyl (and will buy vinyl off you), the guys in there live, eat and breathe music and it supports live performances. Forget digital and spend hours in here rummaging around.
50 Essex Rd, London N1 8LR, +44 20 7354 9356
A part of Soho for decades, Phonica has withstood the move to digital with panache. They sell new vinyl releases and merchandise; it’s a great place to find out about new bands and the coolest events in London.
51 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7LZ, +44 20 7025 6070