Visiting Applestump Records is a bit of a treasure hunt. Despite having Google Maps, I was questioning if I was going in the right direction as I headed away from the town centre and down the old streets of the town. I eventually came to a Tudor style arch above the entrance to a courtyard. Surely there can’t be a record shop here I contemplated. I noticed a sign saying Applestump Records and pointing up to a metal staircase. I entered and was warmly greeted by co-owner Steve.
This is a shop full of vinyl treasure and as one of the UK’s newest record shops I asked him ‘Why they opened a record shop’?
Here is their story.
Applestump Records was born out of lockdown boredom.
In March 2020 just after we had all been ordered to lock ourselves away, myself and Danielle (my wife) would entertain ourselves by ordering each other surprise records online and then spend our weekends playing them. Although fun, it was no substitution for our real passion of spending our Saturdays visiting record shops and (subsequently) the towns they serviced.
It was during one of these listening sessions that we stumbled upon the idea of maybe bringing the record shop to us. After a quick Google search, we ordered about 100 records from a supplier, built a basic website, opened some social media accounts, and began selling records from our attic, with click and collect from our driveway or free delivery to the local area.
A few weeks later a local café called Miss Marmalades offered us their first-floor space for a five week stretch to hold a pop-up shop. The reception from the town was great so with every record we sold, we bought more and when the premises we are in now became available we jumped at the chance to set up a permanent shop.
We’ve just celebrated our first year in the shop, navigated our first Record Store Day and I’ve recently gone full time. It’s been a rapid but enjoyable experience so far!
The name was taken from the very first record shop I ever visited; Applestump Records in Cwmbran. They closed their doors some 25 years ago, but I have great memories of popping in after school and being mesmerised by the place. It’s nice to pay homage to it.
I asked Steve ‘What Proper releases he was looking forward to’?
We are big fans of Demon Records especially as they are doing so many independent record shop exclusives. Out soon we will be selling signed copies of the cult Liverpool band ‘Space’ album ‘Tin Planet’. Not only is it silver vinyl but will be signed. Independent record shops are also getting signed copies of the ‘Liam Frost’ album ‘Latchkey Kid’. If fans want copies of these album they need to get an order in at their record shop as we know stock is very limited.
Vinyl, new and second-hand
Monday 10am – 5pm
Tuesday 10am – 5pm
Wednesday 10am – 5pm
Thursday 10am – 5pm
Friday 10am – 7pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm
12 Barker Street