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Posted July 14th 2016

Bella Union and the Dawning of a New Vinyl Shop…

Independent record label Bella Union opened their first label-only record store in Brighton back in June, Melting Vinyl’s Rachel Strange shares her thoughts on the launch below…

As a music lover, it is hugely reassuring to walk in to a record shop with the knowledge that behind the doors, and set within the displays, you are guaranteed to discover new musical talents, as well as the chance to re-discover those older, obscurer “vintage” gems. We are already somewhat spoilt for choice in Brighton, with Resident Records recently widening their Vinyl collection and a dozen smaller outlets popping up in the Lanes (the Family Store for example, situated on Kensington Gardens, has a keen musical eye). But the opening of the Bella Union Vinyl Shop couldn’t have come sooner, and being tucked away on one of Brighton’s famous twittens, just off Ship Street, sits perfectly.

The launch of the shop in June was an intimate affair, including an appearance from Mercury Rev and a stripped down performance from Jamie Lee of MONEY, who proved himself very much a poet-in-waiting. The store has been set up by the indie label of the same name, who, if you’re not familiar with, you’ll probably have heard the artists on their roster – including Fleet Foxes, the mighty Explosions in the Sky, Beach House, the fabulous Laura Veirs, Midlake, Mountain Man and Father John Misty, to name a few!

The shop has so much cool and enough quality musical acts that it won’t be long before it becomes the latest Brighton musical institution. You could already say this of the shop’s owner and head of Bella Union, Simon Raymonde, who himself has serious roots in Brighton, a former member of The Cocteau Twins and 30 years experience in the music industry.

Bella Union continue to sign and nurture artists from around the world and here’s hoping they can bring the fabric of their musical taste to Brighton’s live music scene. Simon’s wife Abbey, who will be running the store, has already hinted that Thursday nights will be for: “those thirsty knights who want their vinyl served with a bagel at 12:01am on a Friday morning!” – fingers crossed for those last minute, late night, intimate in-store live sessions…