Photos by Joe Charrington
Listings by Beth King
Map illustration by Mel Elliott

Introduction by Tim Scullion, Wow and Flutter

Vinyl records are cumbersome. They’re delicate and are susceptible to warping in the heat. They can be annoying to flip over. But they’re also perhaps the only piece of media technology that has remained unchanged in 75 years, when the first mass-produced 33rpm disc was manufactured for Columbia Records in 1948.

There’s a reason for the continued survival of this format in spite of – or perhaps because of – its shortcomings. There’s just something magical about vinyl. The physical connection between the stylus and the groove, the beautiful large-format sleeve art, and the tactile physicality of the square paper sleeve and round plastic disc. Even their symbolic power is a reflection of your passion for a musician or subcultural tribe. A record collection might contain albums recorded and manufactured in 1955, 1977 and 2023, all different but equal, nestled together, waiting to be flipped through and rediscovered again and again.

“Throw a stone from Hastings beach and you’ll almost certainly hit a DJ or a musician”

When my partner Susan and I quit our day jobs and moved to Hastings nearly 10 years ago, it was with the sole purpose of opening a record shop in this seaside town we’d become smitten by. We’ve always been record collectors and had been selling records at London boot fairs for a few years, and were struck by the enthusiasm and friendliness of so many of the crate diggers we met at these fairs. It was such a pleasure to spend Sunday mornings in the company of these music fans – young and old – and to hear their stories. This raised the question – why not take a risk and do it full-time? Many years later, we know that we chose the right town to do it in.

“I’ve lost count of the number of visitors to our town who have told us how lucky we are to have such great record shops here”

There are some towns, even cities, where an afternoon’s trawl through new and used record shops can be a dispiriting experience. The same old boring records at inflated prices in shops helmed by unfriendly staff who act more like gatekeepers. This has never been my experience in Hastings and St Leonards. I’ve lost count of the number of visitors to our town who have told us how lucky we are to have such great record shops here. I usually resist the urge to tell them it’s not luck but a lot of hard work and dedication, because who wants to be that person?

It’s no coincidence that this area is a haven for music obsessives and record collectors. It’s a deeply musical town, stuffed full of performers, writers, producers and journalists who have chosen to make a home here. Throw a stone from Hastings beach and you’ll almost certainly hit a DJ or a musician, though it would be discourteous to do so. It’s remarkable for a town of our size to enjoy such a rich seam of creative musical people, and this is reflected in the quality and vibrancy of its record-collecting scene.

So whether you’re a fan of jazz, hip-hop, punk, soul or prog rock, you’re sure to find something in the racks of one of our local shops – not to mention the excellent Revolver Record Fairs that take place throughout the year.

Over the next few pages, you’ll find a handy guide to the record shops of Hastings and St Leonards, along with honourable mentions for more great shops a little further along the coast. Happy digging!

Record Shop Listings A-Z

1. Bat Cave Records

23 Rock-a-Nore Road, Old Town,
Hastings TN34 3DW
Open Sat 12–5pm
Opposite the fishing net huts, Bat Cave Records is open just five hours a week on a Saturday, or when the owner feels like opening. Look for the sign outside, it’s through a private courtyard. Don’t forget to visit the cashpoint
first. Cash only!

Man holding up a Nancy and lee album in front of his face in Courthouse Records Hastings

2. Courthouse Records

Courthouse Mews, Courthouse Street,
Hastings TN34 3AU
Open daily, except Weds
Formally Rick’s Records, Courthouse is tucked away in the yard of a junk dealer in the Old Town. Now owned by Simon, it offers a huge selection of records for crate diggers.
Record I love:
Dave (pictured): The Hits of Nancy and Lee

3. Dark Circles

Unit 6, Marine Court,
St Leonards, TN38 0DZ
@darkcircles_stl / Open Mon–Sun
Recently opened, Dark Circles is Adam and Kim’s brand-new seafront coffee and music hang-out. With vinyl from @thediscslinger its record racks are filled with quality, hand-picked new releases that’ll delight any discerning vinyl junkie.
Records we love:
Kim: De La Soul — 3 Feet High and Rising 
Adam: Alice Coltrane — Journey in Satchidananda 

Two men holding up a record each in DayGlo records St Leonards

4. DayGlo Records

20 Silchester Road,
St. Leonards, TN38 0JB
@dayglo_records / Open Thu 12-4 Fri & Sat 11-4
DayGlo is a record store, second-hand clothes shop and artists’ studios. Owners Rosie, alongside her parents, and Haydn have a nice selection of second-hand vinyl in stock from indie and soul to funk and disco, with some rock and pop jostling for attention.
Records we love:
Steve Sullivan: Pillows & Prayers Vol.1: Cherry Red Compilation 
Haydn: Naran Ratan — Trees etc.

Japhy holding up a record in his warehouse of vinyl records in St Leonards

5. Japhy

Theaklen House Unit TH22, Theaklen Drive,
St Leonards, TN38 9AZ
Open weekdays, 9–5 pm (by appointment)
japhy.co.uk / @japhycouk
Japhy specialises in dance music in all forms – techno, deep house, electro, acid, italo, hip-hop and electronica. You can dig through his warehouse unit of records up on the Ponswood Estate, which includes specialist collections that he sells globally on behalf of record labels, collectors and DJ’s.
Record I love:
Laurent Garnier — 33 Tours Et Puis S’en Vont

Will from King Records in St Leonards holding up two records

6. King Records

14 Kings Road, St. Leonards TN37 6EA
Open Mon – Sat
You’ll find King Records down on the lower floor of the Dandelion Deli on Kings Road. Will and Andy sell the full spectrum of second-hand 12″ and 7″ vinyl. There’s a steady — and interesting —selection of new material that fills the racks – Latin, folk, disco, pop, soul, jazz, funk, rock, prog, reggae and more.
Record I love:
Will (pictured): Harout Vol. 8 Armenian Disco Folk
Andy: Nucleus – Elastic Rock

Mr Thing of Pressing Matters holding up a record The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

7. Pressing Matters

85 Queens Road,
Hastings TN34 1RG
Open Thurs – Sun
@pressingmattersrecordshop
Marc (aka Mr Thing) and Steve Underwood’s record shop is in the basement of Printed Matter. Between them, they sell an impressive selection of rare and sought-after soul, funk, hip-hop, breaks, jazz, library, punk, post-punk, and more.
Records we love:
Mr Thing (pictured): David Shire – The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Original Motion Picture Score) 
Steve: The Decayes – Accidental Musik 

Anja owner of Tough love St Leonards holding up a record

9. Tough Love St Leonards

73 Bohemia Road,
St Leonards TN37 6RG
Open Tues – Sun 
toughlove.shop / @toughlovestleaonards
Owner Anja Petitto’s Tough Love stocks a wide range of mostly new and pre-loved metal and rock vinyl, along with the latest obscure releases – anything from Nordic, neo-classical, soundtracks to indie and pop, alongside a ‘Local Legends’ section dedicated to local musicians. It’s a community hub for music lovers up in Bohemia, hosting regular in-store performances each month and selling takeaway coffee, merch, artist prints, gifts, and more.
Record I love:
Metallica – 72 Seasons

11. Music’s Not Dead

De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill TN40 1DP
Open Weds – Sun
@musicsnotdead
Ollie and Del’s Music’s Not Dead is a small indie record shop housed in one of the UK’s most iconic cultural buildings, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. Specialising in new releases and re-issued Americana, folk, rock and blues, plus books and T-shirts.
Record I love:
Ollie: Garden Party – Rose City Band
Del (pictured): This is the Kit – Careful of Your Keepers

Printed Matter in Hastings

8. Printed Matter

85 Queens Road, Hastings TN34 1RG
Open Thurs – Sun
printedmatterhastings.co.uk / @printedmatterhastings
Owner of Printed Matter, Lee Humphries, sells the best vintage Jamaican re-issues ranging from rocksteady, ska, dub, roots reggae, soul and funk, as well as hosting author events and a radical book club. Together, Printed Matter and Pressing Matters are Hastings’ answer to a Virgin Megastore. Three independent record sellers selling together.
Record I love:
Ernest Ranglin – Below the Baseline

10. Wow and Flutter

8 Trinity St, America Ground,
Hastings TN34 1HG
Open Tues – Sat
wowandflutterhastings.com / @wowandflutter
Located in Hastings’ offbeat America Ground for almost 10 years, Wow And Flutter sells a fine selection of curated used vinyl, CDs and tapes, along with vintage comics and cult Japanese toys. Owners Tim and Susan ensure there’s a heaving rack of fresh stock every Saturday, so checking out what’s new is a must.
Records we love:
Susan: Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking 
Tim: Sun Ra – Liquidity 

12. Platform Two

9 London Road,
Bexhill TN39 3JR
facebook/platform-two-records
Open Weds – Sat
Psych legend, Nick Saloman from The Bevis Frond who owned Platform One, handed the reigns over to Alex and Graci who now run Platform Two Records in Bexhill, specialising in psych, garage, prog, jazz, soul, reggae and punk. Their racks are filled with interesting and unusual vinyl, without silly prices.
Record I love:
Alex: King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
Graci: Fotheringay – Fotheringay