Three Friends Open Vinyl Store on Uxbridge Road

Next Door Records also operates as a bar and cafe

Next Door Records owners Alfie Aukett (left) and Louis Ray (right)
Next Door Records owners Alfie Aukett (left) and Louis Ray (right)

A vinyl store combined with a bar, off-licence and café has opened on the Uxbridge Road on the premises of the former Bush Dining Rooms.

“Vinyl sales overtook CD sales five years ago,” said Louis Ray, one of the trio of 23-year-olds who launched Next Door Records after the first lockdown and who loves scouring charity shops and browsing through record collections in search of old vinyl gems.

Louis grew up in Shepherds Bush, met Alfie Aukett at university in Leeds (they share a passion for jazz) and played together in an indie band called Kitsch. With Alfie’s west London childhood pal Thom Parris, the three have established a trendy hub where music, drink and creativity mix freely.

“Our real passion and love is definitely records,” said Louis. “The original idea was a little pop-up record shop.”

Around 70 per cent of the shop's disc sales are new (everything from jazz, reggae and dub to techno, funk and hip hop)… but it’s the 30 per cent of second-hand platters that really fires them up.

“We had a limited-edition Prince record from the 70s with just three tracks which went for £220,” said Louis, who admits he’s sometimes sad to see things sell!

All three have drinks licences and have worked in hospitality, hence the blend of bottle and record shop. They know their wine and specialise in natural and organic vintages from smaller vineyards.

next door records

And all three still play, compose and record music together, and share a passion for DJing when they’re not minding the shop.

“Music is central, but we also have a pop-up artist in the shop. It’s fun discovering vinyl – and we only sell vinyl,” added Louis, who says demand for records is still rising.

“We have kids coming in who want their first record, but we also have a lot of people coming in who have big record collections from different genres. When we find good discs we’ll come running back to the shop shouting ‘Look what I’ve got!’”

Next Door Records at 304 Uxbridge Road is open:

Tuesday 10am to 6:30pm
Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 10:30pm
Friday and Saturday 10am to 11:30pm
Sunday 10am to 10:30pm

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June 8, 2021