Part 1 of 4 in a Vinyl Havens series that explores the record stores of Inner West Sydney, Australia. First stop is The Record Crate!
My vinyl collection started (not counting my Sesame Street Fever records from when I was little) with a milk crate left out by one of my Newtown neighbours. I originally grabbed the crate to practice my stencil designs — I was screen-printing t-shirts, and vinyl is a great was to try a design for the first time.
After sorting through and using the obvious garbage, I found myself unwilling to paint over a Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash record. So I kept them. Later, I sought out the cheapest sub-$100 turntable I could find from my local Hifi shop, got some donated LPs from my father-in-law, and my fixation on vinyl music was born.
The modern record store, especially in the high-pressure Sydney real estate market, is an elusive beast, tending to turn up, be awesome, then fold seemingly overnight. However, there are a few holdouts, and a few new locations, which I will be sharing with you in this 4-part series. Each has its own quirks, but all have their own charm.
We begin with the newest:The Record Crate located on 34 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, New South Wales.
The Record Crate has recently re-opened at the mouth of Glebe Point Road, in the shadow of the ever-growing Broadway Shopping Centre. Upon entry, you’re greeted by a pile of second-hand paperback novels ($2 a pop), and piles of music magazines, including Rolling Stone, Mojo, and other pillars of the industry.
The eponymous record crates are against the right wall…
The records for sale are an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, rock /n/ roll, funk, soul and “fruity and exotic”, with better-condition or higher value records displayed proudly on the wall.
The cash register and stock computers are flanked by a wall of 45s, and a Tonophone Record Cabinet, which, a sign explains, is for sale.
Where the Record Crate stands out is that they’re also a licensed Bar and Grill! You can get a meal (they do a rather nice steak sandwich), or a beer, or a glass of wine.
The food is good value for money, though the menu is not enormous. The beer and wine lists, however, are stacked with local producers, and weird and wonderful varieties. You can enjoy it out in the back beer garden…
…or in their upstairs dining room, which boasts a lovely view of downtown Sydney, as well as an old turntable, and a full length mirror (great for self-portraits).
So if you’re in Glebe or Ultimo, swing by the Record Crate for a glass of something and a tune!