Tack a few vintage concert posters on the wall and stock some vinyl in a dingy back corner and you’ve got a decent little music shop. Amass those posters over decades and give the vinyl equal footing to the CDs and you’ve got Rough Trade, one of the best spots in London to meet up with friends and spend hours flipping through a world of tunes. Once you walk in, you’ve pretty much seen the whole space. Flyers and posters overlap each other in colorful accidental collages. Wooden bins are packed with records separated by cracking alphabetical dividers. A young man in a cardigan slouches with his head down, fingers flicking through shrink-wrapped LPs as he exhales audibly. Of course, Mr. finger-flicker has the right idea. Find a little slice of the store and start digging in, letting the hours slip by as you and your friends giddily discuss the influences of your favorite bands, or just compare ridiculous cover art. If you feel overwhelmed by the selection, head to the counter and strike up a conversation with one of the shop-keeps standing guard in front of a multicolored case of cassettes. You don’t get to work in a store like this without the kind of passion that translates to stellar recommendations. Head out with a stack of new music and get set for a brand new soundtrack to you and your friends’ evening. The listening party is about to begin.

Rough Trade

130 Talbot Rd London W11 1JA

44 20 7229 8541

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