UK’s Dub Vendor Closes Shop, Goes Online Exclusively

Dub Vendor LogoBack in April on my first trip to London, when I went to the London International Ska Festival, one of my goals was trying to hit some of the real sites I wanted to see – not the palace or bridge but the streets and shops I’ve always heard about. It just happened that the venue was on the same street as the world known 35 year old Dub Vendor shop at 274 Lavender Hill in Clapham Junction! So it was with great pleasure that I was able to stop in to experience the wonder of a real London record shop dedicated to the music I loved.

Now it wasn’t much to look at – just a tiny little place but it was perfect. Wall to wall Reggae! This is just the sort of shop that will survive I thought. Small local spots that are dedicated to a specific music or style where people will be able to flock to and find a community just like it used to be and should be. The larger shops can’t sustain the product and client level long-term or else they move into other offerings not related to music. That’s what I thought anyway!

Store Front

Reports started surfacing weeks ago that the shop was in fact closing it’s door to go exclusively online. DAM. At least I got to see it. Another shop priced out by the economy, rents rising, dwindling client base etc. A final nail came with the recent rioting that took place in London and the shop suffering damage as NME noted during the incidents. The last day they will be open is tomorrow.

The UK’s Independent paper posted a story about the closing that pretty much sums it up perfect:

In its heyday, Dub Vendor was always crowded. As the shop assistant dropped a fresh “pre-release” seven inch single on the turntable, customers would rap their fists on the counter to request that a copy be dropped on to their pile of purchases.

But McGillivray, 55, admits that reggae is no longer seen as cutting edge by British youth. “The kids over here, it’s nothing new to them. Their perception is that it’s their mum and dad’s music and it doesn’t define them in the way it defined previous generations.”

Another store gone. Do you have a favorite store in your area that needs recognition? That carries Reggae that you’d love for more people to know about? Post a comment – maybe they’ll see it and thank you for helping spread the word! My favorite shop right now? It’s funny since we’re such vinyl junkies we try to protect our secret stashes and good spots as much as possible so they don’t get picked over but I gotta give em props. Wombleton Records down the street from my house actually which is real nice. They only carry vinyl records and a lot of good stuff too – loads of imports, all classic stuff. The guy knows his stuff and he gets new stuff in all the time from around the world. Check em out if you are near Highland Park, CA sometime.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.