Photo Credit: Hannah Tomczyk
As a music lover and a resident of Shepherd’s Bush, there is one local spot I find myself visiting almost every week. Originally intended just as a pop-up record shop, during a period in which the owners Louis, Alfie, and Thom were out of work, Next Door Records has blossomed into a buzzing hub of youthful creativity. As one of the co-owners, Louis Raworth, puts it: ‘We quickly realised that we could develop the pop-up into a multifaceted venture and we began to develop Next Door Records into a creative space with the opportunity to host a wide variety of different gigs, events, pop-ups.’
This creative energy is palpable as soon as you walk through the door and see their eclectic record selection waiting to be sorted through. As you traverse further into the space, a piano sits in the corner where bands are set-up for live shows. There is an incredulous and magical experience when walking into Next Door Records for the first time. It offers a distinct space for its typically young, creative shop-goers.
Opened first as a Record Shop, Bar, and Café on the 12th August 2020, Next Door Records has expanded its business to selling all natural, organic and Biodynamic wines. With so many areas of expertise, one might wonder if Next Door Records fails to deliver in any regard. However, Next Door Records delivers masterly on all fronts. Personally, I’ve found myself in the shop for everything from a coffee with friends, to pop-up second hand clothing stalls, and nights of live music and drinks.
In my opinion, Next Door Records excels most when they are featuring live talent, whether this be bands or DJs. Post-lockdown, this has been an absolute breath of fresh air, and the venue’s size ensures that shows feel both intimate and lively. People dance at their tables and sing along to songs they know. These nights provide clear proof of music’s innate ability to bring people together, and, after months of being cooped up inside, the sense of togetherness and community which Next Door Records provides is incredible.
Next Door Records is a London space which should not, and cannot, be missed by any music lovers. The sheer variety of activities offered means that there is something for everyone, and Next Door Records exceeds expectations when it comes to showcasing a wide array of different music and artistic expression.