Please give us a brief history of Casbah Records.
We've been trading in Greenwich since 1985. First on the market, then with a converted bus, then we tried a unit inside a bigger shop, back to the market before arriving at our current and hopefully final location at our shop at 320 Creek Road, Greenwich.
What makes Greenwich an interesting place to have a record shop.
Greenwich as an area has always been slightly different from the rest of south-east London. It used to be known for its historical importance, second-hand bookshops and antiques. Now it has evolved over the years into a slightly posher version of Notting Hill or Brick Lane. There's a market on every day, lots of street food and independent shops. There are two universities close by with lots of students around. Wherever you get interesting areas you'll get interesting people. Those people tend to like looking for good music and that's where we come in.
What kind of music do you specialise in?
Everything that's good basically. But key areas would be contemporary Indie/Punk and Rock. Psychedelia, Prog, Classic 60's/70's music, Reggae and Punk.
Who are your customers? Any famous regulars you can tell us about?
Students, tourists, lots of thirty plus men, but increasingly lots of girls too. We've had Bobby Gillespie, Danny Baker, Glenn Tilbrook, Bob Stanley. The Smoke Fairies come in from time to time, the odd premier league footballer and an actor who had one line in Quadrophenia!
People talk about the 'resurgence of vinyl' - have you seen an influx in the number of younger vinyl collectors?
If it wasn't for vinyl we wouldn't be able to remain open. New vinyl is what people want at the moment and hopefully that will continue. We get a lot of young customers and they don't seem interested in CDs at all.
As an independent record shop, do you feel like you need to offer supplementary activities for Casbah to work – events and live music for instance?
Yes, we try and get local artists to perform instore from time to time. We always have something going on for Record Store Day. We had a tribute to the Stones when they played the 02. We dressed up and played their records all day, had loads of Stones stuff on sale, badges and flyers done. We called it 'Stoned Sunday' and it was great! We're quite keen on social media as well as a way of staying in touch with people. Keep the D.I.Y spirit alive is our credo. If your going to be an independent you've got to act like one! Tha'ts what our customers want.
Gemma & the Travellers
What is your favourite song of all time?
Tricky! No, not the artist just difficult to choose. Probably Maggie May by Rod. Closely followed by Hey Jude.
What album or song do you play most frequently in your shop?
“Sticky Fingers” by the Stones. Never ever get bored of it! And “Forever Changes”.
What are you current favourite Ace releases?
I like the “Mod Jazz” comps and the French collections like “Ce'st Chic”. They're great. The “Living In The Streets” series is really good as well. “Uptight Tonight” the 60's garage CD is a an all time shop fave.
Which record do you play to clear people out at the end of the day?
If I don't like the look of someone I'll put something I think they'll hate to get rid of them. It usually works. Although I like lt personally, 'Sister Ray' by the Velvets can do the trick!