Casbah Records, Greenwich – Best Releases of 2018

by Mark Jackson

Greenwich, South East London, is a popular destination for tourists and city slickers alike. Located in Zone 2 – just a stone’s throw from the centre of the city, Greenwich has its own unique vibrancy. It’s a place steeped in Royal and Maritime history- housing the National Maritime Museum, The Old Royal Naval College, Queens House and the Cutty Sark. It’s also home to one of London’s eight Royal parks – one of the largest and most beautiful green spaces in our capital. There’s also over 20 pubs and bars within just a single square mile in the centre of town in which to relax and unwind. However, there is simply no better way to spend an afternoon than digging through the racks of the south east’s finest purveyor of vinyl, Casbah Records.

Open as a bricks and mortar shop since 2008, owner Graham Davis has over three decades of experience in trading vinyl, having sold his first record in the town’s famous market back in 1986.  This is not, however, the first premises out of which Graham and brother Tony (who co-runs the store) have sold records. The pair have previously travelled the length and breadth of the UK visiting university towns and festivals in their Magic Bus – London’s first (and Graham assures me last) bus converted into a vinyl store.

Situated on Creek Road in the heart of the town centre, Casbah is the best place around to pick up vintage and rare finds, together with a mass of new and contemporary stock in which to find your all time and next favourite records.  The knowledge of both Graham and Tony, and their alliance of young and creative staff, will help ensure that you’re also kept up to date with musical picks that may not have previously been on your shopping list.

Hot on the heels of our own reviewers’ list of the top albums of 2018, we have been asking some of our favourite independent music stores to share with us their top releases from the past 12 months.  Below are the choices of Graham and his Casbah staff:

Top Ten albums of 2018:

1. Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin

The baby of Revolver and Nevermind, this album is a total joy from start to finish! Noisy guitar, strong rhythms and bold vocals – a truly rocking record…

2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino

Alex Turner may have found himself in Controversy Casino with this risqué concept album, but with The Monkeys in full force, the album delivers a smooth and sexy side to Sheffield lads we’ve all been waiting for.

3. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

It’s Tony’s Favourite, enough said.

4. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

We’re in indie iunkie heaven and wide awake listening to the fiery raw rounds of Parquet Courts. Get on your dancing shoes – It’s got come umph!

5. Elvis Costello – Look Now

Elvis, or El-vez as he’s known south of the border, takes a stroll down quality street with most satisfying results.

6. Florence & The Machine – High as Hope

Florence strikes again with her most emotional, euphoric and uplifting album yet. Expect powerful vocals and beautiful church-like ballads- fans of Kate Bush will enjoy.

7. Hookworms – Microshift

The  best thing to come out of Leeds since Brian Clough’s taxi left Elland Road! Classic rock with modern twist and slice of The Wall-era Floyd.

8. Kamasi Washington – Heaven & Earth

First he was Epic, then we had the sequel- Heaven & Earth. There’s something of the Cecil.B.Demille about this chap. Great ambition and a Bafta for the wardrobe department!

9. Trembling Bells – Dungeness

From Kent to San Francisco. Another great album from psych-folk revivers Trembling Bells- a force to be reckoned with!

10. Charles Bradley – Black Velvet

A Soul-tastic, funk filled feast  of a finale from the ‘Great Uncle of Soul’

Best Re-Issues:

The Beatles – White Album /The Music From Bagpuss; Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner

Best come back Artist:

Elvis Costello

Old bloke still got it:

Paul McCartney

Old lass still got it:

The Breeders/Kim Deal

Best newcomer:

Goat Girl

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