In our effort to visit all record shops at least once we decided to do a little tour Wallonia. It’s not the most common area for record digging, we heard a new shop had opened near Charleroi and our knowledge of the region could do with an update. Reasons enough to head down south, with little expectations but nevertheless excited and ready to discover.
Together with our good friend and fellow record enthusiast Jonathan we visited La Louvière, Binche, Charleroi, Châtelet and Namur. In total we found 7 shops open, met a few nice people and plenty of laughs. On the record side of it we didn’t find much exceptional but got surprised a few times. We also tasted lovely beers, not unimportant to us.
Find the photo-report here.
Here’s the list of shops we visited with a little comment:
Trente Trois Tours, Place Communale 12, 7100 La Louvière
This is a bar / record store and much more. We stood before a closed door as this was the first shop on our tour and it only opened at 18h. A shame but it gives us reason to go back.
Vansippe Guy, Avenue Wanderpepen 29, 7130 Binche
An old mom & pops record store that is closing (you can take it over) which mainly sells CD’s and hifi but is clearing its stock and that includes a few records. Certainly the 7”s had a few gems to be discovered. But this one will soon fade away. A shame as its sympathetic owner has been behind the counter for 50 years.
Imagine, Rue de Marchienne 27, 6000 Charleroi
We loved Charleroi to bits. The closest thing to Detroit close to home. We need to give it a better check soon as it is full of derelict industrial buildings, street art and slightly out of date spots that are screaming for artists to give it a second life. The one shop we found wasn’t much and the good records were really overpriced but the city itself secured a prime spot in our hearts.
Phonophil, Rue de la Montagne 4, 6200 Châtelet
The new one we had heard about. In an old butcher shop. Sells vintage hifi gear too. Really clean and tidy and with a good choice of records, generally not overpriced.
Kiosque à Musique, Place du Perron 2, 6200 Châtelet
Down the street from the first one. Has literally 2 record for sale.
Juke Box, Rue Haute Marcelle 38, 5000 Namur
Small shop but with a surprising up to date selection. Lots of current Belgian electronica (Vlek, Thin Consolation, On-Point, Citywurl, …) and other new bits and bops. Also some second hand stuff. We took the good records home but definitely worth a visit. Haha.
Lido Musique, Rue des Croisiers 45, 5000 Namur
Clearly went for the full Record Store Day shenanigans. Only new vinyl and not really in our range. We love the sign and façade though.
Veals & Geeks, Rue des Carmes 3, 5000 Namur
The little brother of the Brussels’ one. Same selection but with more instruments and music gear. No surprise to us but definitely has its place. Namur in general is a good place to visit. A bit posh (so not like the cliché that lives in the northern part of Belgium’s mind) and it could do without the awful freedom festival we stumbled upon.
So even though we didn’t came home with obscure gems on wax we had a great time and will do more of these trips in the future. A great way to discover your own country by the way. Do visit the shops and keep them alive and certainly give Phonophil a visit next weekend as he’s officially celebrating the opening.