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A shop such as Badlands appears in every town.  Usually just out of the centre of town, where the shops and restaurants get interesting, you’ll find a second hand / new release new vinyl-based retail experience offering classic rock, merchandise, clothing, books and mags. In this case, there’s a Bruce Springsteen fan club too.

Such places are run by ‘proper’ music fans of a certain age.  Badlands is therefore run by, true to form,  a couple of Springsteen / Dylan / Stones. The setup includes a travel company to run gig tours. Most of all to see he-who-people-still-insist-on-calling ‘The Boss’ play in the US.

Anyway, buying music online isn’t much fun, right? And HMV is now a plastic corporate nightmare. So this is exactly the kind of independent shop you should be supporting. The focus is Classic rock and indie. On Record Store Day, Badlands is a place to be. Records and merch are immaculately presented and IT DOESN’T SMELL.  When we’ve been in we have usually been more or less ignored, but that’s the way of these places – feast or famine. Often in shops like this you’ll have to wait before you get served – a couple of fifty somethings will be having a heated discussion about, say, The Pink Fairies. Don’t interrupt, this is what life was all about in the ’70s and these punters are reliving their youth. It’s kind of charming.  The owners are knowledgeable about their stock though.

The website says the business is on three storeys, but the first floor seems to be full of old sacks (see photo)

Like the ground floor shop, the website is well run and well presented. The owners sort the stock logically and carefully.  Shop closes on Sundays.

11 St George’s Pl, Cheltenham GL50 3LA
Tel: 01242 246242   Web: