Truck Store is Oxford’s independent music hub, a proper record shop in the heart of the city’s music scene, yet we’re so much more than just a record shop!
Truck Store was founded in 2011 at a time when every other indie record store in Oxford was long gone, a shocking situation considering this small city gave us some of the biggest bands in the world such as Supergrass, Ride, Foals and of course Radiohead! Below is a short history of the shop’s origins charting an eventful 5 years on Cowley Road.
The question we get asked the most frequently is probably ‘What’s the link between the shop and Truck Festival?’ Well, the answer to that lies in the shop’s origin story. Truck Store is owned and operated by the same team behind Rapture, an independent record store in Witney founded in 2004. As the musical climate changed and huge numbers of indie stores all over the country closed, we soon realised that we were the last shop left in the county. With this responsibility we attempted to forge strong links with the local music scene, which led to us working closely with Truck Festival and its founders Robin and Joe Bennett. We became a key ticket seller and took on the running of the merchandise tent at the event.
Then in October 2010 the guys behind Truck launched their own Oxford version of the Camden Crawl, a multi-venue urban festival on Cowley Road called OX4. As part of this event we were invited to open a pop-up shop at 101 Cowley Road, which had previously housed the movie rental shop Videosyncratic. The 3 days we spent selling records to a vinyl-starved Oxford were an amazing experience and many people begged us to stay put! We listened to those cries and by February of 2011 we had worked out a deal which saw the opening of a permanent record store using the Truck name, logo, monster and other associations, but run with the experienced music retailing skills of Rapture. Thus Truck Store was born!
OUR ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY
We always strive to make the store a friendly, welcoming environment where our enthusiasm for new music can be shared with the local community and beyond: we aim to be the place to come to pick up exciting recommendations and discover new music, and we have no time for musical snobbery!
While Truck Festival is no longer run by its original founders (the Count of Ten group took over in 2012), we like to think we have kept the spirit with which the festival was founded running through our store, whilst constantly evolving as we aim to meet the desires and needs of all our customers. Live music and the local music scene remain at the heart of what we do: we work closely with bands, promoters and venues, stock titles from up-and-coming local acts and have hosted hundreds of live performances on our intimate little stage. With such a wealth of local talent in the area, and numerous hard working gig promoters bringing touring bands and big stars to town, we’ve been able to host some truly incredible in-store performances and signings over the years. Our little stage has been visited by such luminaries as Stornoway, Frank Turner, Beth Orton, Glass Animals, James Vincent McMorrow, The Staves, The Wedding Present, Nathaniel Rateliff, Willy Mason, Emily Barker, We Are Scientists, Young Knives and countless others! Keep an eye on the Upcoming Events page for what we have on the horizon.
Our links with the local music scene and the wider community also go beyond the four walls of Truck Store. We’ve been heavily involved with all sorts of local music related activities, from curating a stage at the Riverside Festival in Charlbury to running a pop-up shop in the Baroque Room of the Ashmolean museum. We’ve hosted fundraising events for the Cowley Road Carnival and put on events at local cinemas. In short, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to be involved with Oxford’s creative communities.
Over the last 5 years we’ve dramatically increased the amount of vinyl we stock and also added a small range of turntables and accessories as the vinyl revolution continues apace! We have introduced pre-loved CDs and vinyl and are always on the lookout for collections to buy or trade. We now have our own range of Truck Store T-Shirts, tote bags and badges, with more ideas in the pipeline.
Perhaps the most dramatic addition to the store has been the inclusion of a coffee bar, initially franchised out to The Keen Bean but now run by our own team Mostro Coffee. We’ve developed a reputation for serving some of the best coffee in the city and are constantly striving to make the in-store experience something truly special: great coffee enjoyed with great music make the shop one of the best hangouts in town, and with crossover deals (such as free vouchers with completed loyalty cards) we offer something truly unique!
Truck Store is built on passion, enthusiasm and a belief that you can never have enough new music! We’re your local record shop, but this doesn’t just mean we sell CDs and vinyl. We can provide your favourite hangout spot and be your musical gurus; we’ll fill your ears with great sounds, top up your caffeine levels and even put a shirt on your back. All we ask is that you keep supporting your local indie and share this musical journey with us!