Meet the owners

Meet: Rob

Captivated by music from the age of four, Rob Campkin turned a hobby into a career and now owns Lost in Vinyl in Cambridge – a mecca for record lovers

When did your love of music begin?

I think my first record was bought for me when I was four years of age. It was a band called Pilot who released a single called January and I badgered my uncle to buy it, and eventually he did. I still have that record today on 7-inch single. Since then, I’ve always had a love of music.

What bands were you into growing up?

I remember as an eight-year-old in the early 80s being really into The Police, then anything from Thompson Twins to ACDC. Once I got to 15 it was cooler stuff like New Order and The Smiths. I would spend all the money I earned on my paper round on records. I loved it so much than when I left sixth form college, I was due to study at university, but instead I got a summer temp job at HMV, Oxford Street and I just never left! It was the best feeling in the world to be on the other side of the counter, so I started there summer 89 and didn’t leave HMV until 2003.

How did Lost In Vinyl come about?

When my wife and I started having children we decided to move out of London and settled in Cambridge. The idea was that my wife would commute into London for work, and I would stay home and be a house husband. But I had a part-time side-line interest in buying and selling second-hand records. That snowballed and within a year and a half I was opening a shop on Magdalene Street!

I love the business name. . .

It’s an amalgamation of a few things. I’ve got a lot of records and I tend to go up
to our loft conversion and play records for a long time, so I get lost up in the loft among them. There’s a really great book by Giles Smith called Lost in Music, and also the absolutely iconic track by Sister Sledge, so it’s a combination of all three really! We opened December 2014.

In a nutshell, what do you sell?

We only sell records – a combination of both new and what we term as used or vintage. But we mainly stock new releases and we’ve got quite a big catalogue of older albums that are pressed as new. We sell all genres except for classical and at any one time we stock around 4,500 records.

What genres are popular in Cambridge?

Cambridge has quite a diverse music scene, so we stock accordingly. There are a lot of big rock fans which harks back to Pink Floyd, one of the biggest bands to come out of Cambridge. They, along with other progressive rock bands from the 60s and 70s, are enormous here. Cambridge also has quite a vibrant jazz scene, so we cater for that, alongside dance, world music and folk, which is big due to Cambridge Folk Festival.

Why do you think vinyl has such enduring appeal?

It’s had a second renaissance around 2012 for lots of different reasons. Partly it’s because of Record Store Day, which sees record companies press up lots of limited-edition records for independent stores like us to sell on one day a year. Our last one was just fantastic; customers, old and new, love it because they can buy releases by big artists that they know they will never find again. There are one-off records from the likes of The Cure, The Clash, The Stones alongside bands like Fontaines D.C. and Squid, so it appeals to a wide variety of customers.

And the best part of the job?

One thing I really like is when a record comes in and you immediately know which customer will love it. When that customer then comes back in and says: ‘that record you recommended was amazing’, that is the best feeling in the world. This really is my dream job.

Lost in Vinyl is at 14 Magdalene Street, Cambridge. Call (01223) 464882 or visit

Love Cambridge are working with Velvet Magazine to showcase some of Cambridge’s best independent businesses, read their latest issue for more local interviews like this one.


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