Friday, August 16, 2013

AntiCurrent Booze & Grub Review #1: The Record Crate Bar & Grill - Sydney

In an effort to diversify this blog beyond the occasional insane story about my life, how-to's, bootleg releases, and general absurdity, I am going to branch out and blog about my drinking/dining experiences as well. Now, for those of you that don't know me personally, I have quite diverse taste. For instance, last night I was at a hole in the wall pub with graffiti on the walls where the overwhelming stench of of feces was permeating the room, and tomorrow I am taking the love of my life for a 10 course meal with matching wines at an upscale French restaurant. So these posts will range from everything between gutter-punk places that may be completely and totally unsafe to visit, to upscale eateries I shouldn't be able to afford and everything in between.

The Record Crate Bar and Grill Sydney GlebeWith that said, The Record Crate, located in beautiful Sydney, Australia (specifically Glebe) is basically Disneyland for seasoned music affectionados such as myself. Under one roof you can watch amazing live music, stand up comedy, view experimental live art performances, browse amazing quality hard to find records, eat great food and drink amazing beer. I've visited there only a handful of times and have already added amazing condition, original pressings of Tom Waits, The Pogues, The Clash, and Nick Cave, just to name a few. Basically this is my favorite place in the world.
Neville & I

Now, every record store worth its salt usually has one amazingly well-rounded owner/operator in charge of the ship and this place is no different. His name is Neville, and like all record store owners, he is a wealth of knowledge. This dude can school even the best informed record collector and teach him a thing or two about what pressing was made where and how it differs to other pressings at the time.

First two Clash Albums in One Set
For instance, I recently was in the market to purchase an original pressing of The Clash's self-titled record. He asked me whether I was purchasing it to collect, or if i was just wanting to spin some amazing sounding vinyl. I answered that I wasn't overly in need of collectability, and he pulled out a gatefold  2-for-1 pressing released by CBS records in the mid 1980's that contained their first two records. The cover was beat, but the discs were in fine condition. He informed me that these were not very collectible but for the price, you couldn't beat the value as both records were struck from the same source as the original pressings. So instead of purchasing an OG copy of the first album that I was just going to spin and ruin for $100 or more dollars, I got the same quality recording, plus their second album "Give Em' Enough Rope" for $15. These are the kind of deals/experience that only a few people have access to.

Brekky Sandwich
Not only is this an amazing wealth of knowledge and records, the food too is quite spectacular, in particular the breakfast. I've had a nasty habit as of late of closing down the bar and upon waking up, stumbling back down the road to have The Record Crate's amazing Eggs Benedict (although this particular morning I had the breakfast sandwich). For under $20 you get a full two eggs poached, toast, and bacon (which is actually known as Canadian Bacon to this State-side guy). This and a little hair of the dog is my usual order and I can not overstate it's ability to battle even the worst hangovers you've encountered.

Speaking of hair of the dog, the booze here is great. They have liquor available to make any cocktail you desire, but what's even better than that is that they have Kingpin on tap for a reasonable price. Matter of fact, Kingpin is so popular here that they named their houseband The Kingpins after it (more on them later). There are also a selection of other taps and bottled beverages as well, but in my typical fashion, I found the one I like and refuse to touch anything else.... unless it's a extra-dry, dirty, uncouth, martini.;-)

As for the entertainment, it is quite diverse. They recently removed the majority of the CD's (which is sort of a shame as I hate to see CDs fall out of fashion) and put them behind the main counter. This opened up an area to have small bands play and every Thursday night they utilize this space to let their personal houseband The Kingpins play. The band is quite good, verging on a funk almost reggae beat with a wide assortment of sounds. If you're in Glebe on a Thursday night, they are not to be missed for at least a half hour of performing. Past this, Neville has recently began utilizing his top floor to all kinds of different acts. Some of these are comedians, but many of these are avant-garde live performances bordering on the insane. It's well worth looking into anyone he would book, but even if they are not your cup of tea, there is still the downstairs main are and the outdoor courtyard where you don't have to partake in the experience.

All in all I cannot say more positive things about The Record Crate. Everything from the building, to the staff, to the food, to the drink, and most importantly, the records, are of the highest caliber. When visiting Sydney, Glebe is a must-visit area. It is very art-centric, containing indie bookstores, art galleries, eateries, and most importantly, The Record Crate which is a must-visit when anywhere near the area. A+++

The Record Crate on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Josh,

    Your first post just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:

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  2. Thanks, Josh! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.