Adelaide’s Hidden Wonders: Market Bazaar

I suggested a regular ‘secret spots’ article, although it never moved past this first piece. It was taken up by the next editorial team, with one edition devoted to Adelaide’s lesser known attractions. I aimed to get across the feeling of the store, but this is a style of writing I need to work on.

I want to talk to you today about my favourite secret spot in Adelaide, a tiny place called Market Bazaar in the east of the city.
Led there by a friend to whom I am forever indebted, Market Bazaar sells vinyl records as well as some rare and downright odd knick-knacks. While this is nothing special in our nostalgia-obsessed society, it’s the way in which they do business that makes the place so great.

Firstly the place fits far more stock than there should be in the space they have. There would be thousands upon thousands of records in the store. Secondly there is an extremely vague alphabetical system that would make an obsessive-compulsive weep. Despite this if you ask a staff member for a specific artist they would not only find it for you, but also show you where to find similar performers.

This really shows why the place is so great, the people who work there love it. There is no closing time on the sign outside, and this became clear when I was there late last year. It was 7:00 on a Sunday evening, possibly the least likely time to be shopping, and yet there were no subtle or not-so-subtle hints to leave. They were still watching the footy as well as enjoying the newly-found passion of two teenagers at the start of a lifelong romance with vinyl.

Never go into Market Bazaar looking for something. While the staff will probably find it for you the enjoyment of the place is finding something that will either become part of your collection, or is so strange that it makes you wonder how the artist ever got a record deal.

The store, previously hidden off a Rundle Street side-street has recently moved to the Arcade above Mansions Tavern just off Rundle Mall. This means that many of the records have gone into storage, making Market Bazaar not only a secret spot in Adelaide, but also a lost one.

Records are making a comeback in a huge way, and there are some great places in Adelaide to buy new records of modern artists. Market Bazaar is not one of them, with anything later than the eighties a rarity. However for cheap and good quality second-hand records, as well as an always interesting experience, the store is worth finding.

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