Music | Into Leeds with Jumbo Records

In a musical city that’s constantly evolving, Jumbo Records has been a mainstay for over 40 years. Since being founded in 1971, Jumbo has always been a meticulous provider for Leeds’ audiophiles, having since become a go to for vinyl, CDs and gig tickets across the musical spectrum. Who better to talk to about this changing city than the new head honcho, Adam Gillison?

“It’s definitely a real live music city”, Adam suggests, talking about the place he has lived and worked in since the 90s. “It’s ironic that we should be saying all this the week that Cockpit closes but I’m sure there will be a replacement just around the corner [Slam Dunk’s The Key Club is a compelling contender]; it’s a very healthy live music scene and it’ll continue to be so.” When you’ve got such a vibrant range of live shows, young, creative local acts are bound to follow. “People who go to gigs want to be in bands, and there are always opportunities for support slots. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve got such good local bands.” With bands like Hookworms and Eagulls coming from the city, and creative bookings bringing wonderful names in from outside, the scene is thriving. “It’s the best it’s ever been.”

Asking about the apparent increase in experimental electronic music being brought to club nights by the likes of IN/ON/UP/DOWN, we asked if record shops face the struggle that many promoters have come across, namely that between underground and mainstream appeal. Adam cites Shipley based Golden Cabinet, whose upcoming nights include left-field techno renegades Andy Stott and Perc. “When they first started, I initially thought ‘They’ll be lucky’, but they’ve done so well.” The line between niche and financially dangerous is a fine one though, and it can be seen in the recent closures of both Tribe and Waxwerks, two of Leeds more specialist record shops.

So what is it that has given Jumbo such longevity, we ponder. “We bring a fair amount of specialism to each thing we do”, he muses. “We’re all really into music, which is obviously important. We’re also really into customer service and the Leeds music scene. Those things together help us.”

It’s an honest appraisal that’s evident in the shop itself, with its carefully arranged sections, lovingly written record descriptions and host of leaflets for local shows and bands. “One of the things about working in a record shop is that it’s interesting finding what other people like about music. We’re interested in what makes other people tick.”

Upcoming events at Jumbo: 

11th October
From 12pm (Live music from 1pm)

25th October

9th NOV


Andrew Kemp 

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