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Jumbo Records


Please give us a brief history of Jumbo.

Formed in 1971 by Hunter Smith, and developed by himself with Lornette and Trevor.  Hunter and Lornette only retired last year, and Trevor is still with us.  We've always been in Leeds, with reggae and soul playing a big part early on, followed by punk: and now we really sell pretty much across the board.

Jumbo Records

What makes Leeds an interesting place to have a record shop.

Leeds has a brilliant music scene.  It can't really be isolated into one specific sound - all genres seem to find a space in the city.  The live music scene just goes from strength to strength, from the really DIY venues, through the Brudenell and Belgrave Music Hall and right up to the big concert halls.  There's also a growing community of like minded independent businesses in the city.

What kind of music do you specialise in?

We don't.  We sell blues, soul, indie, dance, reggae, electronic, country, jazz, world, nostalgia, soundtracks, punk, pop, rock, along with all the bits in between.  We are noted for our vinyl selection, but our CDs racks are formidable!  We also sells loads of concert tickets for venues around Yorkshire, plus magazines and accessories.

Jumbo Records Racks

Who are your customers? Any famous regulars you can tell us about?

Again, all sorts.  At the weekend we get a lot of younger shoppers, but we pride ourselves on our approachability, and weekday mornings tend to be more popular with our older customers!  Famous regulars?  Dunno, really... Nobody that's on TV on a daily basis, I don't think.  But a few little mini-celebrities, as Dame Edna would say.

People talk about the 'resurgence of vinyl' - have you seen an influx in the number of younger vinyl collectors?

Oh, definitely.  There were an amazing number of people buying vinyl over the Christmas period.  Record players were clearly a popular Christmas present!  It's not just the younger customer, though.  Lots of older customers are rediscovering vinyl or getting into it for the first time.

As an independent record shop, do you feel like you need to offer supplementary activities for Jumbo to work – events and live music for instance?

Yes. We do lots of events in the shop - in-stores and so on.  We did a whole day of rock'n'roll last year which was great. The more you can offer the better, but ultimately you are a place where people go to hear and buy music.

Jumbo Records Pic

What is your favourite song of all time?

Probably 'Ghost Town' by the Specials. The 12" version with the amazing Rico trombone section.

What album or song do you play most frequently in your shop?

Nothing.  We try and avoid playing the 'old faves' except if we want a change.  We mostly like to keep playing new stuff, or new reissues, or stuff that we've not played before.

Menace Beach at Jumbo Records

Menace Beach at Jumbo Records

What are you current favourite Ace releases?

Favourite of last year was 'Boppin By The Bayou: Made In The Shade'.

Which record do you play to clear people out at the end of the day?

Ha ha... We're not so busy that we're looking to clear people out...