Over the past four and a half decades, Jumbo Records has been a flag bearer for Leeds’s independent music scene.
Now the independent record store, in the city’s St Johns Centre, is to celebrate its 45th anniversary on October 1 with the release of its own special 45rpm vinyl single.
The split seven-inch release, produced in conjunction with the record label Too Pure, features songs by Menace Beach and Post War Glamour Girls, two bands that Jumbo says “typify the vibrancy of Leeds’ current musical underground”. From 11.30am on Saturday, the celebrations will see live music in-store from Ultimate Painting, Wilful Missing, Marsicans, Serious Sam Barrett and the Seven Inches.
Explaining the idea behind the single release, Jumbo’s manager Adam Gillison, who has worked at the store for 20 years, said: “Someone pointed to us that it was our 45th anniversary and my initial thought was, ‘Ah, another anniversary’ but then they reminded me that 45 was a significant number in the music industry. We’re all fans of the vinyl 45rpm format and we thought, ‘What a great opportunity to do something to celebrate that and us at the same time.’”
The store has teamed up with Too Pure as it is “a label that we’ve always liked” and “the guy who runs that label is a good friend of the shop”, Adam said. Menace Beach and Post War Glamour Girls were chosen for the release as they are “two bands that we like at the moment”.
And the future for Jumbo Records is looking bright with the growth in vinyl record sales, as music fans opt to buy an actual album rather than a digital download.
Adam said: “Over the last decade, we have seen an increase in vinyl sales, which have really picked up in the last three of four years. You never want to be blasé, but the future for independent record stores is looking a lot brighter.”
To cope with demand, deeper racks were introduced in Jumbo Records about a year ago to allow 10 per cent more vinyl records to be displayed, and Mr Gillison revealed that extra space may have to be introduced again.
In conjunction with artist Sami Graystone, Jumbo has produced an anniversary T-shirt, while Justin Sunderland has designed a tote bag. There will be a beer made by Kirkstall Brewery and Laynes Coffee is producing a special coffee for the day.
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Jumbo Records was founded by Hunter Smith in 1971. Originally based in the Queens Arcade, it moved to the Merrion Centre in 1974.
In 1988, needing larger premises, it relocated to units 5/6 in the St Johns Centre.
When Mr Smith and his wife Lornette retired in 2014, Jumbo was bought by Leeds couple, Nick Fraser and Justinia Lewis.
Adam Gillison attributes the store’s longevity to its “pride” in its customer service.