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Awesome Leeds: 45 years of Jumbo Records

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Hey Adam, tell us who you are and what you do…

I am Adam Gillison, and I am the manager of Jumbo Records record shop in Leeds city centre. I do all sorts from represent the shop at industry meetings to cleaning the sink!

Jumbo Records opened in 1971… that’s 45 years of being an awesome independent music store! How has Jumbo kept going in these times of high street chains and online download culture?

Good customer service, passion for what we do, commitment to the local music scene.

Who designed the iconic elephant logo for the store?

Um, dunno!  It’s from before my time… But in a funny way, it is timeless.

Tell us a little about what Jumbo does, what you guys sell and offer the local music community…

Well, we sell records, CDs, concert tickets plus a big range of related items.  We’re not a specialist as such – the music we sell goes across the board – but we definitely bring an element of specialism to all we do.  For the local music community, we offer the chance to walk in off the street and pick up an album or gig ticket, browse or meet people.  We do in-stores for local bands and those farther afield.  We give up space for local gig flyers and poster space on the walls, and if you’re in a local band you can bring in your latest product and we will try and sell it for you, whatever the music genre.

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Leeds has so many awesome independent music venues, food places and creative spaces… would you say the independent scene in Leeds is stronger than ever?

It must be strong, as the odds are stacked against it and it still survives!  Independent Leeds has a community spirit and offers mutual support, which always helps.

How involved do you get with Record Store Day?

Very much.  It’s our biggest day of the year.  We sell loads of records and know that it is a huge advert for the shop.  We usually put on free live music as well, and try to get other local businesses involved.  We always try to get our (and our customers’) voices heard at a national level on RSD too.

Have you always sold Jumbo tees and badges? Have you sold any other Jumbo themed merch?

We’ve sold T-shirts for 10 years or more.  Previously we have done slip mats and record bags. Currently we also do tote bags and mugs, and we’ve got one or two other things up our sleeve.

For the uninitiated, tell people what indie music stuff they should be checking out in Leeds?

Here’s some recommendations from across the staff: Hookworms, See No Evils, Cry Baby Cry, Menace Beach,  Zozo and plenty more.

On a personal level, we’d like to know the weirdest/worst band name or album artwork you’ve ever had the pleasure of stocking in Jumbo…

Sorry – I’m too tactful for that… Oh Sees do some of the weird ones, but they’re really good too. I love the artwork on Light In The Attic records.  It’s not just that it’s timeless – I’m also really into all the detail and notes that they put inside too.

Tell us the five best things about Leeds…

The live music venues
The cricket ground
The film festival
North Bar
The people!

Anything else you’d like to promote about yourselves? 

Yes, just that throughout the year we put loads of special events on, including bands, talks etc. We did a fanzine for Record Store Day last year.  We put on films in conjunction with Leeds International Film Festival.  All this stuff is a part of what we do, so please check it out when you can.

You can check out Jumbo Records via their websiteFacebook or Twitter.

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