Originally conceived in the U.S.A. in 2007 and now held all around the world on the 3rd Saturday of every April, Record Store Day is a special day in the life of any music fan. The idea is to celebrate the art of music and to help and to support local independent record stores. The day brings together everyone from music fans, store employees and even artists. This Saturday the 21st will see many artists releasing special limited edition vinyl’s and making live appearances in stores. Both ‘Jumbo Records’ in the St. John’s centre and ‘Crash Records’ on the Headrow will be flying the flag for Leeds.
I would be a liar if I said that I had never illegally downloaded anything in my life and that I hadn’t spent a small fortune over the years in the likes of H.M.V., but the likes of ‘Jumbo’ and ‘Crash’ offer a lot more than just cheap convenience. Independent record stores have soul, they have personality. Their staff are employed for their individuality and because they are truly passionate for the things they sell and because they actually know what they’re talking about.
In his book ‘31 Songs’, Nick Hornby writes that “The most depressing thing about chains is being confronted by the same books and DVDs and albums everywhere you go, the same bestseller lists, the same three for two offers… I would like to continue to discover new things; that isn’t going to happen anywhere that’s floated on the Stock Exchange.”
On the significance of Record Store Day, Matt at ‘Jumbo Records’ told me “It’s about showing people that music is very much worth supporting and paying for, and that ‘believe it or not’ there is a massive and vast variety of music out there that gets support from shops like us because we genuinely like it (not because the label paid us to say it).”
With many record stores (both independent and chains) failing to survive the economic down turn of the recession it is somewhat of a blessing to see that Leeds has managed to sustain two major cultural hubs in both ‘Jumbo’ and ‘Crash’. That they continue to operate independently (‘Jumbo’ alone has been trading for 41 years) and are still the main outlets for local gig tickets in the city as well as being able to help put on a party like Record Store Day is a great credit to them.
In summing up the importance of Record Store Day locally, Matt at ‘Jumbo Records’ believes that “There are already a great many people in Leeds that foster a great independent shopping culture and music scene so it’s about showing the one’s that perhaps don’t know just what’s under their noses already.”
Both ‘Jumbo Records’ and ‘Crash Records’ will be open from 9am on Saturday the 21st of April. Form an orderly queue and support your local record store!
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