About Jumbo Records

Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?

I didn't open Jumbo. It was set up by a guy called Hunter Smith in 1971, and he actually only retired a couple of years back. I've worked here since 1997, but running a record shop was always a bit of a long-held dream, I suppose. I love the music and I love that process of sharing it and having that point of contact with customers.

Our shop is all about inclusivity. We don't specialise in any one genre, and we're into CD and vinyl.  We do aim to go into a bit of depth in everything we do, though. We feel pretty closely involved with the local scene, whether that is selling gig tickets, providing space for event posters and flyers, or selling homemade local releases.  The local music scene is varied and vibrant, and the success through the years of bands like the Wedding Present, Kaiser Chiefs,  Hookworms tends to create knock-on effects locally.  

There's quite a few of us in the shop. The owners are Nick and Justinia, who took on the shop when Hunter and Lornette retired. They were long term customers before that. Trev has been here longest - since 1974! He's our soul expert.  Matt's the king of the counter. Tre's the queen of the concert tickets. And then there's Sally, Jack, Marko, Sarah-Jane and newest recruit Martha - top people all.

It would have been Berwick's in Rugby, where I grew up. It was quite unusual, with all the staff wearing overalls, like laboratory technicians.  First record would have been Slade or Gary Glitter, I should think, but it was 2-Tone that really got me into music when I was about 12. Rugby had a couple of other decent independent record shops, and in particular we used to get the indie, punk and post punk stuff from Convergence.  They used to sell stuff for the local bands too.  My brother and I used to go on trips to London and Birmingham to visit their vast numbers of amazing shops - we used to spend entire days doing nothing other than record shopping. We even used to have our sandwiches sitting on a wall opposite Tape & Record Exchange in Notting Hill – it became part of the day out.  My taste in music really widened when I started working in a record shop, though - it has to.

Yes, I'm always on the lookout for other shops, squeezing them into holidays and so on.  I love Resident in Brighton.  I had a trip to Canada this year and visited some great shops - Sonic Boom in Toronto, the Vinyl Room in Chatham.

We get a few famous people through... I don't really like talking about 'em, though - it's their business!  We had a great instore for the shop's 45th birthday this year - Ultimate Painting, Serious Sam Barrett, Marsicans, Seven Inches and Wilful Missing.

Maybe White Stripes at the Cockpit in Leeds. Or Kid Congo at the Brudenell. Or Eek-a-Mouse at the Birmingham Hummingbird. I could go on...

James Kelman 'A Disaffection', ‘Coming Up For Air’ by George Orwell.

Probably 'Deliverance'.

Specials "Ghost Town"
Velvet Underground "Sunday Morning"
Wailing Souls "Bandits Taking Over"

White Stripes, Stereolab, Pavement, The Jam, Smiths, Misty In Roots, Afghan Whigs, Steve Gunn, Fun Da Mental - all bands tried and tested live. The real joy in a festival is stumbling across someone you've not heard before though, or didn't think would work at a festival, but does.

Too hard. My current favourites are Deerhunter's Fading Frontier' and the Kevin Morby album.  If I really had to choose I’d probably go with the first Specials record.