John Harris

Journalist & Author

Record Store Day: can’t stop the rock, but £50 man fills in for teenage rebels

The international event sometimes feels like a day-long benefit for a struggling musical genre, writes John Harris

Jumbo Records in Leeds has been in business for 43 years. Located in a functional shopping centre that also houses Poundland and McDonald’s, its interior offers a fascinating contrast to just about everything that surrounds it. When I arrive, the in-house audio system is blaring out a song from 1971 by the black American pioneers Funkadelic. The cream of the stock is adorned with handwritten reviews ("Emerging from Brisbane in Australia with three siblings in their four-piece lineup, Blank Realm are currently stirring up a storm"). It is a lovely place: somewhere any devotee of music could spend endless hours.

The shop sells not just records and CDs, but gig tickets, and the promotional posters on the walls attest to a culture in which the past is now an integral part of the present. Among forthcoming attractions are the Rezillos, whose commercial peak arrived circa 1978, 59-year-old Wreckless Eric, and Northside, minor players in the "Madchester" milieu of the late 1980s and early 1990s. On Saturday, among the acts who will play the shop’s celebration of Record Store Day will be Cud, a Leeds-spawned quartet whose last top 30 hit came in 1992, with a somewhat risqué single titled Purple Love Balloon.

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