Completing the trio of Leeds city centre’s much loved record stores is the less celebrated but no less serious Relics Records. This place holds thousands of vintage vinyl, including collectible classics and obscure finds, that make for a fine rummage through the racks. The guys here buy and sell and certainly know their stuff. A trip to Relics is to journey through the best of the past, with a wonderful whiff of nostalgia and love.
Besides these awesome independents, and the important yet wobbling chain store HMV, there are several other notable specialists. Perhaps the most integral store for underground dance music in Leeds is Tribe Records on Kirkgate. This has been a focal point for over 20 years for DJ’s and clubbers to hang out and pick up cuts of dub, techno and many more exciting finds, and remains as strong to the scene now as ever.
Another fitting space for a record store has been filled recently with just that, thanks to Release Records in the Corn Exchange. Set up by a couple of cool collectors, it unsurprisingly selects well, especially for vintage rock and roll, and is also a label for equally excellent and diverse artists. Also relatively new is a lovely little shop selling superb second hand vinyl called Noise is for Heroes, which specialises in punk but also crosses a broad spectrum of genres.
In the suburbs too, record lovers are catered for. Vinyl Fixx in Armley buys and sells all sorts, from rock to reggae, dance to metal. Shed Load Of Vinyl is exactly what is says in the name – not only a huge collection of vinyl to sift through, but situated at the back of a Guiseley house! And in Holbeck, Norman Records is a Leeds institution for those in the know. They have been trading online for over two decades but keep a physical presence too, and are ones to follow for their outspoken views and reviews that are always entertaining and rarely wrong.
That’s enough to be getting on with, but Leeds also has more ways to pick up vinyl… at places like Leeds Union Music Library where Records can be borrowed, at Hyde Park Book Club’s recent jazz vinyl release To Be Here Now, and at various fairs across the city, such as at Kirkgate Market, Brudenell Social Club and the Corn Exchange. So next time you think that streaming is taking over, remember the above. Turn on, tune in and freak out. And keep the faith.