Record shops are like buses in Leeds, it seems. Before June, wax watering holes in the city were few and far between. But now, for the relatively small size of the city, we are spoilt for choice. In addition to the regular services of Jumbo and Crash (with its basement counterpart Wall of Sound) are a few new shops looking to add a fresh facet to the record buying scene. There is NoiseIsForHeroes, which sits opposite the Infirmary on Great George Street, and the Paula’s record shop above the 212’s sister bar ‘The Doghouse’. But we are most excited about the glorious return of Tribe Records.
As its name suggests, this shop was at the heart of a strong community of hungry record consumers and DJs from 1995, witnessing the life-cycles of several significant Leeds clubbing institutions: Morley’s legendary Orbit and Hessle Audio’s Ruffage night to name a couple. Shop owner Simon Scott (who is also a director and programmer for the Outlook and Dimensions Festivals and Sub Dub) has always been committed to stocking the full spectrum of underground genres, thus providing the fuel for many nights in the city.
After a four year gap, its role at the heart of the scene can be resumed. The current Kirkgate premises are the 6th time it has re-opened in a new location, and the first time since it closed in 2013, this time with the help of Mike Greenwell and Alex Theodossiadis, who run Cosmic Slop and On Rotation respectively. Alex is excited about the shop’s re-opening:
“Since Tribe and Waxwerks’ closure a few years ago Leeds has been lacking a place for record collectors to indulge and congregate. Given the rich musical heritage of the city it’s surprising nothing has come sooner, but with the redevelopment of Kirkgate there is a new creative sector that is blossoming in the area.
“Wire, Outlaws and Wharf Chambers are 3 very important places in Leeds dance music scene and Kirkgate strikes a line right through the middle of them. With Outlaws already hosting a small shop of its own, Tribe’s opening and the Doghouse’s new record shop opening soon, Leeds will soon have a variety of choice in close proximity, something which Manchester has been enjoying for years in the Northern Quarter with Vinyl Exchange, Piccadilly Records and Eastern Bloc.”
The team have plenty of interesting projects planned to make it more than just a shop. In-store sessions, a blog and their occasional ‘All Stars’ parties at Wire will be make the it a one-stop-shop music heads in the area.
It looks like Leeds’ record-buying tribe is re-grouping to be bigger and stronger than ever.