Tuesday, 17 January 2012
In the not so distant days before downloads, getting hold of the latest vinyl meant a trip to the Merrion Centre , as there, in the middle of an unprepossessing corridor of mock-Georgian shopfronts cunningly situated between Morrisons (the student supermarket) and the Phono, was the now legendary Jumbo Records. The DIY punk revolution had given a real raison d'etre to independent record stores, and Jumbo stocked the kind of vinyl which Woolies and HMV never would. In the early 80s it was definitely the place to get the latest Merciful Releases too, as seemingly weeks before the London music weeklies announced the release of a new Sisters release (almost a monthly occurence in early 1983), the usual Jumbo window display of a patchwork of sleeves the latest releases would be replaced with multiple copies of the latest Sisters release, with the classic iconography (see the excellent http://80sgothicrock.blogspot.com/ for details of where the Sisters and other similar bands found their inspiration for their artwork and logos) a clarion call to the local fans to get the latest EP, before facing the long walk back up Woodhouse Road to hear (over and over and over) how the live favourites had translated into a studio setting. That Choque Hosein (and his unique wardrobe) worked there around this time only added to its reputation as being an utterly cool place to hang out, a bit like the shop in the film version of About A Boy. Jumbo Records (still with the same logo) may have relocated to the more upmarket St James Centre later in the decade, but as a cursory glance at their current website http://www.jumborecords.co.uk/ will attest, the original spirit very much lives on.