2015 – MOVED TO : 35 The Headrow, Leeds [from 42 John William St. Huddersfield]
tel: 0113-3182050 or 08456-522822. Open Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 11-4
Elliot has emailed to say the shop has moved the The Headrow in Leeds, in the basement of Crash records. Crash is a long running Leeds indie shop (and ticket outlet) so the mix should be good. The report below relates to their older Huddersfield shop, which I will leave up for posterity.
This one was new to me when I came across it on a trip to Huddersfield in Feb 2009. I enjoy visiting West Yorkshire towns for a mooch and it had been a few years since I’d ‘done’ Huddersfield. In fact the last time was probably four years back when we helped electro acoustic musician Chris Meloche out with driving and bag handling duties when he was in town for a University gig. This time we’d gone specifically to marvel at the 1970 Queensgate Market, a stunning concrete and glass edifice so impressive it was given listed building status a few years back. The local council are trying to pull most of it down regardless. They deserve a good kicking.
Anyhow we had our snap in the market’s absurdly retro Merrie England cafe (retro circa 1500 that is, all fake beams and wagon wheels), after which I was expecting the usual scrounge through a couple of charity stores and then home… when I spotted Wall Of Sound.
I didn’t expect much; sure it said ‘records’ on the big bright fascia but that’s often because owners haven’t got around to painting the word out. An arrow inside pointed to vinyl downstairs so I went down and did a double take. A brightly coloured and well lit basement room at least three times the size of the upstairs CD department, and crammed with vinyl. And Germans. Clearly it was not such a well kept secret after all!
I have to say it is one of the best stocked stores I’ve been into for years. Everything properly laid out, lots of categories; even off the wall header cards like ‘Library Albums’ were well stuffed with all manner of tempting oddities. Some nice posters on the wall, some for decoration (including a lovely Isle Of Wight poster), others for sale.
Anyhow, on the grounds that I can hardly moan about shops closing if I don’t use those that remain, I stocked up on a few covers for a book I’m working on, found a neat spoken word album sleeve by an American woodcut print maker, and added a couple of strange private pressing albums which always tickle me.
The store turned out to have been on the upper floor of the Halifax Piece Hall market for many years, and I’d bought some old flyers from them when they were there. They moved to this new site two years ago.
This isn’t a store for bargain hunters, but nothing was absurdly priced (except perhaps for a vintage vinyl bootleg in what looked like a rare sleeve. Closer examination showed it to be made out of Letraset and a laminated snapshot).
Certainly a store I’ve added to my visiting list already.
They have an interweb site with more info and stuff for sale:
UPDATE • I visited the store in October 2011 and got quite a shock. Wall Of Sound are still upstairs, but they have sublet the basement to Vinyl Tap Records. Vinyl Tap are using it as a bargain surplus stock outlet, and have rammed it with over 50,000 discs. The place is difficult to get round, and half the albums are on the floor. The room is mostly trestle tables full of 7″ singles. As Vinyl Tap are an online dealer (they used to be based in Leeds), you’re not going to find many massive bargains here as they’ve kept the good stock back in their warehouse. So OK for a mooch but nothing like it was. Shame they didn’t reopen a proper vinyl store here instead, their Leeds shops were great. So the photo below is now history!