Leeds has a brand new record store to pore over the racks in as Noiseisforheroes opens on Great George Street.
There’s something of an independent revival happening down on Great George Street, with the likes of Union, Fettle and Stage Espresso opening in the last 6 months – and there’s another addition to add to the list. Noiseisforheroes is a brand new record shop and it’s now open.
The shop has been created by Chris Coulthard, a long time resident of Leeds who has been selling records at record fairs in the city since 2003, as well as working at the famed Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield. 14 years of experience in the business has led him to open his own shop, selling vinyl records across any and all genres.
Chris told us why, after years working at fairs, he decided it was time to have a permanent home, “I know a good amount of local folk in the music scene, and local collectors and dealers, so it’s the natural choice. I looked for an affordable property and was pleased to find that a shop near the city centre was in my budget. I hadn’t expected that, so I pursued it, and fortunately the owners really liked the idea. Great George Street is one of the most attractive streets in Leeds, the period facade on the shop I just love. Beautiful building, lots of small independent businesses along the street, perfect.”
While the outside does look smart, it’s what’s inside that counts and there’s plenty to keep you flicking through the racks. Chris’ speciality is punk, it’s the music he grew up with and makes up a large part of his collection – the name of the shop is a lyric by The Damned, after all. But he’s made sure he has something for everyone.
“I have records from as many genres as possible, a healthy, broad selection,” he pointed out. “Today I priced up a Beyonce double album and straight underneath was a Popul Vuh album and I know that there was a Peggy Lee album not far below. There’ll be anything that is interesting to me and I hope will be interesting to someone else. I’ll buy collections of anything interesting.”
It’s not just records either. He knows how to cater for his discerning audience of music lovers. There will always be record players and amps on offer in the shop, with a particular focus on affordable ones for people looking for something reliable to start off with.
There’s a plan to add band shirts, badges and gig tickets down the line too, and you might even be able to bag a freebie. There’ll be a free records box full of gems that are a little beaten up, but should still play okay that Chris is happy to give away, as well as the ‘Obsolete Zone’, that will be filled up with video tapes and 8-track cartridges for a fun blast from the past, although they may set you back a little.
It’s still vinyl records where Noiseisforheroes will make their mark. The vinyl revival of the past few years can be seen not just in Leeds, from Jumbo to Crash, Relics and Single Shot, but also across the whole country. And Chris doesn’t think it’s a fad.
“I think it’s been very helpful, it’s definitely real,” he told us. “Long may it continue. Records are the perfect way for a band or artist to express themselves. You get the music as intended, in the artwork inspired by it. It’s perfect to study an album sleeve at arms length and think about what it means to the artist, and in turn what it means to you. No other format had that intimacy, or realises that understanding. And a 7″ single can be perfect too, especially soul and punk 7” singles are just magical.”
Noiseisforheroes Records is the perfect place to go and see what he’s talking about, whether you’re a long time record collector, or want to see what all the fuss is about. If you know what you’re looking for, you could spend hours in this Aladdin’s cave of a shop, with racks that are being added to on a daily basis, but if you don’t know where to start, Chris is full of knowledge to put you on the right track.
It’s the very reason he opened the shop, “I want to give people the music they want on the most loved format ever. Just something akin to the sort of record shop I loved growing up, where you could buy interesting music and know your next visit would unearth even more.”
Noiseisforheroes Records, 75a Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.