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Cardiff Character: Harry Willicombe

At first it is difficult to spot Harry Willicombe among the records piled high in Kellys Records. It is hard to believe that such a small stall situated in Cardiff Central Market can contain so much; it’s bursting at the seams, with records spilling out of the stall.

When Harry is eventually located, he appears to be engrossed in a record sleeve. Clad in a baggy plaid shirt with a baseball cap perched on top of his tousled hair, he seems to be extremely content in his surroundings.


Harry has worked at Kellys Records in Cardiff Central Market for five years and has loved (almost!) every minute of it

Music in his blood

Born and bred in Marshfield, the 20-year-old’s ease around music is unsurprising as his grandfather, who he endearingly refers to as ‘”grampy”, owns Kellys Records. Harry grew up in the record store, claiming his earliest memory of the shop was when he was about five years old.

“I used to come in and chat to all the members of staff and I fell in love with the place,” he says. It appears that his early years spent in the stall had a huge influence on his life, as at 15-years-old Harry began to work on the stall alongside his grandfather.

It is evident that Harry loves working on the record stall, “My favourite part about my job is the ability to come into work every day and to be able to find something different, something new.”

Working in Kellys Records has also helped Harry to hone his musical knowledge. “You can listen to so much music as well, I found out about so many music genres that I never would have considered myself liking just from working here,” the soft-spoken Harry explains.

“My favourite part about my job is the ability to come into work every day and to be able to find something different, something new.”


Is there anything he dislikes about working on the stall? “Christmas”, he states decidedly, laughing and shooting a knowing look. “It just gets so busy!” he exclaims.

Love of vinyl

It is evident that Harry has inherited his grandfather’s passion for music, with his eyes lighting up when he talks about vinyl. It appears that he is not alone with his love for vinyl, as it is claimed by Martin Talbot, Chief Executive of the Official Charts Company  that vinyl album sales are up by almost 70% already this year.

But what motivates people to buy physical music when free downloads are so prevalent nowadays?

Harry certainly thinks that there is something special about vinyl. For Harry, the artwork on vinyl is better, it feels like you physically own it, and buying a record makes more of an event to listen to music rather than just sitting down and taking something from the internet.

“And because you’ve actually spent money on it, even if you don’t like it you sort of find yourself defending it anyway which is quite funny,” he laughs.

With the popularity of vinyl growing, Harry thinks that the future of Kellys Records looks promising. “Where will the shop be in five years time?” Harry muses. “Hopefully we will expand and have our own shop outside the market somewhere else.”

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