Tenant Profile: Neil Thomson, Northern Acoustics
What do you do here at the Corn Exchange?
Owner and manager at Northern Acoustics
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm quite different now to my younger days of course. I was quite outlandish and extravagant, was into punk, then post-punk, then new wave, spent ages with my friends getting ready to go out and getting that new wave look just right. It was very much a London thing, we got turned away from The Hacienda in Manchester! But things have changed a lot since then, and since I shaved my hair off the look doesn't quite cut it now...
What is your history with the building?
I've been in here for about 7-8 years, we started running a gift shop next door to King Koby, but I knew the building from when I first moved to Leeds and we had a flat on the riverside - I used to come for a drink in here when there was a bar in the basement! When the place re-opened for the first time we got a small shop downstairs, so when the opportunity came up to get this place I thought why not, because I've always had an interest in guitars and music.
What is your favourite thing about working at the Corn Exchange?
I like the atmosphere of the building, and it's really not like coming to work is it - I really can pretty much do what I want, it's great being an independent retailer and running my business how I want to! I say, find something that genuinely makes you feel happy, that you enjoy getting up for, and if you don't then stop doing it!
Tell us about your best day out in Leeds. Where do you go? What do you do?
I like going to gigs, going to little restaurants - Greek or Italian - and discovering the little bars in Leeds. We found another the other night called Below Stairs. I like Domino Club where they have gigs, Nation of Shopkeepers and places like that. Nice food, a few drinks, and if there's a gig or some musicians playing then I'm a happy boy.