The story of muse music and love cafe

muse music

Muse Music was opened in 1997 by lifelong Hebden Bridge resident, Sid Jones. It had been Sid's dream to own his own record shop for many years, and he quickly discovered that he was doing brisk trade. The business began life in 40 Market Street (now 2Tone Comics) and after a couple of years, moved next door to number 38, a bigger shop.

Sid concentrated on his specialist knowledge of Progressive, Psychedelic and Heavy Rock to stock the shop, ignoring occasional customer advice that he should have "chart music" available! As the years passed, other categories were introduced... Jazz, Folk and more esoteric selections. The shop soon gained a great reputation and became a "destination" choice, not just for loyal local customers but for international visitors too.

In 2012, following a devastating flood in the Calder Valley, Muse Music was refitted to include another dimension to the business; the Love Cafe. Sid's wife, Valeen, ensured that customers could now enjoy artisan coffee and lovely snacks while they chose their music selections. A great atmosphere and good, cheerful service contributed to the shop going to number 1 on Trip Advisor!

All went very smoothly until Boxing Day 2015, when the River Calder burst and torrented down Market Street at five feet deep. The whole town was badly affected and many people did not have flood insurance, including Muse Music and Love Cafe. All the stock and the kitchen were destroyed.

sid and valeen

To get the shop back up-and-running, fans, supporters and record companies donated stock and raised money to prevent one of their favourite shops from being lost. The Trades Club on Holme Street organised a huge "one-off" record fair for the shop, featuring celebrity contributions, which was incredibly successful.

Bjork sent signed albums and a personally hand-written letter. Mike Joyce of The Smiths  donated original signed Smiths LPs. Other contributors includes Pete Wylie, Tracey Thorn, Sparks, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand and Enter Shikari. There was even a fund-raising live concert performed in Japan, by the band Acid Mothers Temple.

Thanks to all this activity, Muse Music and Love Cafe was able to open again in the spring of 2016 after drying out and redecorating. As said says they "couldn't have carried on without everybody's help!" 

You can read more about the shop in two books, "Last Shop Standing" and "The Vinyl Revival" by Graham Jones.

Early in 2020, Sid and Valeen decided it was time to retire after nearly a quarter of a century running the shop. We have now passed on the torch on to the new owners Paul and Louise. Their excitement and enthusiasm will surely bring a new lease of life to this local legacy business.

— Valeen, 2020

We're very grateful to Valeen and Sid for taking the time to write this piece for the website. We are thrilled to be at the start of a new chapter in Muse Music and Love Cafe's story. We wish them a fun-filled and enjoyable retirement, as we welcome old and new customers back to the piece of history they've created.