Father and son hit right notes

ONE duo are proving that the days of father and son businesses are still very much with us.

While large chain stores such as Homebase and M&Co flee the high street, Stuart and James Harper are continuing the recent trend in Great Yarmouth of local people opting to self employ, by opening their shop J&S Music in Market Row.

Dad Stuart, 57, and son James, 21, from Riverside Road, Gorleston, are avid musicians, playing lead guitar and drums respectively as members of the band The Night Rollers, a function band that plays music from the 1950s and 1960s and have been going five years.

The pair opened the shop last Saturday. They will serve the local music scene, selling instruments and specialist items, as well as repairing instruments and selling sound kit.

Customers will also benefit from expert advice straight from the mouths of the passionate father and son musicmen duo, and the shop will specialise in drums.

Stuart, who used to own the Roadhouse Cafe in St Olaves, said: “You don’t often see the ‘and son’ sort of thing so much now.

“Steptoe and Son comes to mind, but I don’t we think will be that bad.

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“We are musicians ourselves, that is the good thing about it; we can talk turkey with customers, we can say we have tried it out so we know what it is like.

“We will run the place for musicians by musicians.

“This is mainly my son’s business, there is no work for him, so if you can’t get the work you have to take the chance, don’t you?

“By hook or by crook I think we should be here for years, I can’t see why not.”

Stuart, who plays a Gibson Epiphome guitar, said the recession had made setting up the business “no more difficult than usual”, and they had already had a lot of interest from local people, with musicians and bands popping in to say hello and show support.

James, who went to Great Yarmouth High School and Great Yarmouth College, has astutely sidestepped all the economic troubles and tuition fee rises with this move, fulfilling an ambition he has had for some time.

“I have wanted to open my own music shop for a long time,” said James.

“All the local musicians are supporting their local shop, they are thrilled to have a little shop back again and I am thrilled to provide it for them. It is a community, they will help me too.

“It is going quite well, we are just getting established, obviously the recession affects everyone, but all it is doing is slowing us down a little bit.”

He added: “Me and dad are united by a love of music, music is a very powerful thing.”

The familial business partners will also look to promote underrated, independent companies.