He flipped through the racks of LPs, murmuring excitedly. “Joy Division at the front there! Marvellous.” Lovingly he fondled an album by The Clash. “Now, is this the UK version or the US version? Ah, it’s the UK version – the US version has (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais on it, and this doesn’t!”
It was strangely endearing to watch: an actual political leader, muttering about track listings like a character from Nick Hornby. It’s hard to imagine David Cameron or Jeremy Corbyn, say, demonstrating such an unashamedly nerdish enthusiasm for music.
“Oh, I’m a massive trainspotter,” said Mr Farron proudly. “Huge pop anorak.” He’d lost count of his records, but they were “in the four figures”. They were kept in “Daddy’s pop cupboard, as the kids call it”. He even still listened to cassettes in “my banger” (his car).
He appears to have inherited his passion from his father, who “was a DJ in the Seventies on Friday and Saturday nights in a nightclub not far from Preston. I used to get his cast-offs. On one occasion I deliberately damaged one of his Chic records so I could have it.”