Diary Of A Travelin Soul Fan by Dave Moore Part 2 of 2
the account continues, if you haven't read part 1 of Dave's travels then get yourself to here first.
BEER, RECORDS, NORTHERN LADS AND PIES!
[/alignright]On arrival at The Fowlers later that afternoon the party was in full swing.
Paul Hannigan, another Hitsviller, was first up on the Technics and got everyone in the mood whilst Maxine introduced us to the greatest invention known to Lancashire men... a piemaker!
Paul played the cleanest copy of Ann Sexton on Impel I've ever seen. Mine's a bit battered as are many others so it was great to see a minter, double sleeved and well cared for! Nice. We now had everything in place for a fantastic evening, a group of Northern blokes, a pile of 45s, a fridge full of beer and PIES on demand! Does it get any better?
As the day progressed Pete, Denny and Dave Ferguson took to playing a few 45s each and there were a few highlights.
Pete played the Garpax version of Eddie Billups which I really rate, on a nice white pristine demo along with Little Willie Faulk, another 45 I've never owned.
Denny pulled a few nice 70s crossover records out and Dave played quite a few of his bits and bobs including Chuck Holiday, Chico Lamarr alongside a few other West Coast items
It was a great get together and Maxine has to be congratulated on her ability to produce pies at an astonishing rate of knots as we gulped 'em down almost as quick as she furnished making them! Top day/night all round.
Alas some folks had work next morning so around midnight we were nudged in the right direction by the girls who pushed their message in probably the best medium available for maximum effect. (See pic below).
Goodnights were said and we disappeared into the night in our separate directions but with arrangements made for our meet up at the Main Event of the trip the 14th Australian National Northern Soul Weekender.
Next morning I took another jog around the Burns Beach area but this time took a Southern route which saw me take in more sea vistas as well as a couple of landmarks out at sea. The cycle/running routes along the coast are fantastic and I found myself once again going further than I originally planned.
Once back at Denny and Claire's a quick shower, off out for breakfast at a local eatery and Denny graciously suggested a drive into Freemantle which we accepted. [alignright][/alignright] We visited the Maritime museum and took a quick whirl around Freemantle which was very Floridian in its layout and colonial architecture. A leisurely drive back along the coast road enabled us to see even more of the Western Australian coastline, which didn't disappoint. On our return we picked up our suitcases and Denny drove us to The Fowlers residence once again, where we would spend the next 2 nights with Pete, Maxine, and Daniel and Jade their two grown up kids.
First night we went out for a meal at a local pub, Steak and Ale pie! The Ozzies sure love their pies! The next morning saw us en route, with Maxine as our tour guide to Caversham Wildlife Park.
The park is on the outskirts of Perth set in the countryside as is a great way to see and interact with lots of animals unique to Western Australia.
The highlight of the day was feeding the kangaroos that wandered around the place completely unfettered and getting up close and personal with the Koalas.
There were lots of other animals and birds there and for Bev especially it was real 'tick in the box' as she's a devoted animal lover at heart. We saw the shows and displays with lots of schoolchildren who were there on an outing and then, on our way back home, popped into The Chocolate Factory nestled amongst the vineyards of Western Australia's wine going Swan Valley. Needless to say a few bits and bobs were purchased to be enjoyed later
14TH AUSTRALIAN NORTHERN SOUL WEEKENDER
Our group was all travelling on separate airlines so we said our Au Revoirs in the departure lounge with a plan to hook up later that evening but our plans were thwarted as the weather took a nasty turn and we ended up being the only ones to land on time. [alignright] [/alignright]Not to worry, we met up next morning, did the tourist bus, had a lunchtime drink and returned to get ready for the evenings frivolities. After a dinner in the apartment we met up with The Parkers and Fergusons for a few scoops at a local pub before heading down to the Cherry Bar where local DJ Vince Peach was playing. It was absolutely rammed at 11pm and stayed that way until we left around 2.
Not an out and out Northern Soul event but Vince plays a mix of soul, RnB, Mod stuff that keeps his younger audiences attention and we had a great night listening to tracks we don't here too often. Have to say I think there were a few puzz;led teenagers in there wondering who the group of wrinklies who knew all the words to their 'cool' records were!
Next morning was the Australian Remembrance Day so Bev and I made our way to the Shrine at the South of the city in order to pay our respects and remember a few friends who are no longer with us. I have to say that the setting and the service were both spectacular and moving, with lots of participation from schoolchildren, a parade by The Australian Light Horse Regiment and a fly past from the RAAF.
The young Boys Brigade Band stole the show though with many of them only just managing to peer over their drums and instruments they were that small! Once our duty to absent friends was done it was back up to the apartment for breakfast before heading out for the day.
[alignright]][/alignright]Once fed and watered, we headed down to the official meet and greet afternoon of the Weekender at a bar called Section 8 in Chinatown. It was a cool place constructed of ISO containers with a large bar area being the main focus. Tried a few OZ beers but went back to the old reliable bottled Caronas in the end. Place got steadily full as the afternoon progressed and guys were playing records from the corner sound set up although I can't relay anything that was played as it was hard to hear the music unless you stood next to the speakers, but then the idea was to have the music in the background as everyone met up. We met up with a everyone again and managed to finally meet a few ex pats we had communication with over the years and it especially great to finally meet Pete Feven who had helped me with the OZ article for There's That Beat! along with Nigel. We stayed a few hours, said hello to everyone and as we left we all arranged to have dinner at The Longrain, a Thai restaurant where local DJ Samanatha Golding was playing that evening before hitting the first proper night of the weekender.
Quick shave, shower and shampoo and we hit the city's Chinatown area once again where we met up with everyone and proceeded to completely flummox the waitress because of the large number of our party and how we wanted to be served. Maxine got a grip and all ended up well! Food was ok, but unless you're into the fusion type of Asian menus it may disappoint. Plus as Pete observed, "they don't sell mushy peas!"
Now time to hit the first real venue of the event at Roxanne Parlour, a warehouse styled club nestling in the backstreets of the city centre. We arrived at opening time 9pm, paid our door tax and entered what was a two roomed club with dancefloors in each, ambient lighting and in the main room a stage where the decks were set up. The opening DJ played one of my favourite records of the moment Jackey Beavers We're Not Too Young" Jaber. Perfect!
Dave Ferguson and I had been invited to play a set each, mine in the main room and Dave F's in the smaller, what we thought was going to be a rare and underplayed room but eventually determined that music with a modern/crossover flavor was the order of the day.
Dave and I were scheduled on the roster to play at the same time so we missed each other's sets although I managed to catch the last 15 minutes of Dave's.
Records in Dave F's set included Chuck Holiday, Skip Jackson .
Whilst Denny deserves a Mention In Despatches also for playing two of my favourite Crossover' records back to back TSU Toronados Please Heart Don't Break and What Good Am I on Rampart Street and Atlantic respectively.
Great stuff. I thought Dave F's set would have gone down really well in the main room also.
My 45 minute spot in the main room consisted of more of what I'd heard the previous DJs play and as I took over the Technics from Brian Williams at 1215 his last 45 was Lester Tipton "This Won't Change" which suited me just fine.
I simply continued with a slew of Wigan Casino classic records and threw in the odd left fielder which had served Brian well and kept a full dancefloor heaving. Robbie Lawson, Appreciations, Mel Britt, Eddie Parker, were interspersed with The Poets, The Masqueraders and a few others. I even managed to slip in a JJ Barnes Real Humdinger on REO. Once again the most popular 45 of my set appeared to be the Just Brothers though!
There's no doubt that the crowd were up for a great night of well selected oldies with the odd surprise popping up for good measure and the rest of the DJ line up continued in that vein. By 1am the final 45 faded and we all left with the aching muscles that only a great night of dancing can produce.
Back to the apartment for a night's kip was the order of the day but en route...I was introduced to the best invention I saw in Australia throughout the whole trip. PIEFACE!
Pieface is a chain of shops in Aussie cities that sell...yep, you've guessed it Pies! The thing is, they sell all kinds of weird and wonderful pies! You can actually get pies with no meat in them too!! (What's all that about though?). Anyway myself and Pieface became bonded, like brothers, like superglue in fact. Our loyalty was consummated when I devoured their Steak and Pepper pie, a truly wonderful invention! Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not averse to the odd plate of Veal Scallopini, well pounded, sauteed and served on a bed of cream sauce made with wild mushrooms enhanced with dry vermouth. But I'm a Burnley lad and we're talking pies here!
Over the next few days I would aquaint myself with a large portion of the Pieface menu and can thoroughly recommend that any Northerners in the vicinity of one of their establishments avail themselves of its fare. You won't be disappointed!
Yet another lie in on the Saturday morning then a leisurely lunch before a walk around the city centre was how we chose to chill out. We'd been on the go for a more than a couple of weeks by now and needed a quick recharge of the old batteries.
A brisk walk back to the apartment and it was time to get ready for the Saturday gig of the Weekender. A short taxi ride to the Northern side of the city brought us to a place called The Revolt. It was smack in the middle of an industrial estate and I bet there were a few eyebrows raised as people neared the location. They needn't have worried though as once inside the place opened up into a cavernous dancehall with a large bar area a stage at the end of one side from which the DJ's plied their trade. The dancefloor was pretty full when we arrived and stayed that way for the majority of the rest of the day/evening.
Once again it was mainly the classics that filled the floor but there was one DJ who really stood out for me, Keith Sutcliffe from Melbourne who played lots of 45s that I hadn't heard for a while and quite a few I heard for the first time.
A really good mixed tempo set that kept both dancer and anorak interested. Pete Fowler then took to the turntables and played a great set of quality rarities mixed with quality cheapies. Great to hear Joe Hicks "I Got Be Free" again, another 45 I've never owned (yet).
The final DJ of the night was Vince Peach who once again played a variety of club classics, Northern soul, the odd Mod sound and some classic Detroit stuff that had people, your author included, on the dancefloor for most of his set. I can't remember the last time I danced to Edwin Starr's "Headline News". In the search for the rare and obscure it's always great to relive the thrill of the records that first got you into this music and all the Ric Tic, Golden World records I heard over the weekend really do remind you of what a smack in the head they gave you when you first heard them all those years ago.
As Vince finaly played the last 45 we headed outside to find a taxi when to our surprise two brightly coloured red London buses turned up to ferry everyone back to the city!
RADIO SHOW PBS106FM
11am next morning saw Dave Ferguson and I took a 40 minute walk through what can only described as the 'Bohemian' part of the city. Melbourne is popular with backpackers and independent travelers and this area was the heart of their part of the city.
[alignleft][/alignleft] Lots of coffee shops, vegan stores, books, antiques and even a record store (although 2 mins in there was enough to deduce that any soul 45s they may have had were long gone). The reason for our morning sojourn was the fact that we had been invited to guest on Samanatha Goldie's radio show. Samantha produces a live FM radio show every Sunday for PBS 106FM and asked us two Brit anoraks to come down and play a few records.
[/alignleft]We duly did the sound checks and Samantha let us loose with our 45s. I always enjoy doing radio shows, it gives you an opportunity to present the music and the people who created it without the pressures of filling a dance-floor so Dave and I took it in turns to play 45s in 3s and each trio of records was linked together.
My first threesome went out to a mate in NJ who we knew was listening, Greg Tormo, and consisted of 3 of New Jersey's Joe Evans' finest productions.
I then played a sort of mini tribute to three unsung Detroit heroes of mine, Diamond Jim Riley, Mike Hanks and Cody Black resulting in all three of us concluding that the EJ and The Echoes 45 is the best 10 quid anyone can ever spend on 45s.
With the Anniversary of the passing of our good friend and fellow Hitsviller Weldon McDougall III I included 3 45s that he was involved with.
Dave an I played our 45s in alternative sets of three and in amongst Dave's were a few of his favourites by Walter Jackson and the underated Wales Wallace along with a trio of requests from Samantha that included he Apprecations (Sport), Johnnie Mae Mathews (Big Hit) and Andy Fisher (Fat Fish).
Oh, and before I forget I also managed to slip in a cover up entitled "The Riley Hampton Orch - Dreamin" and hopefully there are a couple of copies now winging theire way to Perth.
I must say the 2 hours we were live seemed to fly by and that's always the best litmus test of whether you've had a good time or not eh? If you want to hear the dulcet tones of two Northern Lads complete with "Errs, Oohs" and accents, click here: http://www.pbsfm.org.au/bossaction Her DJing personna goes under the monicker of Miss Goldie and her show is entitked Boss Sounds.
It's difficult to listen live to Samantha's radio show in Europe because of the time difference but her shows are archived on the page in the link and well worth a listen on a damp cold Sunday evening.
Wireless duties over it was back to the apartment, quick breakfast and a meet up for a scoop before onto the final gig which was to take place in a renovated railway arch down by the train station called Platform 4. It's a long narrow room with a dancefloor at one end As we entered, the place had a good sprinkling of people there already and the dancefloor was also seeing action. A few more scoops and we decided to take a break and get a bite to eat and a pint at a local pub Kev had already frequented. It was outside this pub as we left that we bumped into two young nubile PR girls who were promoting some kind of beer and who were bowled over by Kev's Northern charm and Bev's determination to see her 2 sons married off, preferably to these two good looking girls ! The girls were great sports and the chance meeting gave us a great laugh as we returned to the gig at Platform 4.
Back inside the now dark club, the crowd had swelled somewhat and were up for it now big time. A slew of oldies kept folks on the dance-floor and the award for surprise 45 of the weekend went to Barry Simpson as he pulled out a Frankie Beverly Because Of My Heart Rouser , in almost mint condition. If fact he played a great set of rare oldies interspersed with the odd quality cheapie that kept everyone in the party mood and the dance-floor rammed.
Next morning consisted of yet another lazy lie in before breakfast and gaggle of mates. We enjoyed a couple of hours laughing, joking and generally taking the p*ss out of each other before saying our farewells to a group of people that had made us extremely welcome and had played a major part in our enjoyment of the event.
That evening we, Dave and Janet, Bev and Kev had a quiet meal at The World on the banks of the river and called it a night. Next day we all had lunch with Pete Feven at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow and spent the evening packing for our departures. Bev and Kev were flying to UK, Dave and Janet to Sydney and Bev and I to another old stomping ground of mine - Singapore.
The event in Australia was a great success. The venues were different to the usual UK settings but similar to places I've been to in Europe. Big halls, dancefloors at the end, stages, a set of Technics and a group of people up for good time - the perfect combination. As we left Australia we decided that it had been a long but worthwhile trip. To see the OZ contingent of Hitsville on their own turf was fantastic and to finally meet Nige, Pete, Debbie and Alan, Karen et al was a real pleasure. Especially to Kay Simpson, Claire Johnson and Maxime Fowler we owe a a huge thank you for putting up with us invading your family homes! You played a blinder girls!
Finally, after much deliberation and by the slimmest of margins, we award the quote of the trip to Pete Fowler
"There's not a meal yet been invented that can't be improved by putting it on a butty!"
thanks again go to Dave Moore for this very enjoyable read, due to the size his account of his travels was split into two parts
Part One which includes a look at the Brothers Of Soul concert Hong Kong and much more can be found via the link below