A look back at the Orwell
The Orwell An Oasis Of Tentastic Musical Offerings
Well I suppose I deserved the punishment of a full and frank review after all the shameless promotion so here it is.
Bank holidays don't you just love them we knew we were going to have problems with traffic on the busiest weekend of the year so being a work shy get I finished work early rushed home got changed and out of the door in record time. The road to Wigan is a familiar one for Ali and myself but I can't ever recall having to circumnavigate the Great Horn to get there before but we finally rolled up at Chez Davies Ornamental Gardens in Standish in time for a quick Chinese before our early doors warm up spot at our favourite soul night at the moment The Orwell at Wigan Pier.
A quick application of war paint and slurp of wine later Terry sped off to DJ at the Ilkeston soul night in Derbyshire, Lynne jumped into the cab with us and off we sped to the Pier. For a change we actually turned up early for the spot and had time for a swift round of drinks and a meet and greet with the other early birds Jill & Graham the "Pantwettingly Gorgeous" Steve Plumb (Not my description) Dean Johnson and Barry Maleady, I have a theory a theory that is mine about Baz, there are in fact three Baz Mals all identical, the Maleady Triplets, there must be, everywhere we go he's DJing they can't all be the same person!! With Milliseconds to spare Barry managed to set up the decks as the first punters walked through the doors a quick fumble in the box produced a record for a LIVE sound check a quick riposte to Dean's earlier razor like whit regarding my long lost brother Ollie and we were off.
During the first record the room started to fill and in walks my long lost pal Shute not seen for many a year, although he has recently joined the Soul Source Championship Darts Team the rest of whom were conspicuous by there absence, but I shall deal with them later. During the early part of the set the room began to fill and while it was by no means a lock out, despite the shameless OTT internet promotion from yours truly, a healthy crowd had gathered from far and wide. It wasn't long before our partners in crime Paul Clarke and Niki Golding strode rakishly up to the decks bearing gifts of unholy cocktails of JD and Red Bull and it's sad to say it was downhill from there on in.
What I really do love about this place is that there really are no politics at all; it really is all about the music. And depending on the guests booked the variety and scope of the music played changes because the residents Steve Connor, Brian Flanders Baz and Plumby have such breadth of taste and such wealth in their individual collections that they can take you quite literally anywhere depending on the vibe on the night and the mood they are in. We played what I call a typical Nightingale spot nowadays with a few requests catered for from the Pollards, Niki's new puppies and the SSCDT and it was a joy to have the luxury of an extended hour and a half to inflict our taste on the public at large.
Following our spot Steve Connor stepped up to the podium and with the deft batton changing skill of a 4 by 100 metre relay champion took up the mic and raised the stakes with some floor fillers. Don't ask me what he played all I can say is that I thought I heard a Mary Mundy and a Persuaders in there we were in full socialising mode by then so many people to catch up with and drinks to procure from the merry bar stewards. Up after Steve was Brian "Flanny" Flanders who has one of the finest collections around and taste that always leaves me drooling for more. By now the cogs were well and truly oiled and the memory starts to dim but I remember the superb Pyramids Soul Bros Inc and Flash McKinley spun amongst the gems on offer keeping the floor filled for the Star Turn Arthur Fenn. Arthur needs no introduction, he is quite simply one of the finest DJ's around on the scene and has been for many a many a year (I stole that line from our first record ?) another that can play the whole spectrum and with perhaps the exception of new material, something we all steered clear of on the night, that is exactly what he did from the superb Earth Child on Marjon "It's our day" to the absolute classic Patrinell Staton on Sepia "Little love affair" all bases covered. By now I had on my dancin' feet and one of the Maleady Triplets finished off the evening in style, I have absolutely no idea what he played but it must have been good as even I was glued to the dancefloor for the final hour.
It 's little wonder that we love this little club so much, there is always such a great atmosphere and as a real bonus everyone who turns up does so with the full intention of enjoying themselves to the max add to that a superb repertoire of tunage before you even have a guest and you are as good as guaranteed a great night out. If you have never been and you like a little variety in your soul then I suggest that you could do a lot worse than to venture down to the pier for a Tent Music spectacular with the Orwell boys.
I'll leave you with our playlist for the night and a reminder that the next performance on the Pier is a Yarmouth Soul Essence retrospective on the 22nd October 2004, featuring Bob Cosby and the Brother's Ripolles and the prospect has my drooling like a loon already. Remember just follow the brown signs for the Pier once your in Wigan and it's on your right, unless you are Mick Howerd and then follow the brown signs round Wigan twice and when you end up in Standish hopelessly lost jump in a cab and get him to take you there.
Ollie Nightingale - I Don't Know Why I Love You - Memphis
Denice Chandler & Lee Sain - Hey Baby - Toddlin Town
Emotions - I Love You, But I'll Leave you - Twin Stacks
Jo Armstead - There's Not Too Many More (Left Like Him) - Giant
TSU Toronados - Please Heart Don't Break - Rampart Street
Little Madeline - Emotion - Blue Soul
Florence Miller - The Groove I'm In - P&P
Ascots - Just A Few Feet From The Gutter - American Playboy (Request)
Madeline & The Monticello's - Binding Ring Of Gold - De-Val
Velvet Hammer - I Can't Believe - Chila
5th Dimension - No Love In The Room - Arista
Four Wonders - Just Looking For My Love - Solid Foundation (Request)
The Jades - L.O.V.E I Love You - Imperial
Spartans - I Don't Need Another Lover - Era (Request)
Summits - I Can't Get Over Losing You - Dontee
Kool Blues - Can We Try Love Again - Capsoul
Timeless Legend - I Was Born To Love You - Dawn Lite
Norwood Long - I'd Like To Have You - Groovey Grooves
Minits - Still A Part Of Me - MGM Memphis
Three Prophets - I Think I Really Love You - Together
Jato Vondell - Having A Good Time - Gregory
Pioneers - My Good Friend James - Ice (Request)
Frankie Zhivago Young - Somebody Stole My Love - Ultra
Wee - Try Me - Owl
Jimmy Beaumont & The Skyliners - Our Day Is Here - Drive (Request)
Essex IV - My Heart Just Can't Take It - Windmill
Scarbrough - Make Love To You - EJ Scarbrough (Request)
Powerhouse - You Turn Me On - Daystar
Masterpiece - Love Affair - YPSI
Darrow Fletcher - It's No Mistake - Crossover
AJ Brown - Making Love Together - Maestro Music (Request)
One Trout out.