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Best Soul Nights in the North East Ever

Best Soul Nights in the North East Ever cover

1. DUNELM HOUSE, DURHAM.

 

My first all-dayer was in 75 and I tend to think of them amongst the best days of my life. Most of the records I hear as I go round Northern Soul Nights still, I heard for the first time that first day. People came from all over the country and all the top jocks played. Searling did an afternoon set due to commitments elsewhere on the evening; with Levine and Curtis moving increasingly into disco, Funk and Jazz Funk, he was head and shoulders above the rest playing traditional northern, though some prefferred Soul Sam. Some things never change.

 

Alex did an all-nighter in 77 but staying up all night wasn't my thing and I hated it. Probably the most important dj set of his life though as he played Hi Tension to a mostly northern crowd and got away with it.

 

The following year he put Chris Hill on armed with fireworks, a portable mick and just about the last great set of Funk and Jazz Funk newies and wearing red trousers. Somewhat ill advisedly, Alex copied and wore his for years.

 

2. THREE TUNS, DURHAM.

 

Its legendary bouncy dancefloor wouldn't get past health and safety now, the Bottle generally got things started and Jimmy Radcliffe normally brought proceedings to a close. Whatever Alex became, we benefitted from the last relevant years of Wigan, the peak of Cleethorpes and the last great flowering of the Mecca before Saturday Night Fever and Georgio Moroder made disco naff. Levine and Curtis both guested.

 

3. BERWICK WEEKENDER.

 

Technically on the Scottish side. Not as life changing as what happened next, but it certainly had its moments and hinted at what was to follow. A time when the djs were discovering they were playing the same records as each other before they started deliberately playing the same records as each other. Funk and disco maestro Paul Cooke asked me to produce his radio Soul show and became an unlikely hero among certain serious Soul folk and some of the records he played became staples on the Modern Scene.

 

4. MANOR HOUSE, WEST AUCKLAND.

 

Solely in terms of music, in a league of its own, though too ahead of its time for anyone who just wants to dip their toe(nail) or those who want to play politics. Similar manifesto to Rhetford but much of the music there is as naff as the term Just Soul with its connotation of unimportance. Been tying to remember if I gave Paul: Curtis - No thing on me, George Jackson - Aretha and the Tops - Still Water to play at Berwick.

 

5. AYCLIFFE. Legendary Northern Soul town, the home of many a day/ night in the mid seventies including the first all-nighter I ever went to which was the first time I heard the Flasher and the Ojays I Love Music. John Howard persuaded us to go and I never told him how much I hated it.

I particularly remember a great night in nearby Spennymoor around the time of Cathedrals when my big sister, obviously keen to lose her kid brother, told me another child had started coming. For decades I thought it was local legend Paul Shoulder until he recently confessed to being 3 years older than me.

In the 80s Gaz Simons and Baz Atkinson arrived on the scene to offer spirited resistance to the demise of Northern Soul in just about every venue in Aycliffe and the surrounding area, initially playing mostly well chosen oldies, before gravitating to sixties newies with mixed success and then more Modern and Just Soul. When the crowds returned they sought out obscurity, cynics might say, for the sake of it.

 

6. COACH AND EIGHT, DURHAM.

 

The second venue Alex ever played after Nevilles X Youth Club; in fact he would feed his several dozen records to the resident dj. At 12/13 I was too young to get in but I was talking to North East Northern Soul stalwart Pete Donnelly just last night and was reminded that I used to go down to the bus station to see people coming out. On one occasion he was armed with a selection of Dells albums, announcing, in his inimitable way, they were his favourite group. Who ever guessed he would prove ahead of his time?

Alex retrned in 77/8 playing 50/50 Funk and northern though it only really took off when he jettisoned the northerm catching the last classic era of Funk and Jazz Funk. Wild and crazy.

 

7. NEVILLES X CLUB.

 

His last full on northen night, if you include Lamont - Back to my roots, JB - Body Heat, Kool and the Gang - Open Sesame, 3 tracks off the Tramps album Disco Inferno and Carwash by Rose Royce. Both Bill Swift and Paul Mooney guested so not quite sure who to thank or blame. Now 15 I was developing a critical ear saving my trips to the loo for You're ready now and Jnr. Walker - I aint goin nowhere, part of his ill concieved Motown half hour. Also divs ( remember them? ) on the horizon.

 

8. RUMORS, SUNDERLAND.

 

Not really sure why I remember this monday night in 1980 so fondly. Perhaps it was the last gasps of the Jazz Funk scene before it became too night clubby and Funk and Jazz Funk descended into club classics and smooth Jazz. The music wasn't bad though: JBs Doing it to death, Cameos last great album as a full on Funk Band, Gene Chandler - Does she have a friend? and Really, Really love you by Cecil somebody or other.

 

9. TOGOS, CHESTER LE STREET.

 

Formerly Sombreros and latterly Crocadillos, Alex and Bill Swift did a mid week night around the time of Mr. Nice Guy and Troublemaker. The Leeds Central Djs ( whose names have temporarily escaped me ) did an all-dayer as part of their Bott1e$ over Britain/ Ar$e$ over England tour and there was an all-nighter which I hated.

 

10. HOOCHIE COOCHIE, NEWCASTLE.

 

Easter Bank Holiday all-dayer was the best Northern Soul event I've been to in 35 years. Everything was all wrong but with Soul Musics enduring resilliance it turned out right. No dance floor to speak of, no imported big name djs, a stupidly priced bar, no food and a que to get back in didn't deter people - this was what it was like to go to a Northern Soul Night in its Golden Age. And herein lies the perennial problem, that Northern Soul will forever be judged on how well it can approximate the early/ mid seventies. The trick seems to be in ommiting the ones which haven't aged very well ( for me, the majority ) rather than relentlessly playing Casino Karaoke or I'll name that tune in 1974. I've been trying to think what was played in the 4 hours I was there which I didn't have by the time I was fifteen: two big ballads which were terrible, 2 ska records which briefly reduced it to farce, the Spinners I'll be around and Lou Rawls are a bit bogstandard and probably owe more to the Jazz Funk scene. I always listen to Modern Soul with trepidation and this was no exception: Sam Dees Fragile handle with care and Lew Kirton Heaven in the afternoon are great, if tired, classics and presumably the latter is an inevitable part of every all dayer. Anybody who thinks I've got the need is Modern Soul is using a simplified formula which misses the point and JJ Barnes version of How Long, enjoying its second outing I've heard in recent times, should have been left in the seventies.

Likely to be another one in August and some of the problems should have been sorted, but demand and expectations will be high and it could turn out to be one of those one - off events that nobody can quite explain.

Respect also for putting on: Candi Statton, Azymuth, Rose Royce and Alexander Oneil.

 

Not forgetting:

 

WALKERS: Chilites, Womack and Womack, Tashan.

NEWCASTLE MAYFAIR: Brass Construction, Gil Scott Heron.

SUNDERLAND MAYFAIR: Crown Heights Affair.

NEWCASTLE CITY HALL: George McCrae ( in 74 ), Commodores, Four Tops, Crusaders, BB King, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Bill Withers, Average White Band, Benson, Cameo, Mary Wilson, Chilites.

SAGE, GATESHEAD: James Brown, George Clinton, Irma Thomas, Mavis Staples, Ornette Coleman, Swing Out Sister.

GALA, DURHAM: Maceo Parker, Terry Callier, Femi Kuti.

SUNDERLAND EMPIRE: Temptations, Smokey Robinson, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and Dennis Edwards.

METRO RADIO ARENA: Four Tops, Temptations and Tavares.

 

Obviously I was 13/14 during the glory years of Northern Soul so my choices emanate from Durham and are somewhat Alexentric. Do you have fond memories of a Soul Night in Newcastle or Sunderland? Was the Garden Farm your thing? Or the Red Lion? Or do you prefer the nightclubs: Julies, Gretna, Buddys, Walkers, Macmillans or As you like it?

 

I am currently writing a book about my life in music so if you have any info, memories or anecdotes you'd like to share and you see me flying at a Soul Night near you, come and have a chat. If you respond here there's a fair chance I won't read it since I'm seriously computer illiterate and can never find these things once I've started them.

 

 

top photo: http://www.flickr.com/people/12653005@N05





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i apologise for going of topic, but can anybody tell me if there was an all-nighter sceen in newcastle? i remember an all-nighter in carlisle, but cant recall newcastle... wasn't the carlisle nighter a large do?

I remember going to a nighter in the North East early/mid 80,s.

I think it might have been in Durham, but not sure?

Edited by davetay

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Just remembered there was also a couple of nighters a few years ago at Cassidys in birtley which aint far from newcastle. cant think who d.j.ed but they were good nights Pat brady d.j.ed at one if i remember correctly. not sure what year these were there was 2 that i went to.

chris :lol:

Edited by Chris-od

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Just remembered there was also a couple of nighters a few years ago at Cassidys in birtley which aint far from newcastle. cant think who d.j.ed but they were good nights Pat brady d.j.ed at one if i remember correctly. not sure what year these were there was 2 that i went to.

chris :rolleyes:

Can you remember what you had for tea yesterday though :rolleyes:

What about the Guild Hall on the quayside ? was that a niter or not? cant remember ?

Karen x

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Can you remember what you had for tea yesterday though :lol:

What about the Guild Hall on the quayside ? was that a niter or not? cant remember ?

Karen x

not sure if the guildhall was a nighter to young :lol:

FOR TEA LAST NIGHT I HAD FOR TEA LAST NIGHT I HAD FOR TEA LAST NIGHT I HAD :rolleyes: naaa its gone :rolleyes:

chris :lol:

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i apologise for going of topic, but can anybody tell me if there was an all-nighter sceen in newcastle? i remember an all-nighter in carlisle, but cant recall newcastle... wasn't the carlisle nighter a large do?

there used to be an allnighter at the mayfair suit run by shaun gibbons(soul promotions) around 88 ran for about 18 months or so had some great nights there :D:D:D

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there used to be an allnighter at the mayfair suit run by shaun gibbons(soul promotions) around 88 ran for about 18 months or so had some great nights there :D:D:lol:

YEP I PLAYED A FEW TIMES AND THE DOLPHIN CENTRE WHICH WAS ALSO GIBBONS AND ME OLD MATE PAT BRADY!!IT WAS EARLY EIGHTIES ALSO BOUT 83 -84 !!!

BAZ A :D

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Karen

Can recall plenty of events on at the Guild hall but not a nighter, however talking about the Quayside was'nt there a couple at the Red House, and about 1977 me Toma,Duncan, and I'm sure Manus , Tonge and Pam and I think Framkie went to a one at West Denton Boys Club.can'trecall who organised it, if you want to talk about all nighters in the North East, Aycliffe Youth Club say no more Brilliant

Paul Conroy

Tyneside Soul Promotions

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Can you remember what you had for tea yesterday though :D

What about the Guild Hall on the quayside ? was that a niter or not? cant remember ?

Karen x

There was also definately one nighter on in Gateshead high st, in the 80's remember there being quite a few yanks over with a return visit from some youth trip to cleveland. Also remember the dancing comp that night,,,,, quite farcical :D

Hope you & Jeff are well Karen

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Hi Baz, hope you are well my friend?

I happen to have a very good photo of yourself & Pat on the decks at the Dlophin Centre.

If it's of any use to you let me know I'll get it to you

Spyk

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There was also a nighter at tiffanys where eddie holman appeared have a butchers here i was at this nighter but i think youth got the better of me :ohmy:https://www.soul-source.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=55735

chris :unsure:

was there too, not a bad night either, got some nice photos of Mr Holman singing his heart out, with Snake Davis by his side, give us a shout if there of any interest

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Gateshead High Street are you sure that's a new one on me, i recall there was one at Gateshead leisure centre but did not go due to work is this what you mean, just the thought of any strangers on the high st particually yanks, not going down too well with regulars from Curlys bar Paul Conroy

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Karen

Can recall plenty of events on at the Guild hall but not a nighter, however talking about the Quayside was'nt there a couple at the Red House, and about 1977 me Toma,Duncan, and I'm sure Manus , Tonge and Pam and I think Framkie went to a one at West Denton Boys Club.can'trecall who organised it, if you want to talk about all nighters in the North East, Aycliffe Youth Club say no more Brilliant

Paul Conroy

Tyneside Soul Promotions

you got that right,,,, excellent nighter

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Just remembered there was also a couple of nighters a few years ago at Cassidys in birtley which aint far from newcastle. cant think who d.j.ed but they were good nights Pat brady d.j.ed at one if i remember correctly. not sure what year these were there was 2 that i went to.

chris :unsure:

yep your correct Chris, also Mick Jackson did a spot, sure hoss (not sure of the spelling) did a couple, some locals from Newcastle/Gateshead, some nice music was played

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Hi Baz, hope you are well my friend?

I happen to have a very good photo of yourself & Pat on the decks at the Dlophin Centre.

If it's of any use to you let me know I'll get it to you

Spyk

Hello mate get it posted up we can all have a laugh!!!Would deffo love a copy of it!!HE used to call me his young protege!!He actually got me a spot at stafford with Pete Finn but ME AND CARLO got lost and ended up pissed about 100 miles away lol!!!

Hope your well mate.

BAZ A

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There was also definately one nighter on in Gateshead high st, in the 80's remember there being quite a few yanks over with a return visit from some youth trip to cleveland. Also remember the dancing comp that night,,,,, quite farcical :unsure:

Hope you & Jeff are well Karen

Yes we are doin well, good to hear from you, hope you are keepin well too and that we see ya oot n aboot :ohmy:

Take Care

Karen n Jeff

xxx

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Gateshead High Street are you sure that's a new one on me, i recall there was one at Gateshead leisure centre but did not go due to work is this what you mean, just the thought of any strangers on the high st particually yanks, not going down too well with regulars from Curlys bar Paul Conroy

Hi Paul, it was definately on the high street somewhere in a church hall if memeory serves, but the yanks were definately there.

Only recall this cos I entered the dancing comp, thinking money would be nice,,,, ended up with a fuffing trophy :unsure: what was that about? the trophy went in the bin :ohmy: , remember gaz being there decka was there also..... a few people from crewe and further afield being there also

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was there too, not a bad night either, got some nice photos of Mr Holman singing his heart out, with Snake Davis by his side, give us a shout if there of any interest

I remember this night as they were running late setting the stage up and Chris King asked me and my mate Dunc to give them a hand. Then when we had finished he told us to go back outside and pay to get in at which point we told him to f*ck off

Also really liked the Dolphon Centre, used to knock about with local guy called oggie when I went up there

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Memory fading a wee bit BUT didn't the Mayfair have a good sized balcony round it?

I'm sure it did (circa 71) and it didn't take kindly to Yorkies so the Geordies chucked me over it and on to the dancefloor - quite an entrance and the same one at A&E :unsure:

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Karen

Can recall plenty of events on at the Guild hall but not a nighter, however talking about the Quayside was'nt there a couple at the Red House, and about 1977 me Toma,Duncan, and I'm sure Manus , Tonge and Pam and I think Framkie went to a one at West Denton Boys Club.can'trecall who organised it, if you want to talk about all nighters in the North East, Aycliffe Youth Club say no more Brilliant

Paul Conroy

Tyneside Soul Promotions

Hello Paul

I remember DJing at a niter in the west end of Newcastle and West Denton rings a bell - bit of a strange night if I remember rightly.

There was a niter at Dunelm house in Durham city run by Alex Lowes and he arranged a follow up one but it was pulled at the last minute by the council and I mean the last minute. A bus load turned up from Scotland and then they had to go on to Wigan.

There was also all nighters on at the Sombero in Chester Le Street on a fairly regular basis, Soul and later Jazz Funk. And as you''ve mentioned the Aycliffe Youth Club niters which were well known throughout the country.

Can't remember any more at the minute I'll have a think.

Cheers

Manus

Edited by manus

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Memory fading a wee bit BUT didn't the Mayfair have a good sized balcony round it?

I'm sure it did (circa 71) and it didn't take kindly to Yorkies so the Geordies chucked me over it and on to the dancefloor - quite an entrance and the same one at A&E :lol:

Thats right it did have a balcony round it, my memory of the place was it was very bright think the lights were on all the time, memory a bit hazy though, had some good nights in there :rolleyes:

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Hi Paul, it was definately on the high street somewhere in a church hall if memeory serves, but the yanks were definately there.

Only recall this cos I entered the dancing comp, thinking money would be nice,,,, ended up with a fuffing trophy :wub: what was that about? the trophy went in the bin :lol: , remember gaz being there decka was there also..... a few people from crewe and further afield being there also

There was one on in 80's( i think) at Gateshead Leisure Centre which is just along the road from the town centre :lol:

Karen x

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Karen

Can recall plenty of events on at the Guild hall but not a nighter, however talking about the Quayside was'nt there a couple at the Red House, and about 1977 me Toma,Duncan, and I'm sure Manus , Tonge and Pam and I think Framkie went to a one at West Denton Boys Club.can'trecall who organised it, if you want to talk about all nighters in the North East, Aycliffe Youth Club say no more Brilliant

Paul Conroy

Tyneside Soul Promotions

hello paul i used to go to the west end boys club some nice local families used to go :wub: and a few years later i was back there doing my community service :lol:

chris :lol:

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Baz Atkinson on the decks Dolphin Centre alnighter mid 80's.

And guess what, the nighters at the DOLPHIN CENTRE have just been ok`d again, just in the process of setting one up for nxt year :thumbsup:

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And guess what, the nighters at the DOLPHIN CENTRE have just been ok`d again, just in the process of setting one up for nxt year :D

Nice to hear that, its about time we had soul a-la-niter back in the town.

Mind you, the Town Centre is like Beirut of a weekend so you'll have to watch who you let in :thumbsup:

Edited by Jill Bayles

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Nice to hear that, its about time we had soul a-la-niter back in the town.

Mind you, the Town Centre is like Beirut of a weekend so you'll have to watch who you let in :thumbsup:

all sorted jill, its gonna be ticket only, just awaiting other promoters on the nighter scene to get back to me with there dates for next year, then its all go :D

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Baz Atkinson on the decks Dolphin Centre alnighter mid 80's.

WOW LOKK AT PATS TACHE LOL,ANYTHING TO DISTRACT FROM MY HORRENDOUS HAIRCUT AND CLOTHES LOL.SPIKE CAN YOU SEND ME THIS MATE BY PM WOULD LOVE TO KEEP IT.

BAZ A

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all sorted jill, its gonna be ticket only, just awaiting other promoters on the nighter scene to get back to me with there dates for next year, then its all go :thumbup:

Hi Harry, what town is the Dolphin Centre in?

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hi dave, hope your well mate, its in DARLINGTON :thumbup:

Well thanks, and you.

Ta for that, lots of people,s houses to go to after than (lots of friends in Darlo).

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however talking about the Quayside was'nt there a couple at the Red House,

Paul Conroy

Tyneside Soul Promotions

Was the red house on the quayside quite a way to the left of where the bars are now and an upstairs venue? If so I went to it, mid 80s? Went to one and I think Alan Walls and Sedge from Stoke may have been Djing.

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Well thanks, and you.

Ta for that, lots of people,s houses to go to after than (lots of friends in Darlo).

By Dave mate you were a bit slow on the uptake there mate :D:D

I shall be there come hell or high water...the respite care is looming on the horizon...got a meeting on 22 October about that...with the potential foster carer...so my social life will be resuming shortly in earnest :lol:

What's the betting we all end up at the same after-party? I hope so cos I've not partied with you two for ages and I need to make up for lost time...and I'll need to get a few practice runs in as well :yes:

Edited by Jill Bayles

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all sorted jill, its gonna be ticket only, just awaiting other promoters on the nighter scene to get back to me with there dates for next year, then its all go :D

Hi Harry...I'm not sure that I know you but I know plenty of peeps from York from back in the day so maybe... :D

Great to hear about your forward planning...let me know where I can get tickets as I need to be organised for this one :lol::D

Its a good job I've just had my house decorated and spruced up...I can host an after-party if need be...but hopefully I'll get invited to one elsewhere :yes::D

Looking forward to this already....thanks ever so much, this has made my day :D

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yep sombrero ch-le- st,if i remember J manship played a few.it was run by A lowes.great days :thumbsup: but try and name all the non all nighter day night events in the n east between the 70s and 80s,hard one to start with, europer lodge morpeth, paul moony should remember that one, the brick paul.

Edited by Mick Reed

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A few more from the Dolphin Centre, are you there?????????

A few familiar faces April 84 i think was the Dolphin Centre 1st Anniversary got the badge somewhere Newcatle and Aycliffe other greatnights some people have good Memorys

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GOOD GRIEF !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ohmy.gif

THE BOYISH GOOD LOOKS OF BAZ N MY CURLY WIG

LOL HOPE YOUR WELL OLD FRIEND,YEP I I LOOK LIKE A SMITHS EXTRA AND I THINK YOU WERE IN OMD laugh.gif

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Chris as promised a few pics of Mr Holman at Newcastle

Chris, Spyk look ohmy.gif surely that is Micky P in picture 1 ?? gotta be ?

Karen x

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post-11256-1223491057_thumb.jpganyone know any of the crowd?? i was there but forgot what i looked like laugh.gif:lol:

chris ph34r.gif

rolleyes.gifThat is deffo Micky P clenching his fists and there is a tall blonde lad to the right of him further back that looks a bit like Deka (not skinhead Deka) and if you squint slightly thats my Jeff singing :D

Karen x

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rolleyes.gifThat is deffo Micky P clenching his fists and there is a tall blonde lad to the right of him further back that looks a bit like Deka (not skinhead Deka) and if you squint slightly thats my Jeff singing :lol:

Karen x

was just talking to micky today and i thought it was him in the piccie. recognised Jeff straight away he`s got a good voice wink.gif just gotta c.d. with edwin starr live at clifton hall. :D

chris ph34r.gif

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A few more from the Dolphin Centre, are you there?????????

That's Chris Walker in picture 3, still on the scene today and goes all over the country.

Wally Francis

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