Ficklefingers blog from 2009
After A Spell Of 'cold Turkey', I Got My Soul Fix.. !
Posted by FickleFingers, 14 September 2009
The week leading up to the recent back holiday I came down with a 'flu' bug, although it didn't prevent my attending - or enjoying, to the full - both the Lifeline 'Niter at The Stables and the following day's Lifeline 'Dayer, in Nottingham.
When I woke on the Monday, though, I thought that proverbial Steam Roller had run over me during my sleep. Obviously the over indulgence over the two day's of Souling, I quickly realised, had actually put me back !!
NOT a good thing when, the coming Friday should have seen me, first.. Doing an early doors attendance at The City Club in Peterborough, followed by an hour or so's journey further up the A1 and across the M62 to partake in the Wilton 'Niter for the duration of the night. Secondly.. The Saturday would see me travelling southward (for a change) to partake in the 30th Anniversary celebrations of the famed 100 Club 'Niter.
By time Friday came around I was still not feeling too good so took the decision to avoid ALL travels and venues that night. Instead, believing I should conserve what energy I had to be okay to travel to London's Oxford Street. I already had purchased my ticket at the 100 Club 's previous date so - out of the available Soul options over the Friday & Saturday - the 100 Club was defo the priority.
Not to be though.. Even allowing myself a midnight cut off deadline, to see if fit enough to venture out, I had to take the (inevitable) decision that it would be more sensible to not go out at all and benefit, instead, from the additional rest this weekend of non-soul music would provide.
Not until last Thursday did I start to feel I'd 'turned a corner' with an annoying chesty cough being the only remnant of my sickness. I was pleased about that !! If I had to go another weekend without a Soul fix I would've topped myself !! As it was - my poor wife & daughter had to endure my 'hump' mood for three solid days.. So they were probably more relieved, than I was, that I'd be heading off on my usual weekend quest of Soul.
Rugby Soul Club's Benn Hall 'Niter, on Saturday, was the promotion of choice for me this time around. With the knowledge that, if this 'niter's sociability factor was a lager, it would probably be the most sociable lager in the entire world !! Just what I needed to get back into 'the groove' of things.
One thing my night at the Benn Hall wasn't, was disappointing - everything but !!
I spent most of this great night of Soul Music entertainment keeping my sales boxes company, in the bar/lounge area, whilst I attempted to ply my wares.. When I finally packed them, away Ady was already half way through his excellent offerings, But - instead of ensconcing myself within the confines of the Main Hall - I ended up spending most of the time that was left (of this latest offering of Top Notch music & Top Class sociability at the Benn Hall) in the Freebasing Room. Right up until the lights came on to signal that the 5am finish was, regrettably, upon us. My attendance in this room being broken only by my (fairly regular) ventures outside.. To partake in my required inhalation of 'own rolled' smokes whilst also indulging in light-hearted claptrap pleasantries with the constant flow of Soulie peeps that turned 'the outside area' (immediately in front of the entrance doors and to the sides) as a sort of, 'extension' to the 'Niter - a kind of 'venue within a venue' type thing - where the average 'attendance' was at least, predominantly, around the 20 mark throughout.. With extra 'company' provided courtesy of the 'Snack wagon', parked out front, that offered hot food, tea's/coffee's etc. for most of the night's festivities.
Reason for the majority of my 'music' time being spent in the alternate room was simple.. DJ DIVA DI !! I (obviously) missed her first set due to my 'retail sales commitments' (gutted, too, reading the spins I missed !!) but, after taking a loo-break - just as DI was about to commence her Turntable Management duties - I walked back in the room to find at least DOUBLE the amount of interested Soulies than had been present when I headed off to the latrine. Not a reflection on the DJ prior to this Lady's set.. More a reflection of just HOW good a job DI actually did !! I didn't speak to, or hear, anyone - that witnessed this hour of musical delights - that had anything but praise for DI 's set. I had to agree with them entirely !! Quite a few of her offerings were 'up my personal street' anyway.. But aside from that fact the quality of her selections - coupled with how she 'slung them together' - demonstrated not just an ear for a 'good tune' but also that enviable quality of successfully achieving those very important elements of continuation & fluidity, which she managed effortlessly. In a word.. 'SUPERB' !! I'll be paying future close attention to any gigs where I see this Lady of Soul on the DJ line-up. With any such promotion being automatically included on my list of options for that particular weekend.
What little I did catch of the DJ that preceded Di also 'rocked my personal boat' as this guy - 'Tom H'. - was offering some brilliant 'cover' versions of some well established 'standards'. Having a personal penchant for alternate versions of things myself I just stood at the rear of the room - full of quiet jealousy that I didn't have the things he was playing whilst, at the same time - 'pleased' for the guy.. For owning them. Respect was unequivocally automatic and, as with Di, I would welcome the opportunity to hear - uninterrupted - a 'full' set.
I also caught most of the Freebasing room's last hour of offerings.. Courtesy of yet another DJ that 'did the biz' on the night.. (and who's name has completely gone from my mind as I write this !! My humble apologies). Again I was treated to an abundance of tunes that titillated my Soul tonsils and appealed, greatly, to my liking for 'early soul'. With some excellent N.York produced things played - early 60's N.Y. soul being my fave of faves !!
Suffice to say, and other than 30 mins of Ady and a few of Mr Shields plays, I didn't clock too much of the action in the Main Hall.. But I did overhear two or three people commenting as to how much they enjoyed Ken's set so, 'Well Done' !! that man.
Considering the place was still heaving 10 mins after the last play of the evening - on this occasion Jimmy Wallace's Alpha 45 of 'I'll be Back' - usually, the end of a Benn Hall Session of Soul is signalled by Mr Rimmers' playing of (what has now become the 'signature ender' record at Benn Hall 'Niter's) the superb Big Apple sound of 'The Drifter'.. But, Dave being Dave, he managed to squeeze an extra 45 in to assist the departing attendees.. As they made their way out of the venue & on with their homeward-bound journeys.
In keeping with the extended hospitality ALWAYS offered by, and courtesy of, the Rugby Soul Club promotion duo of Sian & Dean.. Another 'extension' to the 'niter could be found back at their house - where refreshments flow in abundance.. As do the varied selections of (hot !!) nibbles and confectionery - and where extra hours of good company rounds the 'night' off in 'PERFECT' fashion.
Only one 'down side', for me personally (and nothing to do with the promotion..). Despite, even, receiving assurances via e-mail mid-week.. I was let down YET AGAIN !! A debt owed for records taken (and overdue) that was to be satisfied this evening. Guess what ?? 'NO SHOW' !! Bad enough in itself, but (again) - and not through my own doing - I'VE been placed in a position where I am now letting someone else down on the back of it - a fact that the purchaser was completely aware of !!
Other than that.. A 'Top Night', with masses of the friendliest bunch of Soul Music loving attendees you could ever wish for at a 'Niter.
NOW - The countdown for next Saturday's United Sound Of Soul begins..
BRING IT ON !!
This 'Non-Payment' situation I'm suffering at present.. What would YOU do ??
In thirty years of selling records this is the worst year, EVER, for people giving me the run around concerning agreed payments of outstanding amounts.
I, purpously, ALWAYS ensure - before doing a 'deal' - to make sure that the purchaser is happy with whatever deal we are discussing. My philosophy is simple.. So long as both parties are entirely are happy then a deal can be agreed. Where 'friends' are involved I will go out of my way to offer a decent saving, where possible, and extend more generous 'payment terms' to accommodate them simply because they are 'mates'
I will go to great lengths to explain the negative sides (for both parties) of agreeing a dea, and payment terms where appropriate, if the buyer knows - from the offset - that they will be unable to comply with what we are agreeing. S'long as our 'terms' are adhered to it is'nt a problem.
I'd be interested to know how others would view my current predicament.. And what remedies they would choose in attempting to resolve the situation.
It isn't just one deal I'm referring to here.. And the payments I've been let down on are from people that I have considered as 'friends'. What really pi**es me off is the blatant lack of respect and total disregard for our 'friendship' by NOT making any sort of contact if there is a problem their end !!
I provide a landline number that goes straight to an ansaphone, my mobile number, and (at least) one email address that I use on a daily basis - so it's not as if they don't have contact details.
If it was me, and I was experiencing a problem, the FIRST thing I would do would be to make contact and let them know, so that they are aware. I, even, STILL give them the benefit of the doubt - in the short term - as there may well be a legitimate reason as to WHY they will NOT be turning up to make the agreed payment.. Things can, and do, happen - such is life. But to make NO CONTACT WHATSOEVER.. Does my head in !!
The worst of this is how it effects my future dealings with other people that would NOT let me down, and go out of their way to satisfy their commitments as agreed - they will suffer 'cos I'll be loathe to carry on getting kicked in the teeth !!
I've already made my decision as to what action I'll take next - should the current defaulters not make contact in the next few days - I'll, first, be naming and shaming them utilising any and all media's availble - so that others are aware NOT to deal with them. The final part of the remedy is 'drastic', and something I would rather NOT have to undertake to get what is rightfully mine (the records or the cash..) but - it's painfully obvious - these people I refer to don't give a FLYING F**K about the position they place me in by their actions of default.. And the consequences that I have to endure on the back of it, so.. NO !! I'm certainly NOT gonna be losing any sleep - or feeling ANY remorse in the slightest - if I DO have to undertake the remedy I've decided upon. Who needs enemies with mates like that !!!
So.. What would YOU lot do ?? I'd be interested, and grateful, to receive feedback from others as to just WHAT they might suggest in this situation.
The City Club, P'boro' - Anniversary Party..
Posted by FickleFingers, 08 August 2009 ·
Well.. That's ANOTHER Friday night $ession of $oul over with. And ANOTHER Friday night they CAN'T take away from me !!
Thought I'd endeavour to get this posted sooner, rather than later.. Given the fact this gig was only a 20 minute drive up the road for me (makes a nice change - a local do, for me, is normally at least an hours drive from mine). Which meant I'm back home at a reasonable hour, with time to post a quick review of the night and still plenty of hours to allow some sleep before the 'Two-Venue' Saturday night in front of me (Morley Carr, followed by Droylsden).
[Venue Lookbacks link:]
Didn't leave mine until gone 8pm (I've usually driven at least 100 miles by that time) and arrived at tonight's venue for frivolity.. 'The City', in central Peterborough, at around 8.45. In time to catch the remainder of Michelle's spins. With her outing given to Gladys Knight's Maxx 45 - 'Stop & Get A Hold Of Myself' - standing out in particular, for me.
A very characteristic venue, easily found located smack bang in the city centre, with ample cheap parking within a couple of minutes walking distance. With it's dimension lump/block stonework the building gives off instant appeal & the layout internally proves just as interesting. No.. Square-box shape & ultra modern, new-build, type of place here. No siree.. Instead we are privilaged to behold a place with a distinct air of 'class' about it.
Quite fitting, then, that Russ (Holly) & Ray (Mahoney) chose this venue to offer their $oul Nite's for the 'discerning'.. 'Class' & 'Quality', being the only two pre-requisites. So it doesn't matter if it has a 'value' of £3 or £3,000.. S'long as it's quality $oul music it is actively encouraged by the duo promotions team.
Tonight's musical offerings - from one and all - gave EXACTLY that. Without a bad tune, amongst each & every record seeing turntable time, throughout the 5 hours of this 'Night of $oul'.
The 'room' for tonight's anniversary bash is found at ground level (thank goodness.. No stairs to navigate) and through a set of double doors. Once past the 'Gatekeeper', and having parted with the paltry £3 entry fee, you find yourself centrally located within the layout of this function room. A nice-size dance floor to the left, DJ decks front left.. Tables & chairs to the right, and front-right, with a doorway leading into a bar area - where another couple of tables can be found to lean on whilst 'supping' & conflabbing. This, in turn, led out on to an external patio/smoker's area.
Apparently, this room is where Ray & Russ have held previous City Club 'nites - it also having it's own dance floor. If the bodies through the door ever proved sufficient to warrant it this would actually make a great 'second' room. Although, if the numbers were to that sort of degree - the lads would probably just take advantage of the large Ballroom facilities located upstairs, and keep it a one room affair.
After Michelle's time in charge of the music management we had a brief 30 minutes from Russ, before an impromptu & 'Birthday Surprise' mini set from long-time $oul stalwart, and $oul' Instigator' Kev Draper. A person responsible for many discoveries over the years that (now) form part of the history of our beloved $oul Music $cene.. It was good to hear Kev behind the decks again (utilising the boxes of the two 'R's') and he can still, certainly, 'spin 'em' to their greatest effect.
I have a lot of respect for Kev.. And many, many fond memories of weekends back in the 70's - when we would quite often accompany one another on our 'around the country' $oul jaunts. Whether it be cadging a lift with John Vincent, from Peterborough/St Ives to $amantha's at Sheffield, or standing on the A1 with our thumbs out.
There aren't many places you can go where you can (quite literally) have your cake AND eat it, too !! But 'The City' (for tonight's festivities at least) saw TWO cakes - brought out just before 10pm - as part of the celebrations & birthday's of 'The City' & Kev D. I only bothered with one of the calorie filled sweets.. The CHOCOLATE one !! (scrummy dummy..).
After Kev's 'little bit' we were greeted to a fantastic set from one of the main guest DJ's for the night.. Mr Warren 'Boogaloo' !! 60 minutes of 'across the board' type tunes to please all the attended. From the rare & classic oldie type 45's through to up-to-the-minute, current, floor-fillers. Up tempo & mid-tempo.. Each of Warren's choices put the emphasis on that 'Q' factor.. 'Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y'. Despite him playing oodles of stuff akin to MY personal tastes, I have to nominate his playing of (my wife's favourite 45) Betty Wilson, on Dayco records, 'I'm Yours' as the 'Top Tune' of the night (for me, at least..).
Good to see Warren in our neck of the woods. And a very fitting Music Manager to compliment what 'The City' is (musically) all about. I believe he is one of those 'New Breed' of DJ's that will progress to the point of being one of the 'Scene's' mainstream 'niter circuit DJ's. He had a nice little box of vinyl-thingy's for sale, too.. with a lovely looking copy of the Martells 'Where Can My Baby Be' sitting amongst several other little vinyl treasures.
Come 11pm the responsibility for the turntables fell to me, whereby I offered my usual mix to try & give at least a LITTLE something, for everyone (play list below..).
After my hour of temperature-rising disc offerings (well, I was defo sweating buckets - I know that !!) we were, once again, in the capable hands of the two 'R's' - with a selection of more than adequate tunes to tempt the palates, and dancing shoes, of the attended.
These two guy's have some heavyweight items stashed away in their personal collection boxes. With Homer Banks' Detroit offering of (his first recording) 'Sweetie Pie' (Genie records) standing out and making my ears prick up. This is a 45 that, recently, has been seeing mainstream 'niter action courtesy of Chalky & Andy Dyson.. With, prior to this year, the only other times I'd heard it out being when I plucked my copy from it's sleeve. An elite mid-paced offering with a production & arrangement synonymous with (both) Mr Banks & Detroit, providing the listener with a slab of soul that scores 100% in all areas. Nice One !!
This 1st Anniversary night not only provided an excuse for more 'locally' based $oulie type peeps to partake in the evening's festivities at 'The City' Club, but also saw people that had to travel reasonable distance. The Nottingham posse being amongst them. There were also 'mates', from my local vicinity.. Sully, Gibber, & Stuart Ives to name but three. Kyp 'The Faith' Highbury (Nott'm based for years, now, but originally found around my kneck of the woods) made the journey as promised. Kev D - as already mentioned.. With Mick Beeby a face I haven't seen since the day's of my Turntable Records lists - the last time was when I delivered one of his purchases to his house. Young Jamie Parr, along with a couple of other (local) young 'Mod' types also helped make up the numbers.
Sadly, there were a few faces that I'd 'expected' to see in attendance (given they are quite local) but were absent this night. But that in know way detracted from the enjoyment shared by those that did make the journey.
Another face that was in attendance - a guy I haven't seen in a good 20-25 years.. Mr (Richard ??) Kenny. Who brought along his wife (an ex-$oulie herself, I'm pretty sure), and son, to be part of tonight's celebrations.
There were also people such as the nomad-like Tony Warot, along with Catriana from Kettering. There was even a late appearance put in by Roger Jackson - back home in yaxley these days. He probably couldn't get away from home any earlier - due to having to wait for the 'sleeping tablets', he'd fed Sam, to take effect !! ãâ"š¬â"š¬
If what you yearn for in a $oul Night promotion is 'Quality' & 'Class' $oul music, with a very friendly & welcoming sociability factor thrown in.. Then 'The City' 'nite's will NOT disappoint. I can very easily see this becoming a future iconic function on the (very busy) $oul calendar - and one that (hopefully) enjoys a steady increase in attendees. With 'The Word' being spread freely by those that have made the trip & been party to this VERY $oulful Friday night offering.
Appreciate, greatly, the opportunity & invitation to DJ very kindly extended via Ray & Russ - I (hopefully) look forward to a return in the not too distant future !!
I think I've included all of my (tonight's) selections for turntable action in the following 'Play List' - maybe even in their correct order of play, too..
Sam Dees 'Lonely For You Baby' [Alt.Take] (P-Vine - LP - Japan)
Terry Callier 'Ordinary Joe' (Cadet)
Bad Weather Inc. 'I Never Never Knew' (Bad Weather)
Carl Carlton 'I Can Feel It' (Back Beat)
Hytones 'Good News' (Kent 6T's - UK)
Chico, Barbara & Jr. 'Ain't I Black Enough For You' (Test Pressing)
Flash McKinley 'I'll Rescue You' (Bombay)
Willie Hutch 'Love Runs Out' (Dunhill)
Len Barry 'When You Call Me Baby' (Bell Studio Acetate - LP)
The Rock 'An Aspirin Would Go Crazy' (B.I.T.)
Larry Clinton 'She's Wanted' (Dynamo)
Funk Brothers 'Touching Venus' [inst] (Universal Studios Acetate)
Funk Brothers 'My Dear Heart' [inst] (Unissued)
Mandells 'I Just Cant Win' (Moneytown)
Chris Clark 'Sweet Loving' (Unissued)
Just Brothers 'Carlena' (Garrison)
Betti Lou & Bobby Adams 'Dr Truelove' (Tar-x)
Arthur Prysock 'I Must be Doing Something Right' (Verve)
Ascots 'Another Day' (Mir-A-Don)
Lee McKinney & Magnetics 'I'll Keep Holding On' (Sable)
Jimmy Wallace 'I'll Be Back' (Alpha)
Fingers/warren B'galoo Dj At The City This Friday..
Posted by FickleFingers, 03 August 2009
** 1st Anniversary **
Friday 7th August 2009
It's "QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY"
at "The City", Priestgate, Peterborough. PE1 1JL
Guest DJ's: Johnny Fingers & Warren Boogaloo
Special guest: Michele Catfish
+ Resident DJ's: Russ Holley & Ray 'top button' Mahoney
Just £3 otd - 8pm til 1am (with a late bar, comfy seating & wooden dance floor)
Well.. Not long now - and getting more, and more excited as The City's 1st Anniversary $oul party looms ever closer.
Now my weekend is out of the way I can start do give some SERIOUS consideration as to a box of potential spins for my 60 minutes of turntable control on Friday.
The past three weeks' $oul outings have resulted in some very pleasing trade deals with some very amiable-type $oul vinyl fanatics. I did succumb to two 'cash' purchases, over the same period, though. But sometimes you just CANNOT - under ANY circumstances - foregoe securing a desired slab of vinyl JUST because cash is the only currency option. Heck, NO !! Just requires a bit of 'creative thinking', a bit of too-ing & fro-ing.. Then, it's 'Thank You' !!
Plucked an excellent little 45 from Carl & Maria Willingham's box at Bishops Wood last week.. And a disc that was, all of a sudden, (really) only HALF the price of the sum agreed, due to the joys of discovering the flip to be one of those tunes you know, well enough, when you hear it played.. But would pass it by in a sales box - due to not knowing the artist/label/title. So Double Delight for me.. With a 45 that still has more than sufficient mileage left - for both sides - to afford it regular deck-time.
The other ££'s aquisition was a very nice copy of a VERY nice tune that is currently gaining more popularity with each passing week. At a price that said I would mug the nearest passing stranger if need be !! to secure the pittance being asked for this 'Priceless Gem', very cleverly disguised as a 7" disc of vinyl
Needless to say - I consider I've gained two massive slabs of, Class, Rare $oul Music. The sort of tunes you Don't ! - EVER !! get rid of.With the passing of time only, ever, adding to both their value and lack of available copies in the $oul Music market place.
Well.. I suppose I MIGHT give them a play on Friday..
Probably mix them in with a couple of those 'You know this song - erm, but not quite as you're about to hear it' type thingies (that I seem to have a particular penchant for). Lucky enough, too, to enjoy exclusivity on a few such-type things. The Funk Brothers instrumental offering of 'My Dear Heart' being one.. The Bell Studio Acetate that the 'Withdrawn' UK Len Barry (Brunswick) LP was pressed from - which has Len giving it bo**ocks on 'When You Call Me Baby' (Joey Heatherton); 'Love Love Love' (Bobby Hebb); and 'I'll Alway's Need You' (Dean Courtney). That's WITHOUT the LP only track 'I'm In Love'.. Stormin' Northin'
Obviously a few of them 'Tried & Time-Tested' rarities likely in the fray.. To compliment those offerings that cost the same as a packet of fags.. Just as classy & ooooozing quality. The only difference being they are 'common' records. The types - that if there were only a handful of copies - could command four figure price tags. I mean.. The dancer's don't care if the DJ is playing the tune off a 'dinner plate' just so long as it has the necessary ingredients to 'Rock their Boat'.
Hopefully my selections on Friday will (on the whole) deliver at least that..
It's going to be so strange, arriving at my $oul destination within 30 minutes of leaving mine.. It's usually anywhere from one - to three and a half hours !! It'll be nice, also, to catch up with some 'local' peeps that I don't get to see too often. I wonder if Barry & Mel will be amongst the attended - yet again !?! Hopefully the locally based 'travelling' soulies - whom I regularly see at various venues across the network of our country's motorway's - will join the frivolities & share in the birthday celebrations. It will be especially good to catch up with me 'old mucker', Kev D. These days we see ech other more in our local tesco store !! Denise, too.. Another of the many $oulie peeps 'just celebrating/celebrated/ about to celebrate' their half-centenary. Although Mr D is MUCH nearer to a Bus Pass than I am. It will be brilliant, though, to 'catch-up' with the pair of 'em. And be able to talk absolute sh*te with two people just as much up for it as me
It SHALL be a cracking night and I just KNOW Mr (Warren) Boogaloo is gonna blow the socks of them's that 'Came To Dance'..
See ya's on Friday, then. I'll be the one lurking around the entrance - on WEDNESDAY !!
Fingers' Blog Blahs.. Parts 1-5
Posted by FickleFingers, 28 July 2009
Fingers Blog Blah.. Part 1:
Amazing.. Innit !! I go and do a three-venue/two-day weekend - armed with plenty of my little musings to form my next blog offering - and what happens !?! The site goes off-line for four days !!
How many others found themselves staring at a screen that displayed a message you really didn't want to be seeing ?? And realising - as I did - just HOW much reliance is placed on the $oul $ource site as THE main daily media for us $oul Freaks.
Four days was a looooong time to go without a $.$. fix. I know that !!
The Events Lookbacks post/reviews took a hammering, with most people (as I was, by then) past that stage where the enthusiasm for such posts is at it's optimum.
Instead, I'll just do a Blog of Many Blahs.. Hence the initial heading. With each Blah relating to one of the four promotions I attended these past two weekends. Part 2 is The Wilton 'Niter - Friday 17th July
Fingers Blog Blah.. Part 2:
Friday 17th is where we're starting our mini $oul Excursion.. And a very welcomed return, for me, to be back behind the turntables at The Wilton. I'd been looking forward to my deck-time ever since Jerry confirmed a date with me. Once I saw the rest of the Music Management Team for the night I was even more exited. Added to the mix - Jerry's Big 5~0 - the evening promised to be a must do for the $oul Traveller's itinerary.
Despite my current 'motoring problems' I made the journey myself - arriving just after 'kick-off' - and the Class was already eminating from the sound system courtesy of 'right up my street' spins from Mr & Mrs (Paul & Gill) Freeney. Some of us think we travel vast distances to attend our promotions of preference.. I believe I'm right in saying these guy's had a 20 something hour FLIGHT - each-way !! - now THAT'S passion..
The musical offerings continued to flow in the vein they started with not a bad 'un amongst 'em - or ANY of the selections for the entire 10 hour duration. Each DJ offered sets sufficiently different to each other whereby there were no worries of playing something already aired by a previous DJ. But each and every play had the same common denominator.. That, 'Q' ingredient. Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y !!
Even with that Q factor in tandem with Class, I think it was about half way through Baz's exellent batch of offerings, that things moved from cruise control and up into top gear. I don't remember the particular track - but things immediately became 'Kicking'.
John Hosler offered a very satisfying set of his '60t's' type soul 45's. It been several years since I heard John DJ & it was refreshing for me to hear an entire spot of his tasty little vinyl thingies.
Dave Thorley followed John - and gave us the kind of 60 minutes set we have come to expect from this (always) forward-thinking DJ. A fine mix of tunes - and pushing boundaries as ever. Appreciated hearing the Superlatives 'Ain't I Black Enough' from the opposite side of the turntables.. The only other times I hear it is when I'm playing it & it doesn't sound the same as standing out front listening to it. Fitting, also, that the discs 'originator' played his own discovery, with my copy happily knowing it wouldn't be working tonight and could enjoy an evening off.
Next up was Scotland's No.1 'Progressive' & 'Up-front' DJ.. Keith Money. Again, an excellent mixture of pure $oul Genius the likes that we have come to expect when Keith's in charge. Class, time-tested, rarities blended with 45's that he has/had belief in. Sticking rock solid behind them until his persistence succeeds in winning (as it inevitably always does..) the approval of the dancers, collectors, and other attendees alike. A super-nice guy in the bargain and a TRUE Disciple of Soul.
As always seems to be the case whenever Keith and I share the billing.. I followed Mr Money. I SWEAR there's a conspiracy going on between the promoters !!
Thankfully, I posted my play list on The Wilton Lookbacks thread prior to the site becoming unavailable - so won't bore you all again by including it here.
Johnny Weston took up the reins immediately following my set - and despite an (not unusual..) fair amount of liquid beverage intake - kept the floor 'Rocking' with his 'never fails' combination of awesome tuneage to delight the attended.
The Wilton 'Boy's' more than capably saw us through to the end of this instalment of a Wilton All Nighter.. Sufficiently enough to leave us already looking forward to their next chapter, in September.
Job 'Well-Done' again guy's.. Keep it up, and Thank You !!
Finally left at around 7.30am for the journey back home.. And my preparations for my next $oul Trip - later that evening - for another offering from the promotion team of Martyn, Kev, & Sharon - with their United $ound of $oul ('Walsall') edition..
Fingers Blog Blah.. Part 3:
After arriving home at around 10am that morning, from the previous evenings 'niter at The Wilton, I only had a few hours before I had to head off again mid-afternoon. Certainly no time for any sleep, and barely time to get things done that needed doing that day.
I'd arranged to travel over to The Royal Hotel in Walsall - the venue for this instalment of the United $ound of $oul - with Sian, from Rugby. Who also planned on spending the last few hours at the Loughborough 'Niter as it would be the last chance to distribute flyers - for her Rugby Soul Club's Benn Hall 'Niter - before her annual (three week ) family holiday.
I can't remember, now, all her passengers but they did include Tabs and Matt. I can't remember, either, the time of our arrival but I know it was only a couple of records into Harpo's set. Most of which I heard from outside the front of the venue - the smoking area - but remember Calvin Williams sounding excellent as I puffed away on my 'roll-up'. Several other of his spins made me stand up & take notice.. Milton Wright; Promatics; Oscar Perry; Tempests (suuuuuuperb !!); and Darrow Fletcher in particular. A great mix of 60's & 70's - and would expect nothing but from this long-standing DJ who, in the 80's, enjoyed sharing the podium of the country's Top Spinners & who will forever hold my respect. It's Harpo's knowledge & guidance I look to when I need to know something about 70's soul in particular.
Once inside and having paid my dues to the Keeper of the Door, Sharon, I quickly took in the layout of the venue. Decks, with the dance floor in front of them, to the left of the entrance.. With a small 'lounge' area for people to congregate found at the top end of the floor.
To the right & directly in front were the main areas of seating, with the bar located to the far right hand-side. Beyond which was an area the record dealers in attendance (Des Parker, Johnny Beggs, & Dave Welding) had commandeered to ply their wears for the evening.
Ver pleasing - though unsurprising - to find some great Soulie peeps already enjoying the night, in addition to the friendly bunch of dealers there were the likes of Jumping Joan & Tony; Tony Foster & Good Lady; Jordi Rippoles; Steve G.. And of course we can't forget Martyn & Kev, all to name but a few.
I don't remember the order of DJ's - suffice to say some great & awesome tuneage spun between them for the time we were there. Des Parker played the Top Tune of the night (for me, at least) another version of Johnny Summers 'Can't Let Go' but also on Yorktown records. This was a disc I'd heard rumours of several years earlier - but never heard or saw anything more of since - then Des goes & pulls it out of his box !!
I think this man has far too many good tunes stuck away in his boxes, still awaiting deck-time, I don't think he'll EVER get around to playing them ALL.. perhaps he should unload the odd box or two onto another DJ that would assist in allowing the $oul Public a chance to hear them all. I suppose this is where I put on my charitable hat - and play the Samaritan - by offering my services to Mr Parker.
Jordi gave us a set of total Class - only the third time I've heard him DJ, but every time he delivers nothing but quality discs for the benefit of the attended. Vicki Labatt & Gloria Jones really doing it for me. Brilliant stuff !!
Steve G, too.. He has now got a nice balance of quality 60t's 45's amongst his trademark modern/X-over tunes, and offered up a notably decent mix to please the dancers & listeners alike.
Just as John Farrel was starting his set it was time for our pre-planned early departure for the 40 mile journey to Loughborough (Blog Blah.. Part 4).
Along with the others in my party - we would have been more than happy to stay put for the duration of the great night we were having, but.. Needs must as they say, so we bade our farewells and hit the road again.
I'm soooo looking forward to my guest appearance, in September, for the United $ound of $oul's Mini All Nighter.. The whole DJ line-up is exceptional and promises an exceptional night, methinks !!
Fingers Blog Blah.. Part 4:
We arrived at The Charnwood Club, after the 40 mile drive up from The United $ound of $oul, at around 1.45am. If the full car park (quite large and on-site) was anything to go by, this 'niter was showing good attendance. As we made our way to the entrance we saw that the external 'smoker's area - located outside & adjacent to the R'nB room - was quite busy, with several known faces amongst them.
Upon entering I made a quick visit to one of the three available bars (one in each room) for a sample of my preferred tipple of choice - water. Once that was achieved I had a wander around the venue to see who else, that I knew, was in attendance & get a feel for each of the rooms.
From the main entrance, the R'n'B room was located to the left and to the right you could enter the Motown/Club Sounds room - although, upon my first recky it was Modern/X-Over. Both these rooms had doors at the opposite side, allowing you to go either from the R'n'B room into the main Northern room or from the Motown room into the Northern room (via a corridor).
Located between the Northern & Motown rooms was a wide & sizeable corridor which housed the record dealers. Roger Banks & Rob Smith made up two-thirds of the soul music vendors (they were also both guest DJ's in the Northern room) with the final third taken by Geoff & Sue Claxton. Who's items for retail were displayed over three tables & must surely be the country's ONLY (predominantly) LP only dealership.
The three rooms are all of similar size, but only the Northern room having a stage for the DJ's. The R'n'B & Motown rooms both having the decks at floor level - albeit the R'n'B turntables are located in their own alcove type area which is quite large initself.
All three rooms were indeed, as the car park testified, busy with soulie type peeps.. With lots & lots of familiar faces present to add to the heat (quite unbearable, at times) that had you sweating even if standing still !!
I enjoyed some communal partaking of herbal remedy with Bob Morris & Ted Couldstone - and, in fact, spent most of my time meticulously inspecting both their boxes of available 45's and going home with some satisfying new tunes, courtesy of the amicable trade deals we agreed between the three of us.
This All Nighter was exactly as it say's and delivered precisely the types of tunes you would expect from each of the three (genre'd) rooms.
In, what seemed like, no time at all the 6 am finish was upon us & once again we bade farewell to the gathered faithful and made the 45 minute journey back to Rugby & Sians house, for me to collect my car & head off home for a well-deserved rest !!
Fingers Blog Blah.. Part 5:
The Weekend again and I'm ready for some more $oul Time. This weeks fix would be courtesy of The Bishop's Wood all-nighter, run by that amiable team of $oulster's Larry Mac & Col Kidson along with their ever-reliable Ladies.. Elaine & Gaye. A brilliant line-up of Music Masters for the evening, with one of my personal faves sharing the billing - Ted Massey - and worth the journey alone..
I headed out reasonably early from mine, with the intention being to call in on Harpo & Sandi before then making our way to the 'niter. I pulled into a retail park just off Jct.10/M6 to enter the address details I had into my sat nav - only for them not to be recognised !?! A quick few texts to some fellow Soulies, in an attempt to obtain a telephone number for my initial destination, ..then a waiting game. Lucky for me I had a Burger King in front of me - so decided I might as well take advantage & indulge in a double cheeseburger & fries to help pass the time, & satisfy those hunger pangs before they set in.
After managing to obtain a mobile contact number for Harpo I duly sent a text informing him of my whereabouts & requesting guidance. Then I waited for his response.. And waited.. And waited. Nothing !! After 30 minutes, and a check of the current time, I instead decided I'd take a slow poodle for the 15 miles separating my present position from the venue for tonight's frivolities.
Time: 8.05 pm.. Location: the empty car park of the deserted Village Hall in Bishop's Wood . Well, at least it made a change for me to be early for once !! Although it wasn't too many minutes before a couple of other $oulies arrived - along with the promoters.
Dave Rimmer was close behind, arriving as I was doing the 'Flyer run' around the tables in the lounge area. Very soon the bar was open. My bottle of water purchased I opened my 'stall' after finding a suitable table in the dealer's area on which to place my sales box.
It wasn't too long before there were ample bodies about the place & the venue began to fill. With more still to arrive as the evening wore on the atmosphere was well ensconced and another great night at was Bishop's Wood on the cards. And what a Royal Flush it turned out to be.. Some awesome tunes throughout from the assembled DJ line-up.
The two Dave's - Rimmer & Welding - provided the main record dealer's stalls, with myself and a few individual boxes complimenting the cross-section of $oul music available for purchase & trade.
Besides Mr & Mrs Kidson warming the decks up with some great 45's - with lot's of Gaye's choices leaning very much toward my personal taste.. Early 60's (mainly New York) Soul - we had the delight's of John Manship, along with Carl & Maria Willingham offering up some of the planets Classiest, Rarest, $oul music !! With all of it the finest of quality.. Appreciated the playing of The Carpets 45 John.
Dave Welding seemed inspired as he delivered probably the best set I've ever heard from him. The same too with Larry Mac. Despite the pressure of following Mr Manship, Larry had the floor rocking, & the attendees in the palm of his hand. Top marks Mr Mac.. A fine performance !!
Molly & John Weston also had important parts in the success of this 'niter.. With excellent sets from both these long-experienced $pinners of $oul. The 'Cherry on the Icing' came in the form of Rob Savetz.. Top Man (wonderful wife, Elaine), from Newbury, with a superb last 60 minutes - again, a lot of stuff that rocked my personal boat - to send everybody home happy chappies & chappesses - and pencilling the next Bishop's Wood 'niter date in their diaries !!
Now then.. I remember seeing on $.$. - although I obviously didn't pay too close attention - that Molly was added to the DJ line-up.. But WHAT HAPPENED to Ted Massey !?! I hadn't realised that Molly was actually a REPLACEMENT for Ted !!
I heard mumbling amongst The Grapevine along the lines of it being something to do with another promotion !?! But I know Ted is quite meticulous & wouldn't double-book himself unwittingly so I'm left bemused as to exactly WHY he didn't satisfy this booking ????????
I had the great privilege of spending some hours back at Sandi's after the All Nighter - along with Harpo. A very welcoming (and very tasty) bacon butty (MUST have me bacon butty after a night out..) and endless cups of coffee (I left my Coffee Mate there !!) along with countless good tunes churning out from the speakers for the duration of my visit. Fantastic company and equally fantastic music from two of the scenes toppest $oulies. I look forward to my next visit - I'll make sure I have my play boxes with me so I can reciprocate some of the fine music I was offered during my four hour stay. Can't wait..
Move On Relaunch In Ryton.. Karl Heard/fingers
Posted by FickleFingers, 06 June 2009
I don't know how I didn't think about starting a blog MONTHS ago.. PERFECT to talk my kind of gibberish to my little hearts content. Just as if I had someone in a corner of a venue - with no escape - while they endure my never ending dribble. It also consolidates all my technicolor posts in an area that, if they so desire, people can AVOID LIKE TE PLAGUE !!
Here goes, then, with the first - of what I'm CERTAIN will be MANY 'Blog' entries..
'Move On' Soul Club Coventry - Friday 5 June '09:
After finding a 'new' venue at short notice, and one much more suitable than the Colliery Social Club - venue for Move On Soul Club's first four Soul 'Nites - Friday 5 June saw their Relaunch at the Sports Connexion Leisure Club on Leamington Road, Ryton-On-Dunsmore, Coventry. Found up the stairs in the foyer of the main entrance and through the bar, this is surely the ideal setting for the future development & recognition of a promotion with 'Quality' & 'Not Heard Much' (if at all..) Soul Music their ethos. Bringing an 'Up Front' policy into a geographical area predominantly staid - in the taste buds of a 'good deal' of it's Soul Music venue attendees - more 'Tried & Tested' type tunes being the preference.
Scattered amongst that (current) majority, though, is a nucleus of 'Thirsty' Soulies. A mixture of both the mainstream Soulies & a younger contingent - several of whom used a Mod/R'n'B influence as an initial springboard in their quest to expand their musical knowledge, interests, and tastes. The common denominator, and fusion agent, for the differing age groups being a desire to experience Soul Music that pushes the boundaries of those that permanently surround promotions such as (for example..) the King's Hall 'Niters.
As opposed to the clique of the 'Old School' borne 'Household Name' 'niter DJ's - those that take out (more or less) the exact same box of records to DJ with as they did 30 years ago - these 'Thirsty' Soulies prefer more 'Up & Coming' type Music Managers.. Ones that share the same passion and enthusiasm as the majority attendees found on the opposite side of the turntables.. Preference going to Turntable Connoisseurs that are also like-minded Soulies. Those that (also) seek something 'Fresh' to bring to the table.. DJ's with 'Bo**ocks' (male OR female..) that will stand behind their individual intuition for a 'Good Tune'. Who believe in their instincts for a record with a 'certain SOMETHING', in addition to displaying an ability to offer fluidity & continuity - disc after disc - with the confidence of receiving majority agreement from those assembled for an evening/all-night session of Soulful entertainment.
As if to reinforce my take on that current 'Tried & Tested' outlook - the majority of Move On's support (between 50 & 60 on this occasion) came from people who had travelled 'distance'. In one case a 170 mile trip.. EACH WAY !! Liverpool, North Wales, Gloucester, Somerset, & Oxon, are just a few of the locations that provided this night's attendance. Soulies from far and wide - but ONLY.. those like-minded, 'forward-thinking' type, Soulies represented the LOCAL Soul Music fraternity.
The evening wasn't without it's teething problems - or ongoing, come to that - but ALL just superficial things - minor annoyances that can be easily rectified in readiness for future dates.
Poor Pat (Bleasdale).. Her opening set (already delayed from it's 8pm scheduled start) was marred by a deterioration in the sound system - her Soulful offerings being utilised more as 'sound checks' than the display of quality & taste it ACTUALLY was.
Callum didn't fair much better during his 45 minute stint, that followed Pat.. Utilising a 'bodge' sound set-up, to carry through for the evening, he experienced several of his 45's 'jumping' !! Which was put down to the 'delicate' stage and saw the Music Merchants almost having to tip-toe from their DJ boxes to the decks. It later transpired that dance floor activity immediately in front of the stage was the actual culprit.. Making the stage move & decks misbehave.
I have to admit - when Callum was performing - I was asked by Kylee 'Why do the records keep jumping ? Is it the decks' ?? And I responded (quite genuinely, too) with 'Naa.. It's HIS RECORDS' !! Not realising, at that point, the true reason. And whilst making a mental note to increase the weight, on each deck's arm, when it came time for my DJ slot.
From 9 - 9.30pm attendance began to pick up and people started to utilise the nice sized dance floor. Very well proportioned, too, in relation to the lay-out of the 'room'. Stage (for the decks) at the back, then floor, then a seating area of similar size.. Which continued toward the rear - where a small bar is located - just beyond the entry/exit door, along with a lighted area for the record dealers to ply their wares.
Matt followed on from Callum, managing the 9.30 - 10.15 slot. He is a very 'unobtrusive' & (seemingly) a 'quiet' type is Matt.. But he certainly offers up worthy 45's from his box of vinyl tricks. Not necessarily 'big money' items - but bits that satisfy the lust for good Soul Music that aren't 'worn out' or 'same-old, same-old'. His selections seem to have a knack for making me, for one, pay attention to his spot's.
Yours truly.. That FINGERS geezer was one of the two main guest jock's for this evenings relaunch party and took over from Matt for an hour set - 10.15 to 11.15pm - handing over to the Headline Guest DJ.. 'Karl Heard'.
I remember thinking to myself about the sorts of things I planned on spinning & particular songs I would DEFO give an outing - my very pleasing acquisition from the previous weekend (a long-time' item on my wants) amongst them.
I don't quite know what happened really, whether it were the distraction of (where possible) adjusting the levels of the two mixer channels in use - for, almost, every single record I played - or maybe the having to 'tip-toe' around the stage. Perhaps, even, the 'phantom' sound engineer.. Unable to comprehend why the volume would either increase or decrease AT WILL !?! Freaky.. !! But I performed my set with not really knowing what I was playing, played, or gonna play. All concentration having quickly abandoned me for that sixty minutes that was my set.. Resulting in those 'defo' spins not even making it out of the box - or out of that dark recess at the back of my mind where they somehow managed to lose themselves. Before I knew it my hour was coming to an end & time to hand over to the superb Music Maestro talents of Mr Heard.
As always, Karl delivered a set in the tradition of his trademark 'Dance' tunes, with the addition of some select Rarities - known.. But not to often heard played out - to please the attended and confirm their reasons for being there in the first place. As did ALL the DJ's.. Adam (Mr.T) being no exception for the closing 45 minutes of Soulful delights, sending everyone home 'Happy Chappies & Chapettes'.
The music throughout was in keeping with what this promotion is all about and what the people, who choose to attend a Move On Soul Club promotion, expect.. DEMAND, even !! A mix of genre's (though mainly out & out 60t's) including a smattering of oldies you don't hear, a fair selection of Class Rarities (the type where scarcity sees just a handful of known copies) along with oodles of other 'Quality' discs to suit the differing Soul Music demands of those Soulie peeps present on the night.
I hope we can all get to see some play-lists from the DJ's in the main 'Look Back' forum posting, but I include my selections here - in order of play - for those that may give a s**t..
I certainly enjoyed the night.. Both musically and socially, and believe prospects for the future success of the Move On Soul'Nites are just along the path, upon which, this relaunch night ensured successful placement.
My original plan for this weekend would also see a Six Hills 'Niter on my agenda.. Should that STILL prove to be the case, later on, this afternoon - I'll be spurting more gobbledygook, for people's musings, TOMORROW !! Heaven forbid !!!!!!!
Fingers' 'Move On' selections:
Ella Fitzgerald 'Get Ready' (Reprise)
Len Barry 'When You Call Me Baby' (Bell Studio Acetate - LP)
Chris Clark 'Sweet Loving' (Unissued VIP)
Lorraine Chandler 'She Don't Want You' (RCA)
Johnny Watson 'Ain't Gonna Move' (Jowat)
Betti Lou & Bobby Adams 'Dr Truelove' (Tra-X)
Just Brothers 'Carlena' (Garrison)
Betty Harris '12 Red Roses' (Sansu)
Cookie Jackson 'Find Me A Lover' (Uptown)
Patrinell Staten 'I Let A Good Man Go' (Sepia) REQUEST
Superlatives 'Ain't I Black Enough' (C/UP)
Hytones 'Good News' (Kent 6t's - UK)
Carl Carlton 'I Can Feel It' (Back Beat)
Patrinell Satten 'A Little Love Affair' (Sepia)
Betty Wilson 'I'm Yours' (Dayco) REQUEST
Homer Banks 'Sweetie Pie' (Genie) REQUEST
Marvin Gaye 'Hanging On' (Jobete Acetate) REQUEST
Stacy Johnson 'Don't Believe 'Em' (Sony)
Nickie Lee 'Late Shadows' Inst. (Dade)
Trends 'If You Don't Dig The Blues' (ABC Paramount)
Roy Hamilton 'Cracking Up Over You' (RCA)
Jimmy Wallace 'I'll Be Back' (Alpha)
Johnny Maestro 'I'm Stepping Out Of The Picture' (Scepter)
And so endeth Sermon #1..