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Going Green - A review plus by John Pugh

Going Green - A review plus by John Pugh cover

Thanks again to John for giving us the ok to pass on one of his reviews,

which was originally pushed out on the soul talk email list.

 

 

Going Green - A review plus by John Pugh

 

 

Over time newly discovered tunes, or their nearly cousins, those inspired

revivals of some forgotten oldie or former three spin wonder appear, and are

taken to the hearts (and dancing feet) of our scene. They are at the most

basic level, the very lifeblood of our scene.

 

These tunes have two basic routes to Niter glory. Either they come through

by virtue of being in the hands of the right DJ, or they build slowly from

the soul nite scene, sometimes taking a couple of spins, other times taking

maybe five years of repeated playing. Of course there are always exceptions

to this but they are few and far between.

 

I can't speak with any real authority on other regions but in our part of

the world we have an overlapping track record going back to the early years,

of clubs who are either totally dedicated to the cause of finding and

breaking, or those who did so less aggressively, but still made a valuable

contribution (We also have developed in the last twenty odd years an equally

obsessive nostalgia circuit, but let's not go there !)

 

Every soul fan knows that wonderful, almost religious, experience of being

grabbed by a new tune.The particular shade of soul is irrelevant.The fact is

that when it hits you, it hits you in a way like nothing else does, and is

something a bunch of us have talked about for so long we all know our parts

of the conversation better than a West End actor knows their lines. We're

told it's the same as the high religious fanatics get, an adjustment to

brain chemistry, but felt somewhere approximately three feet lower. I don't

know who first coined the phrase " a ' bit of skin' tune", but what they were referring to was how,

for some strange reason, some men feel this pleasurable feeling in the

region of their perineum, the tissue that occupies the space between ' front

and rear outlets ' for want of a better expression I've no idea if

women get this, those female soul addicts I've asked have always given me a

blank look, or worse. The feeling isn't reserved for purely new tunes, just

great ones, but it's definitely at it's strongest with the first few

hearings or when you haven't heard it for ages. It's only enemy seems to be

familiarity, and probably explains why some of us get really angry when a

former 'tingler gets revitalised and then played to death. One of my old

tinglers was the Young Brothers. In it's hey day for me it was equivalent to

applying a nine volt shock to the sensitive region, but a few months back

the luck of the draw meant we heard it every time we went out for months on

the trot.

 

Now it's like getting up in the morning and finding your cars battery is

flat. The sparks have all gone, but don't despair people because like some

batteries, if left alone for a while they seem to find a small charge again.

It's never like it was, but it's enough to notice.

 

Sorry, wandered off the point of the posting, again. Friday nite saw our

latest incarnation of the chase. Currently held at The Green in Darlaston,

it follows in the long line of local legendary clubs like The Wheatsheaf in

Walsall and The Wagon & Horses in Wolves etc, and in terms of profile takes

up where the Cross Keys in Hednesford left off.

Sometimes you come across a tune you think fits the bill. Your best efforts

lead you to believe that it's a virtual unknown. Now comes the hard part.

You're obviously impressed enough with it, but is it instant enough to drop

into a set at a major venue ?

There's no real way of knowing until you hear it through a big system for

the first time. At home I've tried many a time muting the speakers and

lamping up the volume through the headphones, which seems to be the nearest

type of sound that replicates a venue, but even that is a poor excuse. We

all have things which we love at home that just don't sound right in a club,

and vice versa. So what do you do ? In most cases you either bite the bullet

and play it at the first opportunity, or carry it around for months in your

box waiting for the right nite, the right crowd, etc.

 

This is where venues like The Green really come into their own. They are if

you like " the third way ". Sometimes referred to as collectors clubs, or

more slanderously as chin strokers societies, they offer you a chance to try

out these sounds to an audience not chomping at the bit for handbag Oldies

and youth club sub disco fodder. The promoters of The Green actively pursue

the policy of " Play the tunes here that you don't play elsewhere ", which

can mean digging out that rare gem that you always mean to play that gets

lost amongst all the requests for today's popular sounds that fill the

floor. Equally it can mean it's a near perfect platform for that B side

you've always thought deserved some attention, or an album track that gets

cruelly ignored because of our love of the 7" single. As you're reading this

last couple of sentences I'm guessing that for some folk certain tunes are

jumping to the forefront of your brain, potential choices you'd like to try

on the deck.

If they are, the good news is that unlike the more formal " gotta get 'em

dancing " clubs, the route to dj'ing at The Green is quite open. They even

put it on the flyers, saying if you think you've got something worth sharing

with the rest of us just come down and have a word with Woody & Lou. If they

agree you'll find pretty soon after you'll be given a chance. Considering

how many folk pointlessly pester the promoters of the major venues for

spots, I'm staggered at how few folk can see that they'd be much better

spending their time building a reputation through clubs like The Green.

After all most good promoters are much more impressed with word of mouth

recommendations from folk they trust based on actual recent sets, or maybe

I'm wrong ?

Two things I feel I ought to mention. Clubs like this are always on the

borderline of financial viability. They need the support of collectors and

fans alike, so don't make a prat of yourself by going up to Woody at some

other venue and asking for a set. Paying your measly few pounds admission is

not only the first step to getting the chance to play some tunes there, it's

a key factor in keeping clubs like this alive. Remember that the other lads

and lasses that get up to play their tunes want some feedback, and they are

the same folk who will listen to you when it's your turn. The second thing

is if you're worried about somebody jumping on your new sounds and you

missing out, I for one will make it known that you were the person who first

spun them, and I can be quite loud about such things. If it's gonna happen,

it's gonna happen where ever you play them, and the folk who go to the Green

ain't those sort of folk. There's no recording equipment hooked up to the

decks, no portable tape decks positioned by the speakers. We all know how

hard it is to find the things, so we treat others how we want to be treated

ourselves.

 

On Friday Max and I did our stint (a miracle in itself after Kev Spittle had

crush fractured nineteen bones in my hand half hour earlier - made all the

funnier by Ken Onions saying with a totally straight face " Er, don't think

he knows you've got brittle bones, that's how he shakes hands with everyone"

alongside Woody and Col Kidson who provide the back bone of the club. I

guess that the bravery building effect worked. We played four or five tunes

the following nite at The New Century Niter that otherwise we would have had

in the category of " shall we risk

them or not". We can't know for sure, but having heard them loud, and seen

the reaction from fellow devotees, it certainly bolstered our confidence in

these tunes. I'm gonna write something about Saturday later, so I'll let you

know then how they went over with the Niter dancers.

 

For those who like this sort of thing, here's our plays, or at least the

ones I can remember, a mixture of acetates, cover up's, forgotten oldies,

album tracks and tunes we don't often get a chance to play, plus a few

Staffordy dusties at the end, for them wot like that kinda thing and fancied

a bit of a boogie before Zebedee said time for bed ! the ones that are

unlikely to be known too well I'll add a little description so you can get

the idea of the broad reach of this magic little club

 

D. B. Productions - Messing With My Mind (vocal) - unissued. DXM Studio

powerhouse traditional NS styled dancer. the inst. flip is phenomenal like

the detroit insts that GH played at TOTW, like Michigan move etc, and is the

one we more often play.

 

"Laura Lee " - Never Gonna Be The Same - unissued

similar to the detroit classic 'way you been acting lately'

 

unknown female - Clock On The Wall - unissued Bell Sound acetate

sorta '100 club meets stafford' type thing, 60's builder, from known detroit

writers.

 

J. B. Willingham - Don't Wanna Be Hurt No More - unissued Associated acetate

sort of big cityish bb builder, this has a lovely quality to it, a haunting

catchy melody with superb vocals, when I first heard this I thought I'd

heard it before, maybe there's another version to it ?

 

John Lucien - We Got Love - Columbia Music acetate (poss. unissued)

not to be confused with the other newie being spun with the same title,

that's Teddy P, this sounds more like an Okeh Major, Billy Butler or Walter

Jackson, deceptively somewhere between mid pace and uptempo.

 

Johnny Henley & Weirdest - Ooh Baby - cover up

one we've been playing for a while, known to some, so time to uncover soon,

usually a dance first time you hear it tune, imagine a cross between cant

get over these memories and that aussie version of I'll Be Around

 

Teddy Randazzo - Young Girl - cover up

the artist name says it all, similar to most of the stuff he produced on all

the artists he worked with, nice bouncy midpacer.

 

Bettye Swann - I Got The Love - cover up

girlie vocal dancer, catchy as crabs, bears a resemblance to BS recent

biggie, but it's better than that !

 

Fabulous Peps - Gypsy Woman - Premium Stuff s/s wdj

known but great version of the classic Curtis Mayfield song, done in a

detroit

style, complete with quaint slightly off key moments

 

Detroit Five - The Heart Of Town - cover up

nicked an old TOTW cover up name, that's how much I rate this probably

detroit gem. we think it's the bizz !

 

Gene Redd prod - Do You Really Think He Cares - Media Sound acetate

alternative unissued version of Carstairs hurts me boy

 

artist unknown - It Really Hurts Me Boy - white label

almost ditto, 'cept this is a female answer to Corsairs

 

Ted Taylor - Somebody's Always Trying - Okeh

Jock Mitchell - I Got To Know - Impact wdj

perfect r'n'bish detroit, deserves attention that it's not getting, at least

we've not heard it anywhere, maybe you know different ?

 

Jackie Beavers - You Can Have Her - SS7 wdj

old catacombs spin, driving r'n'bish edge to it, worth reviving we think

 

Cleo Randle - You Got Everything - Sta Set

quite well known but not often enough heard imo, an always mean to play,

typical 'better out loud than at home' sound, what we used to call a '

firestarter '

 

Lou Rawls - Dead End Street - Capitol

had a U.K. '66 series without the spoken intro since I was a kid but always

wanted the spoken intro one on 45, and thanks to mike hughes I recently got

this one with the intro so thought we'd try it as we know there's some that

like the wordy beginning tunes

 

Keanya Collins - It Ain't No Secret - Blue Rock wdj

another old Cats powerhouse stomper that got flipside plays later, cruelly

ignored, so we've put it back in the playbox

 

Patron of Arts - True Patron of The Arts - Page One

former yate spin in the 70's, this is gonna go again, GH just got a copy,

you have been warned, sounds like a powerhouse detroit inst. US copies have

different credits, as the queen city band, so that's what it's known as,

better at +4

 

Teddy & Fingerpoppers - Soul Groove ( part 2) - Arctic

virtually forgotten, former floor packing stomping inst flipside to pants

vocal.

 

Ty Karim - Only A Fool - Roach

better flip to I Aint Lying. where IAL sounds like an early years spin, OAF

is musically much more suited to plays amongst the 80's sounds of totw etc.

 

James Shorter - Ready For The Heartbreak - La Beat

staffordy sounding detroit mover

 

Lovelites - My Conscience - Lovelite

Supremes - Stoned Love - Tamla Motown

alternative 4 minute version, spoken intro, big brass middle break, dunno if

anybody noticed it was different, except the dancers who had to dance longer

 

 

Girls & Diana - Fall In Love With you Again - cover up

an old albrighton cover up that we'd forgotten about, came to the fore on

the back of the Diana & Her Girls one that broke out big (wonderful to me)

 

Kay Mc Murray - Girl With A Broken Heart - cover up

another old albrighton cover up, played for mr onions, instant 70's floor

tune

 

Four Tops - You Got To Forget Him Darling - Tamla Motown

brilliant album track, had spins in Scotland a few years back, don't think

anybody's ever persevered with it down here. although released in '72 sounds

mid '60's

 

Luther - Don't Wanna Be A Fool - Cottilion

Wee Gee - Remember The Love - wdj

two nice 70's oldies that got revived at albrighton, don't hear too often

now

 

Joyce Lawson - Love Uprising - Mutt & Jeff

the ' party mix' version, happy bouncy version of the NS classic tune, spun

for one punter who unbeknown to us hadn't come this nite (we thought he was

in !)

 

Eddie Parker & Lorraine Chandler - Love You Baby

not a dodgy 'stuck together in a studio' mixture of their two versions but a

genuine

duet. when Lorraine's vocal comes in it's a real 12 volt tingler !!!

 

Hoagy Lands - Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand - Atlantic

classic tub thumping Cats 60's stomper, that roger banks sometimes spins at

mod doo's, so he told me recently ( not that I go to any you understand )

 

Ron Baxter - This Is It - Ole

the start of the 'send em home sweaty' crop of old faves and requests

 

Isonics - Sugar - Kammy

Bobby Valentin - Use It Before You Lose It - Fania

both above played 'cause "somebody" doesn't get the latin totw stuff

 

Stewart Ames - Angelina - J & W wdj

Timmie Williams - Competition - Mala

Little John - Just Wait & See - Go Gate

Jades - Where It's At - Nitelife wdj

Thornton Sisters - I Keep Forgettin' - Cuppy

Matt Lucas - You Better Go - Go - Karen

Vince Apollo - I Bear Witness - Pentagon

 

"Steve 'God' Mancha" - Since You've Been Gone

similar to his Groovesville slower sides, this is a gorgeous ender from THE

man, though credited to the group - at plus 10

 

Deneice Williams - Cause You Love Me Baby - CBS

one I used to end with years back, sounds better now than it ever did, could

now be played mid set and might go if a few more tried it, big budget mid

tempo, magic production with mega vocal talent to boot !

 

(just thought, had Carl Holmes Soul Dance No. 3 in my hand, dunno if it got

played, not that it's important but this one lad asks me every time I see

him, and I keep forgetting )

 

if you want to know more about The Green and future dates there get back to

me or Max and I'll try to pass on info john@solemole.fsnet.co.uk

 

cheers

john




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