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Interview Dave Rimmer-90s

Interview Dave Rimmer-90s magazine cover

OK carrying on the interview series, Dave Rimmer respected DJ and also editor of one of top mags Soulful Kinda Music, agreed to give Soul Source a bit of time, read the results below:

Dave Rimmer:

Heres a interview with Dave before he embarked on his new career as webmaster!

OK carrying on the interview series, Dave Rimmer respected DJ and also editor of one of top mags Soulful Kinda Music, agreed to give Soul Source a bit of time, read the results below:

Q. OK Dave for the visitors who are not familar with yourself could you give a quick background on your involvement on the scene. (When you started and what you've done)

You have to go a long way back for that. To 1972 in fact. That's when I started hearing the records my mates' older brothers were bringing back from The Torch and all the other clubs around then. My first real venture out on the scene though would have been the last allnighter at Va Va's in Bolton in 1973. My memory of that night is of being a very excited, and scared, thirteen year old who'd got to play with the big boys !

Originally from the Warrington area, Wigan was just a bus ride away, so that's where a lot of my youth was spent. I left the scene almost completely in 1978 though. Two reasons, one was the inclusion of so many crap pop records and instrumentals on playlists, and the second was I got a job in Wales which meant I had to start work at 6 am on a Sunday morning.

By 1988 I was married, two children, mortage, responsible job, Mr Average, living in the Midlands, and bored. I kept seeing adverts for Northern Soul nights in Wolverhampton run by Pep, and eventually went to one. The first person I saw when I walked in was Pedro, who I'd not seen for nearly twelve years. It was like I'd never been away.

In 1989 the idea was born for 'Soulful Kinda Music', and here I am ten years on from there, still attending 30 Soul nights a year and almost 40 allnighters a year.

Q. How did you get into Djing ? and how did first time behind the decks go

I'd done some DJing back in the Seventies, but only local youth clubs and Soul nights, I started DJing this time around in about 1995, again only local Soul nights, but people obviously enjoyed what I played because more bookings kept arriving. The first allnighter I DJ'd at was The Wilton, and I must thank Saus for getting me the booking, and I was nervous, believe me, I was nervous. fortunately I was on first so didn't have time to drink too much before I DJ'd, so it went ok.....ish !

Q. What current event gives you most enjoyment whilst djing

It has to be the 100 Club in London. As far as I'm concerned it has the best DJs, playing the best music in the country on a regular basis. If you can DJ there, and do well, you can DJ anywhere. It's also the easiest allnighter to play records for the first time. The crowd are really receptive, and as long as the record is good will dance. There's nothing worse than playing a record, which you have faith in, to an empty dancefoor. Having said that, I enjoy DJing anywhere, I wouldn't do it otherwise.

Q. Tip for the top, what underplayed gem do you reckon is gonna take off in near future

James Conwell - The Trouble With Girls - 4J. It has been played at one or two venues, but hasn't really peaked yet, but I've noticed that the price has risen from about £15 to £70 in the last year, and that's always a good indicator that a record is going to break big fairly soon.

Q. How would you describe the current state of the scene,healthy/fragmented/up?

It all appears to be very healthy, lots of venues, lots of people coming back onto the scene, huge allnighters with1,500 punters through the door,two weekenders. Underneath though it is now very fragmented. The majority of the 'returnees' only want oldies, and I mean old oldies which has regressed the scene rather than shown any progression. There is also a strong attempt to get Modern Soul integrated into the Northern scene. I accept this could be thought of as progression. Personally I think it's just lazy DJs who can't be bothered to search for new Sixties things. And then there are the collectors / Sixties Newies fans, who feel slightly pressured these days, because of the other two factions.

Q. If you could change any part of it for the better , what would you change?

It has to be the clashing of venues. Nobody profits from this, it just splits the crowd and nobody has a good night out.

Q.. Scene is always looking back, Wigan, oldies etc but looking forward for a change, how do you for see the northern scene in say 5 years time?

I would say that it could be quite disasterous. My own view is that in five years time all the people who have returned to the scene recently will have become very bored with hearing the same records again and again, and will have gone back to their slippers and cardigans. In the meantime a lot of the venues that try to play new stuff will have been closed because they can't cope with competition from radio advertising and expensive promotions. I honestly feel that when the 'returnees' leave again it will be left to a few to try and pick up the pieces because once the big numbers disappear, so will the promoters who put the big oldies events on.

Q. You've recently started northern nights at Pigeon club in Bolton with aim of getting people away from the oldies rut, how have they gone down

The aim of the Pigeon Club allnighters was simple. Run an allnighter in the North West which was not oldies dominated. The South has the 100 Club, the Midlands has Albrighton, Yorkshire, The Wilton, but the North West was dominated by oldies allnighters. We picked the Pigeon Club because it was small, and we could control numbers by making it all ticket. The instruction to the DJs was play what you want, but keep an eye on the dancefloor. That didn't mean they had to fill the floor with every record, as long as it was good Soul music, you don't have to have a full dancefloor.

Fortunately for us, a lot of other people thought it was a good idea, and the first allnighter was a complete sell out. In fact we could easily have sold twice as many tickets ! As a result of this we considered finding a larger venue, but in the end decided to stay at the Pigeon Club because it is a venue we can fill, cover our costs on, and small enough for us to have a good night out as well rather than having to work all night. The next one is on May 29th, and there are still some tickets available, and we will be running the allnighter on the fifth Saturday of any months with five Saturdays so that we won't clash with any regular allnighters. The real test though will be in October when we are having to clash with Togetherness.

Q. Whats your views on some of the well known 70s people returning to the scene ...?

It depends on their motives for returning to the scene. If like me, they came back because they enjoy the social side, or love the music, great. If they came back because they could smell money to be made I'm not very enamoured of that. I don't mind anyone earning a living, but it pisses me off when people who have had no interest in the scene for twenty years suddenly reappear and try and dictate what I should listen to, and where I should go, simply because they have the money to finance it.

Q. How would you describe a criteria for a soul record that you would play?

It has to be one I like, thus it could be uptempo, midtempo, beat ballad, R & B, anything really. Price doesn't come into it either, I'm just as happy to play something worth a tenner as something worth £600 when I DJ. I must admit to playing some records which I don't particularly like, simply because I know they'll fill the floor. A recent example would be 'If I Could Only Be Sure' by Nolan Porter. I don't really like it, but always used to save it to play after something I was playing for the first time, if my first play bombed and cleared the dancefloor, I knew Nolan Porter would fill it up again, and after all, the majority of punters are there to dance, and they pay the wages.

Q. On to lighter things, most people either have a well funny or a well sad "record" story that usually comes out after a few beer whats yours?

I suppose it has to be the story about 'Can't Stop Looking For My Baby' by the Fantastic Four. I'd been after a copy for a couple of years, and just couldn't get one. Eventually I bought a copy, and then another copy dropped through my letter box the same week. Search for two years...nothing....then two copies within a week !

Q. Everyone has in their head their own golden period of northern , where the sounds the places and the people were golden whats era is yours

My answer is a little strange this time. For me the golden period would have to have been the Stafford era, and I never even went. But so many great records came out of the Top Of The World allnighters, especially the midtempo and beat ballad stuff that I don't think there will ever be such a period of originality from DJs again. I'm still hearing things now that I've not heard before, and yet they were played at Stafford. As far as people go, I'm enjoying my time on the scene more now than ever before, so perhaps the golden period is still happening.

Q. Due to invading space aliens you've got 5 secs to get out of your house which just gives you just enough time to grab 3 records, which would you choose and why

Johnny Mae Mathews - I Have No Choice - Big Hit .....Simply my all time favourite record

Troy Dodds - Try My Love - El Camino....Used to be my all time favourite record until I heard Johnny Mae Mathews.

Then I'd have to go back and fight the aliens off because I can't make my mind up over the third one, and couldn't bear to think of the aliens playing any of my records !

Q Book plug time!! Soulful kinda music is one of the top mags around, think you round issue 36 , how did it start, and any new exciting stuff planned.

The current issue of the mag is number 37, and it's now been running ten years. It started because I couldn't find anything to read except Derek Pearson's Shades Of Soul. I can remember buying the first issue of Black Echoes, as it was called then, the first issue of Black Music, and bought Blues & Soul without fail. But ten years ago, Black Music has long gone, Echoes gives us about a page and a half, and Blues and Soul should be prosecuted under the Trades Description act. I can't find any Blues, or Soul in there these days. So to be honest I thought, "I can do that", so I did, and here I am ten years on.

There is always stuff in preparation for the magazine, it can take nearly six months to research some articles, but at the moment there's nothing specific, you'll just have to wait and see.

Q on soul source one of hardest things is getting new decent recent info, do you find the same for mag?

As I said, it is hard work, and involves a lot of research, and requesting information from people. I'm fortunate with 'SKM' in that I have a lot of talented, knowledgeable contributors, so that takes a lot of the work off my shoulders. I think John Smith's motivation for writing explains a lot. His view is that unless it's written down now, the history and information will just disappear, simply because it was thirty years ago, and to put it bluntly, a lot of the artists who recorded the music we love, are now dead

Q. Soul scene on internet has taken off quite a bit last couple of years with sites, mail lists etc do you think it can play a big part in scene in future?

In one respect, yes. The net has provided me with a lot of enjoyment, talking about Soul music with people all over the world who I would neverhave 'met' if it wasn't for the net. But to me, the scene is also a social thing, and you have to be out and about on the scene to be a part of it.

Q. Do you record hunt a lot on net, if yeah whats your best bargain find.and where:)

I don't really bother record hunting on the net. I haven't got the patience to trawl though loads of crap just for one record. I tend to rely on connections I've made over the years for records.

Q. Any chance of your current play list or a recent one

It varies from venue to venue, and what I play this week might never get played again, or might be sold to finance the purchase of something else,but then I played last night are:

You're Gone - Celest Hardie - Reynolds

I'm In Love With Your Daughter - The Enchantments - Faro

I'm Slowly Molding - Cody Black - King

What Good Am I - Mickie Champion - Musette

I'll Be Your Champion - Jimmey 'Soul' Clark - Soulhawk

Can't Stop Looking For My Baby - Fantastic Four - Ric-Tic

Crazy Things - Joe Douglas - Playhouse

I'm A Good Woman - Barbara Lynn - Tribe

Not Too Old To Cry - The Trends - ABC Paramount

I Have No Choice - Johnny Mae Mathews - Big Hit

A fair mixture of uptempo, midtempo, beat ballads, oldies and current niter sounds.

Q Allright Dave cheers for the coffee but my tape recorders running out now, so gotta go, so to end with a bit of a "big issue" thing. Yeah old cd/vinyl thing,can you ever see the playing of cds.........................etc etc

It's quite simple really........If a DJ wishes to use CDs fine, let him live with his conscience, but don't let him go on before me and start playing tracks off a CD that I've paid good money for on original vinyl. If you've got it on original vinyl, play it on original vinyl, if you've not....don't play it.

Q Whats you favourite ender?

It used to be 'The Drifter' by Ray Pollard, but now of course it's Johnny Mae Mathews.

So there you have it as Johnny Mae Mathews played in the background and the Soul Source photographer was trying to take some shots of Dave, we were told by his minders that the interview was over, and to take our leave hence no photos. As we walked down the driveway of Dudley Mansion,still hearing the strains of" I have no choice "........

Thanks a lot Dave for above and if you want to find out about his Mag SKM goto fanzine section for contact details and clips of articles and reviews

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