Prestatyn 2008 - Lookback from the Modern Side
A great lookback at Prestatyn 2008 from the modern side originally posted on EMS and also posted on the forum here
Prestatyn 2008 - Lookback from the Modern Side
"Thought I'd do my usual look back for this event ..its huge and I make no apologies because there was so much to take in :-)
Prestatyn 2008 was an absolute blast from the start to the last, it was just jam packed with magical moments, musical highs,top social crack ,and spending lots of time with really good friends and chatting with people I don't catch up with often enough.
Personally this one for me was all about the live acts ..rarely do we see such contemporary live music diversity in one place and all the acts fulfilled different musical needs...just perfection packaged up in one weekend and not only did they not disappoint ,each of them was absolutely flawless and unforgettable in their own right.
I always love Friday night , walking in to the modern room and seeing old mates like Kev, Nik,Martyn Stella and John,already bedded in with the Midlands posse.. looking around the room all the usual suspects were in attendance from far and wide and great to see Heather on board for this one as well :-))
Chatting and dancing was the order of the day and then front and centre for Wado.. there was a lovely atmosphere in the room and the big man came on and just totally won everyone over from the second he opened his mouth. Vocally he was every bit as superb as his albums have testified to but what was so unexpected was the sheer energy,exuberance and overwhelming stage presence of the guy , he told us he was celebrating his 38th Birthday and was in party mode from the off. He just simply rocked and it was fascinating to see him work that very big room , I think initally aside from the people who are aware of him that there was a bit of apathy in the room with the usual people who just stay at the back chatting but as he started to sing and then reminisce about his family upbringing and total love affair with black music he began to win over the heart of everyone there , at one point he was so frustrated by all the equipment , and barriers that he just jumped off the stage and came out onto the floor and danced around the room with everyone like the showman he is .
He did all the songs I wanted to hear , All About You , So Glad, Where Do We Go For Love,All Night All Love ,Besides, Shake amongst others and his tribute to Luther was just vocally awesome and made me cry ..he is vocally so like him at times its breathtaking .I have to also mention his two backing vocalists who were absolutely spot on and great performers in their own right too.
Wado is a consumate performer and with bias (admittedly) I have to say seeing him was right up there with the best live performances ,he came , he sang , he had an instant rapport with his audience , he won everyone over and he nailed it :-))))
It was a case of being on a massive high all night after that and we stayed on the dance floor until the room closed .
It wasn't very long at all before the next highlight of the weekender in Pete Simpson , if ever there was a complete opposite of Friday nights performance then this was it ..poles apart yet nothing to choose between them for very different reasons . No showman here, just Pete sat on a stool supported gently by Glenn Worthington on percussion and all I can say is it was totally ,TOTALLY reminiscent of Angela Johnson's Sunday afternoon Hilton performance . He doesn't have a massive big powerful vocal ,he has a deep,heartfelt ,effortless and very ,very sweet range, I really cant describe what happened in there on Saturday but it was just spine tingling ..last time I saw Pete Simpson he was rocking a packed to the rafters Bacardi Room at Southport this time saw the other side of him ,emotional ,warm ,humble, modest ,softly spoken ,obviously spiritual and just singing from the heart to the intimate crowd who had the good manners to gather before him ,he's young , gorgeous, and he just blew us all away .. completely unforgettable in every sense of the word and the definition of true contemporary quality soul music in 2008,what its all about ...unreal !!!
My Saturday night was spent in the house room, with Jamie opening and closing the night it was very long but I wouldn't have missed it for the world he just rocked it and proud doesn't even come close to describing things ..feet on fire ,totally and utterly sleep deprived but worth every aching second .My son loves that room and he always goes the extra mile their and bless him he worked his socks off .
Brilliant atmosphere in there all night , with all the DJ's - Girthy, Mark ,Fish, Neil and Bob - adding something to the melting pot of soulful house and jazz ..top ,TOP night ,goes without saying that the highlight was having Wade in there dancing for the whole of Jamie's last 2 hours ,double decking with him ( I didn't know he was a house DJ as well ) and a stunning impromptu vocal over a Franck Roger instrumental from him..followed by a battle of who could give most on the EQ's ..just mind blowing .At 6am I was fit to drop and was desolate to hear J pic up the mic and say " what do you think ..shall we carry on ??" to a resounding yes from a packed floor and as much as I love him ,my body had just given up so we had to miss the end :-( but Mr Wilson was one of those still throwing himself about on the dancefloor..top bloke ;-)))
By Sunday afternoon we were totally and utterly wrecked but I have to say that musically it was my favourite session ..Steve Lloyd played some quality jazz tunes and then for me personally came the set of the weekend from Steve Jackson ..absolutely blinding from start to finish just top quality cracking all era mid-tempo tuneage that showcased his radio show to the hilt and was presented so professionally in Steve's inimitable way ...I needed that set so much and it was just total weekender perfection for me ... Steve I loved it and would so love a playlist please ;-))))
Shaun and Bob went on to do their thing and from what I heard it sounded cracking and a nice blend of new and classic music presented in their own unique way ..two really nice genuine guys with an obvious love of their music.
Onto the last of the live acts and that was Afro Elements ..I wasn't sure what to expect but what we got was musicianship of the highest order, they absolutely rocked ..showcasing tracks from their album in such a way that made their music come totally to life ,they were totally awesome .Every single one of them was a top musician ,the horn section just blew me away and the percussionist was in a class of his own , he was an older gentleman who the band said toured on the Northern Soul circuit in the 60ts !!!! absolutely astonishing , the whole band is class ,they would have been stunning enough on their own but the inclusion of their vocalist Cherrie ( who I've since found out is the neice of Mica Parish ) made an even bigger impression and not just on the ten young lads with our party ( and even some of the older lads with our party :-)!!) , not only was she stunningly beautiful but the girl has a lovely laid back style and an amazing voice which blended perfectly to interpret the jazzy vibes of their groove...I loved them ,they were top class, and I have to add that the sound engineers must have pulled out all the stops because every single musician could be heard to perfection with chrystal clear clarity ..and that was the case with all the live acts .....what an absolutely incredible finish to a weekender...unforgettable!!!.
I've concentrated on the live performers because I doubt I'll ever see three such diverse acts on one showcase again so different but all top class with very contrasting deliveries .. what this music is all about for me and I am convinced that if people from the Northern Room would have ventured in they would have loved them too ,they were each of them faultless..(I have a few videos which I'll get Jamie to upload and you'll see what I mean )
I have to mention Glenn Worthington on percussion also who played out of his skin over the weekender more especially in the House of Soul , his hands are wrecked and he never stopped ..I don't think he slept between Thursday and Sunday ..top musicianship from him as ever and an added incentive to this event for me always.
So another Prestatyn comes and goes , yes the weather was not good and the chalets are crappy but I loved it and it flew by in a heartbeat ..one of the nicest things for me was being looked after as ever by my friend Dave Lucas who puts up with all my moans and hurting feet and 'princess syndrome' ..thankyou Dave :-)) So lovely too see and have a little catch up with so many EMS devoutees...all lovely people.
Thanks to Fish, Sandy Mark and everyone involved for a wonderful time and Mark you fulfilled a dream for me by inviting Wado in particular..I'll never forget any of those performances .
Soul Source forum prestatyn 2008 lookback thread here
Photos from Prestatyn 2008 have started showing in members photo gallery
Live Video clips from Maria have been posted here
Can view EMS (Essential Modern Soul Forum) here
Jamie Taylor myspace page