sister dawns blog from 2008-9

sister dawns blog from 2008-9 magazine cover

Soul For Heroes A Soul Sisters Thank You

Posted by sister dawn, 09 May 2009 ·

Well seeing as it's nearly a week ago now since that the inaugural event happened its time to hit the keyboard and offer my personal take on the events leading up to, during and after the first dayer.

Soul for Heroes was the brainchild of ex forces personnel Pete Watkins who in December last year decided to help those in the forces whom many felt had been let down by the government, highlighted and reported in a national newspaper that many of those whom served Queen and country were now struggling to comes to terms with injuries both physical and psychological, received whilst in combat zones, were being sent home and left to cope with what they had experienced alone. Military hospitals across the UK had been forced into closure, with only the odd one or two still functioning often under stress due to lack of much needed facilities and an ever increasing work load. The Government responded by stating that the NHS would provide for those in need, again a service already over subscribed, and undertrained(at the present time) to provide expert care necessary for the our brave lads and lasses in order for them to have some chance of 'normality' in civvy street..

Pete made the call to me and asked if I would come onboard with the dayer initially and then asked if I would be able to contribute on the soul for heroes crew on a permanent basis, which after reading some of the stories and personal accounts of those affected, many reduced me to tears, and others hanging my head in shame on how we as a country can let this situation go unnoticed for so long, and let those who regularly fight and protect our right to freedom and the freedom of others be treated so disgracefully. I more than gladly volunteered and felt honoured and humbled. Being a Lincolnshire Lass the area has a long and proud history with the forces particularly the RAF with many bases being near to my home town and having always being brought up to respect those in a uniform, then maybe I could help make just a little difference to someone who needed help or assistance.

I would just like to state that that at this moment in time, I know that the health service in my area is currently training many good psychiatric nurses and psychologists in the treatment and care of those that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for a centre in Grantham and I know quite a few of the individuals that are going to be working there, and they are brilliant people who already have the life skills and knowledge to be giving the best possible care there is to give as they have had previous experience working within the forces, but in the meantime ...

This was December, and May seemed a long way off, The Djay's stand up thread was then started asking for help, support, anything that could provide a means of raising money for the cause. I think none of the 'crew' expected the reaction it got, non more so than myself, it soon became evident that nearly each and everyone of us knew of, or were related too, or had been one of the brave who had served or currently served in the forces and wanted to, like us, be able to give something back to say 'we care'.

One of the first to contribute sent me a pm asking what contribution they could make, to which I replied anything at all, no matter how big or how small, what ideas have you got? The next thing I knew a few days later, is a cheque had been sent for £750.00 ... I was absolutely stunned and would like to thank Paul Donnelly and the 'Famous Five' for the fantastic sum donated, which allowed us to get the Soul For Heroes all dayer firmly off the ground. I know Paul is not one to revel in the lime light on issues of charity, but he's never let me or anyone down when the 'cause' is highlighted and is genuinely a fantastic person with a massive heart, So once again Paul thank you so very much x.

Next on my list of thank you's has to go to the lads at the Grovsner Rooms aka Mark and Rob, who very kindly agreed to let us 'borrow' their home venue for the day. Mark I know, has invested a lot of time and money into the set up they have in there, and with the banners etc it really contributes to the great atmosphere of the place, this was one of my worries that the dayer wouldn't be able to match up to a 'normal' night at the Grovsner, but I guess I was wrong on that one.. .. As soon as the Lincoln posse got there after getting an 'early' check in of 1pm! At the hotel, the fantastic atmosphere hit ya right between the eyes, and bear in mind it was daylight, still early doors, and the place was buzzing. So thanks guys for all your hard work, setting the scene and for coming good on the 2nd rig in the modern room and for clearing it all away afterwards (something that we as promoters forgot!!) and your generous donations of raffle prizes, Again we couldn't have done it without you, and thanks Mark for looking after me vinyl x

Whilst I'm on about the Grovsner a massive thank you to the bar staff there, who did an absolute blinding job of not only keeping my glass full of vodka but for keeping the bar queue free and for contributing to the atmosphere of the day with big cheery smiles and warm welcomes for thirsty travellers. I hope that the chap (sorry crap with names) who gave us a lift back to the hotel, is enjoying his new baby son or daughter now (his wife was due on the Monday) and that you are all are well and things went Ok. The food outlet in the courtyard was a resounding success too, although I didn't partake of 'Babe' she smelt good and those that did said it was yummy. I managed to get a burger eventually as my first one was scoffed! The staff that manned this too, was getting into the good vibe of it all and said they had never met such a great bunch of folk before and enjoyed their day as much as we had. Have to say Our Kez managed to taste or should that be blag, all of which they had to offer on the day as 'official taster' for Soul for Heroes as qualified chef Kez wanted to make sure she had a nibble of everything, to make sure it was fit for the brothers and sisters.

To all those that had events booked already on May 3rd many thanks all of you for your contributions To Carl and the crew at Kingsway for your £50.00 donation towards the dance comp and also for taking my bucket to the spire on the Sunday, to all at the Metro dome in Barnsley for the great donation of £250.00 from your raffle a massive thank you. To all the crews in the Notts area who had an event before the main dayer a massive thanks for putting Soul for Heroes firmly on the soul map. To the owner of the square peg, and to Dave and Donna Raistrick for the generous donations, and trophies for the dance comp.

For everyone that donated a raffle prize and bought a ticket Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I hope that gorgeous Teddy went to a loving home in his combats, and that the lovely vinyl is going to be spun out for everyone to enjoy. Me and Kez enjoyed our hour on the door and think we have missed our true vocation in life, and are available to hire at a modest cost.

To everyone that allowed us to take a bucket to their venues thank you, and a massive thank you to Jelly Bean a true sunshine girl, who collected nearly £500.00 with her bucket and travels, I don't know how you did it hun, but you did, and that amount is fantastic. You're my hero. xx

To everyone that has contributed a CD already for my auction; more is needed especially from your local nights/scene to give a truly reflective account of the UK's current scene so please keep sending them to me. The collection will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder; I have been sent some stunners so far, so to actually own them all will be a complete collection for some lucky person in the not too distant future. There are one or two 'rare' compilations in there already, so already a must have for someone.

To all the wonderful D jays from across the UK, giving up your time, money and effort, what fantastic sets you all did each and everyone of you, I think we managed to keep it all flowing nicely, something which initially concerned me, especially in the northern room with there being so many of us and only having 35 mins each, but we did it, brilliantly I thought, not gonna single one name or individual out as each and everyone looking at those playlists played a blinder. I'm just so sad I didn't really leave my comfort zone and sample the other two rooms, but every time I wanted too someone would play one I had to dance, so never got the choice, but feedback from those that did was fantastic, so hopefully you all had a ball as much as we did in the northern room.

A massive thanks to Mick Donnelly for producing not one but two fantastic videos for the soul for heroes cause, expertly done and in the words of his lovely wife Lucy is wasted in the job he does now. Keep em coming Mick, you help weave that special magic. x

To the three winners of the dance comp and all of those leading up to the final three, absolute joy to watch you all, I saw it from two angles from up on the stage and then on the sidelines, your all winners too me, but I have to gloat a bit and say top banana to Colin from LINCOLN yes LINCOLN and of course, soul for heroes couldn't have a better male winner as he's ex forces too. Big love to Mandy and Carol too and big respect for giving all that lovely dosh back to the cause, I'm not going to harp on about who said what or why cos nothing's gonna spoil the days memories for me, its just nice to see that individuals can still be recognised for the love and passion they have for dancing regardless of the moves, like in the words of the song ''it takes heart to get up'' and nearly 200 of you had the heart to give it a bash and from where I was standing it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, what a fantastic sight it was, a real lump in the throat moment for me, and one that instigated memories from the halcyon days gone by.

To everyone of you that came on the day, or put your trust in us by purchasing a ticket beforehand, or couldn't make it but still contributed in whatever way you could, thank you, this was a dayer put on initially to make money for our brave lads and lasses who need some care, but I think its more than that now, its something which has become close to my heart as it is now to yours, its something which isn't going to stop, so if your sick of the threads, the buckets, the asking of prizes etc, etc, then I apologise because we're not going to go away, in fact we've just upped the anti, so join us in Chatham in Kent, we the brave from 'oop north' will be travelling to see the soul south crew and giving em a taste of our northern brass, then its back up this way again for the Poppy Dayer at Newark later in the year. Remember if you can make a contribution, want to dedicate a night, or volunteer your services please get in touch with one of us, you know where we are.

So that's my take on the greatest dayer this year so far, the sleepless nights, the worry, the sickening feeling in the stomach, that we could actually do this and not let anyone down, paid off. I hope we didn't let you down, if we did then please tell us, it can only help us improve our future days. This was the soul scene at its very best, with no big egos, with everyone wanting it to work for the right reasons and most of all wanting to let those who mean so much, to so many really know we care.


Soul for Heroes 2009( You had to be there)

A Soul Sisters Take On Life Part 8 (what Already?)

Posted by sister dawn, 13 April 2009 ·

Well time flys when your certainly having fun or not the later in my case, but needs must and work certainly comes first especially in a new job and role, followed closely by family, So once again a soul fix has been shortcoming. But despite not getting out and about much, I have been able to chuck myself into the soul for heroes all dayer (did I tell you it was on May the 3rd and was 12 hours of quality soul in three rooms all for the price of a tenner via ticket or £12.50 otd) all soul tastes catered for and delivered by one hell of a list of djays doing what they do best. And it goes from 12 midday to the witching hour .. what else are you going to be doing on a bank holiday weekend, anyway its shaping up to be like a proper traditional dayer and now with a cash prize dance comp too, with trophys awarded to best female and male dancers with £250.00 quid split between the winners ... So I have been limbering up and sticking to a rigid keep fit routine thanks to the marvellous invention called the wii fit, unfortunately I have the attention span of an ant and have digressed to kicking alien arse instead which if Im honest I have got pretty good it takes me back to the days of assignment writing, when I would do everything else except write! I had the cleanest cupboards in my neighbourhood at one anyway I have decided I work better under stress so when time is running out I produce some of my best work, So on the day and in need of a modern day miracle I shall be pulling backflips, handstands and the smartest stomp you've ever seen and if you believe that you'll believe anything.. but I have a secret weapon that is being 'proteined' up as we speak... ha ha ... the gauntlet has been dropped with a vague whisper that the Notts area is gonna steal the crown, but we'll see on the day.

So today bank holiday Monday should have seen many of us heading towards the Palais at Nottingham for what promised to be a dream come true reunion for many of us, regretably this was not to be, so today I have a bit of a heavy heart, but I don't blame anyone for it, not like some, so quick to apportion blame and the accusing finger, I think once it had been announced that guest appearances were likely it was doomed, but Im forever the optomist, and hope that one day in the not too distant future the idea of the great Notts Palais reunion will become a reality and happen without the arty farty organisation of putting on big names and its just us and the djays.. a perfect chemistry that has withstood the sands of time.

But big up to the lads and lasses who answered the call for someone in Notts to put something on today and I hope it all goes well for you and everyone has a great time.

Kez and I had a great night at last months grovesnor rooms in sutton in ashfield, as always, the lads there make everyone feel welcome and it was great to meet up with Tommo from Notts a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor and winner of this years Prestatyn dance comp. And what a dance floor it is at the Grovesner rooms, I know I keep waxing lyrical about it but it really is the dogs nads and Mark says all the other rooms have the same standard so the dayer on the 3rd we will certainly be putting what he says to the test.

We attended the A1 soul at the squash club in Grantham on Saturday night its a place I haven't visited before and was a little disappointed as my good mate Sam was off doing her paid job, it would have have been nice to catch up and have a good ole goss about music, but no doubt we will catch up soon. But Andy Jackson in my opinion played a cracking set he really knows his stuff does Jacko and is a modern soul genius and I had a good boogie. The surroundings of the modern functions seems to concentrate on comfort with big squashy chairs and swanky surroundings, I say get in old tea chests and sawdust then the buggers would dance more!... lol

As I sit here typing I am listening to the first anniversary CD given to me on saturday and Im very impressed guys and Sam, some crackin sounds on it, am particularly liking the April Hill No more tears and the Tata Vega I need you now tracks, very very soulful and emotive.

Well hot news I am bringing back the Grafton this is after speaking (or was I bullied into it) with The Caveman from Retford and officer in charge of Soul for Heroes, the conversation went a bit like this

'Hey Dawn been speaking to xy and z and they are wanting to know why theres no proper soul venue in Lincoln anymore, they want oldies and nowhere near is playing these etc etc etc, my reply was well they should have supported the fecker when it was here'' the conversation goes on, until I can actually hear myself convincing myself to bring it back and sounding expletives at the caveman for convincing me, well he didnt actually I did!!! (and Im still confused as to how it happened) whats the saying you can take the girl out the soul but ya cant take the soul out of the girl, so as from the 9th May the Grafton is back its an oldies music policy with a sprinkling of 7ts (god when will they be classed as oldies? So lets be hoping that shes supported by those whom have said they want it back else I will name and shame!

So have a butchers at the flyer and as I get more details on whos gonna be guesting for us I'll post em up!

So there we have it a wet easter bank holiday weekend here in the shires, no b and b's left at Scarborough to enable us to get up there as originally planned but hey life goes on ... as always there will be others.

Well Im off now to get a b and b sorted for the Skeggy weekender later in the year.

Hopefully see ya out and about, stay safe and enjoy life.

Dawn x

A Soul Sisters Take On Life Part 7

Posted by sister dawn, 15 March 2009 ·

Well unfortunately have to start this weeks blog of with some disappointing news from the shires and thats with the devastating announcement that our jewel in the crown, favourably known by its regulars as Horny has closed its doors, or rather its doors were closed for us. Horncastle soul nights had been on the go for 6 years, admirably run by Nick Rennie assisted in the early days by Dave Raistrick from skegness, then in its later years Nick was ably assisted by Doug Hall. The latest of the nights was due to be held yesterday and Nick had gone down mid week to check that things were all ok, only to be informed at that point, that things were not ok and to cut a long story short, a new manager/promotor from the venue basically said they didnt want the soul nights there anymore and that was that!!!.

I for one was gutted to say the least, as some of the best local nights were held here, and some of the best camping weekends ever with like minded folks. I'm certainly going to miss it as it was a family affair for many of us that attended. I would just like to say a massive thank you to Nick, in keeping the faith all this time, even in his darkest days when diagnosed with cancer, Horny was always his baby and he nurtured her well. Its a shame we couldn't have had just one last nite there to put her to bed in proper soul style, but at least all those that attended have some fantastic memories of the place which are safely stored away.

It all seems total madness to me, especially in these so called days of recession, that nights such as ours that were put on, puts money behind the bar and the venue on the map. At first I thought it was a cruel hoax as on the previous event someone had sent text messages to people saying the nite had been cancelled at the last moment which meant the numbers were down dramatically, call me paranoid but I hope nothing sinister has or is taking place, and that someone else is trying to get in the back door, like another venue I had heard about just recently, ffs this is 2009 and not the heady days of the 7ts and 8ts, where the 'soul mafia' ruled the roost in some ares of the UK.

So unfortunately that was my weekend spoilt again, so soulless in Lincoln again was I.

Thankfully at times like that the net and its wonders kept me going between SS, facebook and youtube, it wasnt such a bad weekend at all, and thanks to the wonderful weather gave the garden some tlc, and I purchased some new tunes to console myself.

The Soul for Heroes campaign is starting to shape up nicely for May 3rd, and constantly the list of Djays keeps being added too, but I have decided there is a definate lack of available RnB djays as I have been asking for weeks for ones able to contribute to the cause and apart from a couple no one else is up for it, oh well Im sure we'll manage, and will raise to the challenge.

As mentioned previously about the recession, we are still desperate for raffle prizes, so if anyone can contribute a prize then please feel free to email me via these pages.

Whilst we are on the Soul for Heroes theme, I would just like to say a massive thank you to all those wonderful people whom have sent me CDs from past promo nites at their local soul venue, I am really starting to gather an eclectic taste of the UK's soul scene which will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Looking at the playlists attached, I have come to realise, that I actually know feck all about soul, as there are many wonderful tracks from all over the UK that have yet to grace my lugholes, So thanks all once again, and if you haven't yet contributed your areas soul tastes then please feel free to send a CD to me, once again pm via these pages for my addy.

2009 seems to shaping up nicely now for some great soul events, non more so than the Palais reunion with non other than Little Anthony and the Imperials performing live, along with Ruby Andrews, I was up for the reunion prior to the acts being announced, so to have two top drawer acts appearing is just the cherry on the cake for me. Its going to definately be a trip down memory lane, as the palais next to cleethorpes was part of my old stomping ground, at least this time around we wont have to do the 5 minute mile from the train station to the palais,and leg it back again in time for the last train, thankfully things will be more sedate travel wise, So the hotel is booked for this one and I will savor every single moment.

And of course coming up later in the year is the Torch reunion, another great in the northern soul hall of famous venues. I have been following the torch thread daily and I can honestly say it was indeed a forunner of its time, with some of THE best music being spun here in its day... its sounds of course is what many of us were weaned on 'back in the day' and of which is still described today as 'proper northern'. Im already quite excited about the prospect of this nite, and have me tickets booked.

Well on a personal level I have at last got my new job and am loving it, and realistically should have done it years ago, but I guess we sometimes get in a rut, but I took a deep breath and took the plunge, and it seems to be paying off at last. Next year sees me getting my long service award for 30 years in the NHS, I recently found my last long service certificate for 20 years but the premium bonds they presented me with haven't won a bean!. I think they maybe better invested in vinyl ... as my wants lists continues to keep growing (do we ever get to complete a wants list?)

The mosher princess is a tyke for want of a better word at the min, she is 15 in 3 months and is the A typical, kev and perry type teenager, grunts when it needs something and makes an awful sort of moaning noise when asked to do, used cups and plates are left outside the moshpit door as in hotel collection style!! She has a cold at the moment and it would seem it is about to turn into some sort of virus like in 28 days later!!! She is the only person on the planet that has ever been ill ya, and of course I know nothing being a registered nurse...

Well thats all from me for now and am looking forward to reading the reviews from the prestatyn weekender as Im sure by now there are many weary souls whom have had a wonderful time.

Til next time


The Take On Life In 2009

Posted by sister dawn, 04 February 2009

Its been a long time since I last contributed to the blogs, lots of changes and challenges during these past few months both on a personal and professional level.

Not as much live action either (well not as much as I like) on the soul front, due simply to work committments. But thats all about to change in 2009, thanks to my 4 years hard graft at uni finally paying off and me doing the job I was trained to do, so no more night duties for me thankfully, the only duties I want to be doing at night is dancing and spending time with wonderful friends.

Well in December 08 saw me finally pull the plug on the monthly ELSC nites at the Grafton, I was gutted to say the very least, as we had been on the go for the past five years met some great people along the way and enjoyed some fantastic sounds provided by some excellant guest djays. It had always been a labour of love, but like everything else labour bears a price and things were suffering both on the home front and nationally, I have more respect for the scene and the music to be constantly apologising to those whom have travelled and played for us for the lack of support locally, even though dependant on numbers everyone who came always went away happy. So after makiing the decision (the day before after prolonging it for a few months) decided that the fifth anniversary would indeed be the last for the ELSC. But we had a ball and rather than a wake it was sent on its way in the party atmosphere in which it was started.

But never say never and plans are afoot for something new and exciting(well I think it is) for 2009.

Whats the old saying you can take the girl out of the soul, but you cant take the soul out of the girl, So I have been buying like a demon and am adding constantly to the collection yet again. Although venueless at the moment I had decided to keep up with the djaying,as once a vinyl whore always a vinyl whore .

I see there are some great events being planned for 2009 with a wonderful reunion of a dayer at my old stomping ground Notts Palais ( I must get me bloody tickets still, note to self) and am really looking forward to this and the memories it will instigate.

Of course too the great all dayer planned for the Grovesner rooms at sutton in ashfield with all funds going to the soul for heroes campaign, a cause that is close to my heart and I am proud on honoured to have been asked onboard for this one both as a D jay and officer in charge of the raffle.. so i will be harressing all those on here and the www net for donations, I know in the current economic climate things are hard for everyone, but its what us soulies do best when it comes to charity events.

And of course later on in the year the 2nd weekender at Hunstanton now known as our official girls weekender of the year, the last one was a blinder and I would recommend it to anyone, it was a real friendly atmosphere and was great to meet like minded folk who had one thing on their minds and that was to have a good time. Well organised by Jamie and the crew, and sounds to die for. With first class digs to boot ya can't go wrong, and I apologise to the masses for my inpromtu spot on the saturday evening when I duetted with Kenny Bernard, I still cant remember what it was I sang (well he did the singing bit as I was off key, the accoustics are never right anywhere other than my bathroom) although Kez is convincing me daily it was build me up buttercup, but I only know one line of that sober. So am still awaiting the DVD to see what it actually was we

Soul night wise we have travelled to see the crew at Kingsway, and am never ever disappointed with this venue, if ever you feel your soul is on the wane, come here and it will be restored. Dr Carl and Dr Gee have the antitidote for your soul needs.

A new night for us and now deemed as one of our regular ones, has to be the night at the Grovesner rooms in sutton in ashfield, a git of a venue to find even with ozzies dulcet tones on the sat nav telling us we had gone the wrong fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff'ing way. But once there a dancefloor to die for, a music policy similar to that of the kingsway crews, an absolute dream of a night that will be the in place to be seen in 2009, Mark tells me thay have a modern/crossover room planned from April onwards so soul heaven for my tastes.

Locally the scene is dire, with the exception of the Ad-Libs nites, where that wonderful gritty and dirty RnB is played, this is a place I find offers me total escapism, just me, the music, the vodka and the dancefloor and ya dont need anyone or anything else.

So plans to travel further afield this year are well underway for us gals... lol and am looking forward to the first scooter rally of the season, and have packed me thermals already (yes I know its not til easter but hey!) So be warned we have nites in the planning, and may be at a venue near you, just make sure the bar is well stocked and the music hot.

I recently received the DVD from the last cleethorpes all dayer (Thank You) and it was two years ago as of yesterday that we were there, so was curled up in my fav chair, with a glass of baileys toasted the memories and watched what a truly emotional day we had. The old place is still flattened and nothing built on it, so what was the bloody urgency to close her??? It Still sickens and saddens me.

The mosher princess continues to do well at school and now attends collage weekly. she has a dream of a course and regularly brings home vids on her phone of the monkeys, lizards, snakes and those things with 8 legs that are big and hairy and makes my flesh creep... but shes lovin it and her target goals are set to a distinction level, lets hope she keeps away from the two legged bum fluffed variety that saw her mother go down the slippery slope many years ago at school, and concentrates on the exotic critters that she is studying. She is desperate at the moment for the collage to deliver the goods on the avairy that sold the whole course package to her as she wants to work with the feathered variety of owls eagles and hawks, and has a vast and extensive knowledge of them already due to self study, all thanks to a little furry owl that has a wigan casino badge stuck on his chest which belonged to me and was found in the loft several years ago.

Its been a long hard slog of a winter that is tending to keep its cold clingy grip on us for as long as it can, and I really cant wait now to be out of the dark nites and dark mornings, working nites in the winter is horrendous, and its a rare thing to see daylight, so I look like I have two permanent black eyes and have been dug up out of some crypt (not my normal preferred look, before someone comments that it is )

I have been constantly cold for days as the heating in the main areas where I work go off ensuring that patients rooms are kept nice and warm, so my nighter bag consists of a blanket and extra jumper, a wheat bottle (to warm up in the microwave) and packets of boring soup!!! But like I said thats all about to change and I am moving on to pastures new, a new unit with daylight hours, so only two weeks left in my old place then Im out of there. But 16 years in one place is a very long time, and its time to move on... So a new challenge for me and one that has been over due for too long.

So with new venues to go too, new jobs to be experienced and a new way of life it looks like 2009 is shaping up nicely.

Til The next time

D xxxxx

A Soul Sisters Take On Life Part 5

Posted by sister dawn, 22 June 2008

A blog of two halfs

It been a while .... But just to catch up, the dark princesses party was a success, thankfully her friends kept their side of the bargain and never let the cat out of the bag, and added to the already intensifying paranoia of a 14 year old!, who by the time the end of school had arrived on the Friday was convinced that everyone was talking about her behind her back, which of course was true but for the right

Some of her friends came round to ours on the day itself, even brought bowling shoes just to add to the effect, so we all piled into the minbus when it arrived and set off, half way down to the venue, the dark one was blindfolded ... and became unaware of her whereabouts, much to the delight of my nephew who likes sinister things

Arriving at our destination, the minbus emptied rapidly leaving me to lead the dark one into the venue, its a place where our soulclub nites are held, so once in the doors the cheeky mare, whos senses apart from her eyesight are in over load says ''I can smell old'' ... from the mouth of babes and all that ...

Next came total silence, a parent and teachers dream of a room full of teenagers quiet as mice, stood perfectly still and smiling, as the dark one was led into the middle of the room, now in hindsight I should have savored that moment just a minute or too more, as all hell was unleashed on the removal of said blindfold, and party poppers were expelled like gunfire.....

The festivities were underway and first out of the speakers were Korns 'Lets get this party started' full on frontal attack to my earlobes that was..... Now I am quite proud of the fact that I managed not to do just one cd for this party but three, which is good going since I hadn't got a chuffing clue who was who, or what but I had a system, and that was to watch three solid days of kerrang and write down the ones which sounded vaguely like the stuff coming out of the moshpit, anyway to cut a long story short I got it right on the night, and boy, can them kids dance, well its a sort of jumping, headbanging, bobbing up and down sort of move, that looks strange when its just one person, but quite effective when its a group....

The band we had booked had every girl in the room heart beating at double the rate as they were a bunch of good looking lads the same ages as their audience, and they were absolutely fantastic, talented, dedicated and I am certain they will be destined for higher things, they write their own stuff, have just released a CD, and they made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when they began playing ... anyone whose kids are of a similar age and are into the dark stuff give this band a booking,

Last Constellation


As all good things time ran out for us, we were treated to skateboarders in the car park, and some parkour (think that how its spelt) Which is amzing stuff, as Lincoln has its own Parkour group and they too are extremely talented heres a clip of a lad who is truly exceptional at his sport from our neck of the woods

and so we ended the night at 11pm which was respectable, and gave me time for me then throbbing headache to go before I started on the wine which had chilled nicely in my fridge back home, slip on me slippers and put on some soothing soul, the mosh pit had guests, all gossip about the nites events and the most fancieable boyz etc etc but a notch up on the stereo drowned out the chatter.

Soul Talk

Soul wise everything has been a little quiet for me, with having to do silly mixed shifts at work, mostly on a Friday and Saturday night and me sleep pattern has gone out of the window. So my attendance at other venues since my last night out has been minimal, So by the time last nite came I was up for not only a good nite out but had also been booked to Djay at the square peg in Skegness. Now this was a booking made some months ago by the promotors and last night two good venues in the same town clashed, unfortunately it was the 2nd of Dave Raistricks Upfront on the Sea Fronts weekenders, I attended the first one at the Grovsner and had a fantastic time with some brilliant sounds being spun by the multitude of excellant Djays that Dave gets to play at his weekenders, the only letdown last time was the numbers through the doors and unfortunately, So I am led to believe, the numbers let him down again this weekend too. It felt strange for me, when Djaying to know that a venue and a promotor whom I have always supported, just a matter of yards down the road, was hosting a weekender and I wasnt there enjoying it. The car full on the return journey home, all agreed that although musically it had been a good night at the peg, it had seemed a strange atmosphere, one you couldn't quite put your finger on, maybe people felt torn between the two venues Im not really sure what it was, but it was there. Anyhow before we left I popped in to see Dave at the suncastle, to speak to him firstly on a personal matter and secondly to explain my absence, not that I had too, but felt it neccessary out of curtesy and respect, like the brill promotor that he is we were invited in but due to work committments a couple of our group had to be at work by 6am, we had to decline his offer.

Those that know, my own venue which is now in its 5th year, has been dormant for three months now, mainly due to work and family issues, but also for reflection on my own part, I also found that as a punter/Djay/promotor, I was getting to stressed over certain issues within the local and not so local scene, and needed to back away for a while in order to take stock (for want of a better word) take a breath, visit other venues and come back with a stupid grin on me face ... well thankfully feeling ready to take on the world again the ELSC returns on July 5th.

It saddens me deeply when I read of established clubs/venues having to close down due to the recent upsurge of every dog and his djay putting on nites on a whim. It would seem it isnt just a local thing, its an all over plague that is affecting and depriving the scene. When all said and done people can only be in one place at any one time, When you read of long established venues such as most recently as an example, New Century Soul having to give up because of a 101 one other nites taking place on the same nites, it makes me wonder where this scene of ours is heading, are we in the not too distant future going to have to be satisfied with a group of mates just spinning a few sounds in the back room of a pub somewhere? Not travelling to other venues anymore because they too have fell victim to the plague of ''lets put on a soul nite''. We complain now about having to listen to the same old, same old, WTF is it going to be like maybe in twelve months time?? I have always been militant at heart, and I say we need to make a stand against this major influx, by voting with our feet and door taxes by going to those venues which have kept us fed on the soul food we have craved for so long and support them like they have supported us.

Til Next Time

Dawn x

A Soul Sisters Take On Life Part 4

Posted by sister dawn, 20 May 2008

Well its been a while since my last blog and despite the agony of a ripped cartiledge in the knee managed to make it to (thanks to painkillers and alcohol) The latest of this years bi annual events at Horncastle.

This event has been going a tad longer than the ELSC and is one we have always supported since its conception, simply and purely because the music hits the spot. The venue itself is one that is nestled in the glorious Lincolnshire wolds in the middle of nowhere with a decent sized room and a well stocked bar and along with some of the best resident Djays and some top notch guest Djays, you don't really want anything else to be honest, its all there.

But this time of year we do things a little differently, and have done so for a number of occasions now with the Cleethorpes and Lincoln crews being first to brave the elements by having a ''soul camp out'' I cant remember exactly how many times we have done this now, but its been a few, and gradually over the years others have taken our lead and joined us, this year was no exception. We always manage to nail the weather as well and so last weekend saw us baking in a field of glorious sunshine, and boy was it hot!!! there was no escaping it, pure relentless heat, so nothing to do but kick off the flip flops crack open the vino put up the soul city walk sign, and listen to the various tunes being played around the camp site. The Friday night was an absolute blast as it always is, with tales around the camp fire with like minded souls, who take us back in time and recall memories from the mighty casino and balcony jumps in order to hit the dance floor when a certain tune was played, and we laugh, as we drink just a little bit more (it would be rude not too) and we laugh alot more, on the decks tonight there became a point where we fancied a change from the northern so Ska was placed on the decks and there we all were singing and skanking along to the likes of some of the more well known ska sounds over the decades, til eventually the camps well loved and respected chef extroadinaire found his cleethorpes tunes and we were thrown back into the halcyon days of the pier and gardens... the rest of that Friday evening/saturday morning became a blur my sides hurt from laughing and my legs were swopped with someone elses, and the very dark journey back to the tent was a long one, but I did make it, as the next thing I remember was the dulcet tones of Brian Matthews sounds of the sixties blasting out (a saturday morning tradition at Horny) and the smell of bacon being sizzled, so there was nothing to do but get up and indulge.

Saturday saw us with more glorious weather and more souls arriving to camp over for the Saturday nite shannigans, each one being greeted with the warmest of welcomes and ribbings. Saturday day times are for chilling and fishing rods dipped in the lake, full on sunbathing, yakking, football, golf and whatever takes your fancy, before its time to hit the showers and get your gladrags on for the saturday nite function. It was at this point I had all my fingers and toes crossed that tonight went really well attendance wise, as there was a 101 other events on that same night and tonight was special for the promotor, as he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and after receiving treatment and a set back he is hopefully on the mend now, he was wanting to give something back to the treatment and causes that had helped him fight against this awful illness by organising a raffle with all proceeds going to the cause, So I really wanted plenty of lovely soul folk through the door, and through the door they came 130+ of them, there was still room for plenty more too!! but we were happy and by the end of the night we had made £300+ pounds, so job done all that was left was to celebrate birthday wishes with our host, which of course we did.

Whoops havent even maentioned the music have I?, waxing lyrical

What can I say?? except all that was delivered by the resident list and with Dave Raistrick playing one of the best sets I have ever heard him play ever and a surprise spot by Tats Taylor my lovely weekend was complete. If you have never been to one of these nites at Horncastle you are seriously lacking in your soul quota and must get yourselves down there. We have another summer camp out again in July (the 11th for friday nite party) and the 12th for the actual in house nite. So pack up yer tents, hook up the caravan and come down, you seriously wont be disappointed I believe next guest listed is none other than Tony Deller. And again a raffle will be held so if you want to donate something soulful then please feel free its all for a good cause.

I am hoping to have been seen by those in the know then at the local hospital (but wont hold my breath) and Ive a feeling op 2 will be forthcoming sometime in 2008 maybe 9,10, But we will cross that bridge when we come to it!.

Well its just over a fortnight til the mosher princesses 14th birthday, she wanted to go bowling with the darkside crew, but yours truly has other ideas and is giving her a surprise I have even managed to get a localish darkside band to come and perform as well, after trawling through some weird and wonderful unsigned local bands on my space, some of which I have to say were very good but all on the too old side for a 14th birthday party (they were 20+lol) So the ones booked are of the 15/16 age group and do MCR covers as well as write their own stuff, and they are in tune which is a bonus! I have roped in a couple of her bessie mates to distribute invites to the year group at school, its all very secret squirrel So on the nite my mp4 will be well stocked up with soul sounds and at its max volume wise.... it'll be a busy week for the lass as she has her birthday day on the official day, she is going to have a look around the local agricultural college the day after with the hope of being accepted there for the next four or so years ... (she wants to work with environment issues etc she did tell me the proper name but I forgot!) In my infinate wisdom I have promised her a shopping day for new togs and the Saturday she is going bowling ( I seem to remember when I was at that age just me and a mate went to the pics, I got a recorder (never could play it) and a fish supper... ahhh how times change.

Til the next time

Dawn x

A Soul Sisters Take On Life Part 3

Posted by sister dawn, 06 May 2008

Well thats another weekend flown by in a haze of soulful tunes and good company, gone all too quickly once again. But what a good weekend it was, Friday night saw me armed with a couple of boxes of sacred vinyl to play at Retfords sisters of soul nite, although numbers were down, those of us that attended were privy to hear some great sounds being spun. I have to publish my playlist at a request from a couple of people that attended, so this evening I will be trying to remember just what I played as the record boxes were just left in my hallway in my haste to rush up the stairs to the bathroom when I arrived home, after hitting every pothole and speed bump on the return journey home. During my set I had the pleasure of playing some sounds for the dance competition and also judging it, it was a nice warmish evening so the tempo shot up, and I made the winner work for her badge of honor It gave me great pleasure to play out Holly St James's Thats not love, as a request, now anyone that knows me, knows this is one of my all time favorite sounds from 'back in the day' it was always known as the early morning call played at 6am at the infamous Drill Hall alnighters here in Lincoln, and I promised that the next time I played it I would say a few words of thanks to the soul crowd for something we have held dear to our hearts for so long from no other than Holly St James herself, whom I have been speaking to electronically now for some time, She is such a wonderful person and has a multitude of knowledge concerning the american music scene, her grandkids are still coming to terms that grandma is famous here in the UK.

So in a nutshell that was basically my friday nite, The vino flowed well, the company was good, and the music flowed what more can you say.

Saturday saw us travelling to Mansfield to the Attic club, it was the first time I had been to this venue as it co- incided with my own nites here in Lincoln, but having a few weeks rest from our own venue we said we would try places we hadnt been to before and this was on the list of to do's and how pleased am I that I did, totally blown away from the sounds the lads there played, this was the music I was lucky enough to have been weaned on thanks to some great role models I had in my youth, who took me to places that carried on the policies from the top all nighter/dayers in the land. The quality was 2nd to none from 10 quid tunes to the you just know its expensive tune, all original, all soul. I wrote a proper review on the night on the lookback thread. It got me wanting more though and made me think about some of the drivel we have to play out week in and week out, that sometimes isnt quality at all, it just fills the floor, losing the magic for what it was really intended. I have desisted from burning my records though and starting all over again, but when I have some time will be looking at those that have remained in the havent played boxes for a number of years.

Sunday I was really wanting to go to the sheffield all dayer wanting more of the genre from the previous night, but guilt got the better of me and the garden won as it was resembling something like out of the adams family film, So a day in there has it back on par for the garden unlike myself who has ripped the cartiledge in my knee and is hobbling around like an old grannie!!!! We were going to go the all dayer at miners welfare yesterday so that went out the window. So its to the docs for me this afternoon, I cant pronounce his name, and no doubt will have difficulty in understanding what he has to say, but I will be polite and nod in the right places and hope I havent agreed to have an xray in aberdeen as the local hospital is to busy!!!!

The poor old mosher princess has SATS this weeks! 13 years old and they are sitting exams!! poor kids, at 13 I was enjoying life, not stressing over exams, and stressed thay are! I havent put the pressure on her, just told her to do her best and that will be good enough for me, it might not be the governments but I dont really give a fig about their audit lists and numbers. So yesterday saw her and her bezzie mate having a day out at the coast for some sun and sea air, So by ten last night she was snoring blissfully in the mosh pit and has woke this morning ready to take on Mr Browns government and kick Ass! Today is Maths. Watch this space Friday at school in science they cut up Rats!! So I was treated to all the gory details, it took me back to a time when me and several others at school ''protested'' about the unlawful killing of lab mice for dissection. The mosher princess and I discussed these issues and how she felt about them, her reply that it was ''ok, as all the bits were sent to the falconary centre up the road to feed the owls and falcons''. (She has a thing about owls) and that was that, how times change!.

Dawn x

A Soul Sisters Take On Life Part 2

Posted by sister dawn, 23 April 2008

Here we are again , its Wednesday already! (Being sarky there cos it feels more like a week of ruddy mondays) and this week has been the week from hell, well work wise anyway, got a couple of days off now and am celebrating the fact that my ass is my own again for 48 hours anyway rather than the Called in at the off licence on the way home, and came out armed with a couple of nice bottles of red and doritos for the munchies

Just come of the phone after having a yarn with one of me home girls, it always feels better when you have caught up on the gossip from the real world and goss we did... so much so the batteries nearly dead on me phone . Been making plans already for the weekend and also for later dates about where we were going northern wise, and the subject got around to ''the same old, same old''.. So in our infinate wisdom we have decided to go further afield this year on the northern circuit, and also to rekindle a long lost relationship with the scooter scene by attending a few rallies, I never really lost the taste for the scooter scene, but circumstances such as work, family life and not enough hours in the day tore me away from it in the first place, and I have had a secret yearning to return to the scene that prides itself on a weekend of scooters, fun and beer in that order.... so apologies now to any unfortunate scooter bods who are unlucky to have a tent pitched next to three mad women from the shires, one has a terrible habit of grinding teeth in her sleep the other snores and the other has wind problems!!!! not gonna tell ya who is who, but we apologise now in advance...

The mosher has another sleep over tonight with her bessie mate who is also from the darkside, and I have just been subjected to 3 hours of kerrang and scuzz, all thanks to the ruddy teaching profession going on strike tomorrow, (PLEASE MR PM GIVE EM WHAT THEY WANT NOW) So my nite of tranquil getting slaughtered whilst catching up on the world of soaps went straight out of the window, so in order for self sanity I had to resort to getting slowly merry in my study, in front of the PC with its trusty soundfiles of relaible comfort music for me and a ban on anyone under the age of 15 with ruler straight hair on entering..... I have also issued a do not wake me before 10am ruling unless a. The house is starting to smell of burning..b.... one of you loses a digit and you cannot stem the bleeding...c.... If a man from the national lottery comes knocking on the door with a cheque ... oh and a ban on redying hair Black in my shiny white bathroom!! .... So Kerrang and Scuzz have now gone on standby as the moshpit upstairs is getting the 60 minute makeover via posters of the weird and wonderful being repositioned at all angles around the room ..... how anyone can get a good nights kip with some really scary people looking back at you is beyond anyway back to the stuff I have some sort of knowledge about me soundfiles.... I didnt realise but I have hundreds and hundreds of them, and my 'F' Drive is just about nearing capacity.... So I am well chilled listening to a few tunes I havent heard, played out on vinyl or clicked on for ages and ages, and each one is like a long lost friend and instigates some fantastic memories from where you first heard it, who you were with, and what you were doing .... I wonder if those into other genres of music feel the same sort of things for their music as us soulies? I am sure they do, but I guess if you were to strike up a conversation on the bus or at the local starbucks about the subject, they would move seats pdq thinking they had sat next to the local loonie.... . Somedays I am opened minded about my soul but at other times, such as this I do love the oldies, especially when you think you are in need of some TLC, as the other stuff doesnt sort of comfort you as much, as they are still relatively newish to the ear... (some of 'em are about 20 years old and still classed as but Im sure ya know what I mean What peeves me off though is my own laziness at not taking the time on occasions, of typing in the title and artist, and just numbering them cos I cant be arsed to do it at the time, and when you listen to them at some later date you havent got a ruddy clue who it is or the name of the track, and its always a good un... So I am thankful to those knowledgable folk on here, who end up naming em and providing the info for lazy gits like me .

Right it seems as though the 60 minute makeover team has finished in the moshpit, as I can hear the dulcet tones of MSN mesengers iritating message alert, plus they must be on where there are obviously pics of black haired mosher boys cos i can hear the comments of ''he's gorgeous'' and ''no he's not my type he's a minger'' So its time for me to pour another glass for medicinal purposes, remove the dog (under protest from him) out of me fav chair, and watch a re run of sex in the city or if I am really lucky an episode of family guy maybe on..... So until next time..... Dawn x

A Soul Sisters Take On Life

Posted by sister dawn, 18 April 2008 ·

I really don't know whats happened to Global warming, but its bloody freezing out there tonight, and I have only been out to shut the garage door, the only thing warming is my heat providers bank account as opposed to mine, but hey this is my first blog, so what the hell should I talk about??? I suppose it should be something soul related, but then a blog can be about just anything!. I have been penned up within these four walls all week due to a bout of tonsillitus, now I have had this before, a few times, and they wont take the damn things out, say its not bad enough to do that yet!!!! So it doesnt matter if it incapcitates you for over bloody 5 days now, feeling like your throat is going to explode like something from a sigorney weaver movie and your tonsils making a break for it down the road.... the legal prescription painkillers are crap, and now I wouldnt know where to go to get any others

In husked discussion with my very soon to be 14 year old daughter today about music, she discloses that she likes a bit of ska, now I used to take her on the rallies with me from an early age, but for the past year and a bit she has been into the darkside of popular music, with unmentionable band names (to me) but the likes of slipknot, marilyn manson MCR etc etc, the posters alone scare me, never mind the videos or the music!! So we never spoke about the ''old days'' until tonight when virgin were advertising their latest music promotion, which is ska, her ladyship sits there and says, I like Ska but you had to chose Northern Soul!!, what was that all about then???? Well already low on speech power due to the throat infection I was speechless!!, She hates all the love and stuff associated with soul, prefering instead cut em up and kill em music, but she asked if I could sort her old some 'old ska' just for listening to in her room when she has some ''me time'' in other words when the rest of her dark princess mates aint around for a sleep over or just to hang out in the mosh pit No doubt at these times the ska will be well hidden in the knicker draw!!!

But like she requested, I will do her some 'old ska' and I will peep through the crack in the bedroom door when she is skanking in full mosher outfit in front of her mirror to it, and try and stifle my laughter as these teenagers aint half sensitive, I am sure I wasnt as bad at that age, but my mother assures me I was worse, she says though at 15 I settled down a bit, that was cos I was out at nighters and dayers around the UK I told her, and she replied Oh yes I forgot about that!! recalling some of the best weekends that her and me dad had while I was 'away' or sleeping!!.

It makes me wonder if my 'little un' (shes taller than me already) will ever get to experience the things that I did, staying out alnight with her mates somewhere with like minded folks who were into the same sort of music with a general feeling of being a family , I somehow doubt they will experience the big venues where you stayed for 12 or more hours, no doubt hers will be all night parties in someones house, then I will worry terribly that she isnt drinking alcohol, taking drugs or having under aged sex, and I will stay up all night texting her and ringing to make sure she is ok ..... Somehow I am just so pleased that technology such as mobile phones weren't invented in the 7ts

Anyway the dulcet tones of Nirvana have drifted into silence in the mosh pit, so it must be time for my useless painkillers to be swolled and for me try to get some sleep without coughing at 10 minute intervals, I got that bored last night I was even timing them!!! So this has been my first blog, I don't know what happens to it when I press the post entry button, no doubt it will go somewhere it wasnt ment too..... but hey theres a first time for everything...... til next time x

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