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The Northern Line - Warrington - Warrington

  


  Alford Hall Sports & Social Club    Manchester Road    Warrington   WA1 3NJ   GB

Soul Nights
scooterboy
   (2 reviews)

The Northern Line - Warrington on

This event is now over

Thank you for your support and understanding when we cancelled the April event due to the extremely sad and unexpected death of our dear friend John ‘Biff’ Griffiths.

 

Nothing and no-one can replace Biff and we won’t even try to, but however hard it may be for us we feel that (for the moment at least) we must continue to host The Northern Line because we believe that this is what John would have wanted.  In fact, John’s wife Bev has already scolded us, saying that John would have been very annoyed at us for cancelling the April event, but there was no way we could even think about running the night as emotions were so very raw with John only having recently passed away with his funeral due to take place just a few days later.

 

We plan to hold the next Northern Line on our usual 4th Saturday of the month on Saturday 28th May and we hope you’ll join us because this event will be held in memory of John, and as a celebration of his life and his love for the music.  We’ll try to play the 45s that John would have chosen and that have so influenced him over the past 40 or so years.  All proceeds will be given to John’s family.

 

We have a couple of special guests lined up for you, one of these being Kev Such who’s coming all the way from Kettering for your dancing delight and musical pleasure.  If you’ve never heard Kev DJ before then boy, are you in for a treat as Kev has a tremendous collection and he knows how to use it!

 

We also have one of John’s oldest and best buddies behind the decks, Peter ‘Cog’ Cogley.  Peter has a wealth of experience and alongside John is probably one of the most well known and most respected of DJs and promoters in the North West.  Cog has known John for 45 years and has DJ’d with John for most of this time, and therefore we can think of no more fitting a guest on this bitter-sweet of nights.

 

To complete the complement of guest DJs Dave Truscott will be double decking with me.  John, Dave and I ran, and DJ’d at, The Birchfield Soul Nights in Widnes for nearly 10 years and it is therefore fitting that Dave will be with us on the night and spinning some tunes with us in memory of John.

 

Ben Moses will be starting proceedings at 7:30 with a blend of classics and newer sounds (I wish I’d had his musical taste and collection when I was his age), and Moz and I will try not to mess things up when it’s our turn.

 

We do expect a high turnout for this event and as such we’d respectfully suggest that you might want to come early if you’d like a fighting chance of bagging a seat and a table.  That being said, as you’ll be dancing your little socks off you won’t have time to sit down...

 

Please do join us and have a dance and a drink in memory of our buddy Mr John ‘Biff’ Griffiths.

 

Chris

(on behalf of Moz Arnold, Ben Moses and in fond memory of John ‘Biff’ Griffiths)

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scooterboy

   3 of 3 members say helpful 3 / 3 members

Thank you so very much for your support on what was both a sad occasion but which was also a genuine celebration of John Griffiths’ love of the music and the massive contribution he has made to the scene.  We are all poorer with John’s passing, but all the richer for having known him. 

There were tears of course as we were all upset that our friend John wasn’t with us, but the night was one of celebration, remembrance, respect and thanks.  John’s wife Bev and his son (affectionately known to us as Little John) and soon-to-be daughter-in-law Becca showed great strength in attending.  There were clearly going to be very sad moments that triggered a tear such as a particular record being played or a picture of John on a slideshow, but Bev demonstrated immense courage and love by attending and I believe that she appreciated the support that you gave John on the night.  She’s certainly far stronger than any of us would have been in the circumstances.

Before I comment on the music and DJs there is an unsung hero I must mention; Jon Skellam.  John adapted the slideshow we use at The Northern Line to incorporate some of the pictures of John that were used at his wake and he did a respectful and very professional job.  Jon also helps us every month to set out the room and he’s the guy who’s responsible for designing the anniversary CDs that so many of you now have.  I’m just sorry that it’s taken me so long to publically thank you Jon.

There was a lot of pressure on Ben Moses as his was the opening hour of this special night for John.    Whilst there was a weight of responsibility on his young shoulders he didn’t falter for one moment and he gave us a great cross-section of classics along with a few newer sounds.  For me, the stand-out record of his spot was The Volumes, Ain’t Gonna Give You Up.

Dave Truscott and I double-decked for the next hour.  It was fitting that we were able to show our respects by way of a joint set given that John, Dave and I were involved in running The Birchfield for around 10 years.  We tried to provide a mix of classics (6Ts and 7Ts) along with a couple of records that were popular at The Birchfield back in the day; records that John either played or that he’d ask one of us to play such as The Moments, You Said and Carol Anderson, Sad Girl.  We couldn’t have done too bad a job as people were dancing early (for which we’re most grateful) and we tried our level best to play tracks that John would either have played himself or about which he’d wholeheartedly approve.

One of John’s longest-standing and best friends Peter Cogley had the 9:30 – 10:30 spot and began by saying a few well chosen words about how he and John had met, their DJ’ing history together and commenting that in all the years they’d known each other that Peter couldn’t remember a single occasion where John hadn’t been able to help out, lend a hand or do a favour if asked.  We all knew it would be difficult for Peter to say a few words, but he did his old friend proud, made a few eyes water and a few lips wobble.  Peter then followed up with a terrific set that reflected the records that he and John had grown up together playing (and were playing at The Services together until just a few short weeks ago).  His first record Shing-A-Ling by The Cooperettes as the tear jerker for most of us, knowing just what that record meant to John and to Bev.

Kev Such was our headline guest and he was booked last year.  Kev had thoughtfully and respectfully asked us in advance if we wanted him to attend or whether, given the circumstances, we’d prefer to have DJ’s who’d known and worked with John over the years.  What Kev didn’t initially realise was just how appropriate it was for him to be our guest as he and John had shared top billing the last time that John DJ’d at The Parr Hall in Warrington.  Kev played a cracking spot that John would have loved, packed to the rafters with classic floor-fillers such as The Superlatives, Rubin, Willie Tee, Sam Dees and Jimmy Fraser.  Kev also threw in a few slightly less familiar tracks that got ears pricked and feet moving such as The Fabulous Peps, With These Eyes and Betty Lloyd. I’m Catching On.  What Kev could never have known is that John and I were talking about the Betty Lloyd track when John and Kev DJ’d at The Parr Hall.  John saw Kev cue the record up even though we were sitting at the back of the room (at The Parr Hall you can see the records about to be played on a big screen as there’s a camera over the decks) and commented that it was a great record, but he’d be surprised if it got the dance-floor reaction it deserved.  Almost instantly Kev had a change of mind and chose something different (though for the life of me I can’t remember what).  I’m pleased to say that Betty worked a treat for us and I think it’ll become a regular spin for me as a result (I’ve got a copy somewhere).

Moz played the 11:30 – 12:30 slot, which was a first for The Northern Line as there’s usually a double-deck session of ½ an hour after the main guest.  Moz is quality (but don’t tell him I said so) and gave us a set largely comprising of up-tempo classics that are both a guarantee of satisfaction and a guarantee of a full floor.  He didn’t disappoint and if memory serves he might have been the first of us to remember to play a spot of Motown too.  Spins for Moz included Marvin Gaye, Love Starved Heart, Susan Barrett, What’s It Gonna Be, Four Tops, Something About You, Rita & The Tiara’s, Gone With The Wind and Cliff Nobles, My Love Is Getting Stronger.

Unusually the last ½ hour was split between Ben, Moz, Peter and myself with us each playing 3 – 4 tracks for John.  During the evening we’d played John’s Top 3 all time favourite records, these included The Impressions, You’ve Been Cheatin’ and Eddie Foster, I Never Knew.  John’s very favourite record of all time was saved to last and it was this record that was playing when we carried John on his last journey.  It could not have been more appropriate that Bev and Cog were on stage to say one last goodbye and make the final dedication of the night to John, and it was with amazing courage and strength of purpose that Bev pressed the start button on the decks and that Soul Self Satisfaction by Earl Grant was the final record of the night.

This was a fitting end to a night of celebration and thanks and whilst none of our lives will be the same without John I genuinely do believe that we gave him as appropriate and fitting a send off as possible.

John ‘Biff’ Griffiths – Good Night and God Bless Big Man

 

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Winsford Soul

   1 of 1 member say helpful 1 / 1 member

. Sorry I only could manage to stay a short while. I knew you all would do John proud. Chris that's the most fitting tribute I have ever read. Can't write anything else.

Steve

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