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stash313

Luxury Soul Weekender - 14

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How do you compare with a weekend like that?

You simply can't, with the well known problems before hand this could have been a weekend that took a turn for the worse. Luckily for all of our sakes that didn't happen and I'm still amazed how everyone managed to make it up with such apparent ease and just as importantly how our guests from Detroit managed to arrive on time.

Both Blackpool and Birmingham like many on here are the highlights of the year for me. As always its an absolute honour and a privelage to be involved with the event in a small way. We arrived Thursday afternoon and it seemed a lot of people had decided to head up a day early with the weather 'Just to Make sure'. In fact Ralph had travelled up on wednesday, seeing Blackpool's roads clear of Ice and Snow made me feel a lot better about the situation.

Friday came and after a bit of pottering around the usual suspects begin to arrive and its down to the lounge to get the party started. Again another enjoyable 60 minutes for myself of new music, classics and a few up-tempo items to get everyone in the mood before the respective rooms opened up. Thankyou for all the kind feedback its always appreciated...

The hotel was as professional as ever, food top notch as ever and the company wasn't too shabby either. :-)

Geoff Allman, Jezza, Gill n Graham, Roger & Collette, Paul T, Lesley, Billy & Karen, John & Tracey, Paul C & Claire, Neil Thomo, Tee Cee, Russ & Sue etc... I could go on for ever.

Musically the Hilton does what it says on the tin I suppose, I know a few people were concerned about the lack of new music this weekend but I think it varies from weekend to weekend, year to year. As Richard often says its difficult to please all of the people all of the time and I'm sure the promotors try to cater for as many as possible.

I suppose its a gripe with most events and finding the balance between new music and floorfillers is a difficult balancing act.

We knew saturday was going to be special and it would have been so difficult to swallow if the weather had ruined it for everyone involved and I'm sure Richard, Ralph, Ian and everyone else involved were having kittens up until the moment that plane landed in Manchester.

It was by far one of the finest live acts I've seen and happilly the sound system didn't hinder them this year. Just how grateful where Chapter 8? Here was a group like many over the years who haven't received the success, the fame, the adulation their material richly deserves but they did receive it on saturday evening and a whole lot more.

The set list was long with out being repetitive, perfectly thought out and showcased just how strong those two albums were.

Speaking to the group afterwards, Valerie in particular mentioned how hurtful it was when they finally gave up the chase in 1989 and concentrated on their own careers. She said it took a long time for any of the group to revisit Chapter 8. She mentioned that the guys had spent two hours after the concert just sat in shock trying to contemplate everything and when pressed over any future plans she said this could well be the catalyst.

If that doesn't show just how special the UK Soul scene is and in particular events such as this nothing will.

Sunday was spent on babysitting duties with little Miles Clifford, apparently we're of the same mental age although he's slightly more advanced than me! ;-) then the usual sunday night party atmosphere with Richard playing a wonderful set to round off the weekend.

As quick as that it was all over again until 2011, a lot was spoken about Birmingham from those concerned and lets hope thats something that can be worked out (its always a crap summer when Birmingham doesn't go ahead)

A massive thanks to Richard, Ralph, Ian, The Hilton and their staff all of the DJs and everyone who has managed to make this as good a weekend as I've had since the last one! :-)))))))

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Guest Hunnymon

Many thanks for posting - I had been wondering about this event.

Unfortunately, we couldn't make it this year and it sounds like we missed a good un.

Hopefully we'll be there 2011.

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