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Starting A Soul Club

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Hi.

Along with some like minded friends, we are hoping to start a soul club, where people can meet on a regular basis and listen and dance to across the board soul music. The area isn't exactly a hot-bed for soul, but we feel that we will be able to attract enough people to make the idea a success.

I was therefore wondering if those of you out there who run a soul club, or have run one in the past, could pass on some ideas and suggestions as how best to move forward re. the likes of memberships, the do's and do not's etc.

We already have a venue, which we are getting free, so all the money raised can go to charities and dj's who know what's what.

Thanks for your time.

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sorry i havent got any advice regards running a soul nite but i wish you well with your venture,particulary as you are giving the proceeds to charity,good luck my friend

jason

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Many thanks for both of the above comments, which are appreciated. Hopefully some of those out there who run soul clubs can come along with details of how they run things and we can do something that is both successful and worthwhile.

Cheers.

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make sure the sound system is good.so many nights have great records being played on cheap little bedroom systems it spoils the whole thing.a new night needs to have a bit of wow factor that can only be achieved by decent speakers etc.

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No problem with the sound system, as it is reportedly the best in town and one of the lads has been and confirmed this.

We are also fortunate that the owner of the pub is willing to make the 'nights' a private function, so we do not get any undesirables through the door, with admission being ticket only. He is also supplying the doormen.

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My advice would be to think why you want to do it. If you want to do it because nowhere in the area is doing it, or if your playlist is so different that it is justified then fairplay to you, I wish you success.

However if you're doing it to have a regular Dj gig or you've fallen out with someone then my advice is don't do it

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My advice would be to think why you want to do it. If you want to do it because nowhere in the area is doing it, or if your playlist is so different that it is justified then fairplay to you, I wish you success.

However if you're doing it to have a regular Dj gig or you've fallen out with someone then my advice is don't do it

Doing it because we like the music and believe that there are enough interested to make it a good regular night. Music will be practically anything and everything. We have not fallen out with anyone and trying to start something in oposition. Those who will dj have enough tunes to play a bit of everything.

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Guest Droylsdonian

Never run a club (still the best term, imco) but been to a lot.

The floor is the first consideration for NS is the best advice I can give you; there are too many fat, lazy, stewards who

can't be arsed to vac up (get up?) the next day. No talc, no deal.

After that, keeping pissheads & anyone skinnin anything more than nicotine out. So the doormen need to be alert to that - sounds

promising on that front.

Lastly, letting the number of folk on the floor be your measure of a DJ; bit of Motown & modern no real soulie

would ever object to, but you gotta define the venue somehow. No use 'everything & anything', sorry that won't work.

Best wishes.

P@

but

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Memberships can be of use as a vehicle for keeping out pissheads/trouble - ie 'sorry strict policy you can't come in without one' to anyone you don't like the look of.

Be a little wary of getting too 'something for everyone' as you'll end up inundated with people wanting to hear Babylove etc if you're not careful which will tend to drive away those with a more serious passion for the music.

Where in SW Scotland - we're in Carlisle. Keep the venue small (at least initially) as a packed small venue is much, much better than a half empty medium-large venue and of course the overheads are less precarious, attached parking is also very useful as people get nervous leaving their cars late in the evening somewhere they don't know.

Best of luck.

Dx

Edited by DaveNPete

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Apart from "ËœDon't go there girlfriend!' (For your own sanity)

This would be my advice —

1) Do the D.J times before you book your D.J's or you may end up booking too many.

2) Do NOT be flattered by ANYONE offering their D.J services — make sure you know who you are booking and what they are about, so they suit your event.

3) I wouldn't bother with memberships, nowadays you need everyone you can get through the door, obviously keeping an eye on behaviour etc.

4) Anywhere else in the country I really would say you are just adding to the problem of too many events thus splintering the Scene even more but your location tells me different, so good luck to you.

5) Try and enjoy the night, as at your own event, it's hard to relax until the last record goes on.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Edited by LEN

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Apart from "ËœDon't go there girlfriend!' (For your own sanity)

This would be my advice —

1) Do the D.J times before you book your D.J's or you may end up booking too many.

2) Do NOT be flattered by ANYONE offering their D.J services — make sure you know who you are booking and what they are about, so they suit your event.

3) I wouldn't bother with memberships, nowadays you need everyone you can get through the door, obviously keeping an eye on behaviour etc.

4) Anywhere else in the country I really would say you are just adding to the problem of too many events thus splintering the Scene even more but your location tells me different, so good luck to you.

5) Try and enjoy the night, as at your own event, it's hard to relax until the last record goes on.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Cheers Mate. Thanks for taking the time to post a reply.

No fear with the sound spinners, they will have a have a proven record (excuse the pun).

Membership is what I'm still pondering over, but it has been suggested, so has to be looked at.

We have no outlay money wise, except advertising and all profits go to charity, so no problems there.

We have a few weeks to get everything in place before the first night, so want to get everything right.

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agreed with Droylsdonian, the floor should be a consideration if you're expecting dancers. our club is at a bar with a sloshy beer-soaked tile floor, which is something I've always wanted to change about our regular venue.

also agreed, a good crowded floor will tell you which kind of soul sounds your audience wants from you, but maybe for the first couple nights keep an open ear and an open mind if people come up to you with requests. I'm in general pretty quick to dismiss them and tend to try and avoid those conversations because the venues I've been playing over here generally draw out a crowd who couldn't care less what music is being played regardless, just need something to move to so they can snag a shag for the end of the night. but that kind of attitude is something I've acquired after 2 years of playing various styles at the same venue. it can be a bit tedious or distracting but listening to your audience, especially if its a smaller, more intimate bar or club, is a good way to keep them coming back.

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Promotion is a key point, decent professional looking flyer and posters, get a network of people to distribute flyers for you and better to go over the top with flyers that not enough 3000 to 5000 per event should generate a decent percentage of payers through the door, events thread here on SS and Facebook is a superb advertising tool, get the details of the event to local Radio stations who host a soul show, try to build up an email mailing list so Membership is good in that respect so you can obtain all contact details, and make sure you have enough money in your back pocket to be able to pay all your expences DJ fees etc.if it goes tits up then it's down to you to cover the short fall.

Regards - Mark Bicknell.

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Cheers Mate. Thanks for taking the time to post a reply.

No fear with the sound spinners, they will have a have a proven record (excuse the pun).

Membership is what I'm still pondering over, but it has been suggested, so has to be looked at.

We have no outlay money wise, except advertising and all profits go to charity, so no problems there.

We have a few weeks to get everything in place before the first night, so want to get everything right.

It's great that any profit is going to charity and all that, but I wouldn't focus on it too much, in other words don't make a big deal about it - it won't pull any extra people just because it's for charity and if a big deal is made of it, it can grate some people. I'd just put it in very small writing at the bottom of the flyer.

Just my opinion.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Edited by LEN

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Have a music policy for a start.

You may say "we will allow DJ to play what they want" but in choosing particular DJs you are setting the policy in my opinion.

Last but by no means least never ever ever book a DJ who 'offers' his / her services.

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Promotion is a key point, decent professional looking flyer and posters, get a network of people to distribute flyers for you and better to go over the top with flyers that not enough 3000 to 5000 per event should generate a decent percentage of payers through the door, events thread here on SS and Facebook is a superb advertising tool, get the details of the event to local Radio stations who host a soul show, try to build up an email mailing list so Membership is good in that respect so you can obtain all contact details, and make sure you have enough money in your back pocket to be able to pay all your expences DJ fees etc.if it goes tits up then it's down to you to cover the short fall.

Regards - Mark Bicknell.

Yes, you have to build a customer base and if it's what your customers want you will get repeat business and it will slowly build. The reason some venues are low on numbers repeatedly, is because they don't get that repeat business so each event almost has a different set of first timers or 'only timers' if that makes sense.

I wouldn't bother doing it in the summer months

Also, try and thank people for coming, a friendly smile or a handshake from the promoter goes a long way and is remembered, then 'word of mouth' (recommendation) kicks in. In other words 'work that room!' ....In saying that, don't be too friendly because it wouldn't be a proper soul event then! lol (Confused?!!) :D

It took me a few years but I built up a great customer base and had everyone's addresses etc. This was before the mass use of the net / 'e' mail so I had to do it through the post (Don't share your customer base details with other promoters because it will make it less effective, your customer base is just that, they have come through your door, no one else's!)

I know using phrases like 'Customer Base' and 'Repeat Business' seems harsh and 'cold like' but it's the only way to run an event properly (Like a business)

Nowadays, no matter how much work you put in or if you do everything right, you still need a little bit of luck, like not a lot on the same night and the weathers right etc, etc.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

P.s — Mark, your estimate of 5,000.00 flyers is spot on! lol - Not sure they make a difference nowadays, but they worked back then :yes:

Edited by LEN

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Last but by no means least never ever ever book a DJ who 'offers' his / her services.

Defo not "Ëœno means least' (it was also in my "Ëœset of rules' above)

I'm glad others have seen this; I have seen it so many times - An "Ëœinnocent' puts on their first event (or birthday or even wedding!) and straight away they are bombarded with "Ëœkind' offers. Of course, they naturally think "Ëœhow nice' and don't realise usually the person offering is only focussed on D.Jing and couldn't give a sh*t about the "Ëœinnocent' or their event.

I know this reads awful, but I've seen it. In fact, I've seen it taken a step further — Offered services at a birthday then asking to be paid!......Let's not go there - Just make sure you know who you are booking.

It's interesting talking to people after their first event or two because most if not all say the same thing — "God, I didn't think it would be like this"Â - and not with a smile on their face, usually puffed out cheeks! :yes:

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

P.s — Luv your signature by the way (I like irony and I work with Iron!)

Edited by LEN

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Sorry to go on so much, but Promoting really is a passion of mine. If done well and everything works out it really is quite satisfying.

Last lot from me; don't forget all this is only my advice based on my experience. Some folk may disagree with me on some points (although they would be wrong lol) and you don't have to take any notice at all!

Here goes - Have the room as dark as possible, this adds to the atmosphere. I feel like shouting this from the blo*dy roof tops! - Most people like to find a dark corner to "Ëœdo their stuff' in.

I know some would disagree with this and it was a running joke at The Embankment Club - "I believe in The Glitter Ball!"Â (Now that does read a bit strange!) A slow moving glitter ball (Blue light on it) makes the atmosphere of a dark room even better, the reason being - a little bit of movement does just that.

The Jury was well and truly out on that at The Embankment though, it was hilarious because every time someone switched it off, someone switched it straight back on again! :yes::D

I think that's me done! (There's lots more actually, but I won't bore you with it) :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Edited by LEN

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Sorry to go on so much, but Promoting really is a passion of mine. If done well and everything works out it really is quite satisfying.

Last lot from me; don't forget all this is only my advice based on my experience. Some folk may disagree with me on some points (although they would be wrong lol) and you don't have to take any notice at all!

Here goes - Have the room as dark as possible, this adds to the atmosphere. I feel like shouting this from the blo*dy roof tops! - Most people like to find a dark corner to "Ëœdo their stuff' in.

I know some would disagree with this and it was a running joke at The Embankment Club - "I believe in The Glitter Ball!"Â (Now that does read a bit strange!) A slow moving glitter ball (Blue light on it) makes the atmosphere of a dark room even better, the reason being - a little bit of movement does just that.

The Jury was well and truly out on that at The Embankment though, it was hilarious because every time someone switched it off, someone switched it straight back on again! :yes::D

I think that's me done! (There's lots more actually, but I won't bore you with it) :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

You should run a do mate reckon youi would be good at it lol

Mark

Edited by Mark Bicknell

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isn't there a dumfries soul club? that's south west isn't it? also a weekender in dumfries

The Dumfries Soul Club you mention is an off-shoot of what the original intentions were and although the once or twice a year nights - at a completely different venue - will possibly continue, we are looking at more regular events in the hope to re-attract the locals.

The Dumfries weekender is an independently run event.

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agreed with Droylsdonian, the floor should be a consideration if you're expecting dancers. our club is at a bar with a sloshy beer-soaked tile floor, which is something I've always wanted to change about our regular venue.

also agreed, a good crowded floor will tell you which kind of soul sounds your audience wants from you, but maybe for the first couple nights keep an open ear and an open mind if people come up to you with requests. I'm in general pretty quick to dismiss them and tend to try and avoid those conversations because the venues I've been playing over here generally draw out a crowd who couldn't care less what music is being played regardless, just need something to move to so they can snag a shag for the end of the night. but that kind of attitude is something I've acquired after 2 years of playing various styles at the same venue. it can be a bit tedious or distracting but listening to your audience, especially if its a smaller, more intimate bar or club, is a good way to keep them coming back.

Thankfully we have a wooden floor!

Having it tickets only, we hope to avoid those who are not interested in the music. Did a spot in a pub last year, which was advertised as a Soul and Motown night and early on, someone came up and asked for 'Elvis'. Told him that I didn't think he was there and that it was a soul and Motown night. To which he replied 'call yourself a dj?'

The floor is important and if a dj has an empty floor he is not doing his job, or those who are there are at the wrong event.

Between the three of us who are dj'ing to start with I think we have enough to keep everybody happy. The first two or three of nights will certainly tell.

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Promotion is a key point, decent professional looking flyer and posters, get a network of people to distribute flyers for you and better to go over the top with flyers that not enough 3000 to 5000 per event should generate a decent percentage of payers through the door, events thread here on SS and Facebook is a superb advertising tool, get the details of the event to local Radio stations who host a soul show, try to build up an email mailing list so Membership is good in that respect so you can obtain all contact details, and make sure you have enough money in your back pocket to be able to pay all your expences DJ fees etc.if it goes tits up then it's down to you to cover the short fall.

Regards - Mark Bicknell.

Cheers Mark.

Your mention of professional looking posters/flyers is something that one of the lads on our committee said was a 'must'. Also, one of the other committee members helps host a local radio show.

The membership comments are something I wanted to hear and something I was hoping would be mentioned along the way, as this is something we are hoping to do. Are there any other clubs out there who run a membership scheme and how did the ygo about it?

Thankfully we are getting the venue freee, doormen free and to start with there will be no dj expenses.

Your comments were much appreciated.

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Sorry to go on so much, but Promoting really is a passion of mine. If done well and everything works out it really is quite satisfying.

Last lot from me; don't forget all this is only my advice based on my experience. Some folk may disagree with me on some points (although they would be wrong lol) and you don't have to take any notice at all!

Here goes - Have the room as dark as possible, this adds to the atmosphere. I feel like shouting this from the blo*dy roof tops! - Most people like to find a dark corner to "Ëœdo their stuff' in.

I know some would disagree with this and it was a running joke at The Embankment Club - "I believe in The Glitter Ball!"Â (Now that does read a bit strange!) A slow moving glitter ball (Blue light on it) makes the atmosphere of a dark room even better, the reason being - a little bit of movement does just that.

The Jury was well and truly out on that at The Embankment though, it was hilarious because every time someone switched it off, someone switched it straight back on again! :yes::D

I think that's me done! (There's lots more actually, but I won't bore you with it) :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Hi Len.

Thanks for all your input, which is taken on board.

Strangely the lad who went and looked at the venue came back and said that 'it was a bit dark'.

Hopefully that and the music will create a bit of atmosphere..

Cheers.

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Cheers Mark.

Your mention of professional looking posters/flyers is something that one of the lads on our committee said was a 'must'.

Without sounding facetious, if I was to "Ëœcome out of promoting retirement' which may well happen soon (watch this space...) I would actually consider doing a poster the complete opposite to "Ëœprofessional looking'. You could go back to doing it with electro sets and just photo copy them in a "ËœRetro' kinda way — They would most definitely stand out from the rest. What I'm saying is, most flyers are very good nowadays because "Ëœwe have the technology' so it is expected - Just a thought....

Back in the 80's and 90's the only "Ëœprofessional looking' ones around were Cliff Steels Detroit Academicals ones and they really 'stood out from the rest', seriously they were smart and printed on shiny paper which was unheard of back then (I think he knew a printer...) :yes:

By the way, please post up on this thread to let us know how your first event went and how it grows from there. In fact, I recon we should all go!....Blimey, I've just thought, this thread may have been started for that very reason! :ohmy: What a great advertising ploy!....If it was, I take my hat off to you :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Edited by LEN

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Just a couple of things i would like to suggest 1.Make sure that you have control over the door to ensure you only get soulies in otherwise it could spoil a night. 2. Always before the night do a sound check to ensure the system is set up correctly,as a lot of venues these days tend to have the sound set too loud and cannot enjoy the music. Hope this can be a help.All the best with your venue.Regards

Edited by Mr Fred

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Just a couple of things i would like to suggest 1.Make sure that you have control over the door to ensure you only get soulies in otherwise it could spoil a night. 2. Always before the night do a sound check to ensure the system is set up correctly,as a lot of venues these days tend to have the sound set too loud and cannot enjoy the music. Hope this can be a help.All the best with your venue.Regards

Good points - B*gger, I thought I'd had it all covered! :D - There was a couple of p*ss heads prancing around at a local venue the other week and it was just a pain in the *rse. If you get that, try and march them out sharpish or as Fred says, it really does spoil it for everyone.

Yes, good luck with your new venture....I think I'm done here :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Edited by LEN

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Carry spares of everything required (and by that I mean everything).

When booking DJs, ensure that all fees are agreed prior to the night, and turn up with the DJ fees in your pocket at the beginning of the night. Don't rely on door takes to pay your DJs.

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Apart from "ËœDon't go there girlfriend!' (For your own sanity)

This would be my advice —

1) Do the D.J times before you book your D.J's or you may end up booking too many.

2) Do NOT be flattered by ANYONE offering their D.J services — make sure you know who you are booking and what they are about, so they suit your event.

3) I wouldn't bother with memberships, nowadays you need everyone you can get through the door, obviously keeping an eye on behaviour etc.

4) Anywhere else in the country I really would say you are just adding to the problem of too many events thus splintering the Scene even more but your location tells me different, so good luck to you.

5) Try and enjoy the night, as at your own event, it's hard to relax until the last record goes on.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Well put that man. :thumbsup:

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Sorry — One more! :D

Make sure all the D.J's know their times before the event or you may risk someone turning up too late for their spot whist still expecting to be put on (Surely people wouldn't do this on purpose would they? :ohmy::yes:)

If a D.J is late for their spot — Tough! Make sure you stick to your guns on this because you have planned the night and (hopefully) put a lot of thought into who goes on and when, and you don't need that plan changing — It could ruin the whole "Ëœstructure' of the night.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

Edited by LEN

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One thing not to forget is to check out the venues PLI policy that covers audio equipment if they have one! If the club or pub don't carry a PLI then my advice would be get your own & make sure the audio equipment PAT testing is always in date.

All the best with this night.

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Without sounding facetious, if I was to "Ëœcome out of promoting retirement' which may well happen soon (watch this space...) I would actually consider doing a poster the complete opposite to "Ëœprofessional looking'. You could go back to doing it with electro sets and just photo copy them in a "ËœRetro' kinda way — They would most definitely stand out from the rest. What I'm saying is, most flyers are very good nowadays because "Ëœwe have the technology' so it is expected - Just a thought....

Back in the 80's and 90's the only "Ëœprofessional looking' ones around were Cliff Steels Detroit Academicals ones and they really 'stood out from the rest', seriously they were smart and printed on shiny paper which was unheard of back then (I think he knew a printer...) :yes:

By the way, please post up on this thread to let us know how your first event went and how it grows from there. In fact, I recon we should all go!....Blimey, I've just thought, this thread may have been started for that very reason! :ohmy: What a great advertising ploy!....If it was, I take my hat off to you :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

No advertising ploy Len. Didn't think of it!

Will certainly let you know how the first one goes, but due to dates and when everyone is free, we don't spin the first tune - no idea what that will be, until December 1st, whichdoes give us plenty of time to try and get everything right.

Many thanks for the input.

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Just a couple of things i would like to suggest 1.Make sure that you have control over the door to ensure you only get soulies in otherwise it could spoil a night. 2. Always before the night do a sound check to ensure the system is set up correctly,as a lot of venues these days tend to have the sound set too loud and cannot enjoy the music. Hope this can be a help.All the best with your venue.Regards

Cheers Mr Fred.

The pub owner is supplying his usual two doormen but I intend to have a committee member on the door as well to take the tickets etc etc.

Fortunately, one of the lads has a sound system at home, so we do have back up.

Thanks for your interest.

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Carry spares of everything required (and by that I mean everything).

When booking DJs, ensure that all fees are agreed prior to the night, and turn up with the DJ fees in your pocket at the beginning of the night. Don't rely on door takes to pay your DJs.

Comments noted with thanks.

No dj costs to start with as three of the committtee are covering that and yes, we have done it before.

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One thing not to forget is to check out the venues PLI policy that covers audio equipment if they have one! If the club or pub don't carry a PLI then my advice would be get your own & make sure the audio equipment PAT testing is always in date.

All the best with this night.

Will do Steve.

Thel list is getting bigger by the day!!

Cheers.

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