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Soul Function launch party - Review

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Patch had told us about what a great venue Carisbrooke Hall is (he does lindy hop there!) and the fact we should really check it out. Last night gave us the perfect excuse - The Soul Function DVD and album launch party.

Al and I got there bang on 7 to find Etsu and Trickster already warming-up on the floor. The only other people there at the time were a bunch of Paul Smith models [attempting to dance in a northern soul style as London photographer Rebecca Lewis snapped away] and a slimmed down, de-moustached Russ Winstanley on the decks.

Within an hour the place was packed and buzzing. Around 8.30 they showed the "Function at the Junction" short film which went down well with the crowd. This was followed by a 45 minute documentary called "Way of the Crowd" (also part of the DVD) which had some amazing footage of dancers from the last 30 years. Some of the footage is the standard "This England" stuff but a lot of it I'd never ever seen before (and i've seen a lot of tapes).

After a 20 minutes break for everyone to get in some more free drinks, Paul Sadot cracked on with the Dance Competition. Three standard songs and Walter and the Admirations thrown in for good measure as a fourth while the judges finalised their decision. Results ? Chris Harvey came 3rd which for once he was ecstatic about as he won a Paul Smith goodie bag, Oscar came 2nd and a girl... yes, a girl... Michelle from London came 1st. Dru and I were actually flabbergasted at Oscar only coming 2nd but there ya go - dance comps are always full of surprises and I supposed with Oscar and Paul being pals people would have said it was a fix.

I'm afraid Al and I didn't stay much longer after the competition finished as we had to be up at 6 this morning so that's it for my review sleep.gif

For full details of how to order the DVD and album visit www.soulfunction.co.uk

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It was produced by the same guys that did the film (director was Justin McArdle) but they used a different editor for the documentary - doh! I thought of ya when I saw credit... hold on it will come to me... I think Katherine Mossier or something like that :)

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The format isn't ground breaking but it is a well made documentary - unlike many that get produced under the banner of Northern Soul. The dance scenes are intercut with comments from people like Paul Smith, Ady, Keb, Fran, DJs, Promoters and a few FACES from the scene.

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Well the trailer looks good... So, where can one get a copy of this ere DVD then. (we should be on a commision for this)

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Please can someone explain, I thought (obviously wrong) that this documentary

("Function at the Junction") was going to be shown on TV next Monday? it's not unusual for me to get confused about most things but I am sure someone told me a documentary about Northern Soul will be shown on TV next week is this something completely different.

Going back to sleep now!!

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Please can someone explain, I thought (obviously wrong) that this documentary

("Function at the Junction") was going to be shown on TV next Monday? it's not unusual for me to get confused about most things but I am sure someone told me a documentary about Northern Soul will be shown on TV next week is this something completely different.

  Going back to sleep now!!

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Dear Mr Twang :) "Function at the Junction" is a short Play, that has already been on TV a couple of times with our very own Soul Source Super Fly Mr Cato in a leading role, busting mooves and making shapes cool.gif

The same people that produced the short film/play also made a Documentary which is what all the fuss is about. Kolla is spot on BTW it really is very good as we have discussed a few times already on different threads. Great soundtrack, great unseen archeive footage of the Casino (Looks like unused This England footage to me cool.gif ) They are currently promoting the release of the DVD all over the place at the moment (were at New Century last week)

Highly recommended DVD and Soundtrack CD

John

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Looks like unused This England footage to me

There's definately a lot of clips that aren't from the Casino as well - there's a 5 minute clip of three guys in high-waisters and three girls in MASSIVE skirts dancing in what looks like a school gym :)

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Hi John

Ahh now I get the picture, must apologise for my lack of understanding

(Comprehension), must be worth buying a copy if the Mr Cato stars.

Many thanks for the prompt reply.

Regards Dicky

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There's definately a lot of clips that aren't from the Casino as well -  there's a 5 minute clip of  three guys in high-waisters and three girls in MASSIVE skirts dancing in what looks like  a school gym wink.gif

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Yeah we noticed that too Kolla and some of that sort of footage looks contemporary but all adds to the thing, oh how i miss those massive skirts sadly i can't get them to fit nowadays :):P

Von Trout

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Had to pull out of going at the last min due to toothache, bummer i missed the free drinks

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Had to pull out of going at the last min due to toothache, bummer i missed the free drinks

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You can watch it round ours if you come up this weekend Hun :) Toothache? I thought you said you had syphilis????

John

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I think the footage you are talking about was put out by BBC TV and judgeing how young Sandy Holt looks it must have been no later than 78/79

I may be wrong

Digging a little deeper the footage was put out by the BBC on Omnibus who at the time ran a feature on different dance culture's circa 78/79

Chris W

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Think it was around 77 Chris, although the booklet refers to it being filmed in 76, and I'm sure it wasn't quite that early but my Wigan memories are extremely hazy to say the least, I still dont know what day it is half the time.

Anyway, a sneak preview of the review I wote for the mag ....

"One of the best of a recent crop of DVD's is the Soul Function package. This comes complete with a booklet and an excellent CD. The selection of music is first class, marred only by the ubiquitous and frankly boring Judy Street. Kiki Dee and The Mylestones also jarred amongst such a superb music compilation. However these tracks DID work well on the DVD so their inclusion is justified.

How about this then, Emmit Long - Call Me, The Royal Esquires - Ain't Gonna Run, Calvin Grayson - You've Got To Be Willing, Doris Troy - Face Up To The Truth, Nancy Butts - I Want To Hold Your Hand, The Enchanters - There's A Look About You.....a very nice selection indeed, which I have played to death already, albeit skipping the aforementioned rogue tracks 6,17 and 18 !

The DVD features much of the familiar This England footage filmed in the mid 70's, which has been re-mastered to a very high quality, so that in itself makes this a piece of hot memorabilia. There is plenty of unseen footage as well, and more interestingly a slightly different slant on the Northern Soul Phenomena. By including talky bits from Sir Paul Smith (his design collections have often given more than a passing nod to Northern Soul clothing) as well as from dance gurus, popular culturists as well as the NS talking heads, this package gives a social and anthropological commentary that is a bit different from what we have seen previously.

There's also a prize winning short film "Function at The Junction" directed by Justin McArdle, which some of you may have seen before; a quirky, snappy, funny take on a NS dance competition, which captures the whole energy and essence at a Northern night of a bygone era.

For a product that relies heavily on old tunes, archive film footage from three decades ago, and attempts to summarise a lifestyle that could so easily have died out without the extraordinary passion and commitment of soul fans, this package has a remarkably fresh feel about it, and I'd definitely recommend that you snap one up, if only for the CD track selection and to make your kids laugh out loud at how we used to dress ! "

AHN

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Hi, Im so pleased for Michele at winning the Dance Comp, I believe she deserved it. It was a great night, great atmosphere, great music and a lot of great dancers there. It shows how good it was because there was so many people there at the end! If Id known that it was 'open' to all, I would have told more people to come. I loved the short film, only thing I would like to say is please can we do something more up to date instead of just concentrating on Wigan - maybe from Stafford (Top of The World) - to date - North & South? Karen B

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Hi Alison

I think the booklet I have has a miss print it states that this 'This England' was made in '73

nice reveiw by the way

Chris W

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73, that was it. :) .

I was too lazy to check, but remembered that the date wasn't correct :-)

Thanks for your comments, we really enjoyed watching the DVD but the CD has some superb tunage on it.

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I loved the short film, only thing I would like to say is please can we do something more up to date instead of just concentrating on Wigan - maybe from Stafford (Top of The World) - to date - North & South? Karen B

I agree. I spoke to the producer before they made it and said I hope it's going to reflect the contemporary scene as well as the history, he coughed and looked at his feet. I think I must have given him a hard time cos when I told him at the CIS that I thought it was great he said he was relieved.

Edited by lisahurley

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Had to pull out of going at the last min due to toothache, bummer i missed the free drinks

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Well I went for the free drinks and I never bloody got one. They even overcharged me at the bar (thieving git tried to charge me a tenner for two lagers). I have to say that I was massively underwhelmed by the whole thing. But then I'm a miserable bastard at the best of times, even worse when someone tries to rob me. :angry:

Yes, nice venue. Otherwise I don't think you missed anything.

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Miserable barsteward !! :D

The free drinks were pony anyway - a weird concotion called 23 gin green, 23 vodka blue and 23 bourbon red... try asking for that mouthful when it's your turn to get in a round. :rolleyes:

And as I said before, he's just being a miserable BS. I saw the documentary again last night and it's actually a lot longer than the version that was shown last week at Carisbrooke Hall. The DVD / CD is definately fantastic VFM! I doubt anyone would be disappointed with with it for that price ... well, all bar Stuart :thumbup:

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Well I'm surprised that you lived to tell the tale, its terrible what masquerades as an alcoholic drink at the moment. <_< If there was blue curacoa in the mix I would have had a blue tongue for the evening so I'm glad that I missed them. :rolleyes:

I can guarantee that the DVD would dissappoint me as I don't have a DVD player.

Nice to see a few people I haven't seen for a while though, even Kevin Johanssen was there, I hope he has got over The Rocket disaster and is back enjoying the music.

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Well I'm surprised that you lived to tell the tale, its terrible what masquerades as an alcoholic drink at the moment. <_< If there was blue curacoa in the mix I would have had a blue tongue for the evening so I'm glad that I missed them. :rolleyes:

I can guarantee that the DVD would dissappoint me as I don't have a DVD player.

Nice to see a few people I haven't seen for a while though, even Kevin Johanssen was there, I hope he has got over The Rocket disaster and is back enjoying the music.

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ha ha think the guy was saying 5.80 in a foreign accent Stuart not a fiver each you deaf miserable bastard.

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Really?  It was hard to hear what exactly he was saying, there was all this noisy music in the background.

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I thought the noise came from the media whores hee hawing

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sure was a lotta them about.... just seein' the models do the "white mans' shuffle" made the evening for me. :rolleyes:

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I'm glad it was pretty well received by most..Its not easy being involved with a project that is a big part of my life..I did stress all along to the producer/director that i would only be part of something that was done with the upmost care and i think they nearly got there,we can always pick holes in soul related subjects,just look at the threads on soul source at the moment...I was really pleased that they took time with project,its a fine balance to sell a product to joe bloggs and hope that the soul crowd take it in also...I have seen far too many poor shows on the wigan subject and think this was as good as there as been...It already has had a good reception by young and old and its my hope it brings along a few new people to this fine scene of ours...I have just shown it out in Oz to the organiser of the Brisbane soul weekender and it made him very happy and brought back a lot of good times on the scene over the last 30 years...The cd soundtrack was done with a lot of care,they had a few well used tracks but most of it is quality...If you want a copy then email me and i will get one to you...

soul function..15 quid plus postage...email..stevecato64@yahoo.co.uk

ps..Like Karen said,can we please see some effort to show the scene today or from the Stafford era,those were the tunes that kept me and most of my mates on the scene..Without Stafford would the scene have died apart from the odd wigan oldies event,now there is a question..

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RE: Carisbrooke Hall.

Nick "Scenesville" Brown asked me to stop carping on about getting someone to hire it, he has booked it for a do in April. It was tough to persuade the owners and unfortunately the drinks licence is only until 1 AM.

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It's also been booked by a promoter in January AND another in February. :thumbsup:

Edited by Kolla

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