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Articles: Wigan Casino May 1980

Northern Soul Yesterdays Steve G

 
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News/Article/Feature Highlight:

Here is a very old review of Wigan Casino from Blackbeat.

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=========

 

great reading steve

 

just love reading this stuff...

 

i wish id had been able to go that little bit earlier than i did to wigan but i dont think id have been into the sounds as much as i am now if i had

 

well done steve!

 

ps

 

 

 

u didnt tape the night did u lol???

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very similar to waht i could have written Steve, i stopped going for c12mth period between 79/80 and couldnt believe the emptiness of the place to what it used to be and the fact that i now felt like a stranger...all the faces i knew had gone, give or take the odd one or two...Craig (ginger haired lad cant remember exactly where he came from St Helens I think, he used to hang around with a lad called Pete from St Helens). The music had changed and i remember Frankie Karl being spun and not being too keen on it at the time!

Took my girlfriends cousin with us who was about 13 and got carpeted by Mike Walker in his office for sneaking him in :D ...let hime stay in the end but lectured me on the danger of his drink getting spiked! :(

still loved the place and hardly missed another niter there until it's closure.

Grant

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Steve, I'll tell you what Wigan was like empty in winter.........COLD!

Really COLD!

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Steve, I'll tell you what Wigan was like empty in winter.........COLD!

Really COLD!

=======

i think alot of people didnt realise wigan was on every week sometimes twice,,what venue to continue to carry on like that these days?

i still it did well to do what it did and when it did,,and feel its justified with its place in history..

people just cant stop talking about it,,or is it just me????

probably...

lol

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Here is a very old review of Wigan Casino I did...

Really interesting reading!

I love to read stories from old venues (especially Wigan!) that I never had a chance to go to and has taken almost mythical proportions. :D

Thanks Steve!

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I stopped going to The Casino in 1975, couldn't stand the fuckin place...however there is no disputing that as a record breaking venue it will never be beaten...

Over the years lots of folk have sent me things via audio or email, some things that I'd never heard before just stink of 'wigan'

Today someone sent me a file, asking me if I know..Outside The City--The Willows...

The answer was..never heard it before but it has to be Wigan, doesn;t it????

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I stopped going to The Casino in 1975, couldn't stand the fuckin place...however there is no disputing that as a record breaking venue it will never be beaten...

Over the years lots of folk have sent me things via audio or email, some things that I'd never heard before just stink of 'wigan'

Today someone sent me a file, asking me if I know..Outside The City--The Willows...

The answer was..never heard it before but it has to be Wigan, doesn;t it????

============

outside the city was an old allan rhodes spin at the casino paul circa 78/79 on mgm demo

a personal fave of mine,, gr8 track imo

regards

mark

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I stopped going to The Casino in 1975, couldn't stand the fuckin place...however there is no disputing that as a record breaking venue it will never be beaten...

Over the years lots of folk have sent me things via audio or email, some things that I'd never heard before just stink of 'wigan'

Today someone sent me a file, asking me if I know..Outside The City--The Willows...

The answer was..never heard it before but it has to be Wigan, doesn;t it????

yep wigan Paul - Alan Rhodes spin MGM , one for sale if you want it :rolleyes:

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Brilliant read that and thanks for posting, Kinda sad in a way too, that the place was in fact dying, sad to hear of pop records being played too.

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Brilliant read that and thanks for posting, Kinda sad in a way too, that the place was in fact dying, sad to hear of pop records being played too.

...er. hang on m' dear, pop records were always played at Wigan, why should its policy in the dying days have been any different to its heyday?

This sounds like a night to have missed, though, and by anyone's standards. Thatnkfully Brother Guarnori was there so we didn't have to be :thumbsup:

TONE whistling.gif

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...er. hang on m' dear, pop records were always played at Wigan, why should its policy in the dying days have been any different to its heyday?

This sounds like a night to have missed, though, and by anyone's standards. Thatnkfully Brother Guarnori was there so we didn't have to be :thumbsup:

TONE whistling.gif

======

which venues did u frequent tony?

how did they differ from wigan regards playlists etc?

not being sarky just interested

regards

mark

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There was me thinking the casino was great right till the end! I wanted to attend in 1979 but my Dad said no... when I was 16. 1981 came and blow.. it closed.

If your reviews anything to go by it was a pretty sad decline.

Today however the soulies wear conventional clothes, just the same as you would see anywhere in the south. This was to be borne out by the fact that in the Casino itself there were only about three people in baggies. Most were wearing jeans, some straight, some zoots.

You could have been talking about today with that quote.. except for the word zoots.

Oh how I wish I'd been born 10 years earlier.

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======

which venues did u frequent tony?

how did they differ from wigan regards playlists etc?

not being sarky just interested

regards

mark

Hi Mark,

I'm pretty much your first generation Northern fan, i.e. bog standard Mecca/Torch/Cats Whiskers/Ritz alldayers type of guy with the occasional Midlands foray thrown in for good measure. I didn't get a lot of pleasure out of my first trip to the Casino, with the result that I didn't have much inclination to go back there more than a handful of times during its entire history.

To be fair, by the time of Wigan's heyday and its eventual demise (and, indeed, by the time of Steve's review especially) I was probably too busy with my own DJing at weekends to want to be entertained too often by the man Winstanley and his merry crew. But a lot of my personal antipathy towards the Casino stems from the fact that it just wasn't, in my eyes at least, a welcoming venue. I never once had anything better than an average time there, and when you'tre not enjoying yourself especially you tend to only remember the bad points. Thus it is that, while I know for a fact that hundreds of great records were broken at the Casino in its lifetime, I tend to only think about the crappy pop stomp that dominated certain playlists back then in the name of soul.

However, the town of Wigan itself, was still a very pleasant place last time I checked - which was really not so long ago at that...

TONE whistling.gif

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There was me thinking the casino was great right till the end! I wanted to attend in 1979 but my Dad said no... when I was 16. 1981 came and blow.. it closed.

Dont listen to all the knockers Karen it was great til the end, and very sad to see it go...but as Mark says it is the biggest talked about subject on teh Northern scene, always will be! Dont mind some of these lads like on here that went and didnt like it and express their opinion, that's finer and it's a genuine view, however it makes me laugh when people who didnt go knock it because it played a few 'pop' tunes - pity your folks didnt let you go in 1979 as the music was top!

Grant

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I was only 14 Grant whistling.gif I can see why my Dad wouldn't let me travel 300 miles on my own LOL... he could have bloody driven me there though huh! Parents!!

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...er. hang on m' dear, pop records were always played at Wigan, why should its policy in the dying days have been any different to its heyday?

TONE whistling.gif

Thing is Tone, as you know, pop records have always been played on the scene and still are as oldies & new discoveries. Unfortunately at Wigan there were periods when they appeared to be the norm and not the exception.

Paul

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Smashing read. For myself, I missed the latter days at Wigan. Sounded quite sad. I can't imagine it not being rammed.

Col

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Smashing read. For myself, I missed the latter days at Wigan. Sounded quite sad. I can't imagine it not being rammed.

Col

The saturday night after the monthly Oldies night on a Friday was dire.

No people, no atmosphere.

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I was only 14 Grant ph34r.gif I can see why my Dad wouldn't let me travel 300 miles on my own LOL... he could have bloody driven me there though huh! Parents!!

I was 16 in 79 Karen, and the mates who had introduced me into Northern Soul had stopped going to Wigan 'cos its crap', so to my eternal regret I didnt bother going. Once I had visited Yate in October 1978 I dont think I missed one, and because it was so great I didnt feel I was particularly missing out on anything at the time...hindsight is 20/20 tho isnt it.

We also visited Swanage about that time and Birmingham Locarno? I think. I cant remember when Hinckley started but it must have been around then as well. So there was plenty of other places to get an allnight dose of Northern Soul.

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Hi Mark,

I'm pretty much your first generation Northern fan, i.e. bog standard Mecca/Torch/Cats Whiskers/Ritz alldayers type of guy with the occasional Midlands foray thrown in for good measure. I didn't get a lot of pleasure out of my first trip to the Casino, with the result that I didn't have much inclination to go back there more than a handful of times during its entire history.

To be fair, by the time of Wigan's heyday and its eventual demise (and, indeed, by the time of Steve's review especially) I was probably too busy with my own DJing at weekends to want to be entertained too often by the man Winstanley and his merry crew. But a lot of my personal antipathy towards the Casino stems from the fact that it just wasn't, in my eyes at least, a welcoming venue. I never once had anything better than an average time there, and when you'tre not enjoying yourself especially you tend to only remember the bad points. Thus it is that, while I know for a fact that hundreds of great records were broken at the Casino in its lifetime, I tend to only think about the crappy pop stomp that dominated certain playlists back then in the name of soul.

However, the town of Wigan itself, was still a very pleasant place last time I checked - which was really not so long ago at that...

TONE ph34r.gif

Towards the end, going to Wigan was mainly to hear Richard and Pat ( + Gary Rushbrooke ?). Winstanley and Minshulls playlists were generally dire, poppy and/or second rate.

When Richard became a bit of a fixture in South Yorks, you didn't need to go to Wigan to hear his one offs. Same when he was a regular at Stafford. Why travel when he, and Pat, were on your doorstep ?

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I was only 14 Grant :shhh: I can see why my Dad wouldn't let me travel 300 miles on my own LOL... he could have bloody driven me there though huh! Parents!!

used to sneak there when i was 15, so in 79 I'd been 17yrs old.....almost old enough to get in!! ph34r.gif

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The saturday night after the monthly Oldies night on a Friday was dire.

No people, no atmosphere.

Yes it was quiet on the saturdays after the oldies nights but for the few who bothered it was like our own club, i remember one night it was nearly empty but most people knew each other and we made a night of it.

My first night at Wigan was very late 78 ish when i was 14.i though i knew what Northern Soul was(from the youth club scene)but i guess i really didnt.Most of my early days at the casino where spent getting knocked back buy the bouncers and Mrs woods but it really didnt matter i was there and most of the night was spent thinking of ways to get in and if you missed the rush(missing the chance to hide in the middle)it was down to pleading with Mrs Woods(bless her) or the bouncers but it was alway Mr Woods who let me seek in :shhh:

From then on Northern Soul became a big part of my life and and Wigan Casino something i cant forget even if i tried(not that i want to).

Yes it dropped off in the 80s and some djs pushed some dodgey cover versions onto us Al Johnson and the Hitmen,Top Cat and like Soulsmith said Chester pipkin whistling.gif but the soul was still there and it was a base to many.

Thanks for the Memories.

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Yes it was quiet on the saturdays after the oldies nights but for the few who bothered it was like our own club, i remember one night it was nearly empty but most people knew each other and we made a night of it.

My first night at Wigan was very late 78 ish when i was 14.i though i knew what Northern Soul was(from the youth club scene)but i guess i really didnt.Most of my early days at the casino where spent getting knocked back buy the bouncers and Mrs woods but it really didnt matter i was there and most of the night was spent thinking of ways to get in and if you missed the rush(missing the chance to hide in the middle)it was down to pleading with Mrs Woods(bless her) or the bouncers but it was alway Mr Woods who let me seek in :lol:

From then on Northern Soul became a big part of my life and and Wigan Casino something i cant forget even if i tried(not that i want to).

Yes it dropped off in the 80s and some djs pushed some dodgey cover versions onto us Al Johnson and the Hitmen,Top Cat and like Soulsmith said Chester pipkin rolleyes.gif but the soul was still there and it was a base to many.

Thanks for the Memories.

Yes Neil. You and Dunc from Penketh, Causing me Grief with the punks coz i had to look after you KIDS :lol: The Punks picking on Dunc coz he was the little one. The good old days :lol: . Still loved those empty nights though mate as much as i loved the full ones.

Steve

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Ref article Steve, which I omitted to say earlier that I really enjoyed...

Do you have all the old Backbeats?

Assume you wrote this one, but isn't it about time you tracked and un-earthed your old sub-editor, Kev Griifiths?

I remember him being a really big character. He seems to have dropped off the scene entirely....

Edited by Soulsmith

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Ref article Steve, which I omitted to say earlier that I really enjoyed...

Do you have all the old Backbeats?

Assume you wrote this one, but isn't it about time you tracked and un-earthed your old sub-editor, Kev Griifiths?

I remember him being a really big character. He seems to have dropped off the scene entirely....

Yes I have all of the Blackbeats. As for Kev - he was a big ego :lol: if that constitues character :) Yes he lost interest in the scene many years ago.

Other points:

Yes Wigan did die a slow and lingering death numbers wise,

Yes Wigan usually played pop. First off the Soussan instrumentals and US pop records, but from Mid 77 the UK pop crapola from Mr W and Mr M. I think the window between 76-77 may actually have been the most soulful. Up until 1980 that is, as you'll see from the review I was generally enthused by the sounds being played. Russ W started playing things like Prince Buster after that, which is fine except it wasn't northern soul.

Back in that day it was interesting to see how much the fashion played a part. While we were still stomping about in Spencer loon pants in Kent and looking like a bunch of girls, the kids up north were dressing like the kids down south - it was really quite bizarre - hence my comments on the clothing. That was all part of it when we were kids, as was the sense of belonging to a scene.

Anyway glad a number of you liked it.....more anon....!!!

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Yes Neil. You and Dunc from Penketh, Causing me Grief with the punks coz i had to look after you KIDS :thumbsup: The Punks picking on Dunc coz he was the little one. The good old days :D . Still loved those empty nights though mate as much as i loved the full ones.

Steve

Ste the mile dash from Wigan North Western to the Casino holds more memories than the Casino itself,it was hood up head down and run :P got caught a few times on the old railway/footbridge bridge next to Wigan North Western and got a kicking.

Dunc was always to pissed or off his head to feel it ste.....he still is :P .

Ste in the article Steve wrote it mentions the people getting on at Warrington bank quay that would have been us lot?(widnes/warrington/north wales crew) and i know what he means about the dress code i think coming into the 80s a lot of the old soulies ditched the old dress code(not just the new/young soulies)in one Casino dvd i have it shows the people in the Casino mainly dressed in 80s new wave gear it probably had somthing to do with the stigma of the 3 star jumper and birmingham bags that people used to ridicule.

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Ste the mile dash from Wigan North Western to the Casino holds more memories than the Casino itself,it was hood up head down and run
:thumbsup:
got caught a few times on the old railway/footbridge bridge next to Wigan North Western and got a kicking.

Yes Neil-ok it could be a bit dodgy walking from the station to Station Rd.

Also remember hassle on the train from Crewe, travelling with some Wolves crew, some locals thought "Going to Wigan? This time of night ? Must have some cash or gear" so it hit's off.Could also be a bit dodgy in the Mr M's toilets!

Steve M, tried to quote you but for some reason "computer say's no" but yes towards the end we would travel to hear Richard S, Gary Rushbrooke, Pat Brady, and Soul Sam rather than Winstanley and Minshull. Manys the night we stayed in the motorway services(Sandbatch) playing pinball for an extra hour, so we could walk into Casino to the strains of Betty Boo "Say It Is'nt So"

Cheers Paul Woosnam

PS Seem to remember going to Stafford a couple of years later and hearing a blinding soul spot from Mr Minshull.

So good in fact that in the Black Echoes poll that year for "best newcomer" we filled in Kieth Minshull!!!

Edited by soul shrews

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Ste in the article Steve wrote it mentions the people getting on at Warrington bank quay that would have been us lot?(widnes/warrington/north wales crew) and i know what he means about the dress code i think coming into the 80s a lot of the old soulies ditched the old dress code(not just the new/young soulies)in one Casino dvd i have it shows the people in the Casino mainly dressed in 80s new wave gear it probably had somthing to do with the stigma of the 3 star jumper and birmingham bags that people used to ridicule.

Yeah that was us lot mate. I even had a scrap on the train ( Widnes /Warrington shit). I must have been lucky with my punches never got a beating off anyone. I used to wear the pegs n shit like that in the last couple of years because as you rightly say the ridicule that went with the spencers etc, etc.

Steve

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Yeah that was us lot mate. I even had a scrap on the train ( Widnes /Warrington shit). I must have been lucky with my punches never got a beating off anyone. I used to wear the pegs n shit like that in the last couple of years because as you rightly say the ridicule that went with the spencers etc, etc.

Very sad to see it end at the time, but nothing lasts forever :thumbsup: .

A mate of mine is selling his leather Brouges (hope spelt right)

they have done about 50 odd hours on the Casino dance floor

E-Bay anyone---SIZE 3

Steve

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I only got into northern in 1980 and only went to the casino for the friday oldies which were rammed, incredible atmosphere and unforgetable, this was with a much older crew who had pretty much reduced their soul outings. Was shocked when I took my girlfriend up to the 500th niter how empty it was compared to the Friday Oldies ! God knows what it was like mid 81 on a Saturday night !

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makes nice reading. I first went up there at the beginning of 1975 & thought it awe inspiring. the beachcomber was open beforehand, so I had the opportunity to watch the older geezers 'warming up', cue mr.donnelly & the spinning leg routine. priceless! :thumbsup: I didn't return till 1977, favouring at that time the all-nighters at st.ives, I'd agree with Tone that wigan wasn't all that a welcoming place, a little on the 'heavy' side & perhaps a little sordid too, but awe inspiring nonetheless. a handful of visits in 1978 confirmed my suspicions about the place. I had a sabbatical in 1979 basically 'cos the girl I was going out with wasn't having any of it. sad git! the things you do for love. I returned in 1980, mainly on oldies nights, finding the place generally as steve described it. further visits, maybe half a dozen, early to mid 1981 closed the chapter for me really. I couldn't face the 'last night' scenario & by that time had thoroughly lost interest in the place, preferring to go down to the smoke, west hampstead & 100 Club. I would sum up wigan by saying that it could be both gobsmacking & downright depressing, sometimes on the same night!! my everlasting memory of the place is heaving in 1975, with people dancing to larry santos & johnny vanelli. pop records? :yes:

Edited by macca

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the beachcomber was open beforehand, so I had the opportunity to watch the older geezers 'warming up', cue mr.donnelly & the spinning leg routine. priceless! :yes:

You don;t have to spin a 100mph to be noticed macca, you should know :D though one night according to Steff M i stopped the place cold stone dead... :thumbsup:

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you're right, it was entrancing, you stood out amigo, among all the clitheroe, st.helens & bolton mafia was PD givin' it some & then some more. memorable stuff. what I couldn't understand was how you could keep up such a pace till the wee wee hours. but then again I was an innocent lamb from stanground in a lime green bowling shirt. s'truth....

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Regards the pop tunes played at the casino, I think most people have sellective memories or don't want to admit that they danced/collected them at the time they were being played. I did, I didn't know any better at the time, and to be perfectly honest they sounded great back then maybe not now, but they hit the button back then, anybody who disgrees is not being totally honest with themselves. They had to be popular to be played simple as that, and if you look at weekly play lists and listen to old tapes they come thick and fast. Another fact is that lots of the classics still being played are white pop artists, we just pick and choose what is acceptable a little differently today. :D:yes: Casino member from 73 til close.

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Regards the pop tunes played at the casino, I think most people have sellective memories or don't want to admit that they danced/collected them at the time they were being played. I did, I didn't know any better at the time, and to be perfectly honest they sounded great back then maybe not now, but they hit the button back then, anybody who disgrees is not being totally honest with themselves. They had to be popular to be played simple as that, and if you look at weekly play lists and listen to old tapes they come thick and fast. Another fact is that lots of the classics still being played are white pop artists, we just pick and choose what is acceptable a little differently today. :(:yes: Casino member from 73 til close.
Agreed ,innocence of youth and widely available amphetamines.Salmon :D
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This article has just been featured via the front page soul source highlight boxes

Edited by mike

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On 18/08/2006 at 10:22, Soulsmith said:

 

 

 

The saturday night after the monthly Oldies night on a Friday was dire.

 

No people, no atmosphere.

They should never of started those Friday oldies allnighters. 

They were popular I know, but they spoiled the rhythm of the weekly Saturday allnighters!

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1 hour ago, solidsoul said:

They should never of started those Friday oldies allnighters. 

They were popular I know, but they spoiled the rhythm of the weekly Saturday allnighters!

Got to disagree. The oldies nighters had a very different buzz about them probably because they where monthly and attracted a different crowd of the slightly older people who had  by then stopped going the regular Saturday night's. Used to love it , once a month two nighters in one weekend and when it was a bank holiday a alldayer on the Sunday. Heaven.

Steve

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1 hour ago, Winsford Soul said:

Got to disagree. The oldies nighters had a very different buzz about them probably because they where monthly and attracted a different crowd of the slightly older people who had  by then stopped going the regular Saturday night's. Used to love it , once a month two nighters in one weekend and when it was a bank holiday a alldayer on the Sunday. Heaven.

Steve

Me and me boy here wholeheartedly agree!

x

Edited by crazylegs
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 Remember the  Saturdays  in 1980 well , and the contrast to the oldies allnighters  which were unmissable ( attended every one from Feb 76 to June 81 ) Never really realised at the time that the place was dying and arguably , the oldies allnighters may have been a factor , as has been commented earlier ( ten years earlier )                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The record bar had become a kind of social club and there were weekly rumours of the place being shut down. Some  sounds  I remember from that time ,  Pacesetters ( Admirations ) You left me , saw several copies for sale  for £25.00 at that time,  The Other Ones ,   The Two Of Us .   Frank Foster , Harlem Rumble .  Arin Demain  Silent Treatment, L  Allen  , Cant we talk it over.  Lockettes  I Love the boy who lives next door ,     They all take me right back to those nights whenever I hear them .                                                                                                                                                                                               A t one point , mid to late 1980 i think , the  Mecca    Highand room had re opened for 8 till 2 sessions on a Saturday night  so that was a regular starting point before Wigan  once again . Remember getting lifts over to  Wigan from Blackpool and arriving at maybe 1.30 to find the outside deserted ,but a warm welcome always awaited inside .  another sound from those days as mentioned earlier     Volcanoes    ( Cashmeres )    Showstopper .     There was a guy that used to go in the record bar round about that time who used to stand on a chair and announce what he had for sale like a market trader , anyone remember him? ( bet hes a regular on here ).    

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Joe Matthews c/u "I don't like to lose" rumoured to be the Orchid's on Kool Kat. 

Don't remember that rumour . . . . .  .I think it really is Joe Mathews

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5 hours ago, Dean said:

Joe Matthews c/u "I don't like to lose" rumoured to be the Orchid's on Kool Kat. 

Don't remember that rumour . . . . .  .I think it really is Joe Mathews

Hmmm, must have got that tit-bit from someone, but can't remember who now, presumably some collector at the time, and God knows what the "Delgado c/u" was….must have mis-heard Richard on the mic.  :wink:

 

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The Orchids - Kool Kat was a definite "true" rumour, along with it's upcoming release on Grapevine!! 

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7 hours ago, Tony Smith said:

The Orchids - Kool Kat was a definite "true" rumour, along with it's upcoming release on Grapevine!! 

Yes, along with "a missing number from the Impact label"...think it was from an article in New Soul Time...

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Dave McCadden may have something to do with it, Richard played along with it for sure....

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Just found a live tape of Richard at Wigan the month before this article which I'm now transferring to the PC.

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dave mccadden blast from the past good lad was dave cheers mark

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20 minutes ago, chalky said:

Just found a live tape of Richard at Wigan the month before this article which I'm now transferring to the PC.

The tape has the first ever play on it of No Time "Spyder Turner & The Webs"

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other side not too shabby either [cant get over these memories] went to the Casino as a lanky fourteen year old for round about the last eighteen months. Great revue of the time from Steve . Been to so many clubs in the decades since but the casino holds a special place in my heart for a multitude of reasons.

shorty

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