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Thank God Northern Soul is still relatively "underground" where I live!!

 

Mark C :shhh:

Where do you live "professorturnups" - Outer Mongolia? The Soul Scene has not been underground since the Wheel shut in 1971 and what followed (Wigan Casino et al) turned the scene overgound.

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Where do you live "professorturnups" - Outer Mongolia? The Soul Scene has not been underground since the Wheel shut in 1971 and what followed (Wigan Casino et al) turned the scene overgound.

You obviously weren't around for Stafford, 100 Club etc during the 80s.

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markw, on 20 May 2015 - 4:42 PM, said:

You obviously weren't around for Stafford, 100 Club etc during the 80s.

And Clifton Hall and Cleethorpes Winter Gardens

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No underground in my view is that a scene tends to shun the commercial outside world and in the case of Northern in that period, went back to basics of providing new, underplayed soul music with the odd oldie  - I have no idea what you mean by "the Windsor Room" or "died on its feet" though. 

As a newbie 2 the scene I don't understand the many different music formats ! Is the tunes they play in the Windsor room @ KH the same as they play @ bids / the 100 club !! Does underground mean died on its feet !! Confusing plus some !!

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Not entirely true - it was at one of its most underground periods after the close of Wigan up to the mid 90s.

That explains why it was "an insight into" on BBC TV in 87, even saw a clip of Carl Fortnum at Bradford on the prog (was that also Kings Hall? sure I shall be corrected)

 

ATB

Edited by theothertosspot

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That explains why it was "an insight into" on BBC TV in 87, even saw a clip of Carl Fortnum at Bradford on the prog (was that also Kings Hall? sure I shall be corrected)

ATB

No correction - but I don't see how that explains anything, but let's be right, the scene then didn't produce tailor mades that ended up pn TOTP, didn't dilute the playlist with pop to suit an ever growing exterior audience and maintained its values rather than flex to get more people through the door. That to me is underground.

Or perhaps you think the 80s was a mainstream scene?

Edited by Byrney

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Think the blinkers came off big time when Wigan opened (it was printed in a broadsheet at the time), however, my earliest memory was when I heard Lee Dorsey (WIACM) and Joe Tex (SM) that were radio plays around 68, that I became aware of clubs playing sought after sounds, mostly on British Labels (that was soon to change as demand/thirst grew).

Enough said, shall include in a new thread as going off topic.

 

ATB

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Or perhaps you think the 80s was an overground mainstream scene?

I know nothing about anything really. Other than my best all niter times were spent at the last days of Wigan, Clifton Hall, Cleethorpes, Notts Odd Fellows and a bit of Stafford. Done a bit since but the 80's were my time and boy I was a cocky little bugger back then. Good friends along the way too.

 

:facepalm:   :shades:   :facepalm:

 

Edit - sorry bit off thread wont post again.

Edited by Peter99

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Think the blinkers came off big time when Wigan opened (it was printed in a broadsheet at the time), however, my earliest memory was when I heard Lee Dorsey (WIACM) and Joe Tex (SM) that were radio plays around 68, that I became aware of clubs playing sought after sounds, mostly on British Labels (that was soon to change as demand/thirst grew).

Enough said, shall include in a new thread as going off topic.

ATB

Sorry mate, don't really get what your saying, are you suggesting that a scene is only underground early doors? Worth starting a new topic as we are congering off thread.

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No correction - but I don't see how that explains anything, but let's be right, the scene then didn't produce tailor mades that ended up pn TOTP, didn't dilute the playlist with pop to suit an ever growing exterior audience and maintained its values rather than flex to get more people through the door. That to me is underground.

Or perhaps you think the 80s was a mainstream scene?

IMO, the mid-late 80's did exactly what it intended to do, that being reintroduce soulies (hate that word) from the seventies back into the fold as they have by this time got married, etc, hopefully passed message on, ie best time of your life, perhaps persuaded the kids into "your way of thinking" (I hope not) and the World Keeps spinning!!!! 

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IMO, the mid-late 80's did exactly what it intended to do, that being reintroduce soulies (hate that word) from the seventies back into the fold as they have by this time got married, etc, hopefully passed message on, ie best time of your life, perhaps persuaded the kids into "your way of thinking" (I hope not) and the World Keeps spinning!!!!

You're decade too early old bean - the first wave of returnees started mid 90s. The mid / late 80 s wasn't intentionally about introducing anyone back to the scene - it was about the next big discovery and living in the now.

Edited by Byrney

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You're decade too early old bean - the first wave of returnees started mid 90s. The mid / late 80 s wasn't intentionally about introducing anyone back to the scene - it was about the next big discovery and living in the now.

Then why plug it on the BBC?

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Then why plug it on the BBC?

Get a few more in the door? Still the scene stuck to its principles. Regardless you're wrong that the scene mid 80s reintroduced it to those who went in the 70s back onto the fold ,if you stuck around you'd know that. Newcomers and retunees were welcome but Stafford, Shotts, Soultown, 100 club etc wasn't going to bow to them by revising the scene to their limited musical requests - that started around Keele as I remember.

Edited by Byrney

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Then why plug it on the BBC?

The only things that i can remember in the eighties and nineties were the thing on Morecambe with John Vincent,Whistle Test Blackburn,Keb Darge dancing to Sweet Darling advertising clothing,Chasing Rainbows Phil Dick and the Danny Behr piece about a butchers son liking his dads music.Not much for 20 years.All were great apart from Dani Behr's and were reflective of the scene then as it was. Oh and the piece on Stafford.

Edited by wiggyflat

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IMO, the mid-late 80's did exactly what it intended to do, that being reintroduce soulies (hate that word) from the seventies back into the fold as they have by this time got married, etc, hopefully passed message on, ie best time of your life, perhaps persuaded the kids into "your way of thinking" (I hope not) and the World Keeps spinning!!!!

In your opinion, maybe............Problem is, no disrespect intended, but your opinion is wrong. A very good deal of people got introduced to Northern/Rare Soul scene during that period, particularly down South. Loads through the scooter rallies which took off during the early/mid 80s and are amongst some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable soulies out there.

Edited by markw

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Get a few more in the door? Still the scene stuck to its principles. Regardless you're wrong that the scene mid 80s reintroduced it to those who went in the 70s back onto the fold ,if you stuck around you'd know that.

Think you will find that I am correct, in addition late 87 is beyond mid eighties.

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The only things that i can remember in the eighties and nineties were the thing on Morecambe with John Vincent,Whistle Test Blackburn,Keb Darge dancing to Sweet Darling advertising clothing,Chasing Rainbows Phil Dick and the Danny Behr piece about a butchers son liking his dads music.Not much for 20 years.All were great apart from Dani Behr's and were reflective of the scene then as it was. Oh and the piece on Stafford.

Gone way off the thread abut here interesting though it is may be start a thread on scene in the 80/90s

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In your opinion, maybe............Problem is, no disrespect intended, but your opinion is wrong. A very good deal of people got introduced to Northern/Rare Soul scene during that period, particularly down South. Loads through the scooter rallies which took off during the early/mid 80s and are amongst some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable soulies out there.

Exactly' after being reintroduced as you say

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I said introduced, not reintroduced. It's an era that is widely misunderstood - probably because it was when the Northern/Rare Soul scene went back underground...............underground even to those that had been part of it and thought they knew all about it.......................... :shhh:

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Now the threads split (good move) its worth asking the bigger question.

Many seem to place value on the scene being underground - exclusive, on this I'm not overly arsed about the scene being underground - it's more about the scene adhering to what I see as its core values (newly discovered, lesser played soul with the odd quality oldie) rather than a fear of non soul types rocking up.

If the newcomers can't hack it they will leave, those who can are in my view the ones we want to attract.

So the question - when and during what period was the scene underground and how do you define it?

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Now the threads split (good move) its worth asking the bigger question.

Many seem to place value on the scene being underground - exclusive, on this I'm not overly arsed about the scene being underground - it's more about the scene adhering to what I see as its core values (newly discovered, lesser played soul with the odd quality oldie) rather than a fear of non soul types rocking up.

If the newcomers can't hack it they will leave, those who can are in my view the ones we want to attract.

So the question - when and during what period was the scene underground and how do you define it?

I think you have already stated it somewhere Byrney and I agree totally, mid 80,s to mid 90,s, before the nostalgia circus rocked up at a town near everywhere :dash2: 

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I think you have already stated it somewhere Byrney and I agree totally, mid 80,s to mid 90,s, before the nostalgia circus rocked up at a town near everywhere :dash2:

Yeah Kev, that's my view but 'the other tosspot' thinks differently - suggesting ( I think) that only early doors pre Wigan can be classed as underground.

Poses a question was the wheel and its many contemporaries like the Dungeon, Plebiens, Night Owl, Sink and many others in the Midlands and North underground? Could it be argued that these, in many cases city centre clubs offered an easily accessible nights to all who were of a 'post mod' persuasion? Perhaps the real underground came when the search for US Rare Soul took priority over UK issued soul: your Torch's, Cats, early Wigan etc?

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So the question - when and during what period was the scene underground and how do you define it?

 

Any time before this moment - Me sat at the hair dressers......"So Len, what are you doing at the weekend?"........."I'm off out to a Northern Soul event"......"Oooh, I like a bit of Northern Soul, Vera, Len's off to a Northern Soul Night, we like that don't we?".........

 

:facepalm: 

 

Underground is when the 'outside world' are not aware of what you're up to / and you don't want them to know.

 

Len :thumbsup: 

 

P.s - Look through some old Manifesto magazines - That was pretty underground / a great time at least :wink: 

Edited by LEN

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Even going forward a while - I've just dug out a Manifesto magazine from 1995 - Total number of events in the whole month of November - 27! Amazing how it's now changed to 60 odd on one night / over a 100 in a weekend.

 

This was a time when most of us went to the same events.

 

Len :thumbsup: 

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the world of northern soul didn't end after the casino it just went off the radar screen of the trendy types who got into new romantic shit or whatever came along at the time. Yeah some got married, had kids etc etc but some of us continued having to travel the length and breadth of the country to get the weekly but more often in those days monthly fix of northern soul. Don't get me wrong. I loved the six years of my time spent at the casino. Best years of my life but there was a special bond created between soulies who frequented nighters in the 80,s and early 90,s, don't ask me what it is, it's just a I was there type of thing.

Steve

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Agree with you Steve , There where some Great clubs /all nighters in the 80's /90s but my favourite events were the first weekenders at the cala gran @ Fleetwood . There was a real togetherness kinda feeling , I just don't get that vibe anymore..sadly :-( also it defiantly felt like an underground scene (no tv adverts , baggy pants,cheap tat stalls ) Happy Days Paul

Edited by jimmy clitheroe

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I can say hand on heart that musically and people wise the first TAC weekenders at Yarmouth were some of the best nights the scene has witnessed. The right people with the right attitude to the right soundtrack. 

Agree with you Steve , There where some Great clubs /all nighters in the 80's /90s but my favourite events were the first weekenders at the cala gran @ Fleetwood . There was a real togetherness kinda feeling , I just don't get that vibe anymore..sadly :-( also it defiantly felt like an underground scene (no tv adverts , baggy pants,cheap tat stalls ) Happy Days Paul

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I can say hand on heart that musically and people wise the first TAC weekenders at Yarmouth were some of the best nights the scene has witnessed. The right people with the right attitude to the right soundtrack. 

 

What Byrney said, complete and utter madness / brilliance

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loved 80s and 90s the gulf between the 60s newies crowd against the oldies/modern crowds. so many great venues allerton and the scotish djs were great colin lawes. blackburn for the desire to keep the scene moving forward. keele was good early days to great times,great friends and not forgetting the tunes that turned up in them days

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I can say hand on heart that musically and people wise the first TAC weekenders at Yarmouth were some of the best nights the scene has witnessed. The right people with the right attitude to the right soundtrack. 

 

Yep me too.  Fleetwood the northern side was pretty poor and the weekender was far from underground like Yarmouth was.

 

Keele, whilst a good laugh and a great record bar, musically was the start of the rot for me. 

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Maybe Fleetwood didn't cater for the northern as much as Yarmouth (sadly never went) but if you liked crossover/70s and new releases it was soul nirvana , and by this time i liked the latter far more. Then there was Parkers in Manchester aaaahh..Bliss :D 

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Maybe Fleetwood didn't cater for the northern as much as Yarmouth (sadly never went) but if you liked crossover/70s and new releases it was soul nirvana , and by this time i liked the latter far more. Then there was Parkers in Manchester aaaahh..Bliss :D

 

Yep good for crossover/70's but we did have the likes of Thorne, Pitches and the Phoenix for that which were great nights with a more underground feel to them.

 

Parkers was great.

Edited by chalky

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Agree with you Steve , There where some Great clubs /all nighters in the 80's /90s but my favourite events were the first weekenders at the cala gran @ Fleetwood . There was a real togetherness kinda feeling , I just don't get that vibe anymore..sadly :-( also it defiantly felt like an underground scene (no tv adverts , baggy pants,cheap tat stalls ) Happy Days Paul

 

I really enjoyed those early Up North weekenders late 80s early 90s , it felt for me like the scene had grown up a bit and you could have a chat to folks about ballads as well as dancers , talk about new releases from the likes of Toney Fountaine , Rick Webb as well as  the rare sounds and hear all eras of Soul and see people like Sam Dees , Mary Love live , brilliant times.

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Get a few more in the door? Still the scene stuck to its principles. Regardless you're wrong that the scene mid 80s reintroduced it to those who went in the 70s back onto the fold ,if you stuck around you'd know that. Newcomers and retunees were welcome but Stafford, Shotts, Soultown, 100 club etc wasn't going to bow to them by revising the scene to their limited musical requests - that started around Keele as I remember.

Totally agree Byrney,i had dropped out for a while to concentrate on family and work stuff(always collected though mostly oldies) then Dave Thorley asked me to dj at a Stafford oldies all-dayer,it was a total flop nobody was interested in the oldies and i realised then i had to rethink my ideas if i wanted to be asked again(which luckily i was)

there generally was an oldies/new divide at Stafford although most of the dj´s mixed it up sensibly

 

,what you say about keele is also correct i went to the first one ,thought oh no! gave it a second try and never went again ,couldn´t bear it and saw the signs of what in my view the scene(generally )has become, nostalgia orientated :sleep3:  i also stopped doing Wigan after the first oldies all-nighter :g: .

Love my oldies to listen to at home and if collecting also but you just can´t beat the wow effect of hearing a good unknown sound :thumbup:

 

Steve

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BVS, on 20 May 2015 - 11:13 AM, said:

Where do you live "professorturnups" - Outer Mongolia? The Soul Scene has not been underground since the Wheel shut in 1971 and what followed (Wigan Casino et al) turned the scene overgound.

I live in Norwich. We are having to use a large cabaret type club as our fantastic working mens club closed down last year. It has a reputation of being a meeting place for the older type "clubber" who no longer fits in with the younger bar/club scene but our nights are not spoilt by piss heads or "townies" - maybe "underground" isn't the appropriate description but we certainly aren't affected by undesirables. In any case the doorman know the score and would act on any hint of trouble without hesitation...     

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Where do you live "professorturnups" - Outer Mongolia? The Soul Scene has not been underground since the Wheel shut in 1971 and what followed (Wigan Casino et al) turned the scene overgound.

So given what you've read here BVS do you still think the only time the scene was underground was up to 71?

Be good to see your views on a, why you think the Wheel era was underground and b, your views on the era many of think was underground (80s).

I wasn't around during the Wheel, Blue Moon, Cats, Dungeon, Sink, Plebian / club spul eras so really interested :)

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The 80s, was a great period for nsoul, no longer fashionable. With the masses.it got rid of the less desirable elements within it, the thievery,the rip offs seemed to cease.so in essence you had people who were there for the right reasons, also think it would be fair to say promoter's were doing it for the right reasons, with attendances being what they were, I doubt. It was a licence to print money, the Allanton niters drew maybe 2 to 3 hundred and that was drawing. People from all over UK,huge difference when a local niters around.the UK regularly pulled in thousand plus attendances just few yrs earlier.

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sort of off topic? is it just people(old) on the soul scene that go out every weekend or a general thing? i know when i started out as a youngster it was strange to see old people in the clubs, what i mean are there still disco divas etc on the lash every week

 

Steve(bemused)

 

here in my town in Germany they have "Schlager parties" Oldie party´s :yes: and they are terrible imagine the worst music from England in the 70,80 90´s they love it .God help me when "The Film"gets airview :D:rofl:

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It was definitely underground during the 80's and into the 90's, if underground is the right word.  No promoter courted the media.  Of course the media was always around, Stafford (Chasing Rainbows) and Blackburn (Old Grey Whistle Test) just two venues that got featured.  But 99.9% of those who went to nighters went because they were into the music and more importantly the scene.  There was an attitude about everyone.  All up for a laugh, piss takin, mischief making.  Some real proper characters who would torment the living daylights out of you if you let them but most importantly they would have your back.   

 

There was no lax door policy problems.  Memberships were a must for most venues.  Even Soul Nights prior to the nighters never had too many problems with the locals, if any problems it would have been sorted pretty sharpish.

 

The promoters, the DJ's and those who went to dance or search the record bars, all were mates, none of the them and us bollox, no one locked away in their own private rooms or cordoned off behind the stage.

 

Greta days, great music, great people.

 

By the time Keele came about the rot was setting in, musically at least.  Don't get me wrong it was a good nighter, great laugh and great record bar but musically it took loads steps backwards.  A far cry from the previous decade.  Then came the onset of the returnee who were only interested in what they had heard from their time on the scene during the 70's (a brief time for some).  It was turning slowly retro and some promoters seized an opportunity.  

 

It has got to the point where the scene is becoming a joke to those on the outside with the way people are dressing and carrying on.  Venues reputations going down the pan because of the piss heads in for an all-night bar.  You reap what you sow as the saying goes.

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It was definitely underground during the 80's and into the 90's, if underground is the right word.  No promoter courted the media.  Of course the media was always around, Stafford (Chasing Rainbows) and Blackburn (Old Grey Whistle Test) just two venues that got featured.  But 99.9% of those who went to nighters went because they were into the music and more importantly the scene.  There was an attitude about everyone.  All up for a laugh, piss takin, mischief making.  Some real proper characters who would torment the living daylights out of you if you let them but most importantly they would have your back.   

 

There was no lax door policy problems.  Memberships were a must for most venues.  Even Soul Nights prior to the nighters never had too many problems with the locals, if any problems it would have been sorted pretty sharpish.

 

The promoters, the DJ's and those who went to dance or search the record bars, all were mates, none of the them and us bollox, no one locked away in their own private rooms or cordoned off behind the stage.

 

Greta days, great music, great people.

 

By the time Keele came about the rot was setting in, musically at least.  Don't get me wrong it was a good nighter, great laugh and great record bar but musically it took loads steps backwards.  A far cry from the previous decade.  Then came the onset of the returnee who were only interested in what they had heard from their time on the scene during the 70's (a brief time for some).  It was turning slowly retro and some promoters seized an opportunity.  

 

It has got to the point where the scene is becoming a joke to those on the outside with the way people are dressing and carrying on.  Venues reputations going down the pan because of the piss heads in for an all-night bar.  You reap what you sow as the saying goes.

In a nut shell Chalkster :yes: Enough said, lets move on

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 Then came the onset of the returnee who were only interested in what they had heard from their time on the scene during the 70's (a brief time for some).  It was turning slowly retro and some promoters seized an opportunity.  

 

 

 

In defence of returnees, not all of us are only interested in the tunes heard in the 70's when we were teenagers. When I dipped my toe in again 5 years ago having not been to an all nighter since 1978 aged 17, I went to the 100 Club and have been a regular since then. Would say that my favourite tunes now are those which became popular after the so called halcyon days, Willie Tee FTOH being a classic example. I have zero interest in the handbag type promotions.

Edited by autumnstoned

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In defence of returnees, not all of us are only interested in the tunes heard in the 70's when we were teenagers. When I dipped my toe in again 5 years ago having not been to an all nighter since 1978 aged 17, I went to the 100 Club and have been a regular since then. Would say that my favourite tunes now are those which became popular after the so called halcyon days, Willie Tee FTOH being a classic example. I have zero interest in the handbag type promotions.

 

 

I agree with you, plenty of returnees have moved on as have some who are new to the scene.  I was referring to the vast majority though who see it as a more social occasion and care little what they are listening to as long was it is within their comfort zone.

 

Each to their own as they say but that isn't what the scene was ever about for me and many others, like your good self  :thumbsup: 

Edited by chalky

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So looking at some of the comments here the 80 was definitely underground. I get the feeling that some who missed that period tend to either pretend it didn't happen (some punters, some media ahem...spokespeople  and some promoters) or hunt for a reason to slag it off ( which when challanged usually proves a bit of a struggle for them).

 

For example recently I saw a post on another forum from a promoter talking about doing a nighter that covered Nottimghams soul history - needless to say it missed one of the most important periods 80s and early 90s from the musical rosta. So Rock City etc and the playlists / discoveries of Jim Wensiora, Rob Marriot, Kitch,  Dean Anderson etc etc where all wiped from Nottinghams history. 

 

Perhaps we were too underground for some of the history writers ;) 

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So looking at some of the comments here the 80 was definitely underground. I get the feeling that some who missed that period tend to either pretend it didn't happen (some punters, some media ahem...spokespeople  and some promoters) or hunt for a reason to slag it off ( which when challanged usually proves a bit of a struggle for them).

 

For example recently I saw a post on another forum from a promoter talking about doing a nighter that covered Nottimghams soul history - needless to say it missed one of the most important periods 80s and early 90s from the musical rosta. So Rock City etc and the playlists / discoveries of Jim Wensiora, Rob Marriot, Kitch,  Dean Anderson etc etc where all wiped from Nottinghams history. 

 

Perhaps we were too underground for some of the history writers ;) 

 

We had the same problem with Newton Aycliffe Byrney, I don,t mind a history lesson, as long as the lecturer has their facts in front of them, 80,s and early 90,s were given a wide birth

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Just wondering about the "underground" bit and what that means. I think there's parts of the scene which are very commercial , the key rings , mugs etc but I'm not sure if I believe the scene has really been mainstream at any point. Of course it's been on TV numerous times now and lot's of press coverage and records introduced on the scene going on to chart from the Tams and Tami Lynn onwards but it still seems to me it's very much a minority interest and most non scene folk have only a very vague notion of it or often haven't heard of it at all.

 

I'm a member of a wine club ( I live in Brighton we need a worthy or intellectual reason ( book clubs) to get drunk ) and one of the fellas who's a similar age to me started talking about music and said he was into underground music , now must folks will recognise this as term for "counter - culture" rock music late 60s early 70s and the fella went on state he hated all that commercial stuff like Motown. We had a conversation and I knew all the singers groups he mentioned more so they were mostly very well known and still fill the pages of the " overground" music press now just as they did back then, I mean who hasn't heard of Frank Zappa , Edgar Broughton and all. We talked about the music press , Sounds , NME , Melody Maker , Rolling Stone all well known but he hadn't heard of Blues and Soul , Black Music or Black Echoes and this was a guy who considered himself knowledgeable about music , I mentioned some Soul artists and he'd never heard of them , I mentioned some Soul venues and similarly he was clueless , I don't particularly like the commercialism of the scene , the stagnant retro thing or the dance classes but I often think that it's an internal mainstreaming that happens on the scene that it mainly passes the rest of the music world by and they have no interest or only a fleeting glance maybe use a record in an ad or something ( and only we notice) and then they're off.

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