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TWO THINGS THAT ARE KILLING THE SOUL SCENE

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OK HERE WE GO IT SEEMS THAT THE SCENE AS GONE TOTALLY CRAZY AND IT'S BEING DESTROYED BY TWO MAIN FACTORS THE FIRST BEING THE RIDICULOUS SPIRALLING PRICES OF RECORDS. REALITY CHECK PEOPLE  MOST OF THESE TUNES HAVE BEEN ROUND A VERY LONG TIME AND SOME PEOPLE DONT REALISE JUST HOW MANY COPIES ARE ACTUALLY OUT THE  EPITOME OF SOUND A GOOD EXAMPLE A CERTAIN SHOP IN NOTTS HAD  MORE COPIES THAN YOU COULD WAVE A STICK AT, AND THERE'S PLENTY MORE LIKE IT AND TO TOP IT THERE STILL TURNING UP, DOESNT THAT TELL PEOPLE SOME THING ????? LIKE IT AINT THAT RARE . THE SECOND FACTORS SEEMS TO BE THE STUPID AMOUNT OF VENUES  MAINLY  PLAYING THE SAME 100 + SOUNDS WEEK IN WEEK OUT . FOR GODS SAKE WHY DONT THEY JUST HOLD ONE BLOODY NITE  IF THATS ALL THEY WANT TO HERE . WHATS THE POINT OF 50 ODD VENUES ALL PLAYING THE SAME , YOU MAY AS WELL ALL GO TO THE SAME PLACE, MAKES SENSE DOSN'T IT ??? AS FOR THE RARER SIDE OF THE SCENE  THESE VENUES ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN  AND MOST ARE TO FAR TO TRAVEL TO THESE DAYS FOR ME DUE TO WORK COMMITMENTS  . WHATS YOUR THOUGHTS GUY'S

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Couldnt agree more,but cant see it changeing anytime soon.Its got to the point venue wise its a waste of time advertiseing in advance,people just dont give a shit anymore as new venues spring up every week.On the collecting front ,the internet is the worst thing that ever happened. 

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There aren't two things 'killing the scene', there are ONE....... DJ's!.

All the Dickie Searling wannabes in recent years that arrived on ebay armed to the teeth with a disposable income, suddenly found the no one was booking them (and there expensively put together record collections) for their 'Soul Nites', so they thought if no one else will book me for their venue, I'll start my own!.

The trouble is of course with this 'Baldrick-esk' style cunning plan is that 'Northern Soul' as most of us knew it only ever had a limited appeal, so the only way to get new people through the door is to get the Social crowd and party pensioners to make up the numbers by producing lots of flyers for your club stating it's 'friendly atmosphere' and 'large well lit car park' along with the all important 'Cheap Bar prices', but of course saying little about the music policy so as not to offend anyone. and Voila!, you've got yourself a successful 'Northern Soul & Motown Nite'

" Can you play Ruby Andrews for my Mrs M8?"

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Zed1

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I haven't been clubbin for eons, so I am not the best placed to comment, however, it seems to me that a large number of venues doesn't sound like something killing a scene.  If there were les nights doing the same the arguements would still remain the same.  From everything I have read it sounds as though there are two scenes one built completely on nostalgia of folk trying to relive their youth, to each his own, and another where an also mainly ageing group aim to maintain the tradition of finding rare soul (which gets harder each year IMHO).

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Was discussing the crazy prices of classics with a friend the other night. He thought that maybe the recent release of people's pension funds could be a contributing factor. There certainly seems to be a plethora of people with a lot of spare cash. If only I was one of them. :lol:

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I think it's OK to express cause for concern, but overall, the scene is going through a new lease of life, a resurrection as it were. Record collecting continues to thrive in its various guises but sadly prices have spiralled beyond the pockets of many. The proliferation of venues reflects keen entrepreneurship saving many from travelling huge distances but small-scale events run by local DJ's inevitably need to cater for all sorts of music lovers if they are to survive, and maybe morph into the next 'big venue'. There are enough good tunes out there for some great discoveries and bringing back forgotten oldies so don't give up hope yet.

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We are killing the soul scene. With I don't know what. Take myself for instance at the weekend, . I worked 12 hours Saturday and Sunday, had Monday Off. Was supposed to be going Swinton nighter Sunday, but wasn't feeling to clever so I stayed in. And I love Swinton. A few year's ago you would have had to nail my feet to the floor to stop me going out if I was ill or not. Or Are we just getting old. 

Steve

 

 

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Surely reflections on things that are "killing the scene" are really a nostalgic cry for days gone by - days where there were limited venues, and getting there (if you could get there) required lengthy journeys up and down the country.

Likewise it seems somewhat ironic to say that one of the things contributing to the supposed death of the "scene" (whatever that is) is an abundance of venues that are considerably more accessible than in those nostalgic years.

It might be true to say that "it's not like the old days", but things move on and evolve. Today we have a scene that's thriving not just in the UK, but far beyond. Events are happening all over Europe every week, for example. That also means that more people are part of the scene. In fact, there are probably more people with a passion for Northern Soul now than there ever were in the much talked about Golden Years. 

And records - courtesy of the internet - are much more accessible than ever before, which certainly ain't a bad thing. Thousands upon thousands of people are listening to stuff they might never get a chance to hear courtesy of YouTube, Soul Source, iTunes and lots more. As far as record buying is concerned, I've bought way more from European dealers these last 12-18 months than I have from the UK. Exchange rates are a part of that (I'm in the Netherlands buying in euros), but at the same time it highlights to me the incredible choices I have in which dealers to buy from. 

In the last few years we've seen the scene expand its musical church to embrace more R&B, gospel, funkier grooves and boogie flavours. At the same time, djs in the upper echelons continue to play new sounds and refresh their playlists. Sure, a strong nostalgia scene has also developed, but so what? Each to their own. We all have our individual preferences. Live and let live

Nope, it's not like the old days, and that's not a bad thing. Far from it to my mind.

 

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The scene and individuals within it who are in it for themselves rather than, or do not see the bigger picture are eating away at the health of the scene from the inside.  The sad thing is by the time they realise what is happening it will be too late.  

A plethora of venues doesn't equate to health.  There is a huge choice of venues with little choice, all doing the same thing, all playing the same thing.  The upfront side is no better either with some pretty poor records IMO getting far too much action and the crowds are dwindling, having to make do with a side room to survive.  DJ's with no imagination...thats rigth across the board.  Makes me sad to see the state the scene is getting itaelf in and we only have ourselves to blame.

Far too many people now don't dance, many more than happy to spend the night stood outside....christ knows why anyone would spend a tenner to sit or stand outside a venue?

The scene might appear to be on the crest of a commercial wave but those riding that wave who have come from no where, who have no history will disappear just as quickly as they arrived, many youngsters don't travel and once a few commitments come into their lives they will probably disappear as well.  As for record prices they are simply forcing people to resort to boots and reissues as stupidity takes over, all sense out of the window,

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There is some hope 

1  There are bargains out there ask Tattoodave and you only have to buy what you think is of value 

2  Be very selective re venues it's usually quite easy to determine what kind of music gets played or just come to H & G in Donny

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So Sunday afternoon sessions is the hope for the future of the scene.  Don't get me wrong, some great music at the H&G, great crowd but is a Sunday afternoon and home by 9 really the future?

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Natural forces will see a return to normality. People won't pay £600.00 for an Epitome of Sound and promoters will lose money with empty venues. We've seen it before it's nothing new, what will kill the scene perhaps will be the 1000s and 1000s of old soulies leaving the scene with perhaps a few hundred younger soul fans still hanging on. 

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Old age and no new sixties. That's what is killing the scene.

I actually don't see the scene being killed right now, guess in a year or two's time we'll see where we are but for now it's thriving.

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I'm relatively young, just 36, ish.... And I've seen this a few times, So to quote a famous book, and the opening line of the a certain film

"All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again" ...

and if you can imagine that said in a very eloquent way over the Joe 80 Theme, that may go some way to explain the wired parallel universe that is Northern soul.... 

Mel.B 

 

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I feel its a mixed bag; a lot of new people are getting to enjoy NS and that is a good thing. In contrast sadly a few older members may fall off the perch. The number of venues offers choice, its when the choice is excessively similar and DJ's don't use their imagination (playing top 100) that some people become frustrated.

I was too young for Wigan Casino so I probably fall into the category of newcomer (last 10 years we have been out souling nearly every Friday and Saturday), attending several weekenders each year etc. Then about 8 years ago I started buying vinyl and this then became OV for the last 5 years (I was a bit slow at catching on about the record thing) - though I cant afford Tomangoes, Lou Pride or Salvadors.

No right or wrong in terms of venues and records, just people at different phases in their soul journey; those who have had many years souling may require more than the top 100 to satisfy their needs and I sincerely hope venues make the effort to accommodate their needs, whilst other people may want to hear the top 100 sounds of their youth and don't want to travel any distance in their soul journey.

The scene gives so much pleasure to so many people and long may it continue.   I don't want anything to kill the scene.:)  

    

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i think the bowlers event this weekend will be a good yard stick to how the scene is progressing huge venue easily capable of 4000 + punters great mixture of dj and promoters and 4 rooms of different styles of soul music. wish the promoters every success with this promotion and gets a the scene behind it looking forward to it myself and turns into a regular event. from the dj line up its not gonna be a northern soul top 100 songs event. great venue been there before for a none northern event   

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So Sunday afternoon sessions is the hope for the future of the scene.  Don't get me wrong, some great music at the H&G, great crowd but is a Sunday afternoon and home by 9 really the future?

It works for me ! home in time for my carer to tuck me up in bed.

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i think the bowlers event this weekend will be a good yard stick to how the scene is progressing huge venue easily capable of 4000 + punters great mixture of dj and promoters and 4 rooms of different styles of soul music. wish the promoters every success with this promotion and gets a the scene behind it looking forward to it myself and turns into a regular event. from the dj line up its not gonna be a northern soul top 100 songs event. great venue been there before for a none northern event   

I,m working weekend again. Another nighter missed.

Steve

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The internet!!

People used to have to travel to a leading allnighters to hear and learn all the new monster sounds.

Now anyone can sit at home and listen to them!

The internet has enabled people who had a very limited knowledge about records, to become very clued up about them without going to allnighters.     

This has given them the confidence to be DJ's, and start there own soul nights, instead of travelling to major venues.

Maybe this has helped caused the demise of the big allnighters and the rise in local Soul nights.

I remember the days when most people who did not go to nighters knew hardly anything about current records, and didn't have a clue what was going on!!! 

 

Edited by solidsoul

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The internet!!

People used to have to travel to a leading allnighters to hear and learn all the new monster sounds.

Now anyone can sit at home and listen to them!

The internet has enabled people who had a very limited knowledge about records, to become very clued up about them without going to allnighters.     

This has given them the confidence to be DJ's, and start there own soul nights, instead of travelling to major venues.

Maybe this has helped caused the demise of the big allnighters and the rise in local Soul nights.

I remember the days when most people who did not go to nighters knew hardly anything about current records, and didn't have a clue what was going on!!! 

 

Some people who don't go to all-nighters still know hardly anything about records etc...

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Some people who don't go to all-nighters still know hardly anything about records etc...

And some people who do go to all-nighters still know hardly anything about records etc.  There are people that just go to have a good time, they wouldn't know the value of some of the records being spun or who the artists are or were.  I remember a few years back being asked whilst giving Dave Rimmer a hand at the 100 Club if he had a copy of the Yum Yums, it had just been spun, when I told the chap what a realistic price might be he almost fainted.  

If you're not happy with the night(s) you attend you have the option of not going again, find somewhere that plays the music you want to hear, has the right atmosphere and makes you want to go back for more.  Sooner or later the events that are losing money from lack of attendance will close. Sadly some of the better ones may go the same way as old age creeps up on the promoters that have been doing the job right for many years, but there are some knowledgeable youngsters out there that will step up to the plate when the time comes and carry the scene forward, at least I hope so. 

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I've noticed when I go to nighters I hear records and think 'not heard that for a while' and cant remember the artist or name of the tune; as the night progresses and the amber slides down I seem to become more forgetful (a possible correlation). Shazam rarely helps because the tunes are often rare releases or unrealeased tunes played off acetates. It would be good if more DJ's listed their sets on here so I don't need to rely on my inconsistent memory.....

Then the magic moment when I hear a tune I've not heard before and the 'wow, got to get myself a copy of that' thought enters the head; I note down the details by asking the DJ. More often than not I can't find a copy for sale or the cost is so high I can't afford it; but just occasionally I find a copy at an affordable price and I buy it. :thumbsup: 

Those moments tell me the scene is in good health, alive and kicking.

In contrast I hear Stanky played at a venue and my heart sinks and the thought 'I'm not sure I want to stay here until late' enters the head; realistically the DJ must play to all sections of the audience and I accept that some tunes will disappoint; but provided some interesting tunes are played (ie even if I don't like em = modern/crossover) I am content.   

I am working until 10pm on Saturday but I will try to persuade the missus we need to go to Bowlers afterwards. Fingers crossed she agrees. :) BRING ON THE WEEKEND

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Not 2 things ,just 1 ,the DJ's and I don't mean the up and coming new boys,I was out a few weeks ago not saying Where ,had a couple of big name DJ's on ,they between em played the worst couple of hours ,I have heard in a long time ,pathetic ,I think they have lost there imagination same old bloody stuff you get sick of hearing, some of the up and coming DJ's have far more imagination than some of the big names ,I blew my top a bit told I wouldn't have give em bus fare to get home ,top names forget it

Bazza

It's the "i'll stick this on again this always gets em up " attitude that's killing it 

Edited by Bazza

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i don't think any of those things mentioned are killing the scene....in fact, most of these topics (albeit not the internet one) were around in the early 80s..DJ's overplaying tunes, not enough new music, too much new music etc etc...it's because people want different things from their experience..

The scene isn't dying - never will die..nothing wrong with thinking of improvements...but those points above are not killing the scene..

 

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Not sure about the Scene being killed - But I get ya point Steve me ol' mate :wink: 

Personally I miss the days when this was played at 4.00am.

Passed caring anyways now - KTF to those that can be bothered.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

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The Rare Soul Scene on its last legs ? How many years will it keep going, I wonder.  Years of the same records being played over and over again, not enough decent venues playing different, forgotten, underplayed gems, too many DJ's with large egos and tunnel vision, and hundreds of narrow minded, blinkered oldies and R&B boys haven't helped, not to mention there being around 200 Soul Nites on every weekend, most playing the old tired and tested !!

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The Rare Soul Scene on its last legs ? How many years will it keep going, I wonder.  Years of the same records being played over and over again, not enough decent venues playing different, forgotten, underplayed gems, too many DJ's with large egos and tunnel vision, and hundreds of narrow minded, blinkered oldies and R&B boys haven't helped, not to mention there being around 200 Soul Nites on every weekend, most playing the old tired and tested !!

In the early nineties some great R&B was being played by DJ's like Carl Willingham, and Roger Banks. Problem was it wasn't accepted by the vast majority and effectively cleared the floor at many niters. As a consequence people turned to R&B clubs such as the hugely popular 'Hideaway' and second rooms at venues such as Middleton niter which attracted large numbers. If narrow mindedness was an issue, it wasn't on the part of those who enjoyed their R&B. My own preference has always been for - even though I dislike the term - 'Across the board venues' that play quality music of all genres including R&B. If someone can point me in the direction of somewhere that truly adopts this policy I may be tempted into giving it a go.

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Some 40 odd years ago when I first got into it I would never have imagined that in 2015 both  myself and the scene would still be around and for that I am eternally grateful  , I would have thought that as we all matured and possibly got more sophisticated the scene would have evolved it,s dissapointing that it has,nt . 

Dont get me wrong still love going out when I can and usually have a good night but the poor costume re-enactment crowd and the media intrusions and You tube vids all lead to a feeling that the whole thing is being compromised  to such an extent that it can only lead to its eventual demise .

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Guest johnny hart

hi Speedy,my thoughts. Of course NS venues are giant nostalgia events,its what the punters want to hear the same golden memories{ditto the birth of the scene when we would travel just to listen to those top sounds} .There are underplayed ,rare,forgotten,newies rooms,failing that promote an event yourself? the death knell ,the end times are coming well inevitably ,as the NS populace approach senility is their life after death? I Think not none of the hip ,savvy teenagers I encounter would be stupid enough to pay ,or play £5,000 for Margarets Little Nursey rhyme or even less inclined to turn on to robert & Uptights "Kick" .On your 2nd point totally agree the prices paid are sheer stupidity .But what do we know Speedy just this month whitby,Scarborough etc and 100s of soul nights doing the biz! good thread love agood "rant" LOL Johnny

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Promoters could do their bit in making things better particularly with the large events

I recently saw a post plugging a Notts Palais allnighter on 27/12 with seperate prices for advance tickets or pay on the door

No way should there be a pay on the door option at an event like this in the centre of Nottingham. Anyone who has been in Nottingham when the pubs kick out will know it's a complete free for all - it only takes a couple of idiots to ruin a night

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A few years back everyone wanted to DJ now everyone wants to promote as well, one sure way of getting on the mic

It's a vicious circle, if you don't invite everyone and their dog to Dj at your event, they won't come to support it. Simple as that. Even if your event has the best music in the world, people will definitely NOT come. 

I tried it

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It's a vicious circle, if you don't invite everyone and their dog to Dj at your event, they won't come to support it. Simple as that. Even if your event has the best music in the world, people will definitely NOT come. 

I tried it

Didn't somebody also have a stand in dog, or was that somewhere else. :g:

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I nearly spat my tea out when I read the txt sent me that Epitome of Sound had gone for a grand!!!!!!!!!!!!!   And Im a tea connoisseur so wouldnt waste it generally. I have absolutely no idea why tunes have gone bonkers in price. I bet the percentage of their rise in purchase price ( not value ) must be greater than property in relation. Did it start when a boot of Jimmy Mack went for £152.00, or has the film and over exposer on TV and media been a contributing factor? Probably, probably not. The worse thing is that WILL the prices for tunes paid for a vast majority set a precedance in the furture or as in house prices will the bubble explode? Will the price guide books etc... be ammended and show these totally rediculously inflated prices in them from now on? Then again a tune is SURELY only worth what someone is prepared to pay for them. I noticed a post on FB a while ago where someone stated that "I dont buy originals as they are TOO expensive so I dj with copies, they sound the same"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TOO many events?  I suppose, are they having a diverse effect?  I didnt used to think they did, but they do. The monthly events with the SAME 5 guys playing the SAME tunes every month. Whats the bloody point? In February at Cream Cracker the guest dj's were from Bristol, Somerset, Gloucester, Kettering and Wellingborough, . Quiet a good mix of guests I thought all bringing tunes we wouldnt normally hear locally ( To me). We had less than 70 people in, which as arrogant as this is, was a miserable turnout for Cream Cracker ( we get 75 each time, at least). People didnt attend as there was a local ( to them ) event on playing Motown etc... or they didnt recognise any of the dj's. And there in lies the hub. We have gotten into a trap of as was previously stated "Blinkered" mentallity. Where the vast majority of people WILL only attend an event on their doorstep ( and if its on EVERY month and they know what they are getting) why should they travel further than the end of their town? Also when you get monthly events with the same guys on and only charge £2 or so entry, if you have top of their game, upcoming or travelling DJ's who's expenses you need to cover as a promoter you are on a losing game before you open your doors.  For a good portion of promoters its never been about prestige or money. But you have to as a promoter make your guests journey, no matter how far that may be, be financially viable and worthy of the tunes they bring with them. OK OK so I'll be slated for saying that and I dare say we all do it for the love etc... However what I mean is simply that if a guest has travelled however far to come to your club,  as a promoter you're not expecting them to do it for free. And if the majority of your crowd have decided to go to the Monthly, across the board Motown et al event the weeks either side of your event you may ned to go to the cashpoint to cover your costs. Thats the point at which its not fun anymore.

 

Kev ( dont do modern) Such

 

 

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I don't know about other areas of the country, but there is a promoter in my area that must be involved in half a dozen promotions. Same promoter, same Dj's, same punters. Just a different local town and venue.

He more or less has the oldies scene sewn up. 

People say that the unsuccessful nights will close. No they won't, not when the venues don't charge anything and people will DJ for nothing. That's what you are up against these days. Venues are struggling to stay in business, and as long as they get a few in drinking, that's all they care about. And wannabe Dj's who will kill for a spot. Don't even need to charge a door tax.

Result: events = tons of them, quality = zero.

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Not too far away with that Kev, ive said for a long time a lot of these retro punters (who are never on these forums so you cant have a row with them) only know maybe 10 songs and that's all they want to know, so its easy music plenty of drink and a quick walk (side-ways) home. You can then tell all your workmates your a northern soulie  right on

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I'd forgotten about that one, Rob - Nice test pressing with hand written credits if I remember rightly - Even had the embossed numbers under the label - Hate to think what that copy would go for at auction - lol

Des

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Some 40 odd years ago when I first got into it I would never have imagined that in 2015 both  myself and the scene would still be around and for that I am eternally grateful  , I would have thought that as we all matured and possibly got more sophisticated the scene would have evolved it,s dissapointing that it has,nt . 

Dont get me wrong still love going out when I can and usually have a good night but the poor costume re-enactment crowd and the media intrusions and You tube vids all lead to a feeling that the whole thing is being compromised  to such an extent that it can only lead to its eventual demise .

I share your sentiments. I understand that things change and evolve, but i think that what's missing is a focal point. Wigan was really the last regular weekly venue that still had a crowd pulling power as it had a mystique about it as well as an unforgettable atmosphere, and although other venues such as the Clifton Hall and Stafford admirably picked up the pieces and kept the scene going it was never the same. It's quite ironic that you often here and read comments that the  scene is healthier and better  than ever, so why so much discontentment? 

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I share your sentiments. I understand that things change and evolve, but i think that what's missing is a focal point. Wigan was really the last regular weekly venue that still had a crowd pulling power as it had a mystique about it as well as an unforgettable atmosphere, and although other venues such as the Clifton Hall and Stafford admirably picked up the pieces and kept the scene going it was never the same. It's quite ironic that you often here and read comments that the  scene is healthier and better  than ever, so why so much discontentment? 

"Wigan was the last regular focal point ... "              ... that'll be the sort of comment that'll do it no end of good ... :thumbsup: 

Obviously another from "oop narth" that's never dared or been bothered to make the journey to Oxford Street at any point in the last 36 years ... :g:

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