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Geoff

Where Were Everyone Last Night?

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I went to Soul In The City at Vivo's in Watling Street last night, had a great evening with my friends and heard great music played by the 4 guys who run it, but I was really disappointed with the numbers attending. I suppose it had the advantage that I had plenty of room on the dancefloor, but being serious it must be a bit disappointing for the guys.

Maybe it is Christmas coming up and people have got other things to do, and possibly money starts getting tight. Also everyone may be saving themselves for the last TOS next week. But saying all that I am still surprised that so few showed. I left at about 11.15 to get to Liverpool Street, and even the usual "City types" who often arrive when the pubs are shutting hadn't appeared.

It was nice to see that Janine and Dave had managed to locate Watling Street, it must have Martin firing those flares from the roof that helped.

In Town Mikey and Jessica and Graham are much missed. Obviously no more soul club attendees must be allowed to leave the London area.

Seriously though, we've seen the CSC at the Dome closing, and now TOS. I urge everyone to support our clubs, we'd all be a bit cheesed off if any more close.

I've said this somewhere else recently but it is still apposite: "Use 'em or lose 'em".

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Unfortunately it clashed with the Acid Jazz Xmas party and a few of the regulars were down there for social rather than musical reasons. December is a bit hit or miss, there's odd one-off nights appearing everywhere. I agree it's rotten on the promoters who work so hard to give us a good night out. I feel bad that I couldn't make it. There's also the question of now the Saturdays have started will it affect the crowd on the Wednesdays

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Its a toughie.

While the numbers are dwindling, there is still talk of new clubs opening. Capitol isnt even cold in its grave and already there is talk of reviving the venue. I would be worried if I was standing to loose out financially on that one.

Gene and Stuart have started a new club in Vivo's. An excellent venue, but by all accounts attendance at the first night wasnt brilliant.

The quality of the music in London, IMHO is second to none. So why the low attendances?I offered a few views on another message board.

London is a transient City. Try finding a Londoner in London?? OK Stu T and Nick Brown (Gareth x?). I moved there 10 years ago, and was lucky that the scene was experiencing good, even great attendances in the susequent 6 or so years. But I got the '10 year itch' that many of us country hicks get, and moved nearer my roots. If I moved in at the same time as many soulies, there is a good chance I moved out at the same time too. Attendances have been on the wain for the last three years IMO.

I dont like this 'wheat from the chaff' phrase, but eventually London will end up with only one or two nights, and the 100 club. That is all it can support. Getting home by taxi in London requires a decent amount of money, otherwise good planning, and missing the ends of great nights is required.

SITC was one of my fave nights when I lived there. I would hate to think of it going the same way as two of my other faves CSC and TOS.

Hopefully there will be a good crowd at the warm ups for the 100 this weekend. But there are three on off the top of my head. Will this have an effect? Probably.

Its nice to hear I'm missed Geoff, but off the top of my head I have just thought of more than a dozen regulars who have moved out of London over the past few years. Does this mean london needs to attract new blood? Possibly. But there are still lots and lots of 'London faces' at other venues all over the country every weekend. is this because they can hear different tunes?

It may sound a bit radical London wise, but is there a good old oldies night? No. I know we (I still feel,part of it), pride ourselves on forward looking cutting edge soul sounds. But nothing packs 'em in like a Sunday Night at Cleethorpes type of event.

Edited by in town Mikey

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Hopefully there will be a good crowd at the warm ups for the 100 this weekend. But there are three on off the top of my head. Will this have an effect? Probably.

link

Nail on the head I think with this last bit Mikey.Too many things on the same night.It's happening everywhere so far as I can see.

18th dec for example ( not London I know) I have a choice of Keele,Marrs Bar and Heavenly Blocked. What will happen IMO is that none of them are going to do fantastic business that night, not only will lots of people stay in as its very near christmas and many people will need their cash for that, but those of us that want to go out have to choose which one to attend.From my point of view its a shame because whichever one I go to (Marrs for me) many of my mates will be elsewhere :thumbsup:

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If your doing the Marrs then it's Keele for me :thumbsup:

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Jeez. Where to start on all of this? I think it's true to say that the scene in London is undergoing a period of real transition. But a couple of points seem really obvious to me.

There are only a limited number of nights that people can actually commit to attending per month, both from practical and financial points of view, and doubly so this close to Xmas. But in the same way that London can only sustain one regular monthly allnighter, it can probably only sustain one regular midweek venue on a monthly basis.

London already has, for me, the best 'nighter in the country in the form of the 100 Club. Nowhere, bar Lifeline, can match it musically and, on a good night, the atmosphere is unbeatable. I hope and pray that we as London soul fans don't start to take this event for granted.

Attendances at midweek sessions such as These Old Shoes, Soul In The City etc. are an area of obvious concern. In the last few years promoters seem to have forgotten that the scene in London (apart from the 100 Club, which counts on the patronage of followers from all over the country) is a very small one, and one which does not necessarily want or need events such as SITC on a monthly basis. SITC in its current form always clashes with Mark Houghton's A New Chapter at Smersh, splitting potential attendances for both nights.

It's too easy to say that these particuar events cater for different types of punter: they don't necessarily. I love soul music from all eras, but don't get that from events such as SITC or TOS. The unwrittten 60s Only policy of these respective clubs are, to me, crucial in limiting their appeal. if these events broadened their musical policy to include the very best in records from across the eras of rare soul, then I'm sure they would begin to prosper. Midweek events should endeavour to be more inclusive, not less so, especially in such a period of transition.

The halcyon days of a few years ago with a regular monthly Friday event at either Scenesville or Capital may seem a long way off now, but I'm sure that someone will step in to fill the void. The New Century night in London in the New Year seems to be a good place to start. The roster for this event seems spot on: Ady, Marco, Terry Jones etc. Crucially, something for everyone, and a step in the right direction.

Edited by garethx

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Jeez. Where to start on all of this? I think it's true to say that the scene in London is undergoing a period of real transition. But a couple of points seem really obvious to me.

There are only a limited number of nights that people can actually commit to attending per month, both from practical and financial points of view, and doubly so this close to Xmas. But in the same way that London can only sustain one regular monthly allnighter, it can probably only sustain one regular midweek venue on a monthly basis.

London already has, for me, the best 'nighter in the country in the form of the 100 Club. Nowhere, bar Lifeline, can match it musically and, on a good night, the atmosphere is unbeatable. I hope and pray that we as London soul fans don't start to take this event for granted.

Attendances at midweek sessions such as These Old Shoes, Soul In The City etc. are an area of obvious concern. In the last few years promoters seem to have forgotten that the scene in London (apart from the 100 Club, which counts on the patronage of followers from all over the country) is a very small one, and one which does not necessarily want or need events such as SITC on a monthly basis. SITC in its current form always clashes with Mark Houghton's A New Chapter at Smersh, splitting potential attendances for both nights.

It's too easy to say that these particuar events cater for different types of punter: they don't necessarily. I love soul music from all eras, but don't get that from events such as SITC or TOS. The unwrittten 60s Only policy of these respective clubs are, to me, crucial in limiting their appeal. if these events broadened their musical policy to include the very best in records from across the eras of rare soul, then I'm sure they would begin to prosper. Midweek events should endeavour to be more inclusive, not less so, especially in such a period of transition.

The halcyon days of a few years ago with a regular monthly Friday event at either Scenesville or Capital may seem a long way off now, but I'm sure that someone will step in to fill the void. The New Century night in London in the New Year seems to be a good place to start. The roster for this event seems spot on: Ady, Marco, Terry Jones etc. Crucially, something for everyone, and a step in the right direction.

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

Possibly one of the problems is that for the last few years N/S has been trendy, especially in London, but fads change, so perhaps the populace of the London scene has changed as well. For the better IMO as I detest handbaggers at a soul night :thumbsup:

I used to go to TOS regularly, but found the lack of space to dance frustrating, and as that is my number one priority when I go out, ceased to go. No other reason, I thought the musical policy was excellent, which in my experience can be said for all of the London scene. Having said that, I wouldn't mind seeing a little more crossover included in the playlists, but that's just a personal preference.

One of the other things that must be considered, is that the amount of N/S travellers is dwindling, and they can't be in two places at one time. One would guess that if faced between a mid-week trip to London, and a weekend one, most would choose the weekend.

A lot of people choose to stay on their own doorstep, for obvious reasons, short trip, weekend not totally lost etc. The desire to hear new 'sounds' has diminished, and perhaps as Mike said in an earlier post an oldies night might draw the punters back. I know this might be seen as a retrograde step to some, but unless you're out every week, IMO most want to hear something they're familiar with.

Winnie:-)

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you could also attend the greatstone on 18th december

as a northerner i have an excuse for not attending sitc, but i was watching the great manchester united beat arsenal,

not shouting now are you alison.

mark

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I THINK WINNIE AND MIKEY ARE RIGHT. I WOULD LOVE TO GO TO SITC EACH TIME ON, AS I LOVE THE VENUE, BUT APART FROM TAKING ME HOURS TO WORK OUT WHICH WAY I GO AND END UP THERE - EVENTUALLY, IT KNACKERS ME FOR WORK THE NEXT DAY AS I CANT GO WITHOUT DANCING! ALSO AGAIN, XMAS COMING UP AND ALLOWING TO GO OUT WEEKENDS MEANS PULLING ON THE PURSE STRINGS ABIT. ITS NOT REFLECTION ON ANYONE, IM SURE THEY ALL KNOW THIS, BUT EVEN THOUGH IN ONE SENSE A LOT OF THINGS IN IN AND AROUND LONDON ARE GOOD, IT ALSO MEANS THAT THERES TOO MUCH CHOOSING TO DO AND THUS PEOPLE ALL OVER THE PLACE AND SO SOMETIMES TAKES ME MONTHS TO MEET UP WITH MATES AGAIN, I SUPPOSE 'CANT WIN AND CANT PLEASED EVERYONE' COMES TO MIND. K x

P.s. Dave - Terry said sorry he couldnt make it too x

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you could also attend the greatstone on 18th december

as a northerner i have an excuse for not attending sitc, but i was watching the great manchester united beat arsenal,

not shouting now are you alison.

mark

link

Where's the smiley Mr Baildon :thumbsup:

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Its a toughie.

While the numbers are dwindling, there is still talk of new clubs opening. Capitol isnt even cold in its grave and already there is talk of reviving the venue. I would be worried if I was standing to loose out financially on that one.

Gene and Stuart have started a new club in Vivo's. An excellent venue, but by all accounts attendance at the first night wasnt brilliant.

The quality of the music in London, IMHO is second to none. So why the low attendances?I offered a few views on another message board.

London is a transient City. Try finding a Londoner in London?? OK Stu T and Nick Brown (Gareth x?). I moved there 10 years ago, and was lucky that the scene was experiencing good, even great attendances in the susequent 6 or so years. But I got the '10 year itch' that many of us country hicks get, and moved nearer my roots. If I moved in at the same time as many soulies, there is a good chance I moved out at the same time too. Attendances have been on the wain for the last three years IMO.

I dont like this 'wheat from the chaff' phrase, but eventually London will end up with only one or two nights, and the 100 club. That is all it can support. Getting home by taxi in London requires a decent amount of money, otherwise good planning, and missing the ends of great nights is required.

SITC was one of my fave nights when I lived there. I would hate to think of it going the same way as two of my other faves CSC and TOS.

Hopefully there will be a good crowd at the warm ups for the 100 this weekend. But there are three on off the top of my head. Will this have an effect? Probably.

Its nice to hear I'm missed Geoff, but off the top of my head I have just thought of more than a dozen regulars who have moved out of London over the past few years. Does this mean london needs to attract new blood? Possibly. But there are still lots and lots of 'London faces' at other venues all over the country every weekend. is this because they can hear different tunes?

It may sound a bit radical London wise, but is there a good old oldies night? No. I know we (I still feel,part of it), pride ourselves on forward looking cutting edge soul sounds. But nothing packs 'em in like a Sunday Night at Cleethorpes type of event.

link

Some good points there Mikey. The scene here is very small now, a lot of the stalwarts have dissappeared, or only come out intermittently, myself included I'm afraid. I'm not sure whether an oldies night would make that much difference, is there a large oldies crowd in London and the South East? Personally not what I would want to be involved in/attend but then I'm a dreadful snob! The idea of broadening the playlists away from purely 6ts is interesting, maybe we should revise our music policy?

I was thinking about the people I used to go to 100 Club with in the late 80s, where are they now? Hardly any of them live in the SE anymore, half of them have emigrated to places like New York, Holland and Crewe. Only see one or two of them once a year out of about 12-15 people.

Time to advertsie clubs more widely and off the immediate scene perhaps?

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Where's the smiley Mr Baildon wink.gif

link

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

Watched it as well, anyone else notice how alike Van Percypissole and Van Nostril Roy are :thumbsup:

As in .... a pair of twats, who are always on the wind up :lol:

Winnie:-)

P.S. Yes Ali, I am bitter :lol::lol:

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Stu

I would have thought the idea of broadening the musical policy at midweek nights from 60s only is essential rather than interesting. I have the utmost repect for the dedication of the promoters of SITC, but I reiterate my call for greater inclusiveness.

I've heard Paul McKay play crossover and 70s soul at other venues, and he has an excellent collection. The idea of keeping some of those records at home to play SITC is strange to me. It's the building of fences around playlists that I find is making the nights less interesting musically. Vivo's is a pretty ambitiously-sized venue to fill in any case. If the musical policy alienates those who would like to hear good rare soul of every kind, then it really will continue to be an uphill struggle for the foreseeable future.

I also don't personally think an oldies only format would be palatable either. The midweek venues should be a place for musical experimentation and relaxed socialising rather than an attempt to fill dancefloors.

I don't believe London has ever been a place where a reliance on The Northern Soul Top 500 has been necessary in the past, and I hope it isn't now.

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Stu

I would have thought the idea of broadening the musical policy at midweek nights from 60s only is essential rather than interesting. I have the utmost repect for the dedication of the promoters of SITC, but I reiterate my call for greater inclusiveness.

I've heard Paul McKay play crossover and 70s soul at other venues, and he has an excellent collection. The idea of keeping some of those records at home to play SITC is strange to me. It's the building of fences around playlists that I find is making the nights less interesting musically. Vivo's is a pretty ambitiously-sized venue to fill in any case. If the musical policy alienates those who would like to hear good rare soul of every kind, then it really will continue to be an uphill struggle for the foreseeable future.

I also don't personally think an oldies only format would be palatable either. The midweek venues should be a place for musical experimentation and relaxed socialising rather than an attempt to fill dancefloors.

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

I understand the concept of relaxation and socialising, but are you not talking about the survival of these nights? The scene isn't just made up of socialisers, it also includes dancers, and surely they have a right to be appeased too?

The way you describe it, it sounds like DJs playing background music, whilst the punters engage in polite conversation. It's certainly not the way I visualise the northern scene progressing. Can you really envisage Jo Wallace saying "Why don't you all sit down and have a chat, whilst I play this stomping piece of motown magic".  :thumbsup:   :lol:

I don't believe London has ever been a place where a reliance on The Northern Soul Top 500 has been necessary in the past, and I hope it isn't now.

link

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Some good points there Mikey.  The scene here is very small now, a lot of the stalwarts have dissappeared, or only come out intermittently, myself included I'm afraid.  I'm not sure whether an oldies night would make that much difference, is there a large oldies crowd in London and the South East?  Personally not what I would want to be involved in/attend but then I'm a dreadful snob!  The idea of broadening the playlists away from purely 6ts is interesting, maybe we should revise our music policy?

I was thinking about the people I used to go to 100 Club with in the late 80s, where are they now?  Hardly any of them live in the SE anymore, half of them have emigrated to places like New York, Holland and Crewe.  Only see one or two of them once a year out of about 12-15 people. 

Time to advertsie clubs more widely and off the immediate scene perhaps?

link

Thing is Stuart, Northerners whether folk like it or not always made up a large part of the crowd at 100 Club etc. Used to be loads of us meet in the services, on the way there and again on the way home :thumbsup:

people don't travel now, from either the South or from the North except the hardcore. Too many venues up here as good or if not better musically. Places like Union, Lowton musically as good as any venue anywhere! Nothing IMHO can compete with Lifeline musically as an upfront venue, it's the only true upfront niter in the country. Soultown all-nighter is as good as any other venue musically.

Southerners hgave no real need to trqavel as they also have a venue nearby everyweek and often midweek too.

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i found over the last couple of years londons died a bit of a death on the soul front.

go back to when the dome and scenesville started and northern seamed to be the "in thing" in town.

maybe it just aint fasionable anymore,or maybe as said everyones moved away.

i recon though the two clubs above signed their own demise.

dome used to be corking but as it went on the music changed and the punters fled.in big numbers aswell.the one befor last (i think) we went to and their was probably only about a 1/3 of the numbers they used to get.shame really as the music on that night was on top form.

we stopped going cause of the music so maybe everyone else did as well.

scenesville- what a top night that was when it was in leicester square.

seams when it moved to opp st pancreas! everyone stopped going.here again though i recon the music killed it though as well as the expensive(for a soul nite) admittion charge.

the dj,s certainly didnt play to the crowds.

we used to takes bets as to how long it would take a dj to actually look away from his records and at the dance floor.

one even managed to do his whole set by sticking on a record then turning round to go through his boxes then only turning back again to stick on the next record.

and yes a couple of peeps danced.the same two token dancers you get everywhere.

on to mid week stuff.great if youve got the time or energy to go out midweek.

i could be alone on this but after a hard days graft,tea,dog trotting ect ect beds the only place i wanna be.

also and it ties in with weekend do,s in the city.for some of us in london(outer) its quicker to drive to a do in the midlands than what it is to drive into the city.plus we get a variety of music .some of us even like the oldies.

rocket was a good idea but only could off worked if they had done it a couple of times a year.london could really do with a good old stompy northern niter at least once a year.decent venue with a decent size(and quality)dancefloor.

recon it would go down a storm.

i hope it gets better though as it would be nice to have decent do,s on the doorstep again.

will get to vivos on the 11th so youll get an extra two through the door that nite.

wayne

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"will get to vivos on the 11th so youll get an extra two through the door that nite.

wayne"

I'd just like to point out that Solid Hit Soul on 11th is run by Gene Robertson and not by SITC, although Dave and Martin DJ there too. Music policy is different too. If you want oldies you might want to refer to Gene's post about the new night.

Paul

Edited by sitc01

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. The New Century night in London in the New Year seems to be a good place to start. The roster for this event seems spot on: Ady, Marco, Terry Jones etc. Crucially, something for everyone, and a step in the right direction.

link

any other info on this do???

not fussed about oldies only.

as long as its soul and dancable

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Sorry I missed this. Was looking forward to this all day then had a major crisis at work and didn't leave the office until 11.30pm. On the subject of the 'London crisis'. One night with numbers down doesn't mean the whole scene is dying. I bet next month's attendance is a record and we'll all be saying how healthy the scene is looking again. I will definitely, definitely be at the next one as its a great night and the venue is absolutely leeervly.

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Thing is Stuart, Northerners whether folk like it or not always made up a large part of the crowd at 100 Club etc.  Used to be loads of us meet in the services, on the way there and again on the way home  :thumbsup:  

people don't travel now, from either the South or from the North except the hardcore.  Too many venues up here as good or if not better musically.  Places like Union, Lowton musically as good as any venue anywhere!  Nothing IMHO can compete with Lifeline musically as an upfront venue, it's the only true upfront niter in the country.  Soultown all-nighter is as good as any other venue musically.

Southerners hgave no real need to trqavel as they also have a venue nearby everyweek and often midweek too.

link

Don't know why people wouldn't like it! Certainly was true. May have to give Lifeline a go sometime. Which bit of up north is it in again, the left hand side or the right hand side? :lol:

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Would like to go to lifeline again myself sometime soon, but because of the distance it's near on impossible, but it's a min 6+ hour drive there then leaving the venue at 8am (or later) and then a 6 hour+ drive home, it's just too much, and booking a hotel would be pointless as you have to leave by 11am LOL

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What sort of music was played when the clubs that are no more were popular and what sort of music did they change to that drove people away? Did the music change a lot?

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Left Stu  :lol:

link

Eeerrrrrrr J9 it may be slightly left from you although i doubt it, i would have said that Dewsburry is slightly to the right of Ooop Nerrrth whereas your Fleetwoods lovey are more to yer left doncha know. Straight up the M1 Stu (it is on the LHS of the M1 though :thumbsup: )

Trouty

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