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The Golden years of NS ? What was yours?


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Posted

Everybody has their favourite years of enjoying NS, For some it will always be their start on the journey, the Excitement being young and being part of something powerful where you could escape into a world of dance and Music,

I first started my love of Soul in 1963 age 12 went through the Club Soul and Tamla and RnB club circuit till the mid 1970,s still loved the music but got a little bit disappointed with the scene around 75, where I thought the teeny bopper Soulies had watered the Scene down that some venues looked like Giant Youth Clubs, I bowed out but still kept my interest in the Music.

Because my Business involved the night time economy I was never far away to what was happening, for me The best years were 1985 when I really got interested again in Dancing The Music the Excitement came back until 1995 it was still good after that but for me the teenyboppers I mentioned in the previous paragraph had either vanished or evolved into thoroughbred Soulies The Music had become much Stronger the Soulies much wiser most were Still in their prime to enjoy themselves there was a vast influx of discoveries new 60,s etc .

So for me 1985 to 1995 were my Golden years in NS what were yours?

keep Safe

ML

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I arrived on the scene through 'the mod route'.  I did the '3rd generation' mod thing, which was after the '79 mod lot - A bunch of posers we were too!  Lots of mods were in to that R'n'B stuff, J

Hi Stephen part of my music apprenticeship was working on Silcocks waltzer travelling the North west and of course visiting the Nottingham Goose fair I worked for 5 years travelling and our Waltz

Everybody has their favourite years of enjoying NS, For some it will always be their start on the journey, the Excitement being young and being part of something powerful where you could escape into a

Posted

Mick. I was one of those teeny bopper soulies in 1975😁 when as a not quite innocent 16 year old I walked down station road for the very first time,  that experience honestly changed my life and turned me into the even less innocent 61 year old person that you have before you now. 🤔waiting impatiently for the nighters to reopen 👍

Trust all is well and safe Mick 

Ste

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Hi Ste

3 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

Mick. I was one of those teeny bopper soulies in 1975😁 when as a not quite innocent 16 year old I walked down station road for the very first time,  that experience honestly changed my life and turned me into the even less innocent 61 year old person that you have before you now. 🤔waiting impatiently for the nighters to reopen 👍

Trust all is well and safe Mick 

Ste

I know that Steve and that’s why I mentioned it in the first paragraph, I’m the last person in the world to try to steal that happiness you felt everybody starts somewhere, myself being in my mid twenties at that time it seemed more than one generation apart, however 10 years on you had all caught up and we were all on a level playing field and in it together to enjoy the Scene which had matured as well as the people who loved it and that is why I remember 85 to 95 so fondly

I am safe and well Ste hope you are too fingers crossed for things to ease up soon

ML

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two well 3 times from age 12/13 at local youth clubs from 69/72 for just regular club soul and some ska/blue beat 72 till about 79/80  from 15 years old till 23ish attending dare and nighters and normal soul nights (Mecca) all over the country but petering out towards the end of 79 as I thought it was all over and friends were drifting away or getting married and having families. then started again in about 1994 attending and collecting again and running a soul night for almost 14 years. 

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What a good post, my journey started at the fair in macclesfield in the early sixties when motown was played on the waltzers, where the mods would gather, seeing the lambys and 🛵. On the last night the rockers would come down and it would kick off Brill days. So my journey had started going to local working men's clubs and my first Ben sherman shirt which my mum scorched it when she ironed it. Zoom too the future and still doing it, and this lockdown won't finish it off either, stay safe everybody ktf

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1 hour ago, Mark B said:

two well 3 times from age 12/13 at local youth clubs from 69/72 for just regular club soul and some ska/blue beat 72 till about 79/80  from 15 years old till 23ish attending dare and nighters and normal soul nights (Mecca) all over the country but petering out towards the end of 79 as I thought it was all over and friends were drifting away or getting married and having families. then started again in about 1994 attending and collecting again and running a soul night for almost 14 years. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Stephen Houghton said:

What a good post, my journey started at the fair in macclesfield in the early sixties when motown was played on the waltzers, where the mods would gather, seeing the lambys and 🛵. On the last night the rockers would come down and it would kick off Brill days. So my journey had started going to local working men's clubs and my first Ben sherman shirt which my mum scorched it when she ironed it. Zoom too the future and still doing it, and this lockdown won't finish it off either, stay safe everybody ktf

Hi Stephen

part of my music apprenticeship was working on Silcocks waltzer travelling the North west and of course visiting the Nottingham Goose fair I worked for 5 years travelling and our Waltzer was actually nick named Silcock,s Soul castle a hell of a lot young Soulies heard their first big Soul sounds on the fairgrounds I know we were up there with all the Soul clubs introducing the sounds of American Soul, I remember buying Going to a happening Tommy Neil, Boogaloo Party, Soulful dress etc for the machine back in 68 Memories that will last forever

ML

keep Safe

 

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4 hours ago, Hooker1951 said:

Hi Ste

I know that Steve and that’s why I mentioned it in the first paragraph, I’m the last person in the world to try to steal that happiness you felt everybody starts somewhere, myself being in my mid twenties at that time it seemed more than one generation apart, however 10 years on you had all caught up and we were all on a level playing field and in it together to enjoy the Scene which had matured as well as the people who loved it and that is why I remember 85 to 95 so fondly

I am safe and well Ste hope you are too fingers crossed for things to ease up soon

ML

Such a true statement.  We all seemed to catch up with the older guys as you say mid 80,s when it was a true underground scene and it stayed there for probably 10 years just like you said.  Amazing times, amazing records, amazing friendships formed . 

Glad to hear you're ok.  All good here too thanks mate 👍 

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I arrived on the scene through 'the mod route'.  I did the '3rd generation' mod thing, which was after the '79 mod lot - A bunch of posers we were too! :elvis:

Lots of mods were in to that R'n'B stuff, Jimmy Mcgriff and what have you, but what always stood out for me were the tunes a great DJ called 'Dom Bassett' used to play - I know now that it was usually Northern, probably stuff he had been influenced to play by 'The 100 Club', being a London lad (In my young eyes, a very cool bloke was Dom)

I ventured away from all the scooter rallies, and one night 'Steve Smith' (Kettering) took me to 'The Fleet' at Peterborough, which really was an eye opener for me (In more ways than one!)   I soon realised that the mod scene and the northern scene were different things, although some of the music crossed over. In 1985 I went to 'Loughborough Town Hall', which was an anniversary, and I was in awe of everything around me.

I remember sitting there wanting to dance, but daredn't.  I sat there for so long, and in the end I said to myself....."Jeeeze Len, if you don't dance soon the night will be over!"......So I tentavely went for it, felt really uncomfortable, then looked around, and saw that no one had battered an eye lid at this young fool shaking his leg ('The leg thing' became a 'thing', but that's another story) :wink: Just one of my older mates looked over, gave me a quick smile, and carried on dancing.

I (like everyone) matured, as in, got to understand how the scene 'ticked', picking up on those unwritten rules of respect / the way to conduct myself, and my appreciation of the music really started to develope - My beginning was very exciting of course, but I would say the 90's was my best time.

I'm 50 years old tomorrow, so hopefully I'm not still known by those that do know me as (in John Manship's words) 'The little boy that never went away' :huh:

Great thread Mick.  I love to hear of people's different routes, and as you have asked - Their fav eras.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

 

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Happy birthday for tomorrow Len , the northern soul road has taken so many twists and turns since my induction as a 15 year old but I only have one regret and (I have said this to all the young ones that have came on the scene since ) my friend from Kettering, Paul Panton took me to the Torch and apparently I was classed as quite a mover , but I felt so in awe I could not move ,, please anyone reading don't be afraid to get on the floor it's there for dancing on,, it's not STRICTLY,, Monny 

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1975, St. Ives, totally fcking blocked on G & Clears caps, didn't feel like standing up or sitting down, so tried a bit of dancing. Useless I was, but didn't realize it until some chick started laughing. That freaked me a bit, but then I couldn't get rid of her and my dancing improved bit by bit.

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25 minutes ago, ratt said:

1975, St. Ives, totally fcking blocked on G & Clears caps, didn't feel like standing up or sitting down, so tried a bit of dancing. Useless I was, but didn't realize it until some chick started laughing. That freaked me a bit, but then I couldn't get rid of her and my dancing improved bit by bit.

Great story, great choice of gear ,, I used to love st Ives , still do the reunions ,, not quite the same for some reason ,, filon was my choice in 75 ,

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1 hour ago, Monny1916 said:

Happy birthday for tomorrow Len , the northern soul road has taken so many twists and turns since my induction as a 15 year old but I only have one regret and (I have said this to all the young ones that have came on the scene since ) my friend from Kettering, Paul Panton took me to the Torch and apparently I was classed as quite a mover , but I felt so in awe I could not move ,, please anyone reading don't be afraid to get on the floor it's there for dancing on,, it's not STRICTLY,, Monny 

Thanks Monny. 

Paul Panton is a name I am familiar with, and I'm certain I have met him.  Although I was born in Harrow (Middlesex), I have spent most of my life in Northamptonshire, so have been to many events in the surrounding areas such as Kettering.

You're absolutely right about just getting out there on that dance floor.  I suppose the 'uninitiated' expect people to immediately take the p*ss, which of course never happens.

Edit - Never 'usually' happens :wink:

Len :thumbsup:

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St. Ives surely was the best. Loved Wigan, but when the oldies room opened at Ives, there were individual people filling the place, all in their own world, or more precisely on their own planet. I never did get to have a go with Filon, but rest assured over the next 30 years or more I hammered just about everything, and they repaid me in kind. But I'm still up for a soul night or nighter, just take it a bit easier on the potions.......most of the time!!!!

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Just thinking about this today.

76 77 all those girly poppy soul tunes like the flirtations, sapphires, Paula Durante, Dena Barnes, Poppies, Jeanette Harper, Etc really drew me into the scene. 

However this lockdown has produced more free time to research stuff on line, and the results have been great. So many quality tunes I'm just discovering now.

Ed

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My time started at school Beeston fields in Notts I had 3 top mates a year or so older Tony Clarke Glyn Sissons and Tommo (Notts)  they would bring records to school with portable player and we'd spendunch break in the annix  dancing, my first venue was a Friday soul night  called Colemans in Nottingham, you went there  before we could go to the legendary Brit club. From there I attended the Casino every Saturday from 74 till the first last night, along with Mick H. and a few others, after the casino shut it was Clifton Hall, St Ives, cleethorpes, Stafford was the Turing point for me musically as a Dj. I had previously had a massive oldies collection which I decided to sell, as I'd always like dancing to the newer discoveries, so I broughtoads of Stafford sounds and lots of unknowns at the time, still buying u knows now, as for venues after well stayed with the nighters up till around 3 years ago still do weekenders, but as years march on prefer a good quality soul night, with a bit of everything,so can't wait to get going again. 

 

Regards Steve 

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Till the first last night.....like it.....I got bored of them, how many was it? In the end I don't think I went to the actual 'last' one. They had blown a gasket anyway, died a death, sunk to an all time low, blah blah.

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My years were early 68 to around 75/76.  Starting as a mod/suede head with Clubs in Leeds.. then hearing Gladys Knight’ Just Walk in My Shoes’ and being told about a dodgy club in Manchester!! No looking back..full on pharmaceutical powered indulgence at the Metro, Top Twenty, L’Ambassadeur, Hernies Torch ...etc.  VaVa’s & early Casino!!! Became dissatisfied with the pop music that started to emerge from Wigan, I walked away!  It’s never really been the same since for me, which adds to my theory that the gear every bit as much as the music made the scene. I always had a theory that the best clubs were dark cellars downstairs.. but VaVa’s  gave that theory a kicking . A top under-rated club with top quality tunes which later were credited to the Casino. 
The fancy dress parades that call themselves soul clubs right now reassure me that I made the right decision!  And.. going ‘Soulin’’ what the fuck is that supposed to mean? It used to be a way of life, not a hat to put on occasionally!!

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Posted
On 29/08/2020 at 18:01, Petedillon said:

full on pharmaceutical powered indulgence, my theory that the gear every bit as much as the music made the scene. I always had a theory that the best clubs were dark cellars downstairs.. but VaVa’s  gave that theory a kicking . A top under-rated club with top quality tunes which later were credited to the Casino. 
 

This!

My time 72 Torch and everywhere up 77

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I'm from Nottingham too and very similar to Len, the Notts Mod route. So was very young entrant into nights and niters with the much older Mod lot from about 1984 onwards (Coyley from Clifton).  However weirdly the best time for me was very early 1990s when I wasn't a Mod anymore, but I was absolutely obsessed with the Soul scene (such as it was and of course, I still am as keen as ever). The scene was just starting to build again, there was a lot of renewed excitement, everybody knew everyone for a while and the discoveries were coming in strong - especially all the Motown first time plays.  It felt underground again at the time, the mixture of young people like me, people coming back as their kids grew up, people who never left.  It was also totally about the music (or so it seemed at the time), there wasn't any of the overuse of NS imagery or facebook groups - it was still, be at a certain place, get your tickets at robs, write away for lists, swap tapes then the very start of internet era with Keeping The Faith group. 

Because at first attendance was sparse, you had to be there, you had to support the scene, in the late 80s in my teens I was going to NS events that gave up after a couple of hours and I drifted away for a year or two as there were so few in, while over at Kool Kat/Garage, The Bomb or Venus, Chicago house was ramming us in. I wanted to get that back in soul again and by early 1990s it was starting to happen.

There was NS music played everywhere in and around Nottingham, any night or time we would go out with NS played constantly. We would even go out on a Sunday night with pubs having NS nights, it was about making the effort to keep it going. Everyone has their time and maybe not many would pick that era - but to see NS build again and flourish, to see nites going from a depressing situation of more DJs/bouncers/bar staff than us then soon filled venues again, to people being so into the music they would hang around singing and chatting for hours after sessions was awesome (obvious those were nights/alldayers not niters). 

CDs were coming in and passed around, new music, just keep it coming,  Jimmy Frazer!! Pete Smith would send me loads of CDrs that had music that you just could not get anywhere, and I was suddenly writing a few CD sleeve notes being more keen than knowledgeable, record prices seemed really low, with a smaller scene everbody was mixing and just grateful to be with each other. Record shops were still everywhere, record fairs locally were constant, I'd started to get dealers ring me and entice me to buy some records - you felt like you were IN. Latin/Boogaloo was adding to the mix, some of the first pure R&B plays, a bit of furious Hard Soul/Funk played.  Buying The Chants 'I Don't Need Your Love' on demo in pristine condition and just looking at it with awe. NS does that for us across many eras.

One moment I recall, I was in some basement... top 500 type NS in the main, 'hardcore NS' downstairs with everyone stood around thinking 'is this credible enough to go first dancing to'.  I was covered in sweat, absolutely in the zone on the floor, early hours when this furious girl-group R&B comes on, probably pitched up a bit more - stomper, sounds New Yorkish, R&B harmonica, WTF?  Poppy but R&B harmonica, what the hell! That song destroyed the floor that night, nobody around it knew it was Bull Dog by the Shangrilas. It wasn't a Soulful epic, but sometimes that's not what the moment needs as we all know. I hunted for ages to find out what it was and I'm sure it's a totally obvious record to many, not really soulful but that brief moment it was THE record as everyone gave in to its relentless pace and grinned at each other. I asked around after and got the reaction 'there is no girl group R&B called Bulldog, I'm telling you'. But telling the people the next time I saw them what it was, that look back was pure NS.  Then of course the track was ruined, but amongst my mates, I (re)found it!

All of this felt incredible (and still might not compare to the days youngsters like me read about). It was a mix of people who seemed to know everything, people like me who knew nothing lapping it up.

A few years later, my pregnant wife was pepper sprayed outside Nottingham Palais at one night by some people trying to disrupt the night and the support and care we had, was and is very special (that son is now 22!).  That was all part of what made Northern Soul what it was at the time and is still.

Edited by Thinksmart
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I think for all of us our best years were when we were 18-25 (though for me probably also 30-40 thanks to Pete - though that was a mad time) when we were starry eyed and full of youthful energy... It doesn't matter what period that covers; Wheel, Mecca and Torch, Mecca, Early Wigan, Late Wigan and Stafford, Morecambe, The 100 Club, Bradford Queens Hall; whatever, you'll have had your best days at that age - regardless of which clubs you were old enough to attend. Dx

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