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Sunday Times Style Magazine article 3/3/24


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Just a heads up for those heading to the newsagents - there’s a four page article on the Bristol Northern Soul scene in today’s Sunday Times. I’m still reading the article so will reserve comment until later. There’s also an advert for the BBC Radio Northern Soul proms in the regions on page 17 of the Culture Section.

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1 hour ago, Frankie Crocker said:

Just a heads up for those heading to the newsagents - there’s a four page article on the Bristol Northern Soul scene in today’s Sunday Times. I’m still reading the article so will reserve comment until later. There’s also an advert for the BBC Radio Northern Soul proms in the regions on page 17 of the Culture Section.06E09D66-DD7A-468B-AF4F-EA169D934D09.thumb.jpeg.44f9c925a7378efd6ed685265f55303b.jpeg

Oh dear.

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3 hours ago, Frankie Crocker said:

Just a heads up for those heading to the newsagents - there’s a four page article on the Bristol Northern Soul scene in today’s Sunday Times. I’m still reading the article so will reserve comment until later. There’s also an advert for the BBC Radio Northern Soul proms in the regions on page 17 of the Culture Section.06E09D66-DD7A-468B-AF4F-EA169D934D09.thumb.jpeg.44f9c925a7378efd6ed685265f55303b.jpeg

Having read the article by Phoebe Luckhurst, I’m now in a position to comment objectively. The article features in a special Spring Fashion edition so the context suggests this topic is something hip to consider. The article focuses on the Bristol Soul Club events started by Levanna McLean. Events are packed out and everybody is having a good time enjoying the music, dressing up in whatever pleases and dancing any old how. Old School devotees might be perplexed reading about Bristol’s youth reviving a mysterious genre of dance music but the scene there is buzzing and an indication of what can flourish when someone with a bit of get-up-and-go sets things alight. The music played is well received and the tunes spun are as good as many heard around the country. It seems all is well in Bristol and it was heartening to see the youngsters having a fun time dancing rather than queueing for the dentist or throwing statues in the harbour.

Re the advert, that was a bonus in this Sunday’s paper. If it sparks a few more comments, I’ll leave it to the Mods split the thread. On a positive note, I think it’s good that places outside London may have the opportunity to experience last year’s Albert Hall concert but the event could be a slimmed down version judging from the venues. Stuart Maconie mentioned the plans just after Christmas and again last week, so it’s good to see the details finally in print. I suspect all the events will be sold out and are confident that those who attend will have an enjoyable evening. Book now to avoid disappointment...

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It isn't easy to prize folk out of their post-covid comfy couches these days. Good luck though. From my mate's observation at the Royal Albert many of the crowd where new to northern.

Fingers crossed.

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1 hour ago, Smartzie said:

It isn't easy to prize folk out of their post-covid comfy couches these days. Good luck though. From my mate's observation at the Royal Albert many of the crowd where new to northern.

Fingers crossed.

I was at the Albert Hall and there were plenty of folk new to Northern, some tourists, loads of comfy-couch soulboys (like myself) and soulgirls plus lots of young and middle aged folk boogieing along to afab set of tunes. The Bristol Soul Club were in evidence wearing t-shirts done for the occasion. Covid is almost forgotten and no excuse to stay at home and miss out on musical treats.

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5 hours ago, Julianb said:

Anything that gets the NS message to the masses has got to be a good thing.  Personally I'm still  an OVO kind of guy😁👍

Well said Julian. The youths of Bristol could be dancing to our favourite sounds in 50 years time. Who knows, they might even be buying our original vinyl long after we’ve gone. As supporters of good music, it’s heartening to see a wave of enthusiasm embracing what we’ve been fortunate to enjoy for decades.

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12 hours ago, Julianb said:

Anything that gets the NS message to the masses has got to be a good thing.  Personally I'm still  an OVO kind of guy😁👍

I agree but because some do not like what the some or do or other things they get up to it doesn’t give anyone the right to troll, abuse and insult others. No one insulted or abused them.

14 hours ago, Frankie Crocker said:

I was at the Albert Hall and there were plenty of folk new to Northern, some tourists, loads of comfy-couch soulboys (like myself) and soulgirls plus lots of young and middle aged folk boogieing along to afab set of tunes. The Bristol Soul Club were in evidence wearing t-shirts done for the occasion. Covid is almost forgotten and no excuse to stay at home and miss out on musical treats.

Of course there was plenty new to the music, it was essentially a proms audience. 

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So many stand the test of time tunes that have stunning orchestral arrangements, in the main with vocals but top notch instrumentals too.

If the concert orchestra have by now, got the gist of what this entails, which is quality interpretation, then the concerts should be worth attending..the organizers obviously feel its worth taking to the country as opposed to the capital always being the centre of any ideas...the Albert Hall has been done, there are tons of other great establishments so, perhaps on the back of the intial 5 arranged events, the tour will get extended to encompass other areas....provided of course, that tickets sell.

Personally, i'm not bothered about having anyone belting out the lyrics, so long as the backing tracks are worthily interpretated.

 

 

 

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I wouldn't read the article (Murdoch papers are not for me) but more power to the elbow of the Bristol lot if it's introducing people to great music and encouraging them to dance.

Personally, I think I prefer the more forward looking approach of the likes of Room at the Top than something that's mostly a retrospective type thing.

 

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8 hours ago, Woodbutcher said:

Not at £75 for a soul night it hasn't , nor has anywhere else ... :facepalm:

Ah, but value for money! For starters, it’s a concert in a major entertainment venue. There’s a full orchestra of professional musicians involved who are not overpaid. Ultimately, it’s a special night out, a rare occasion, something to look forward to and an event to reflect back on in the years ahead. Don’t get me started on football hospitality packages...now that is a rip-off.

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Allot of words about who they are, and where the concerts will be on the flyer, but nothing about the actual tracks they will do on the night...

You could pull the short straw here and get Joe 90, Footsie and Hawaii 5 o!  Could you imagine the BBC orchestra doing Travis Wammack - Scratchy! with Stuart Marconie doing the weird vocal bit... 🫣💩🫣

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Any thought who as original artists would you like to see perform with the orchestra that would make you buy tickets.

Unfortunately lots are no longer woth us or to old to perform , so it does narrow it down.

Edited by Shinehead
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4 minutes ago, Shinehead said:

Any thought who as original artists would you like to see perform with the orchestra that would make you buy tickets.

Unfortunately lots are no longer woth us or to old to perform , so it does narrow it down.

Durand Jones

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7 minutes ago, Shinehead said:

Any thought who as original artists would you like to see perform with the orchestra that would make you buy tickets.

Unfortunately lots are no longer woth us or to old to perform , so it does narrow it down.

For the perfect accompaniment at a farce like this it could surely only be Johnny Boy Pryers ... :wicked:

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2 hours ago, Mal C said:

Allot of words about who they are, and where the concerts will be on the flyer, but nothing about the actual tracks they will do on the night...

You could pull the short straw here and get Joe 90, Footsie and Hawaii 5 o!  Could you imagine the BBC orchestra doing Travis Wammack - Scratchy! with Stuart Marconie doing the weird vocal bit... 🫣💩🫣

I expect the tracks will be more or less the same as those played at the Albert Hall. The orchestra had rehearsed a few other tracks that did not feature in the Prom but popped up in the following TV programme. Maconie will play safe and use his limited knowledge to ensure popular classics will feature as the tour of the provinces unfolds.

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1 hour ago, Shinehead said:

Any thought who as original artists would you like to see perform with the orchestra that would make you buy tickets.

Unfortunately lots are no longer woth us or to old to perform , so it does narrow it down.

The Albert Hall vocalists did a solid job in the absence of the original artists. It would be good to see one original artist per performance perhaps but this would be incredibly difficult to arrange. Many of the 1960’s singers are no longer alive and those who have survived are well into their 70’s and 80’s, probably have not performed for decades, not resident in the UK and therefore not available to rehearse and tour.

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3 hours ago, Mark S said:

Years ago we were discussing " new blood " on the scene , well this is what it looks like . Sanitised over exposed bollocks all neatly packaged for your convenience .

Non of this reflects my experience of the scene totally misses the point lacks edge  and exclusiveness . When the proms were aired Maconie said " it was the best night of his life " poor sod must have lived a very sheltered life 

Fear not Mark, Allnighters and Alldayers plus Soul Nights will still continue as usual. Perhaps some Prom goers might come to their senses being confronted by proper good music for the first time in their lives and head to a local soul-do to make up the number of ‘handbaggers’, adding to the new blood promoters are crying out for.

The Prom initiative is a radio spinoff - the Beeb opening the ears of the listeners just a little but more. Credit to Maconie for pushing Northern Soul a bit as it has often not had the recognition deserved. I can recommend several of Maconie’s books that reflect his upbringing and talents - he’s done pretty well for a lad brought up on the edge of Wigan.

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The problem for me is it is just a tribute type thing, no different to the Abba, Billy Joel things doing the rounds, might sound ok to those that like light entertainment but it is not the real thing and you will not get the feeling you get when you have seen one of your heroes in the flesh which is part of the concert experience for me, hopefully they have performed good but even if not,  you have seen them.

Each to there own I suppose.

Edited by Shinehead
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22 minutes ago, Jessie Pinkman said:

You never know it could end up like one of those seaside specials with comedians, magicians etc with Northern Soul music interludes. If they booked Harry Hill and Dynamo I'd buy a ticket myself.🤣

I'm sure there'll be plenty of the northern soul clown suits pulled out of the dressing-up boxes on show ...  :wicked:

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50 minutes ago, Soul Shrews said:

Frankie Beverly is close to retiring.

Eddie Holman maybe ?

Cheers Paul

Frankie was just a name I threw in to the pot , he is on his farewell tour with Maze but I would have thought with the success on record and his touring in the decades since the northern records a gig doing songs from his 60s work would not get him over here .

Eddie, good call but he has gone gospel and is a minister i believe.

Think it will be a few old brit acts, Ruby Turner  maybe ? .

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11 hours ago, Jessie Pinkman said:

Well Mark, I wouldn't say I've led a sheltered life but I thoroughly enjoyed The Proms as well, however I can appreciate a top class performance no matter who's performing.

There's been TV ads, TV shows including Soaps storylines in Emmerdale & Coronation Street, Feature Films, A Northern Soul play so for you the over exposed bollocks has only just arrived. Some would say that happened years ago.

I agree the genie has been out of the bottle for years . The proms and this show are taking it to a new level , the Proms were well done completely pointless though but to me it was'nt soul and certainly not Northern soul . If they can capture the atmosphere of the Casino at 3am and the electricity that flows through you during the opening bars of George Blackwell Can't lose my head then I may give it a go .✊

Edited by Mark S
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8 hours ago, Mark S said:

I agree the genie has been out of the bottle for years . The proms and this show are taking it to a new level , the Proms were well done completely pointless though but to me it was'nt soul and certainly not Northern soul . If they can capture the atmosphere of the Casino at 3am and the electricity that flows through you during the opening bars of George Blackwell Can't lose my head then I may give it a go .✊

Mark, that's one hell of a high benchmark, nothing can capture that feeling. 

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14 hours ago, Mark S said:

I agree the genie has been out of the bottle for years . The proms and this show are taking it to a new level , the Proms were well done completely pointless though but to me it was'nt soul and certainly not Northern soul . If they can capture the atmosphere of the Casino at 3am and the electricity that flows through you during the opening bars of George Blackwell Can't lose my head then I may give it a go .✊

Sorry Mark, but George Blackwell has got to be one of the dreariest rarities played out, and played to death for that matter. If the next round of Proms are to generate ‘atmosphere’ as you put it, they need some tunes with oomph like Bobby Paris’ Personally, Prophets’ Fever, Salvadors etc. I think the whole Proms experience should be imagined as being in the recording studio rather than a club like the Casino - you’ve got the Mirwood Orchestra,  Funk Brothers and a host of professional musicians plus talented singers delivering a recognisable versions of tunes unfamiliar to the masses.

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10 minutes ago, Frankie Crocker said:

Sorry Mark, but George Blackwell has got to be one of the dreariest rarities played out, and played to death for that matter. If the next round of Proms are to generate ‘atmosphere’ as you put it, they need some tunes with oomph like Bobby Paris’ Personally, Prophets’ Fever, Salvadors etc. I think the whole Proms experience should be imagined as being in the recording studio rather than a club like the Casino - you’ve got the Mirwood Orchestra,  Funk Brothers and a host of professional musicians plus talented singers delivering a recognisable versions of tunes unfamiliar to the masses.

So you mean Bobby Paris and the Salvadors aren't played out ... ?

And I think it's more akin to being in the studio when a bunch of anonymous UK session musicians and unknown amateur singers were banging out those awful Top of the Pops LPs , full of 2nd rate cover versions of chart records.

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19 hours ago, Shinehead said:

Frankie was just a name I threw in to the pot , he is on his farewell tour with Maze but I would have thought with the success on record and his touring in the decades since the northern records a gig doing songs from his 60s work would not get him over here .

Eddie, good call but he has gone gospel and is a minister i believe.

Think it will be a few old brit acts, Ruby Turner  maybe ? .

Ah....Jools Holland's NYE regular...she definitely qualifies as being an old brit act...once a year on tv...could she sing " you dont know where youre interest lies " or " i'm gonna find me somebody " or " Gone With The Wind, Is My Love "?

How about Billy Ocean?

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5 minutes ago, Agentsmith said:

Ah....Jools Holland's NYE regular...she definitely qualifies as being an old brit act...once a year on tv...could she sing " you dont know where youre interest lies " or " i'm gonna find me somebody " or " Gone With The Wind, Is My Love "?

How about Billy Ocean?

Billy Ocean , good shout , I am sure "Love Really Hurts Without You" and "Red Light Spells Danger" would go down a storm 😂

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2 hours ago, Woodbutcher said:

So you mean Bobby Paris and the Salvadors aren't played out ... ?

And I think it's more akin to being in the studio when a bunch of anonymous UK session musicians and unknown amateur singers were banging out those awful Top of the Pops LPs , full of 2nd rate cover versions of chart records.

Salvadors is played out as in spun in public. Bobby Paris rarely heard nowadays. Both tunes are uplifting and perhaps more accessible to Prom goers.

Agreed, those Top Of The Pops LP’s were truly awful - even back then it was original vinyl only for serious record collectors.

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45 yrs ago I saw Tommy Hunt at the WC , he was in top form  , a year later 76" Loving On The Losing Side" went down a storm , 28 yrs later Kings Hall , Stoke, Wigan 30 , and things weren't the same , struggling to remember the lyrics , microphone aimed at the audience for help , that was for me personally a very sad and emotional experience. Age had caught up with another one of our heroes and I vowed never again , listen to the vinyl , maybe a tad to early but so many of the artists have either , forgotten, or need to be reminded of the flops they recorded all those years ago , and probably don't want to come out of retirement to be reminded.

Here's my list of possibles, who between them , with a half decent Orchestra ( BBC concert perhaps ) may be able to sell a few tickets if they're not preoccupied,

Eli " paperboy" Reed , 

Xiantori Ari ,

Kenny Thomas ,

Kim Tibbs ,

Jalen N Gonda ,

No pressure Stuart 

Edited by Happy Feet
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