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Blackpool Mecca Re-union 9 Years Ago Today

Posted

It's hard to believe that it's 9 years since the Mecca re-union of 28th November 1998.

For those of us who thought Northern Soul was a distant memory, staying up all night,

dancing until dawn, hanging out with the best friends you'll ever make and listening to

the most wondeful music this planet ever produced.

Quite an event for me, I wasn't planning to go, my wife kinda ordered me to fly accross to

the UK, glad I did, certainly added some spice to my life since.

Chris L

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Posted

Chris,

I can't believe it's 9 years.

That Saturday night was a bit special wasn't it?

Neil

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Posted

Chris,

I can't believe it's 9 years.

That Saturday night was a bit special wasn't it?

Neil

How about another for those that missed it?

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Posted

The event was in the actual Mecca building which is what made it unique and the building isn't open anymore....the stupid thing about the whole thing was the people who ran the club there at the time just didn't believe me when I said I had sold 700 plus tickets well in advance.I then tried to hire the main downstairs room and if they had gone with that we would have had 2,000 people there and put all the live acts on that Saturday night...the club refused and insisted they carried on with their regualar Sat night and got in about 50 people...unbelievable! To add insult to injury they could not even sort things out in the Highland Room with glasses being left on the tables, not enough staff on the bars,total rubbish service ...Saturday night was spine tingling great though, in the late 70's I promoted the huge Heart Of England Soul Club all-dayers on the Bank Holiday Monday's at the Mecca and for Brass Construction and Players Association we had over 3,000 each day through the doors with both downstairs (jazz funk) and the Highland Room (Northern) ram packed and those events were awesome - but the reunion was just as good.

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Posted
The event was in the actual Mecca building which is what made it unique and the building isn't open anymore....the stupid thing about the whole thing was the people who ran the club there at the time just didn't believe me when I said I had sold 700 plus tickets well in advance.I then tried to hire the main downstairs room and if they had gone with that we would have had 2,000 people there and put all the live acts on that Saturday night...the club refused and insisted they carried on with their regualar Sat night and got in about 50 people...unbelievable! To add insult to injury they could not even sort things out in the Highland Room with glasses being left on the tables, not enough staff on the bars,total rubbish service ...Saturday night was spine tingling great though, in the late 70's I promoted the huge Heart Of England Soul Club all-dayers on the Bank Holiday Monday's at the Mecca and for Brass Construction and Players Association we had over 3,000 each day through the doors with both downstairs (jazz funk) and the Highland Room (Northern) ram packed and those events were awesome - but the reunion was just as good.

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Posted

Your greatest triumph was dreaming up the tug of war in the ballroom.totally mad...

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That was the Jazz Funk vs Northern Soul tug of war which the Northern lot won by tying their rope around one of the pillars!

When we had Brass Construction on I had been talking to Randy Muller in the weeks before the gig telling him it was going to be amazing. I had interviewed him for Black Echoes a few time previously and had kept in touch. Anyway he had just produced the Garnett Mimms record ("What It Is"?) that had come out on Arista so I had told him that lots of Garnett's old 45's were popular in the UK and that in one part of the Mecca it would be all 60's Soul that would be played.

Randy didn't get it, so after Brass Construction had performed,I took him along to the Highland Room and asked whoever was DJ'ing to play "Looking For You". Randy didn't know the track but recognised Garnett's voice right away and said "This is the disco Woodstock". Priceless.

The 50 a side football matches on the Sunday's before the All-Dayers were pretty good too!

And there was a great moment after one All-Dayer when myself and Colin Curtis were in the main room winding down and talking about how the day had gone and all of a sudden the door to the Higland Room opened and the music came blasing out....it had stopped at the end of the All-Dayer but once the bouncers went away whoever was DJ'ing just started playing records and everyone started dancing again.. The building was about to be locked up. Me and Colin were in stiches.

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Posted

That was the Jazz Funk vs Northern Soul tug of war which the Northern lot won by tying their rope around one of the pillars!

When we had Brass Construction on I had been talking to Randy Muller in the weeks before the gig telling him it was going to be amazing. I had interviewed him for Black Echoes a few time previously and had kept in touch. Anyway he had just produced the Garnett Mimms record ("What It Is"?) that had come out on Arista so I had told him that lots of Garnett's old 45's were popular in the UK and that in one part of the Mecca it would be all 60's Soul that would be played.

Randy didn't get it, so after Brass Construction had performed,I took him along to the Highland Room and asked whoever was DJ'ing to play "Looking For You". Randy didn't know the track but recognised Garnett's voice right away and said "This is the disco Woodstock". Priceless.

The 50 a side football matches on the Sunday's before the All-Dayers were pretty good too!

And there was a great moment after one All-Dayer when myself and Colin Curtis were in the main room winding down and talking about how the day had gone and all of a sudden the door to the Higland Room opened and the music came blasing out....it had stopped at the end of the All-Dayer but once the bouncers went away whoever was DJ'ing just started playing records and everyone started dancing again.. The building was about to be locked up. Me and Colin were in stiches.

Yep The Brass Construction all dayer was AB TOPS.The Light of the World one ended in tears as you will well remember.Thanks for the memories though Neil..

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Posted (edited)

Yep The Brass Construction all dayer was AB TOPS.The Light of the World one ended in tears as you will well remember.Thanks for the memories though Neil..

My sincere thanks as well for those halcyon times , Neil ......

Top man ; credit where credit is due :lol: ......

Malc Burton

Edited by Malc Burton

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In my opinion Blackpool Mecca was the most influential rare soul venue ever, considering it was never a nighter its impact musically should never be underestimated. The main protagonists who had the honour to play behind those decks were light years ahead of anyone else. They seem to instinctively know that in 1973 The Northern scene was going to go commercial with bang, bang, bang and either through choice or natural progression found material being released via New York, Detroit and Chicago are far more soulful alternative, it certainly appealed to me and still does to this day.

Talk to those that didn't experience the Mecca and they will slag it off, suggesting it harmed the scene, they may be correct however many are unaware of the venues history when you tell em that the Mecca was a feeder club tuneage wise to the Torch back in 72 and maybe before they quickly realise there was a lot more to this venue than Bad Luck by The Atlanta Disco Band.

Awesome place with some fine DJ's and wonderful patrons.

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In my opinion Blackpool Mecca was the most influential rare soul venue ever, considering it was never a nighter its impact musically should never be underestimated. The main protagonists who had the honour to play behind those decks were light years ahead of anyone else. They seem to instinctively know that in 1973 The Northern scene was going to go commercial with bang, bang, bang and either through choice or natural progression found material being released via New York, Detroit and Chicago are far more soulful alternative, it certainly appealed to me and still does to this day.

Talk to those that didn't experience the Mecca and they will slag it off, suggesting it harmed the scene, they may be correct however many are unaware of the venues history when you tell em that the Mecca was a feeder club tuneage wise to the Torch back in 72 and maybe before they quickly realise there was a lot more to this venue than Bad Luck by The Atlanta Disco Band.

Awesome place with some fine DJ's and wonderful patrons.

A very creditable posting , Paul ......

I could not have put it better myself .......

Malc Burton

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