I was barely 15 the first time I went, I was one of the kids who found the scene in the early 80s, when places like the Casino, Mecca and Torch were just mystical places from long ago that had little relevance to me at that time. The 'old guard' in the queue outside making it clear we werent welcome.
From the word go it was clear to me even then the place was something special though.
It was my first nighter proper, and what a place to start?! The 100 club has (by some) been rather inaccurately labelled the home of the beat ballad retrospectively......those who were there of course know different, Clarky, Keb and Butch amongst others (Ady played Jerry Butlers "All the way" as a new release!) ,were always playing 70s soul from those days but its the 100 clubs consistant championing of new discoveries from any era that has over the last 30 odd years kept me there.
Too many great nights to mention and although seeing Maxine Brown on that stage was pretty incredible, probably my fondest memory of a live act was seeing Ray Pollard in 1991, I still think about it often, I was stood at the front of the stage, tears streaming down mý face singing my head off..
Another night, Mick Smith playing The Isleys "Why when love is gone" as we walked in and the place was going beserk, it had only been open 10 minutes, or Keb spinning in his spot by the door, Clarky playing The Excuses, Garland Green in a huge huggee bear coat, the 10th anniversary, The Scots coming down and tearing the place right up the first time I heard the Just Brothers "Go on and Laugh" ,"Gettin to me", "Torture", Johnny Maestro, Paramount Four, Willie & The Handjives, meeting good friends and too much stout......
The nostalgia is great but its the new music that has always set the benchmark for me and makes me want to get on that train as often as I can as I rapidly approach 50.
40 years as the best rare soul nigher ever, not too shabby.
Massive gratitude to the bloke with the surname no one can seem to spell correctly and everyone else who has made it what it is..
See you on that terrible dancefloor on Saturday.