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About Joey

  • Birthday November 10

Profile Information

  • Public Real Name
  • Gender
  • Location
    Kirkcaldy, by way of Oldham and other points north, south, east and west.
  • Top Soul Sound
    Moses smith. Girl across the street, Jackie Lee, Oh my Darlin', Duke Browner, Crying over you. And about 347 others.

Recent Profile Visitors

6,358 profile views
  1. Joey

    Many happy returns Joey!

    Very, very many thanks indeed to all you kind souls who took the time yesterday to profer birthday greetings. More appreciated than you will ever realise. Jeez, fifty years old, whooda thunk it!
  2. Joey

    Happy Birthday Steve S 60

    Happy belated b-day young man. Hope it was a blast.
  3. Joey

    Forgotten Monsters From Wigan Etc Days

    Big for a little while at the Mecca in the early seventies, and I used to play it at the Magnet in 74, off the LP. Heard it played once or twice in Ms at about the same time, but never in the main room prior to the end of 75. Did it get many plays downstairs in the latter days of Wigan?
  4. Joey

    Greetings we're the ....STML 11108

    Don't know about rarity these days, but when I started collecting again it took me quite a while to get hold of a decent copy. When I sold off most of my LPs about twelve years ago, this went for £50. Condition was VG+. I'd imagine a VG copy today would easily get between fifty and seventy?
  5. OK Chalky, lets try again! I understand all that you say and feel. Believe it or not, I even agree with some of it. Actually quite a bit of it. More than you know. Evolution, and/or change, is with us in all forms of life. It always has been, otherwise we'd never have dragged our sorry arses out of our caves, would we? It was always there on the scene as well. OK, faces, venues, attitudes, and even the sounds all changed. But, one thing ALWAYS stayed the same. The underground aspect. That was the glue that bound the scene together, and helped us overcome things such as the Wheel and Torch closing, etc. etc. I recall many of my old Wheel mates who said it was all over when the Wheel and Top Twenty closed their doors for the final time. They wouldn't even countenance trying the Junction/Cats/Torch, much less attend on a regular basis. Same happened when the Torch shut down. Half the regular attendees went to Wigan, but then again, half were lost forever. By the end of 74, you could see the evolutionary process in full swing. The scene had not one, but two regular weekly Niters for the very first time. Wigan and Sams. Both were incredibly well supported, again, for the first ever time, by soulies numbering in the four figures, not threes. Indeed, the scene had never been healthier. Sure, music policy, clothing styles, faces, etc. were changing. As they always had. The northern scene was NOT averse to change or evolving. It never had been. However..... If a small group of people, for their own reasons, decide to make a change so large, so fundamental, and so altering to the very ethos of the scene as to actually change its very DNA, then you have trouble. And taking the scene public really did change its DNA. The very essence of what we had was gone forever. That, to me and most of the others at the time, killed the scene, and merely replaced it with something the same, but different. If you get what I mean. They even kept the same name for it. Hence, my assertion that "Northern" Soul really did die. Now, if you do all of the above, perhaps there's a very very slim outside chance that this enormous change can be handled by all. But really, could we? Some could, as evinced by one or two hardy souls still being on the scene after starting out in 71, and with no break in-between. But the overwhelming majority could not. (Bones to Kirk, "Its Northern Jim, but not as we know it"). We also have to remember what life in general was like back then. The British working class was incredibly conservative in its outlook, values and principles. (Still is). By the age of twenty, society more or less demanded that if you had a job you were well on the way to making it into a career. It also demanded that you were settled down with a partner, (preferably of the opposite sex and officially sanctioned by a sky pixie), and had your first kid on the way. This kept the age of soulies in that 15-20 age group, as it had always been, but also perversely helped make it all too easy for many to leave the scene when the aforementioned earthquake hit. What would have happened if the scene had remained where it should have always been, underground? I maintain that it may actually have survived. It would of course have evolved into something smaller, and quite dissimilar to what we have now, but who knows? The faces, venues, and sounds would have changed, as would have values, attitudes, and even, (shock horror) dress styles. There may even have been something for us old farts to return to. Which brings me away from an age old and unsolvable argument, and to what the OP first asked, the current state of northern soul. Its almost dead. There's no argument that there are still many on the scene, and almost all of them are incredibly passionate about it. But, look at the demographics. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, the age thing is beginning to bite. That new blood hasn't been coming in in anywhere near sufficient strength since the end of the seventies, has it? In the main, its returnees who are boosting attendance figures. These will, inevitably, drop off at a faster rate than before, as we all approach our eighth decade. So, what passes now for a "Northern" scene will soon disappear. A more general soul scene will remain though, populated by a younger more diverse crowd, with a suitably more diverse taste in soul music. Hopefully so anyway. Wanna talk about OVO again? Lol.
  6. This was an extremely divisive and contentious subject in 75/76, and remains so to this day. I understand your viewpoint, and will agree that evolution and change has always been with us, but I contend that the events of the mid seventies were far more than a mere evolving of the scene. I have no wish to prolong this debate, (yet again!), but would like to try to explain my thoughts a little further. Many of the contributors to this part of the thread do not understand what I mean by the scene's death. Either that, or they weren't actually there to witness and experience what happened, or perhaps are being deliberately obtuse. (No, that finger is NOT being pointed at yourself). I would argue that the scene didn't change very much at all between 66 and 69, nor between 71 and 73. Apart perhaps with regard to the venues and the faces of the punters. Maybe the one single biggest difference occurred in 72, with the enormous influx of new, and important discoveries courtesy mainly of a certain Mr. Levine. We have to try to understand that the Northern scene was NOT the whole soul scene here in the UK. There was a general soul scene running along quite happily at the time, especially in London and the north of the country. Northern soul ran ALONGSIDE this scene, but was hidden from the view of the general public. It was, for want of a better term, a secret society, with only a very few active members. You cannot change the fundamentals of such a scene, by dragging it out from the underground, massively boosting its adherents and members, and expect it to survive. It didnt, because it couldn't. This wasn't just evolution, but something far deeper. Yes, we still had a scene, and it was still called Northern soul, BUT....it was most certainly not, in the most important way, what it had been from the early days of the Flamingo, Mojo, Beachcomber etc. up until that fateful few months at the beginning of 75 at the Casino. I.E, an UNDERGROUND scene. At exactly the same time, the scene had been delivered a near-death blow by its other half, the Mecca. No-one in their right mind can argue that what was happening there was Northern in any way at all, as by now It was starting to go down the disco/modern route, rightly or wrongly. (Another argument for another day, which has already been done to death). Plus, as others may have mentioned, there were other elements to take into account. Age of attendees, the social norms of the day , general societal change, usual lifespan of youth cultures etc. etc. I've tried and tried to get across my feelings about this, but am really struggling to explain EXACTLY why I say what I say, and feel how I feel. 95% of the people at the Casino back then felt the same as I did. Many had even stronger views, believe me! Most of them left the scene at about the same time as I did, and for the very same reasons. We can't all have been wrong, surely? This is not to denigrate or belittle what happened afterwards, and continues to this day. Anyone starting on the scene post 75 will have had every bit as good a time as I did pre 75. Its just a completely different scene, and the largest part of that change happened in 75. Again, and as stated so many, many times, you had to be there. If you were, you'll know the whats, ifs, whys etc. Its incredibly difficult to put this into words that all will understand. Its not just facts and figures, but a sort of feeling that was experienced. A sense that something was over, and immediately being replaced with something else. That "something else" has endured to this day. Yes, with changes galore, but endure it has. Can it endure further? It can, but I doubt it will. The OP suggested opinions be given on the current state of NORTHERN soul. If, as many of you contend, Northern didn't die, and what we have now is still that scene, then it must also be seen to be on its last legs. The demographics don't lie. We're all getting older and older, no new blood is coming through, and we're slowly eating ourselves. Its a nostalgia scene, with fewer and fewer nostalgees (is that even a word?) every year. It will be replaced again, this time with a smaller, more general soul scene, and with new people, new venues, and new aficionados. Hopefully so anyway, as the music, in all its forms, deserves it. In conclusion, I would urge people who disagree with me to return to what I have written previously, and try to understand my meaning. Read it again, and read not what you want to read, but try to read between the lines. And as far as that sodding OVO policy is concerned.............
  7. Why thank you muchly, kind young Sir!
  8. I've read just about the so-called classics, but W&P was the only one to defeat me. Just couldn't get to grips with it, and ended up thinking that old Tolstoy was a twat. If you've read it from cover to cover without slashing your wrists, all I can do is to offer lashings of kudos. (Much prefer Edwin's audio version ).
  9. A few points in conclusion, as I'm not going to allow myself to be once again dragged into an argument almost as old as the scene itself. One, it wasn't a lecture, just an opinion I, and most of the others on the scene at the time, have held for almost half a century. Time hasn't softened the feelings I had back then, nor do I suspect it ever will. Two, the point I am making regarding the events of 75/76 is an extremely subtle one. The difference between pre and post TOTP was both subtle and nuanced, and most people at that time would struggle to say much more than that it "felt" completely different after we were ignored, and the media etc. brought in. Three. Mr. Searling. Did he and others, benefit from what happened? Some may say yes, some may say no. He was responsible, along with RW, for the playing of some truly abject garbage in 1974, and also I believe partly responsible for the whole BBC / Daily Mirror thing. True, he has also been responsible for most of the wonderful stuff discovered since. So, credit where due, but please, do we really need to keep placing DJs on pedestals? If we do, then perhaps Pep, a young Ian Levine, Martyn Ellis, Keith Minshull and others are all ahead in the queue. Four, you are most definitely entitled to your own opinion of what happened back then. If you were there, as perhaps your post indicates, then you were almost certainly in a minority then, but probably in the majority now. We will just have to agree to disagree. Five, we'll all be bloody dead soon, so in the great scheme of things, does it actually matter? Six, I'm still right!
  10. Heaven knows how many times this has been discussed, heatedly at times. I wont go there again, but will just say one thing. BabyBoy does indeed mention about the format being important to the soul scene. However, reading his post several times, I am not convinced that he sees this as a positive. More as a negative when compared to what is acceptable on the RnR scene. If the format is so important, then the SOUND is even MORE important. Without the sound, we have NOTHING!!!!! I am assuming that you were there "back in the day", and so I would also assume that back then, you probably didn't give a toss what the label was, as long as you got to hear and dance to the tune that blew your mind? Given that the "scene" itself is now well over fifty years of age, the whole OVO thing is a relatively new phenomenon on the rare soul scene. What are not new phenomena are label snobs, oneupmanship, bragging rights etc. etc. Been with us since the days of the Wheel, and will remain with us until the lights are turned out. As I've said so many times, why not just enjoy what we have, for as long as we have it. After all, according to Joni Mitchell, you don't know what you have 'til its gone.
  11. Kinda bears out what I've always said, in that it's the SOUND that's important, not the bloody label/format!!!! You can't touch, taste, or look at Levi Stubbs voice, but you can both hear and FEEL it.
  12. That's exactly the word..."special". That's the feeling we all had, being on an UNDERGROUND scene. Part of a small and exclusive family. We felt like gods. Special, immortal gods. Prior to the Casino opening, the number of people on the scene was TINY. Just a few hundred, scattered up and down the country. I spoke recently to a couple of people who I knew back then, but who were not a part of the scene. They said that all the guys wanted to be us, and all the girls wanted to sh&g us. (Wish I'd have known THAT ). We were different. We mostly looked different. We also FELT different, in what was a drab, grey world. Its impossible to put all this into words. But, once the greed and stupidity took over, and the scene was dragged out into the fulll glare of mainstream teenage pop/club culture, it was never the same again. It couldn't be. Again, and at the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth time, you just had to be there to understand what happened, why it happened, and what it led to. And how it felt to have it ripped away from you. Today? A scene filled with old people. Or at least middle aged. Too few youngesters, and even they are mostly in their thirties or forties. Too many venues, too many wannabe DJs with boxes of four figure rare but shite records. If, as some maintain, the "Northern Soul" scene didn't die in 76, (IT DID!!!!) its very much on its last legs now. No, the music will never die, but we will, and once the last of us has hung up his/her dancing shoes, what will be left? Nothing more than a very small footnote in social history? As for a more general "Rare Soul" scene, well, that's a completely different kettle of fish, thankfully. It will survive, (and thrive) playing a wide ranging mix of soul genres, past and present, and hopefully welcoming a younger and more diverse mix of enthusiasts. Maybe there'll even be a place in it for some "Northern" tunes!
  13. But it DID. I've attempted to try to explain the reasons for this so many times, to so many people recently. I will try again! If you read my post properly, you will see that I said the Northern scene not only died in 76, but was immediately and seamlessly replaced by something completely different, but at the same time very similar. Its incredibly difficult to put this into text, as I, much like many others on this site, suffer from "Northern Bloke Syndrome", and as such have extreme difficulties explaining feelings and emotions. And its the "feelings" that matter here. As I've said before, and without trying to belittle ANYONES time and enjoyment on the scene, if you were there, you'll know EXACTLY what I mean, if you weren't, you won't ever understand. Impossible to really. If you came onto "the scene" in 76, 86, or even 96, you will have had exactly the same enjoyment that I and many others had decades before. That's not the issue, nor is it arguable in any way. So please, don't think I'm in some way having a dig. The "Northern" scene is now a misnomer, and has been for forty something years. It really should be termed as the "Rare Soul" scene, as that is what it became. I just cannot put into words many of the reasons for this. Again, I cant explain this to someone who possibly didn't experience the sheer scale of the turbulence in what was essentially a brief eighteen month period. And believe me, I really don't want to revisit the old Levine vs Casino subject, nor do I wish to get embroiled in the reasons for the Casino going down a certain path in able to make money for a small group of people. Mark S hit the nail on the head with his comment re TOTP etc. And Len? Yes, that dreadful episode certainly did see a few good people access the scene, but it also led to 99% of new attendees being out and out pissed up cretins, passed out at 3am all over the bloody place. Suffice it to say, that these reasons, plus one or two social norms of the day, all contributed to "Northern" soul ceasing to exist. And cease to exist it should have done. It was a YOUTH culture, the same as the Mods, Rockers, Teds, etc. These things have a short lifespan. Those of us who returned to the scene, or those who discovered it in later years, see it through VERY different eyes to the eyes of those who were there back in the day. And rightly so. We aren't kids anymore, thank God. But, even if a person disagrees 100% with my assessment, just look at the demographics. Attendees, on average, have been getting older and older ever since 76. Was the average age at Stafford seventeen? Like f*** it was. St. Ives? Yate? As each year has passed since 76, the average age has increased, and now we're where we are, with most soulies being well old! The "Scene" is on life support, and has been for many a year. This doesn't diminish anyones enjoyment, nor their views or memories. It is what it is. OK, Rant Pt.2 over. I'm pretty useless at trying to explain this subject. Just enjoy what you have, for as long as you have it. Pretty soon memories will be all that we have left.
  14. Comprehensively, succinctly, and perfectly put. This thread could be run alongside the "Death of..." and"oh Dear" threads currently running. They're all connected. But, we have to disconnect the "northern" scene from the general soul scene I think. Northern soul was a short lived youth subculture. It died out in 75, was buried in 76, and then replaced with something entirely different but the same. Sort of! And don't get me started on record collecting or the OVO thing! When I was first on that scene in the early 70's, the average age of the punters was about 17/18. My age. When I returned in the mid nineties, the average age was late thirties. My age. When I last went to an event three years ago, the average age was, guess what? My age, sixty odd. Can you see the pattern here? Very little "new blood" has joined the "Northern" scene in the last forty odd years. How it ever got this far is nothing short of miraculous, and is down to the determination and enthusiasm of a dwindling number of die-hards. Attendees today, in the main, are as mentioned above. Lads and lasses in their late fifties to mid sixties, trying to recreate what they had in their youth. That's why oldies nights are probably the best attended events, and why large scale Niters are seeing attendances drop off. The last time I was at Stoke, the number of people still inside at closing time was in double figures, and none were even trying to dance. Bedtime is more important when you're that age, and the general consumption of illicit stimulants is rarely done by old people like ourselves. Maybe this is why the better attended events are those purely oldies ones, usually local and on a Friday evening, much derided as "handbag nights" by the more enlightened, upfront, cutting edge crowd. Its now 2018, not 1973, and the youth of today have so much more to be excited about than obscure black American music from the 60's. We, on the other hand, have nothing else left, do we? Its what gave us our excitement back then, and has never left us. Never will. But, slowly but surely, the scene will dwindle more and more as we all die off. The more modern, upfront events will continue to attract younger people, albeit in numbers lower than today, but Northern? No, its dead. We just haven't realised it yet. Those of us of a certain age will recall how we used to take the piss out of the ageing Teds back in the 70's. How they still dressed in their drapes and crepes, and attended events to dance to Bo Diddley, Elvis, and Chuck Berry. Maybe thats where the Northern scene is today? What seventeen year old in his/her right mind wants to spend their leisure time surrounded by old people? Its not f***ing natural! Ok, this has been something of a disjointed rambling rant, so apologies to all who disagree or who are offended. Its early, I had a bad sleep, and haven't eaten breakfast yet! I'd better go and listen to Moses Smith, and imagine I'm sixteen, not an ancient soulie who, like so many others, still doesn't realise his best days are behind him!


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