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  1. Timillustrator

    Victory Northern soul and Motown

    Another first time visit - I've been aware of Victory for a long time, their distinctive black white and red flyers stuck in my mind a while ago but for some reason I've never made it here before. It may be where it's located - in that sort of 'Bermuda Triangle' where Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton all meet, I must admit this area confuses me a bit I'm never sure exactly where I am! Looking back though I'm not sure why I didn't come; third Saturday seems to be another of those days when there's not a lot on whereas the fourth Saturday always has multiple events. In any case this is a good reliable local night - fairly large club, nice sprung woodstrip dancefloor (showing its age a bit but to me that's an advantage), stage, sound system did sound incredibly loud at first but soon got used to it. Considering that Goodyears, a couple of miles away, was (unusually) on at the same time this was a packed out night. Good range of DJ's, local names, solid sets, nothing too esoteric, just good trustworthy stuff. Nice crowd with a throng from Penkridge, Pelsall, Stafford, Darlaston etc. so shows this place is a reliable destination in the wider area. I've also decided that having missed out on this place before, my plan for the year is to visit all of the Black Country and South Staffordshire venues at least once this year just in case I'm missing out on something good. Did a couple of sketches - even though we got there at 8:30 most of the tables at the front had gone so got a decent position but couldn't see the dancefloor particularly well. I rarely give 5 stars - I've noticed most reviews are by the promoters of the events who inevitably give 5 stars to everything. I am trying to be objective.
  2. Timillustrator

    5 Favourite Books

    This one definitely is, never read it. Have read Beyond Good And Evil and found that heavy going, quite mysoginistic and slightly mad.
  3. Timillustrator


    Only the second time I've been here - it always seems to clash with something else but worth another visit. Not a big place by any means and, due to a satnav malfunction, didn't get here until 8:30 by which time it was almost full and actually not long after they reached capacity and had to put a sign on the door - Dancefloor was therefore pretty packed as was the bar and everywhere else, it's also very warm as well but in a way that just adds to the atmosphere - it certainly adds to the humidity. Cheapest bar anywhere (60p for lime and soda) and about £2.50 for a pint. Great crowd with a lot of local names present. Reasonable mix of music; nothing too obscure but a bit of something for everyone, heavy on the Northern and decent sound system. Had a slightly bad evening because as well as the satnav not working for about half an hour, I also lost my glasses for a while, realised I'd left my money at home and brought about 30 of the "wrong" pens, someone put a drink down on my drawing which made the watercolour run and my tube of white gouache leaked onto my hands, bag and the table. But despite all the obstacles in my path I managed to do a couple of sketches one with totally different pens to those I usually use so it looks a bit more sketchy and abstract. Compared this with the same view pretty much from 11 months before and I think I've improved - quite a bit. Chuffed that local legend "Oscar" Mike Hollis signed my sketch of him! So that'll soon be listed on Soul Source memorabilia at a starting price of £100 (only joking). I rarely give 5 stars - I've noticed most reviews are by the promoters of the events who inevitably give 5 stars to everything. I am trying to be objective.
  4. Timillustrator

    5 Favourite Books

    Loved On The Road, must have read that 10 times, although not for at least 20 years; actually read all the novels published when Kerouac was alive. There's been quite a lot of posthumous stuff but not really read that apart from Visions of Cody & Pic. Never finished Siddhartha either! but did read Steppenwolf.
  5. Timillustrator

    5 Favourite Books

    I've never managed to finish either Catch 22 or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, perhaps I should give both another go.
  6. Timillustrator

    5 Favourite Films

    I've not seen this for about 35 years, must watch it again. I've got an EP of some of the Chico Hamilton quartet's music from the film which is really great.
  7. Timillustrator

    5 Favourite Books

    Nice one, I couldn't possibly narrow my choice down to 5, but here's my top five (very loosely) American music related books: 1. Rivethead - Ben Hamper 2. Pic - Jack Kerouac 3. Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung - Lester Bangs 4. Beneath The Underdog - Charles Mingus 5. Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
  8. Timillustrator

    Calling it a day.

    Sorry to see you go, I've not been on here that long but always found your contributions extremely interesting, fair minded and very well informed. I guess you have to put up with a lot of crap though, although you never take the rise as it were. Tim
  9. Timillustrator


    Again another strangely quiet weekend - there were 5 events within an hour's drive tonight (but didn't fancy going too far in the dark and rain) but tomorrow (apart from Rugby) nothing really at all. Usual quality night here though, I've reviewed this place several times before and it always hits the spot - Ted Massey guesting and he did his customary excellent set; resident DJ's know exactly what they're doing - mixture of stuff, never any repeats, nothing too hackneyed, always something new. Noticed tonight as well that this is the club where DJ's seem to come on their night off - not naming names but there were people from Mojo, Soultime Pelsall, The Up North Soul Groove, Stables - all West Midlands institutions. Always a few 'famous' dancers here too; well Blackpool contestants anyway. Not packed but it's still the start of the year and it means there's enough space on the dancefloor, which is one of the best locally. If you're from Birmingham, this club is definitely one of the triumvirate of quality Birmingham events - Old Brogues (north), The Up North Soul Groove (central) and Steppin' Up (south); just seems odd that in a city of 1,000,000 people these are not packed out every month - On the other hand maybe that's just a reflection of Birmingham because if you ain't looking for them you ain't gonna stumble across them! Only did one sketch of the DJ; tricky here as well because they are always in shade. I rarely give 5 stars - I've noticed most reviews are by the promoters of the events who inevitably give 5 stars to everything. I am trying to be objective.
  10. Timillustrator

    Number of soul events in Europe 2018

    That's really interesting (I love statistical analysis!) everywhere is growing, or more or less static and just the odd blip (Czech Republic?) downward. I guess this is similar to the number of events in the UK which seems to be forever upwards. The next step would be to see if the numbers attending are also static; that seems to be many people's take on the British scene that numbers overall are falling due to rising numbers of events and a static or slightly declining number of punters - not sure I agree though.
  11. Timillustrator

    How many events?

    Does that really happen!? That's appalling. I find the vast majority of people at the vast majority of events are in their 50's or over. There are a few with younger people but they are always less than say 30% - if the older people went there'd be no one left.
  12. Timillustrator

    Videoing at events.

    I remember my mate getting a video camera back in the 80's - it was the size of a small fridge and weighed a ton, videotape was expensive too so we never did much filming, mainly made bad "experimental" films; wouldn't have dreamt of taking it anywhere because it cost a fortune and was so heavy. Now of course everyone has a "free" one in their pockets. Certainly with my kids posting video is taking over from photos as technology gets faster, so there's only going to be more and more and more of it.
  13. Timillustrator

    CURRENT fave spins! 2019.

    Not something I would ever imagine myself saying on here but the first 3 seconds sound amazingly similar to The Smiths' This Charming Man! I wonder if they'd ever heard it, probably not.
  14. Timillustrator

    Kidderminster Harriers Soul Club

    Strangely quiet Saturday; apparently last week there were multiple events all over the place but this week (the week after most people's payday) there was only this, Stables or two all-nighters in pretty much the whole of the Midlands - So the 1st Saturday seems to be pretty low on events. Having been to Stables last month and on the suggestion of a friend we came here; a bit out of the way for us - I know there are quite a few events in Kidderminster but never really took much notice of which was which. Anyway, this was well worth the journey, very big room, huge woodstrip dancefloor perfectly clean and polished. Good range of DJ's; first couple of sets more modern and a bit of Motown but soon got down to the real business, mainly Northern but certainly not overplayed and not afraid to play something a bit different now and again; Jewel and The Rubies - Kidnapper was a nice spin late in the night. Some great dancers, most of the crowd were locals and long-serving soulies but a really friendly bunch, chatting to a couple of people with great stories and also saw a few faces from more familiar Black Country venues and some Birmingham regulars. So savvy people are making the trip out here. It seemed fairly full so we were both surprised that several people said it was pretty quiet tonight. Only 6 of these a year so definitely one to come back to. Did a couple of sketches, still not managed to buy any more grey paper so in the sketchbook again. I think next time I'll have to get there early to bag a seat down the front - it's such a big room the DJ was miles away from me so had to "cheat" and use a photo to see what he was wearing. I rarely give 5 stars - I've noticed most reviews are by the promoters of the events who inevitably give 5 stars to everything. I am trying to be objective.
  15. Timillustrator

    Warwick Soul Club

    Another Friday with multiple choices! There were, slightly bizarrely, three events within 8 miles of each other in Coven, Heath Hayes and Great Wyrely, but having done the first two in the last month or so I thought I'd give Staffordshire a rest. There was Wilson Hall in Halesowen (always a reliable option with Little Scotty and unusually not on Soul Source this month) and a new? one in Redditch but I thought I'd try somewhere different, so headed south. This is an established local soul night, pleasant venue, good parquet dancefloor (although it could be bigger as it did get pretty packed at times), a regular crowd, locals, all ages with a few visitors - was chatting to some people from Hinckley. Cheap bar (£1.30 for lime and soda and £3.50 Guinness) and nice hall, 1920's feel although it looked older from the outside. Perhaps the highlight was the amazingly good dancing DJ (not both at the same time); didn't catch his name but the chap with the Stax t-shirt on - unusually, he danced (very well indeed) to the preceding DJ's set and then got up and DJ'd himself, then danced to pretty much the whole of the following DJ's set; thats stamina for you! Music was OK, pretty heavy on the Tamla Motown, which isn't my preference (but is what it's advertised as) and they know their audience so it went down well and you can't criticise an event for doing what it says on the tin. Mostly top 500 and a few repetitions but on the other hand one of them was Going To A Happening which I could listen to all night anyway. So in short a dependable local night playing mainly proven oldies. Did a couple of sketches, run out of grey paper so back to the sketchbook. I rarely give 5 stars - I've noticed most reviews are by the promoters of the events who inevitably give 5 stars to everything. I am trying to be objective.


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