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Found 37 results

  1. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Much has been written about the Northern Soul scene up to the demise of The Wigan Casino. For many, the scene died when Wigan Casino closed its doors for the final time. These same people would.... View full article
  2. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Word about a possible new book reaches us here at Soul Source. Titled 'Last Nite At Wigan Casino' this kickstarter project features photos taken by Francesco Mellina at the last northern soul allnighter at Wigan. View full article
  3. Word about a possible new book reaches us here at Soul Source. Titled 'Last Nite At Wigan Casino this kickstarter project features photos taken by Francesco Mellina at the last northern soul allnighter at Wigan. You may have read about and indeed seen some of Francesco Mellina photos over the years here via Soul Source. It's a current kickstarter project, be aware that there's only a few days left, so if you want to get involved then you better get a move on An introduction to the book follows below, full details are available on kickstarter, there is a link following the introduction. LAST NIGHT AT WIGAN CASINO Photographs by Francesco Mellina, from the last Northern Soul all-nighter at Wigan Casino in 1981. One night in 1981 Francesco Mellina travelled from Liverpool to Wigan in a battered Simca to photograph the Casino Club's last Northern Soul all-nighter. The legendary Wigan Casino Club staked its claim in music history and firmly established itself as a spiritual home of Northern Soul throughout the seventies until its closure in 1981. Most of the photographs in this book have not been seen by anyone since 1981. Only two of Francesco's shots were used at the time, to illustrate a New Musical Express article about the last night and one or two have been used in books or on Northern Soul compilation record sleeves. Kickstarter Video (tap to play) Your browser does not support the video tag. Photos Last Night at Wigan Casino Book Cover The book has a glossy, soft-back cover, measures 280mm x 215mm and has 176 pages containing all the photographs taken by Francesco at Wigan Casino's last all-nighter. Kickstarter details and link https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/491950267/last-night-at-wigan-casino
  4. Eddie Foster Dreams of Wigan - Black Music 1970s The music is black american and obscure - ghetto sounds which never made it, the followers are mostly white and fanatical - working class kids in the industrial heart of Britain who dance like there's no tomorrow to records most of us will never hear. The Northern Soul Scene is a strange mixture of good and bad, of burning dedication and grubby exploitation. Despised by some, misunderstood by most, it is the ultimate Underground scene. Tony Cummings investigates... Three scans of a well remembered and often mentioned article that featured in Black Music Magazine Originally posted in 99, but went missing, did say recently on the forum that if do find will repost, so here you go part 1 of 1 part 2 of 3 part 3 of 3
  5. Here is a very old review of Wigan Casino I did. We'd stopped going in 1978, and having heard one of Sam's spot's at Bedford, I decided to venture north once more recording the visit in Blackbeat. Usual health warning - please remember I was very young when I wrote this, but I wonder how many cover up's can be uncovered from this article. From Blackbeat Issue 4 Wigan Casino May 1980 Review My first visit to Wigan for over a year (it costs over 25 on the train for us). Firstly we sussed MP Cyril Smith on the train scoffing sandwiches (is this the Liberals solution to the problem of the EEC food mountains I ask?). By the time we reached Warrington I realized that things ain't what they used to be. In the old days we would have seen about 50 folk board the train complete with baggie trousers, bags covered in patches etc. Today however the soulies wear conventional clothes, just the same as you would see anywhere in the south. This was to be borne out by the fact that in the Casino itself there were only about three people in baggies. Most were wearing jeans, some straight, some zoots. The next surprise was to be getting in. In the old days it was tightly packed pushing for about an hour and murder. The Casino still opens at 12.30, and there are still two doors open. However the attendance has dropped somewhat and that makes the getting in very easy it took me about five minutes. They say things don't change and the Casino's atmosphere certainly doesn't. Of course Russ Winstanley was the first spinner. Russ seemed to be playing several pop cover versions of Motown numbers. Worse though was an instrumental of "Sweet talking guy". Unfortunately he played a couple of sounds that resembled Helen Shapiro. I thought we had got over all of that. One of the most popular stompers for Russ was The Seeds "Pushing too hard" released in this country on Vocallion; it is a rock collectors classic and as such not fit for Wigan. With the upsurge in popularity for 70's dancers, Russ had to play some as well. Included in his spot were The O'Jays "I love music", Isaac Hayes "Disco Connection" and 21st Creation's "Tailgate" a sound I remember Colin Curtis playing back in 1977. "Disco Connection" is a monster at the Casino now. Also big for him were Barnaby Bye, and Johnny Williams "You're something kind of mellow", a Levine sound of a couple of years ago. At 2.15 Richard Searling took over and the music changed to rare soul. Kick off sound was Frankie Karl and the Chevrons, a very popular record from the 60's, followed by the Delgado(?) cover up, and the now immortal Eddie Holman "Where I'm not wanted". We swung into the 80's with the very popular Skip Mahoney "Janice" and then back into the 70's with what surely is the best sound on the scene at the moment James Mack and The Chicago Gangsters "You're love pushed me over the top" cover up. That really packed the floor as did the Brainstormers c/u. After Al Johnson & The Hit Men's "Just ask me" came Oscar Perry and the very funky Lee More and the Resourceful Ones "You're love keeps me dancing. It was then back to the 60's for more covered sounds, (and non covered sounds) Frank Wilson, Bobby Kennedy, the Nomads incredible "Something's bad" and a great midtempo sound called "Dancing a hole in the world" by the suspect sounding Tony Hestor and the Detroit Delights Orchestra. The spot also included Vicky Baines "Country girl" which has been massive for two years now and the Joe Matthews c/u "I don't like to lose" rumoured to be the Orchid's on Kool Kat. Before retiring to the record bar I heard the other version of "Love slipped through my fingers" which gives Sam Williams a run for it's money. "He's so fine" the Judy Street cover up I didn't like. Pat Brady was on next playing a mix of 60s and 70s sounds. Included in which were Eddie Jacobs Exchange "Can't seem to get you out of my mind" covered up as Ronnie McNeir, and the same as the 4 Tops, but judging by the ZTSC number it wasn't released until the 70s. The Frank Dell Band cover up, and the Volcanoes "Showstopper cover up; both went down well as did the slowest record of the night the Lou Brown c/u. At about 4.45 Gary Rushbrooke took over playing The Sweet, which he insists on still calling "Chester Pipkin", Frankie Karl & The Chevrons again, The Salvadors pacey "Come on and love me" cover up and the very popular Velvet Hammer's "Happy" (not a cover up). From the 70's we had James Mack and the CG's again, and Wil Collins and Willpower from 1976 (again not a cover up). I could not help noticing though how empty the place looked after about 4.00 with Mr M's open and the sleepers asleep parts of the hall were near on deserted with the dancefloor having fewer than 35 people on it at times a very saddening sight as one who can remember the Casino when it used to be packed. Anyway after a while Sam appears on the stage with his box (just about the only thing he has not got covered up), but then goes away again without having done a DJ spot. Brian Rea then took over with some oldies. Popular were the real James (Jimmy) Mack and "My world is on fire" (which originally came out of a soul pack would you believe!), Billy Arnell, The Appollas "Mr Creator" and of course Billy Prophet. Old father Evison finished off "Burning spear" still proving popular along with the Fife Piper. The Record bar, a shadow of it's former self, was quite bustling which surprised me. On sale were three E J Chandler's for a fiver each and three copies of Eddie Jacobs Exchange, as well as George Kirby for 5. Having been round to a friend's that afternoon I heard how some guy had found a UK Hickory demo of "Queen of fools" at a record fair that morning. Well sure enough the same guy was at Wigan that night with the record on sale guess who he sold it too? Yes Keith Minshull for a tidy sum (for a sum reputed to be around 50). All in all an enjoyable night to be had at the Casino still. The numbers are down on what they used to be, though one guy told me that they were up on what they had been (which makes we wonder the place must have been really empty). There are spaces on the dancefloor where there never used to be and at times there are mighty big spaces too. With the exception of about five pop records from the oldies jocks and a few from Russ, I am glad to say that the musical content was 100% soul, being split about 65% from the 60s and 35% from the 70s / 80's. The most popular dancefloor packers seemed on the whole to be the newer sounds from the 70's. The only thing that spoilt my enjoyment was the sadness reflected at how the place had lost so many regulars. Ironic really isn't it, the place is now more soulful than it's ever been, and the sounds played have never been better (nearly all soul), that the attendance is also at it's lowest ever.
  6. The Top of the Pops showing of Wigans Chosen Few dancers back in 1975 is often mentioned when talking about "all our yesterdays" on here and other places and sure that those who were around at that time can remember the actual show or indeed the follow on effect that it had. As has been said many times it was thought that no copies of this episode have survived the years due to the practice of wiping and re-using tapes that the BBC had at the time Online archives do put the appearance date as 30-01-75 , (it also says was used again two weeks later but memory and the listing says that it was used as end credit playout). A quick check of a lot of related sites does have this episode down as "missing/wiped", however on travels round various sites read a article about a private video library for sale, details were a bit hazy but it seems that the person was selling a vast huge amount of various tapes, apparently in a lump lot with one person saying a figure of £25,000 being the asking price. Of course you know what's coming next, there is a web site (link below ) with listing details of all the tapes and guess what, yep there is that January episode listed Did try and get further details but didn't get any joy, so perhaps the collection has already been sold? Of course I could be wrong in all this, after all it is the internet, plus the archive listings could also be wrong and perhaps the tape condition is bad or whatever. On other hand it is listed so it possibly does exist, so maybe one day people will have the chance of actually seeing it again, maybe who ever does have the tape, may make it available in the future once aware of possible interest? Who knows? Anyway website link to listing below (listing is on the music page) , if anyone gets any further or more info/news then it would be appreciated if you could let us know http://www.privatevi...o.uk/index.html episode listing (from another website- so can't say if 100%) 30-1-75: Presented by: Tony Blackburn (Wiped) THE GLITTER BAND " Goodbye My Love ANDY FAIRWEATHER-LOW " Mellow Down MAC & KATIE KISSOON " Sugar Candy Kisses QUEEN " Now m Here SUZI QUATRO " Your Mama Wont Like Me ALVIN STARDUST " Good Love Can Never Die WIGANS CHOSEN FEW " Footsee (crowd dancing) STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL " Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) PILOT " January ELVIS PRESLEY " Promised Land (crowd dancing) (and credits) Article update 10 years on 10 years after first publishing this article the actual video clip from Top Of The Pops featuring 'Wigans Chosen Few' from 1975 was posted online in our Soul Source Video feature in 2018 by member @Venus and can be viewed here... updated 2019
  7. Mentioned in the forums a few times since the initial high quality trailers on youtube were put up. Basically a release of the infamous "This England" Granda tv documentary in high quality by the guy who filmed it. Seems it's only the actual 30 mins tv programme which is a bit of a let down, perhaps they are keeping the already widely available out takes for a volume 2 Maybe missed the boat on this as copies of this are widespread and the decent clips have been done to death. If you do wish to see the original programme then suppose this has to be the best way to do so. £7 odd at Amazon Product Description The Wigan Casino was not a gambling den near Manchester, anymore than The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell is about a funfair by the seaside, although curiously the two are inextricably related. The Wigan Casino was a dance hall and home to Northern Soul' at the height of its fashion in the mid- to late 70s in the centre of a once prosperous manufacturing town, once bursting with cotton mills, now brought low by economic hard times. It remains the most famous club in Northern England. From Friday night, non-stop until early Sunday morning, it was packed with kids from all over Britain who had come together to enjoy their music in their environment without interference (or so they hoped) from either parents or the police. The police were convinced it was a druggies paradise, and although they never found a shred of evidence, used this blind suspicion (and the excuse of a minor fire) to eventually close it down in 1981. What they could never close, however, was the sound and even more importantly an incredible style of dancing invented there which became known worldwide as breakdancing'. Again a grim background of industrial slums, unemployment and social deprivation, this dancing expressed inner joy and fulfilment, and this film, made in 1977 for the now defunct Granada Television, is a celebration of that joy. TONY PALMER About the Director TONY PALMER's vast filmography of over one hundred films ranges from early works with The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa (200 Motels), to the famous portraits with and about Walton, Britten, Stravinsky, Maria Callas, John Osborne, Margot Fonteyn and Menuhin. His 7 hour 45 minutes film on Wagner, starring Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave, was described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most beautiful films ever made". Among over 40 international prizes for his work are 12 Gold Medals at the New York Film & Television Festival, as well as numerous BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television) and EMMY nominations and awards. He is the only person to have won the Prix Italia twice. In addition, Mr Palmer has won various platinum and gold albums for the best-selling CDs of the soundtracks of his films. He was a music critic for The Observer for seven years, and has written for numerous international magazines and newspapers, including The Times, The New York Times, Punch, The Spectator, & Life.
  8. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Wigan Today newspaper reporting the news that Richard Searling has been awarded the British Empire Medal in this weeks Queens Birthday Honours. He received the BEM for services to the soul music industry and community in the north of England. View full article
  9. Wigan Today newspaper reporting the news that Richard Searling has been awarded the British Empire Medal in this weeks Queens Birthday Honours 'Richard Searling, who was the resident deck-spinner at the famous Northern Soul venue for seven years starting in 1974, said he was honoured to receive the accolade. He received the BEM for services to the soul music industry and community in the north of England. The 66-year-old was put forward for the honour by listeners to his radio shows.' Full story via https://www.wigantoday.net/news/people/honour-from-queen-for-wigan-casino-soul-dj-1-9809989
  10. The Post Wigan Years By Karl ‘Chalky’ White Much has been written about the Northern Soul scene up to the demise of The Wigan Casino, but very little has actually been written about what followed. For many, the scene died when Wigan Casino closed its doors for the final time. These same people would perversely discover that the scene was far from dead and that a hard-core crowd had continued to keep the flame burning and in the process, had taken the scene back underground with an aggressive upfront music policy. There are of course many misconceptions about the scene post Wigan, both from those who had left the scene and from those who were never there in the first place. These misconceptions were particularly rife in the decades following the closure of the Casino. The most common were that these were the ‘lost years’ (only lost to those who weren’t there), lean times and dark days, both musically and venue wise, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s possibly true to say that for much of the 20 or 25 years following Wigan Casino, there were no mass-attended central all-nighters like for, instance, the Casino or, over on the East Coast, Cleethorpes, but the all-nighter scene during this period, nonetheless, had a plethora of venues championing the cause. The demise of the Casino was a slow painful one for many - many were disillusioned with what was happening musically and with the low attendances towards the end. Richard Searling was the saving grace for many but in truth DJs such as Gary Rushbrooke were also offering a taste of things to come. Flyer for the first Clifton Hall (1980) (Arthur Fenn & Derek Sheldon subsequently “replaced” after this night) On the other side of the Pennines, in Rotherham of all places, a renaissance was beginning. Tired of what was happening at Wigan and with the opinion that it had run its course, Alan Senior, Steve Croft and Adrian Guite under the guise of Soul Time Promotions began hosting all-nighters at The Clifton Hall in October 1980. With the likes of Richard Searling and Gary Rushbrooke from Wigan, Arthur Fenn, Derek Sheldon (both leaving after the first one I believe) Chris Brady and Brian Rae bolstered by the likes of Cleethorpes’ Blair Hayden better known as “Poke”, Pat Brady, Steve Mannion and Sean Hampsey joining the ranks, the venue promoted an aggressive and upfront music policy which included many 70s recordings and new releases. Clifton Hall, 1981. Black Echoes All-nighter. Alongside Clifton Hall, Soul Time Promotions also held events at The Fusion in Chesterfield, The KGB, Sheffield Samantha’s, Lincoln Drill Hall, Bradford Queens Hall and Cleethorpes. However things didn’t last between the promoters and a split was inevitable with eventually Alan Senior keeping Clifton Hall and Steve Croft and Adrian moving onto Cleethorpes Winter Gardens, Bradford for a short while and Loughborough. However the music policy at Clifton Hall wasn’t for everyone - too many 70s releases and too much Jazz-Funk, the Preston Street Dancers (complete with boiler suits and whistles and not to be confused by the Preston Cybermen), whilst well received by some were an irritation to others, were just some of the complaints. Other venues were beginning to making a name for themselves and proving more popular with for the more traditional all-nighter goer. One such venue was Nottingham Oddfellows, not in Nottingham oddly, but in Leicester. Under the Central England Soul Club banner and promoted by Tony “The Vicar” Clayton and Ally Mayer, the all-nighter began at this fantastic venue in 1982 and ended there with the 5th Anniversary in 1987, although the club continued at venues in Market Harborough and Loughborough Town Hall in the future. Again, an upfront and aggressive music policy was in order, with 60’s newies (a term that would become synonymous with the 80’s rare soul scene) from the likes of Gary Rushbrooke and Keb Darge, 70s and Modern Soul supplied by Adam Buchanan and Robin Salter, all alongside quality underplayed oldies and quality classics. The venue quickly made a name for itself seeing a full house eager to lap up what the DJs had to offer. The scene really was in a healthy state and much of the despair that came with the demise of Wigan Casino was now being replaced by a renewed optimism and enthusiasm. Another all-nighter that was popular during the early to mid 80’s was Morecambe. Promoted under the Soul-Promotions banner by Shaun Gibbons, the club began life in April 1983 and was initially located at the Central Pier. The original line up of DJ’s was Richard Searling, Pat Brady, John Vincent, Russ Winstanley, Brian Rae & Keith Minshull. In The Starlight Room Steve Whittle, Marc Farley, Steve Brackenbridge, Derek Smith And Keith Brady. Sometime after the third anniversary the Pier was closed due to holes in the decking, allegedly caused by Scooterists jumping up and down whilst queuing to enter the Pier. Weeks later the Pier was to burn down. The club relocated initially to another council building called the Dome for a few all-nighters before settling down at the Carlton Club. The Carlton also had a second room known as The Garage, which was essentially the Modern Soul Room. Gary Taylor, Mark Warmsley and Jason Conroy were added to the line up of DJ’s At The Carlton Club. Live acts to appear included Prince Philip Mitchell, Chuck Jackson, Gene Chandler, The Flirtations, Frances Nero and Singing Sam Ward. The venue proved very popular with Modern Soul lovers but the 60’s were too oldies orientated for those eager to progress and seek out new discoveriews. Some 60’s “newies” were pushed though especially by John Vincent who had an exceptional set at the time with many exclusives that would find their way into the collections of future top Dj’s and also by Pat Brady. April 1982 saw the birth of the one all-nighter above all others that epitomises the scene post Wigan. The Top Of The World club in Stafford would become the focal point for many and it would become the venue most talked about after Wigan Casino, The Twisted Wheel, Cleethorpes and the Torch. The venue had already held all-nighters under the promotion of Keith Minshull (and others) prior to April 1982, but when Dave Thorley teamed up with Keith and the Top Dog Soul Club was formed and a legendary venue was born. The promotion began with a team of DJs featuring the best of the Wigan Casino roster and, from over in the West Country, the Yate DJs. The line-up was Richard Searling, Gary Rushbrooke, Keith Minshull, Ian Clarke, Chris Plant, Ady Pountain, Dave Thorley and, especially with all the unissued Motown that came his way, probably the best 60s “newies” DJ of the early 1980s, Dave Withers. Once again the music was upfront and across the board with a fast turnover of fresh records all played within the main room - a far cry from today. As well as the main room a second room featured the likes of Pete Widdison, Nick Marshall, Esher, Dave Greet, Budgie, the late and much missed Dave Alcock, Mick Smith and Steve Smith. It was billed as the very best in oldies but in truth many future main room plays began life in there. As mentioned above, Dave Withers, together with Rod Shard, obtained a couple of tapes via U.S. collector and expert Robb Klein who had been working on a ‘From The Vault’s’ series for Motown U.S. and thus had access to the Motown tape library. Robb ended up recording many previously unheard tracks, which eventually ended up in the hands of Rod Shard. Knowing the content was Northern Soul dynamite, Rod made some acetates and the tracks were then unleashed upon an unsuspecting crowd. Marvin Gaye ‘It’s Killing Me’, the Originals ‘Suspicion’, the Temptations ‘Forever In My Heart’, the Velvelettes with ‘Let Love Live’ and ‘Love Is Good’, Gladys Knight & The Pips ‘Never Too Late’ and the Marvelettes with ‘Boy From Crosstown’ to name just some of the gems unleashed on the dance floor. Alongside records such as Soul Brothers Inc ‘Pyramid’, Kell Osborne “Law Against A Heartbreaker”, Johnny Gilliam, Bobby Sheen, Gino Washington, Sam Dees and The Ringleaders acetates, the scene was in a very, very healthy state musically. Many of the tracks still played and highly sought after by todays DJ’s – a testament to the quality of the tunes in question. (Stafford promoter with 6t’s Mafia Guy Hennigan, Keb Darge & Pat Brady) However this is just part of the Stafford Story. Come the summer of 1983, there were signs of growing discontent amongst many who thought that the 60’s were being neglected. Dave Withers was disillusioned with his treatment by some promoters who failed to recognise that he was probably top of the tree. This culminated in him being given the graveyard shift - the last hour of a nighter, by one promoter so he decided to call it a day on the DJ’ing front. Likewise Gary Rushbrooke. All was not lost to the lovers of 60’s music, as two upstarts pestered Dave Thorley into giving them slots and as a result the 6t’s Mafia was born and Guy Hennigan and Keb Darge were unleashed onto the unsuspecting Stafford crowd. If the music policy was aggressive before, it was even more so now with a relentless search for new discoveries with the term ‘6t’s newies’ becoming commonplace. If a record didn’t work almost immediately it was dropped in favour of the next in line, similar to the ‘three spins a night’ Mecca plays from the decade before. The pace was relentless and missing a week or two meant sometimes missing something new. In fact, often-brilliant records slipped through because of the sheer pace of the turnaround of new plays, although most would eventually have their day. Robin Salter also came on board replacing Adam and Robin was to further push the boundaries of Modern Soul with some brilliant discoveries alongside some classics and rarities. Dave Thorley was championing music from across the decades, brilliant 60’s alongside new discoveries, whilst Pat Brady had some of the best 60’s discoveries of anyone. Bradford’s George Sharp and Mansfield’s Jimmy Wensiora, both with amazing collections also came on board. All these ingredients added up to make Stafford a legend of the scene, giving Northern Soul a multitude of records, still played today, still highly sought after and many still incredibly rare. The whole period was more about ‘a couldn’t care less attitude’ (to put it politely) and you either got it or you didn’t. Many of the usual characters frequented Stafford, Oddfellows and other venues throughout the 80’s, epitomizing the attitude of the day which was staunchly defiant and there seemed to be these characters one at every turn, often up to no good and more often than not living the life to the max. (Popcorn Wylie at Stafford courtesy of Neil Salter) Stafford also featured many live acts. Eddie Parker and Lorraine Chandler ranks as one of the best all-nighters ever for those who were lucky enough to attend. Other acts included Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes, Popcorn Wylie, Eddie Holman, Gene Chandler, Major Lance and Dobie Gray. (Eddie Holman at Stafford courtesy of Neil Salter) Alongside Stafford, Chris King was running successful all-nighters under the Weekend Soul Club banner at places such as Hinckley. One such night featured the legendary Ric Tic Revue with artists from Detroit including Edwin Starr, Al Kent, J.J. Barnes, Laura Lee, Pat Lewis and Lou Ragland. Steve Croft with his After Dark Soul Club was having also having success at Warrington’s Parr Hall and Sean Gibbons doing likewise on the North West coast at Morecambe. Nottingham saw Dave Raistrick’s promotions at The Rock City with some of the midlands finest amongst the DJ line up including Jimmy Wensiora, Gary Rushbrooke, Dave himself, Steve Phillis, Jonathon Woodliffe, Rob Smith and all the great and good of the time appearing as guests. Mid to late 1985 saw three promoters have a sit down and come together for the good of the scene and agree to work together and not to clash with their respective promotions. The three being Dave Thorley, Chris King and Steve Croft giving rise to the Three Voices Soul Club. It would be nice to see some of that logic applied to todays over crowded calendar on the Northern/Rare Soul scene. Around 1979 Randy Cozens and Ady Croasdell formed the 6T’s Rhythm & Soul Society. A DJ line up consisting of Randy, Mick Smith, Tony Rounce, Tony Ellis, Terry Davis, Ian Clark and Pete Widdison – Ady maintains that he couldn’t be arsed at the time but nevertheless he was to go on to become a legend of the Northern/Rare Soul scene. After causing havoc (in the nicest possible way of course) at various pubs around London they finally settled at the 100 Club and all-nighters were soon to begin in 1981. The all-nighters continue to this day and, as of 2014, have now reached the milestone of their 35th anniversary and the longest running soul venue in the world - some achievement in the fickle world of Northern Soul. Like other clubs of the 80‘s and to this day, the club was and still is at the cutting edge of rare soul featuring the best of Northern Rarities, unknowns and recent discoveries, R&B and a smattering of quality oldies. Another important part of the mid 80’s was not a venue but a UK record label and, once again, Ady Croasdell was the driving force (initially under his alias of Harboro Horace) with his work with Ace/Kent. The early Kent LPs beginning with ‘For Dancers Only’ were an important way into the scene for many. With access to the vaults of many US labels, many unissued gems were introduced to the scene by the likes of Keb Darge and Ady Croasdell - Melba Moore with ‘The Magic Touch’, Maxine Brown with ‘Torture’, Peggy Woods ‘Love Is Gonna Get You’, Chuck Jackson ‘What’s With This Loneliness’, Carla Thomas with ‘I’ll Never Stop Loving You’, Tommy Hunt ‘The Pretty Part Of You’ and countless other unissued gems from the vaults of RCA, Dave Hamilton, the Pied Piper production team and many other long-forgotten labels. It has been an incredible source of new material for DJs and dancers that continues to this day and long may it continue to do so. Come 1986 the scene was to experience some changes. Stafford, Parr Hall, Hinckley, Oddfellows and other venues of the early 80s were to close, but the scene rose to the challenge with a multitude of venues ready to step in and fill the gaps. Gone were the few major venues that had provided focal points for the scene and gone were the central meeting places like The Torch, Wigan & Stafford - something the scene would never experience again. Now it was the turn of monthly all-nighters at various venues up and down the country. Around this time also saw the emergence of arguably one of the best DJ’s the scene has ever witnessed, or should that be heard? Mark “Butch’ Dobson. He alongside his good friend Tim Ashibende had supplied many DJs throughout the 80’s with top quality records but Mark had his own personal armoury, namely an incredible collection of impossibly rare records. His sets from those days in my opinion have never been bettered. The Mello Souls “We Can Make It’ then known as the Del-Larks, ‘Just You And I’, Diane Lewis ‘You Ain’t Got A Chance’, G. Davis & R. Tyler cover up which turned out to be Walter & The Admirations ‘Man Oh Man’, Jesse James ‘Are You Gonna Leave Me’, Tommy Ridgeley ‘My Love Gets Stronger’, the Just Brothers ‘Go On And Laugh’, the Devotions ‘Do Do De Dap‘ (I actually prefer the cover up name ‘The Magic Tones - A Lovers Plea”), Mac Staten & the Nomads ‘There She Goes’, Mr Lucky ‘I Was Born To Love You’, The Volcano’s ‘Love Is Alright’ which turned out to be a Jesse James Virtue acetate, The Sherry’s ‘World Of Happiness’, again a Virtue acetate and which eventually was discovered to be Shirley Turner. Alongside these, there is a multitude of other tracks like Martha Jean Love, Jean Carter “I Wanna Know’, Tommy & The Derbys ‘Don’t Play The Role’, Johnny Praye ‘Can’t Get Too Much Love’ and a plethora of other discoveries from the 60’s & 70’s throughout the years right up to today. To do this for so long, when pickings were not as plentiful as back in the 70s, is, for me, the one reason why I say he is arguably the scenes greatest DJ! Rob Marriott and with the Soul Power Promotions at The Swan Hotel in Mansfield featuring Rob himself who was one of the leading DJ’s of the late 80’s to the early 90’s with some incredible 45’s, initially from the collection of Jimmy Wensiora but soon to get together many of his own discoveries and biggies. Alongside Rob would be Butch, Jimmy, Andy Whitmore, Rich Broughton, Keb, Guy & Pete Shirley and again the very best guests. Rob also had a successful soul night in Mansfield at Trotters, popular with people prepared to travel from all over. Guy Hennigan would have two successful all-nighters at Tony’s Empress Ballroom in both Blackburn and Mexborough. Again featuring the very best cutting edge Rare Soul and Northern Soul DJs, Guy, Keb, Butch, Ion Tsakalis, Pat Brady & Dave Evison with quality oldies alongside the best guests from all over the UK - Kitch, Dean Anderson and Colin Law to name but a few. 1987 saw Bradford Queens Hall would be revived under the Hole In The Wall Soul Club run by Phil Dick with After Dark’s Steve Croft getting on board not too long after. The venue was I believe owned by the Student union and featured a fabulous sprung dance floor. Here saw the likes of Gary Spencer and Carl Fortnum pushing the boundaries with 60’s newies alongside Pat Brady, Steve and Phil, Darren Harden, Roger Banks and Nigel Parker. The club proved very popular and would run into the early 90’s continuing in 1991 under the After Dark banner until its eventual demise around late 1992/early 1993. 1987 also saw the rise of arguably the best and most talked about Soul Club in Scotland, The Ruff Cutt Crew and the Shotts all-nighters at the Allanton Miners Welfare Club. Scotland had given the scene its fair share of great all-nighters, namely Clouds, The Claremont and Glenrothes for example but the Shotts all-nighters seemed to capture the very essence of what the 80s Rare Soul Scene was all about. It had attitude by the bucket loads, open mindedness and enthusiasm. It was originally formed by Jim O’Hara, Barney (Brian Welsh R.I.P) and John Neilson with John leaving after a couple of months and Barney just a few months later, to leave it in the capable hands of Jim. Jim was one of a rare breed, a promoter who just promoted and didn’t DJ himself! Jim got together the very best Scottish lads to play the records throughout lifespan, Colin Law, Mark Linton, Acky Buchan, Jim Tennant, Alan & Steve Walls, Andy Dennison, Jock O’Connor, Keith Whitson with the Modern Soul supplied by Tom Jackson and Bob Jeffries. Alongside these it featured the best DJ’ from south of the border and Scotland, namely Guy, Keb, Andy Whitmore, Kitch, Dean Anderson, Graeme Ellis, Gilly, Ady Harley, Andy Whitmore, Gaz Kellet, Dave Molloy, Rob Wigley, Rob Marriot and more to feed the ever enthusiastic crowd of some top quality rare soul. Not all the records were exclusive to Allanton, many had been featured at venues from earlier years but with these mixed with the knowledge and taste of the collectors and with the discoveries of the time it had all the right ingredients to make it one special venue. It was a weekend away travelling, often on Guy’s coaches with various stops along the way, or on one of Dean Anderson’s mini buses, but it was all worth it. The atmosphere was like nowhere else really. The club ran successfully for 4 or 5 years before the end in around 1991/2. Another influential club of the mid to late 80’s was the RSG, promoted by Jon Buck. It ran all-nighters at Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard (The Unicorn) as well as promotions at Peterborough at the Fleet with Danny Everard. RSG would feature again the very best cutting edge DJ’s with quality oldies and a dash of Modern Soul. The venues would prove very popular with live acts such as Popcorn Wylie who came over and did a show in Dunstable and one in Manchester at The Apollo. Peterborough saw various clubs throughout the 80’s promote events at places like the Wirrina Stadium and The Fleet, Central England Soul Club being one in particular, D&S Promotions, East Anglian Soul Club and the RSG. Danny Everard would also co-promote the popular but short-lived all-nighter in 1987 alongside Dave Thorley under the Top Dog and Kool Kat Soul Club at Chesterfield’s The Winding Wheel. A fantastic venue, which at the time could have been the central venue the scene needed after Stafford. But the event suffered from some heavy duty oppressive policing by the local drug squad, with coaches stopped en route, travelers stopped and searched in the town’s car park despite little if nothing ever being found. The drug squad would probably have had more success down at the local Adam and Eve night club! Yet when the police began blocking applications for license extensions from the local colliery brass bands, the management (who were all for the all-nighters to continue) had no choice but to put an end to them. Such a shame as it had all the right ingredients to make it a huge success and become the next central venue for the scene. The Acts for the 1st Northern Soul & Motown Weekender at Yarmouth. 1989 saw the beginnings of the weekenders on the Rare/Northern Soul Scene. They began in Yarmouth at the Vauxhall Holiday Park under the promotion of TAC. It began life as ‘A Motown and Northern Soul Weekender’ with a strong emphasis on live acts and Motown rather than the DJs. Acts to appear at the first were George McCrae, Jimmy Ruffin, Lew Kirton, George Williams of the Tymes, Junior Walker, Clifford Jones, Rockie Robbins, Ray Lewis of the Drifters, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves and Edwin Starr. However it proved so popular with those from ‘Northern Soul’ scene that by 1990/1991 they were holding two per year with the second being predominately a Northern Soul Weekender with more emphasis on the DJs but also with a stellar list of artists, not just one or two, but four or five artists at each weekender each putting in a full set - Gene Chandler, J.J. Barnes, Eddie Holman, Ray Pollard, Eddie Parker, Lorraine Chandler, Chuck Jackson, H.B. Barnum, Garland Green, Popcorn Wylie and Johnny Bristol to name just a few. However these weekenders despite their success were short lived and by 1993 that man Ady Croasdell was to fill the breach with a new weekender at The Beachcombers Holiday Park in Cleethorpes - a venue where they are still held to this day. An array of acts have graced the stage at Cleethorpes. The first were Mary Love & Tony Middleton and, since then, Doris Troy, Tommy Hunt, Maxine Brown, Al Wilson, Bobby Hutton, Little Ann, Hoagy Lands, Sidney Barnes, The Velvelettes, Dennis Coffey, Willie Tee, Dean Parrish, The Diplomats/Skull Snaps, the Mirwood Revue, Carl Carlton and Darrow Fletcher, Derek Martin & Bettye Swann to name a few. Yarmouth and Cleethorpes paved the way for other weekenders in the future like Prestatyn, Cala Gran, Fleetwood, Blackpool & Dave Raistrick’s Skegness weekenders. On the more Modern and Soulful dance side of the scene you had Soul Essence in Yarmouth (still running to this day), Southport and Ralph Tee and Richard Searling’s Luxury Soul Weekenders in Blackpool. One Soul night worthy of a mention in the 80’s early 90’s is The Detroit Academicals in Northampton and the surrounding area. Hosted by Cliff Steele with local talent Neil Smith, Trev and Tony Parker ably assisted by the finest DJ’s and collectors of the time, this was one soul night that was worth the effort of travelling. Another soul night would be Gary Welsh’s Canal Tavern at Thorne. Whilst heavily featuring the Modern side of the scene, the venue played its fair share of Northern and also featured live acts not just at Thorne with Sam Dees but also in Hull at an all-dayer with Jesse James. Gary, Rod Dearlove and Tim Brown would take the reins and this saw the birth of the term “Crossover” which is having a big influence in today s scene (although, to be fair, “Crossover” had been played for years prior to the term becoming accepted). This brings us into the 90’s, a time of change for many on the Rare/Northern Soul Scene. The Okeh Soul Club all-nighters at Keele University run by Neil Clowes would become extremely popular. However they were seen as the beginning of the end for the upfront scene as it was in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The venue was huge and full but the music took a huge step backwards for people like myself with a reliance on oldies and classics from Wigan Casino, The Torch and other such venues. Many other venues would also go down this route. But it was still a good craic and had an excellent record bar, essential for collectors like myself, this would be where I would get my kicks and satisfy my need for something new as the DJ’s were not fulfilling my thirst. Tony’s Empress Ballroom in Blackburn would also prove a very popular venue when revived by Mick Lyons in the early 90’s with the help of Little Scotty. A blend of DJs featuring the very best oldies with newer discoveries the venue ran throughout the 90s and into the 00s. Johnny Beggs and Duncan Pollett would run the Northern Cowboy nights at The Bear in Congleton and other venues in the area, totally upfront with the very best cutting edge DJ’s and collectors and hugely popular. Around the same time Pete Hollander, Mark Bicknell and Dennis Billingham would promote the Concord Suite in Droylsden, again very popular and also featuring live acts, like Barbara Acklin and Ruby Andrews in 1993. When Droylsden finished, Pete & Mark moved to Hyde Town Hall and The Bridgehall Hotel in Bury. About 1995 Pete teamed up with Barry Holland and this saw the birth of Winsford again with similar guests to Droylsden and Hyde, namely Butch Gary Spencer, Soul Sam, Bob Hinsley and Robbo. They also revived all-nighters at The Parr Hall and held others at Sandbach Town Hall. From 1991 up until 1995 would see another soul night have an influence on the scene at Bretby Country Club. Run by Chris Anderton the venue was nicknamed the Son Of Stafford because of the attitude of the DJs who were the best from across the UK in terms of an upfront playlist and featuring of course many sounds made popular at places like Stafford. The venue would later see successful all-nighters hosted by Dave Thorley and Chris King. A two roomed affair with the best DJ’s from the Rare/Northern and Modern Soul scenes playing the very best music. The Deepest South was very under represented at times post Wigan but Russ Vickers attempted to keep the torch burning with his Uptown Down South Promotions. Ably assisted by Keith and Maxine Woon they featured the very best in Rare Soul from the 60’s, current biggies of the time with a mix of quality oldies through to brand new releases. Kicking off in Abshot, with promotions held at the Royal Sailors Home Club before moving to The Colony Club (UDS) in October (11th) of 1997. The last Colony Club taking place on 27th February 1999. The Resident DJ's at both venues were Simon Preston who kicked off proceedings, Keith Woon, Maxine Woon, Ben Summers, Lloyd Attrill & Russ himself. The main influances at the time for Russ were the 100 Club & Soul Essence. The music policy was 6ts thru to new releases. Abshot was a Soul Night in Fareham, Hampshire, but much to his surprise, it took off & after a year we were struggling to get everyone in. A move to Newbury was made to accomadate the growing numbers and the Colony Club on what was RAF Greenham Common became the new home. Rob & Elaine Savage managed the club, the events were monthly, every second night at Newbury was an All Nighter. Guest DJ's included Gavin Page, Dave Thorley, Soul Sam, Bob Hinsley, Ian Clark, Dave Greet, Steve Guarnori, Terry Davis (Norfolk Village), Cliff Steele, Eddie Hubbard, Ady Croasdell, Chris Anderton and more. Live PA's from Sam Dees & Jeff Perry were both unforgettable nights. Maxine's UDS top 5: Melvin Moore - All of a sudden; Wizards of Ooze - Trippin'; Differences - Five Minutes; Promises - This love is real; Jeanie Tracy - Making new friends. Keith top 5: Sean Oliver - You and Me; True Image - I'm not over you; Bobby Kline - Say something nice to me; Mary Wells - Love letters; Almeta Lattimore - These memories. At the time Russ was playing Barbara Lynn - Moving on a Groove, which we made into massive record, Emmitt Long - Call Me, was only 3 known copies at the time, Bad Weather Inc, again 3 copies at the time which Dave Thorley bought back from NY, new release wise I was pushing Island Inspirational Allstars - Dont Give Up, amongst others.... Featured oldies included Martha Starr - Love is the Only Solution, Yvonne Carol - Oh Yea, Yea, Yea & Johnny Rogers, again amongst others. Life and Soul Promotions would promote hugely successful events at Albrighton. The venue really did feature the very best Rare and Modern Soul DJ’s. Promoted by Lynn Taylor, Tait and Martin Bradley, they employed the likes of Butch, Ted Massey, Soul Sam, Gavin Page, Dave Thorley, Roger Williams, Mark Simpson, Paul Sutton, Guy Hennigan, Neil Felton, Ginger Taylor, Chic, Johnny Weston and many more up until the last all-nighter in 2001. From its humble beginnings at the Carlton Working Men’s Club and The Civic Centre in Wakefield, Mouse, Chris Pelle and the likes of Stephen “Chuddy” Dudley ran very successful soul nights. So successful that in 1993 an all-nighter began at, what would become affectionately known as, The Wilton. Whilst it did feature top DJs, the emphasis was more on the collector and because of this the music was always fresh. Quality underplayed oldies would feature alongside new discoveries. Saus was one of the top DJs of the early 90’s with a varied mainly 60’s set of Northern and R&B, way ahead of his time with the R&B. Roger Banks, John Wilkinson, Bob Hinsley, Keith Money, Les Cockell, Guy Hennigan, John Kingan, George Hunt, Andy Dyson, John Britton, Arthur Fenn and many more would grace the decks over the next 20 years or so. Sadly the all-nighters ran into slow decline, mainly due to the fact it was on a Friday and 24/7 working weeks and family life meant many were unable to make it on a Friday. The Wilton still hosts a Soulful Session once a year with top quality live acts with Darrow Fletcher and Debbie Taylor having appeared recently. Towards the end of the 90’s, (1997 if my memory serves me correctly), Kev Roberts and Richard Searling would begin hosting all-nighters at the Kings Hall in Stoke. These are still going strong today and are now in their 17th year. The venue features the best the scene has had to offer throughout its history. The event has its knockers and isn’t known for its cutting edge but it has helped many get back into the scene and is packed to the rafters with around 1500 in attendance at every event. Come the 00s London was calling and making a noise on the scene. The 100 Club was still going strong with Alan “Shifty” Neale & Greg McIllinney, better known as Irish Greg making names for themselves and establishing themselves as residents. Irish Greg and Alan Handscombe would form the Capitol Soul Club in January 1999. This club began life at The Bar in Shoreditch but it was when they moved to the Dome in Tufnell Park that the club really came to the forefront of the London Soul Scene. Carl Fortnum joined the two co-founders along with David Flynn and Matt Jahans came on board as the promoter for the Club - another of the rare breed of promoters who didn’t DJ. The guests for the nights were the great and good of the time, far too many to list but just about every DJ who played something other than the same old same was brought in to guest. The music policy was cutting edge 60’s Rare, Northern and R&B and featured many tracks that were broken in the 80s at venues such as Stafford’s Top Of The World and The 100 Club, biggies of the day and many unissued rarities and acetates. The crowd travelled from all over the UK and the venue was packed, many youngsters were introduced to the music and they naturally lapped it up. Capitol Soul wasn’t the only club. Nick & Dawn Brown were promoting their Scenesville nights at various venues across the City like The Camden Centre, The Phoenix & Notre Dame. Nick was joined by Chris Dale, Alan “Kitch” Kitchener and Andy Rix and the music was probably as upfront as anywhere at the time with the emphasis on the rare and unreleased. They really were great nights and the flyers became collectable in their own right. Joe Wallace, Martin Thomson and Paul Peter Thomas were promoting Thursday night events in the cellar at the River Bar on Tower Bridge Road under the banner of “These Old Shoes” - another quality Soul night that set the weekend up perfectly if you could get along on a Thursday. Soul in the City began life in 2001 and co-promoted by Dave Greenhill, Paul McKay and Alistair McDonald. Martin Thomson was invited to join the trio after three nights. The nights, which ran until 2007, proved very popular and, like Capitol Soul and Scenesville, had some fantastic guests playing quality Rare Soul. November 2004 would see the Solid Hit Soul Club begin life as a club. Dave Greenhill, Martin Thomson, Stuart Tyler & Gene Robertson being the promoters. The Club is still going strong today but has since lost Martin and Gene but gained Des Parker and Shane Cox and still features quality Rare Soul from the residents and top guests alike. By the mid 90’s The Rocket was also causing a stir. The venue hosted all-nighters under the Metropolitan Soul Club banner. Co-promoted by Paul Clarke and Kevin Johansen, Ian Levine was asked to be the main DJ and given the task of booking the other DJs. The nights, whilst initially successful with well over a thousand in attendance at the first couple, the promotion began to suffer for various reasons - frequency, arguments between rival clubs and, not least, the inevitable fickleness of the summer months (which have always traditionally been very slow scene wise). Despite all this London was an exciting place to be in the early to mid 2000s with the clubs involved all playing their part in a vibrant exciting time packed with quality soul music. Come the mid 2000’s though, the all-nighter scene was suffering. Too many oldies were the norm, mainly as a result of those who returned to the scene in the late 90’s early 2000’s for the first time since the days of the Casino. This was until Andy Dyson & Mick Heffernan (or simply Mick H) felt it was time to do something about it and The Lifeline Soul Club was born. All-nighters were put on at Sheridans in Dewsbury with myself (Karl “Chalky” White) helping with the promotional side of things. A team of residents were assembled who, in the opinion of Andy and Mick, had collections to get away from the same old same old that was the diet of many other promotions of the day. Alongside Andy and Mick was Butch, Soul Sam, Cliff Steele and Nick Stevenson, with myself coming on board after the second or third all-nighter after Nick called it a day. With an upfront cutting edge policy the venues at Sheridan’s was packed to the rafters and only guests who they felt would complement the residents were employed. Since Sheridans, Lifeline has promoted at The Fox at Colsterworth on the A1, The Ye Olde Bell in Barnby Moor near Retford (where it also held hugely successful weekenders), The Stables at Shareshill, Wolverhampton and is now at Bidds in Longton, Stoke on Trent, where it co-promotes a two-roomed affair with the Pow Wow Club. Bidds previously held popular all-nighters hosted by Mace with the help of Johnny Beggs featuring the very best Rare Soul, Latin and R&B. Mace is now co-promoting Pow Wow alongside Mik Parry, Gav Arno and Callum Simpson in the two-roomed event at the venue alongside Lifeline. Sheridans in Dewsbury at the time in the mid 2000’s provided a central venue for the Scene with several clubs promoting a night there every week. Alongside Lifeline was Andy McCabe with Soultown and Joe Dutton with the Flip Side nights (R&B & Mod orientated nights). For a short time the scene had somewhere everyone could go every week for some special nights. Many didn’t want to leave and some stopped there for days following all-nighters!! As mentioned earlier Soultown really helped the successful nights at Sheridans, employing the best Rare Soul and Northern Soul DJ’s playing cutting edge and the best Northern Soul around. It later moved to The Middleton Civic Hall where extra rooms were added - an R&B room run by the Backbeat team and a rare and underplayed room hosted by Maria And Carl Willingham. Again a very successful all-nighter whilst it ran. The New Century Soul Club run by Chris Waterman and Marcelle began promoting in December 2003 at the CIS building in Manchester where it stayed for 2 years. Various other venues were utilized until landing at Radcliffe Civic Suite where it will celebrate its 11th Anniversary this year (2014). Alongside the main room it features a quality Modern Room and an alternative room featuring the best in underplayed Soul music. Another long running venue is Rugby with initially Sian Rare Soul nights and then all-nighters promoted at The Benn Hall in the centre of Rugby. Again, alongside the main room, a freestyle room is proving hugely popular with spinners playing the best in underplayed Soul Music. Burnley would see a very popular all-nighter at The Kestrel Suite, promoted initially by Philip Kowalczyk with Sean Haydon later taking over the reins. With an upfront and mainly up-tempo music policy the venue has a hardcore following and features the very best Rare Soul and Funk plus the harder-edged Soul music that seems very popular on today’s scene. Sean also co-promotes alongside Dave Abbott the very popular Soul-Funk-Tion all-nighters where the more hard-edged and funky soul is featured alongside the very best Rare Soul. This isn’t meant to be a definitive history of the Northern and Rare Soul Scene post Wigan Casino, which would be near-on impossible. It’s simply a reflection that the scene is and always has been very much alive and kicking, despite the misconceptions voiced by some. There are literally hundreds of events and many promotions and promoters I haven’t mentioned but simply couldn’t mention them all given the time and space constraints I was under. My apologies go to all who I haven’t managed to mention in this brief write-up. All have played their part in keeping the Northern Soul scene alive and all have contradicted many of the misconceptions about the scene post Wigan Casino. The scene has always had spells where times were on the quiet side but the scene has also remained extremely popular with a hardcore following for the various all-nighter promotions over the years to the extent that the scene as of today would appear to be every bit as popular as it has ever been, with a healthy influx of the younger generation enjoying the greatest dance scene the world has ever seen. And long may it continue! Karl ‘Chalky’ White November 2014. Amended August 2015.
  11. The Wigan Today website features an news article all about the possibility of a follow up to the much talked about Northern Soul play based around Wigan Casino. Titled 'Once Upon A Time In Wigan' the play did attract a fair amount of controversy after its original run. The comments on a previous Soul Source news item do touch upon this controversy and can be read via the following link... Once Upon a time documentary A clip of the Wigan Today article follows along with a link to the full article... A playwright known for his account of the glory days of Wigan Casino is back on the subject of Northern Soul and wants to hear from residents. Mick Martin is hosting two days of events at The Old Courts to speak to locals about their impressions of the town and the music in the 21st century as research for the follow-up to Once Upon A Time in Wigan. You can read the full news item via Playwright Wants To Speak To Wiganers about Northern Soul and towns fortunes https://www.wigantoday.net/news/playwright-wants-to-speak-to-wiganers-about-northern-soul-and-town-s-fortunes-1-9702825
  12. Following a successful two month run in Manchester and Leeds earlier this year, Paul Sadots "Once Upon A Time in Wigan" will be doing a national tour in 2004. For further info on what the play is about visit:- link now gone The dates are as follows: 20-31 January Contact Theatre, MANCHESTER 3&4 February The Helix, DUBLIN 10-14 February Palace Theatre, WESTCLIFF 17&18 February The Wolsey, IPSWICH 20&21 February Queens Hall, WIDNES 24-28 February Nuffield Theatre, SOUTHAMPTON 2-6 March Mansfield Palace, NOTTS 9-13 March OLDHAM Coliseum 23-27 March Charter Theatre, PRESTON 30 Mar-2 Apr Greenwich Theatre, LONDON To download the promotional leaflet visit: link now gone
  13. In Ace Records own words - "Never before has Kent released such an unashamed "All The Hits" Northern Soul package. The excuse that we needed was being asked to produce the soundtrack CD for the new play Once Upon A Time In Wigan." This month (Feb 04) sees the release of ONCE UPON A TIME IN WIGAN (CDKEND 227 Kent/Ace Records) the soundtrack to a the play based on the lives of four 70s teenagers who spend their adolescence growing up at the shrine to Northern Soul, the Wigan Casino The following write up is via Ady Croasdell. Never before has Kent released such an unashamed "All The Hits" Northern Soul package. The excuse that we needed was being asked to produce the soundtrack CD for the new play "Once Upon A Time In Wigan". Early last year director Paul Sadot kindly invited me up to Leeds for the opening night at its second venue, having been enthusiastically received in Manchester the previous week. After hearing good reviews I was keen to attend to see if at last someone had represented the Northern Soul scene to its credit, rather than as an odd spectacle as is normally the case. I was delighted to find a packed house, in a great theatre and was honoured with the company of Tommy Hunt in the adjacent seat. By the time we left the auditorium I was even happier and the warm glow of nostalgia indicated that at last the Wigan Casino, as I remembered it, had been represented accurately, with affection, and a great deal of honest humour. As a regular all-nighter goer you can get over-exposed to records like Timi Yuros It'll Never Be Over For Me or Dean Parrishs Im On My Way, but when you hear them in the context of the play, you realise that is only because they are such marvellous records that DJs and punters demand to hear them time and time again. The play will serve as an introduction for some and as a reminder to others of what they've been missing. Therefore stone classics are exactly whats required and thats what weve come up with on this CD. Lou Prides I'm Comun Home In The Mornun (I have no idea why its spelt like that) has an absolutely original sound that no-one ever tried to copy. Its one of those ultra-rare records that could have been made just for the Northern Soul scene, and has flourished thousands of miles from its home. Similarly World Columns So Is The Sun and Steve Karmen's Breakaway are edgy, turn of the decade, psycho-soul stompers. They also found their audience of speeding working class youths, spinning and back-dropping on the dancefloors of northern England, belatedly. Wigan Casino started out playing mainstream discoveries and we've featured a trio from the ultimate, Northern label, Mirwood. Jackie Lee and Bobby Garrett, aka Bob Relf, were the Bob&Earl who appeared on Harlem Shuffle and all subsequent recordings by the duo. They also shone as solo performers on Oh My Darlin and My Little Girl respectively, which are pure Northern Soul classics. As is Richard Temples That Beatin Rhythm also released on the same label. Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons The Night was such a monster record when Wigan ruled the soul world, that it eventually made it to #7 in the UK. That was three years after its initial Motown subsidiary Mowest release, and it never even got a 45 release in the States. The Yanks were, and still are, bewildered by the NS phenomenon. Other tracks featured in the play like the Incredibles There's Nothing Else To Say and Fats Domino's It Keeps Rainin were responsible for starting the whole Northern Soul thing off in the late 60s before the Casino had opened its doors. These tracks were later played in the hugely popular Mister Ms oldies room within the vast building, and its popularity meant that eventually the venue would host the first "Oldies" nighters which were often better attended than the regular dances. Northern Soul has progressed and widened its boundaries since the Casino closed in 1981, and the show reflects this. Included are tracks such as Sam Fletchers moody Id Think It Over and early 90s Stax discovery Otis Reddings Loving By The Pound, which gets a second Kent release due to its recent popularity in the R&B stomper-loving community of the North-West. The equally gritty soul sound of Toni & The Showmen's Try My Love is also given a second airing to a bigger audience and shows how there's plenty of rare soul vinyl out there to be resurrected too. The booklet contains pen-portrait reviews of the tracks and stills and reviews from the play itself to link the music to its audience. It also contains wise words and reminiscences from Northern Soul luminaries Russ Winstanley and Richard Searling and that's a first in recent years. ONCE UPON A TIME IN WIGAN (CDKEND 227 Kent/Ace Records) Disc: 1 1. Breakaway - Steve Karmen Band Featuring Jimmy Radcliffe 2. I'm Com'un Home In The Morn'un - Lou Pride 3. It Keeps Rainin' - Fats Domino 4. Elijah Rockin' With Soul - Hank Jacobs 5. Can It Be Me - Mel Williams 6. Try My Love - Toni & The Showmen 7. So Is The Sun - World Column 8. It'll Never Be Over For Me - Timi Yuro 9. I'd Think It Over - Sam Fletcher 10. I Surrender - Eddie Holman 11. The Night - Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons 12. Sweet Sherry - JJ Barnes 13. Oh, My Darlin - Jackie Lee 14. It Didn't Take Much(For Me To Fall In Love) - Percy Wiggins 15. I Was Born To Love You - Herbert Hunter 16. You Hit Me (Right Where It Hurt Me) - Alice Clark 17. There's Nothing Else To Say Baby - The Incredibles 18. In Love - Tony Galla 19. A Case Of Love - Sequins 20. That Beatin Rhythm - Richard Temple 21. My Little Girl - Bobby Garrett 22. I'm On My Way - Dean Parrish 23. Loving By The Pound - Otis Redding 24. I'll Never Stop Loving You - Carla Thoma
  14. News/Article/Feature Highlight: The Wigan Today website features an news article all about the possibility of a follow up to the much talked about Northern Soul play based around Wigan Casino... read more View full article
  15. News/Article/Feature Highlight: The Top of the Pops showing of Wigans Chosen Few dancers back in 1975 is often mentioned when talking... View full article
  16. Am sure that many of you will remember the recent requests from BBC researchers regarding the BBC series 'The People's History of Pop' that showed up here on Soul Source. Well going by some msm pre-reviews it seems that this Friday the second episode touches 'Northern Soul' and features an account by Cheryl Summers of her experiences of Wigan Casino Allnighters Here's a preview of the blurb from the BBC, a link to the programme webpage follows at the end The People's History of Pop Episode 2 of 4 1966-1976: The Love Affair Fri 22 Jul 2016 21:30 BBC FOUR Sat 23 Jul 2016 00:30 BBC FOUR Writer, journalist and broadcaster Danny Baker looks at the years of his youth - 1966 to 1976 - a time when music fans really let rip. From the psychedelia of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper to the birth of thelarge-scale music festival, this is when hair, sounds and ideas got wilder and looser as a whole new generation of fans got really serious about British pop music and the world around them. There is testimony from hippies who found love and happiness at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, from a teenager growing up in Birmingham who discovered a new sound called 'heavy metal', and from fans sent wild with excitement after David Bowie and Marc Bolan were beamed down and glam rock was born. A shy young man tells how he found expression through progressive rock, a fan relives her weekend escapes to Wigan Casino and a new scene called northern soul, and a young man discovers a new hero as reggae becomes mainstream. Unearthed pop treasures include a rare item of clothing worn by Marc Bolan and given to a young fan as a gift after he knocked on Marc's door. A former teacher and pupil of Peckham Manor School are reunited, more than forty years after they witnessed an unknown Bob Marley perform in their sports hall, and rare photos of the event are shown. Plus, some rare and special material from the biggest star of the 70s himself - David Bowie. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07l24rf Guess it could be interesting viewing, not really my cup of tea so if you do catch it this Friday then make sure that you let us all know how it was via the comments.below....
  17. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Once Upon A Time In Wigan at the Contact View full article
  18. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Here is a very old review of Wigan Casino from Blackbeat. View full article
  19. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Eddie Foster Dreams of Wigan - Black Music 1970s View full article
  20. News/Article/Feature Highlight: This Friday BBC4 - details View full article
  21. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Yet another "oldie" Pete Smith from the 90s Heres a bit from Pete Smith , regarding a letter that was sent to him a few years back. Interesting stuff for those who used to think legal re-issues helped the artists Dear Pete, My name is... View full article
  22. News/Article/Feature Highlight: Following a successful two month run in Manchester and Leeds earlier this year, Paul Sadots "Once Upon A Time in Wigan" will be doing a national tour in 2004. View full article
  23. News/Article/Feature Highlight: In Ace Records own words - "Never before has Kent released such an unashamed "All The Hits" Northern Soul package. T View full article
  24. I just noticed that Outta Sight is publishing a book written by Tim Brown on the 18th of October entitled "The Wigan Casino Years: Northern Soul - The Essential Story 1973-81". I haven't seen a mention of it on here yet, but here's the link to the website: http://www.outtasigh...casinoyears.php The preview pages looks promising. below added by site Northern Soul came of age in the mid-seventies. The first significant underground music scene in the UK came to the notice of the media and public alike in 1977, a television documentary endeavoured to capture the spirit of thousands of youngsters dancing all night to obscure, rare American soul records - which even then were up to a dozen years old. The Wigan Casino Years documents, illustrates and analyses the golden age of Northern Soul from 1973 - 1981. Writer Tim Brown experienced those years as a top collector and later became a leading record dealer, label owner and documentor of this, perhaps the most idiosyncratic and secretly influential of musical formats. With high quality graphics and full colour throughout, this book confronts the modern age with the real truth and will fascinate both the devotee and curious at the same time.
  25. News/Article/Feature Highlight: While following Paul Masons (BBC Newsnight) twitter feed, I noticed amongst all the "current affairs" type tweets one or two comments/connections that could be taken as northern soul related... View full article


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