WHERE TO BUY?
? HELP ?
An Oldie now a Newie
I was born in Cardiff - hence my funny first name - but spent my
teens in Preston, Lancashire,
It was 1968 when I was hit like TNT upon hearing "Roadrunner" at a disco in a
Butlins holiday camp at the tender age of 13. After wandering in a daze for the rest
of the week we returned home to Preston where my next conscious action was to rush out and
buy Motown Chartbusters Vol. 3 and wear it out through constant, non-stop play. I could
recite every lyric, hell, I could do the choreography if you pressed me
I was hooked.
Around this time I started hanging out at Kingsfold Youth Club in Penwortham. They had a
record player and so a few of us started bringing in stuff to play. It just so happened
that Daves elder brother collected records on his trips to some motorists club
in Manchester and so we got to listen to the likes of Competition Aint
Nothin, Our Love Is A Monster, Cool Jerk, Soul
Time, Get On Your Knees, Right Track, Little
Darling, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Im Satisfied With
You, Friday Night, Here She Comes, Shotgun And The
Duck. Phil added Backstreet, Bar-B-Q, Festival Time,
Gotta Have Your Love, The Next in Line, Cigarette
Ashes, Music To My Heart. Pete had a few good sounds like Mr.
Bang-Bang Man, Secret Home and Wade in the Water and Kirls
made me jealous cause he had Helpless and I Aint
Particular and never let me tape them!
I didnt know it then but I was in heaven. On Sunday nights wed head off to the
Top Rank Suite in Preston and let Jason Dee and Noca entertain us with stuff like
Billys Bag, In Orbit, Catch Me Im Falling,
Youre Ready Now, Run, Baby Run, Goodnight Irene,
Surprise Party, Nothing But Blue Skies, Hey Saloney,
At The Discotheque, Deeper In Love, Hey America,
Tightrope, The Way Youve Been Acting Lately, Penguin
Breakdown, Dont Make Me Wait Too Long, At The Top Of The
Stairs, Girls Are Out To Get You, Heaven Must Have Sent You.
Wed dance our little booties off trying to emulate the REAL dancers, and then the
following Friday try out new moves at the youth club. The Rank had a strict dress code -
jackets and ties at ALL times otherwise on yer bike son, so there wed be in our
Bennies, Tonics with the sewn-in seams, tie in a HUGE Windsor knot, Barathea blazer, just
dripping wet at the end of a night, you could have mopped the floor with us. I didnt
really know that this was a RARE soul scene, I just thought that this was what ALL the
clubs were playing. All I know is that I fell in love with you Northern Soul!
As time went on we started venturing further afield. The first holiday without parents at
Douglas, Isle of Man where we discovered The Athol Club and Pete Dunn running up the the
disco wall and flipping backwards head-over-heals into a somersault. Love, Love,
Love and Funky Street ( I think theres a line that goes "I
turn a backover flip") always remind me of that place. Back home a few of us, but
mostly Iram and me, started going to the Highland Room at Blackpool Mecca, popular because
the Mecca used to put on free coaches from Preston. This was whole step up - an older
crowd, REALLY RARE SOUNDS, mingling with people youd read about in Blues and Soul,
the atmosphere was ELECTRIC. There I first heard the likes of Bok To Bach,
Ive Got Something Good, Blowing My Mind To Pieces,
Ive Had It, Get Out, Skiing In The Snow,
Just Cant Live My Life, Tainted Love, Help Me,
Dance, Dance, Dance, 'Psychedelic Soul' , Theres A Ghost In My
House, Working At The GoGo, Sidras Theme,
Breakaway, Im On My Way, Cool Off, You
Dont Love Me Anymore, If Thats What You Wanted, Crazy
Baby, Hung Up On Your Love, It Really Hurts Me Girl,
You Made Me This Way , Theyll Never Know Why, Cry Your
.the list goes on and on and on.
Other nights Id be out with some of the other guys at the smaller, more local clubs
like the Lodestar, the Howard Arms, the Hibernia where they played mostly commercial
stuff, but then every once in a while youd hear a Never For Me or a
Picture Me Gone or Thats Alright or an I Feel An Urge
Coming On. and wed leap onto the dancefloor for 3 minutes of bliss.
In 1973 my life took a different turn when I left home and went off to the first of a
number of Higher Education establishments, mostly in southern England. The sudden loss of
a familiar scene was somewhat made up for by the student bar and the occasional dalliance
with one of the eager and
..well, thats another story, All I can say is
that I hope I Kept The Faith and carried the Northern Soul Torch high and managed to make
a few people aware of the music and the dancing and the camaraderie.
I was able to get to the newly-opened Wigan Casino a couple of times on trips back to
Preston, but all in all it seemed like other things were taking my attention away from the
Northern Scene. The only constant seemed to be that I was unable to walk past a rack of
records without having to have a look through and, every once in a while, Id be
rewarded by finding something on my mental Wa
After moving to Canada in the early eighties (shipping a couple of hundredweight of vinyl
and about 30 pounds of other personal effects) Id pretty much lost touch with
Northern Soul. I found some comfort in Sam The Record Mans store on Yonge Street in
Toronto where he happened to have a few albums on a British import Kent label that
Id never seen before. They (and most subsequent issues) got snapped up as I indulged
my secret passion, but then I fooled around and fell in love, got married, and harvested
the fruit of our loins (Natalie) ., with a second harvest four years later (Madeleine) -
yes she was named after the singer
Fast Forward to 1997 where the Internet enters my life in meaningful way. Casually
wondering one day if there are any Northern Soul sites, I Yahoo into about a half-dozen.
Hannes Rosenhagens is the first, where I am amazed to see that this is a still
flourishing scene, new clubs, new sounds, old sounds re-activated.
Micks site is next where I read the stories and think -Ive come home,
Im amongst friends. Right around the same time I discover Goldmine/Soul Supply
and order the first of a flood of their CDs to Canada. I am rejuvenated, although I find
the years have taken a toll on this once proud temple of a body (well I used to worship
Boddingtons and Greenall Whitleys) i.e dont attempt a backdrop at age
42, especially with ones nearest and dearest looking on - the guffaws are
Them wer' days.
The first time.
Irish & exclusive.
My soul story.
UK to LA.
Keeping the faith.
A Great Crowd.
Oldie now Newie.
The Right Direction.
La Pella Nera.
My 80's Scene.
30 Years of Soul.
Cheshire Soul Club.
Man in Black.
Time's a Wasting.
A Northern CV.
Plain & Simple.