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HANDSTAND

I would like to claim the honour of being the person doing the handstand in your photo. My name is Tom Halvey and at the time I lived in Aylesbury in Bucks. My family moved there when my father left the R.A.F. I moved there after I left the Royal Navy. I have been into Northern Soul since 1973, and have attended most of the soul clubs in the UK. One of my Favourites was the Stars and Stripes in Yate nr Bristol. Good music and really nice people. For your information the photo was taken during a photo shoot held at the 100 Club in Oxford St in early 1984. The photo shoot was done for Kent records. I had been at a Soul Do with my mates in Luton a few weeks previous, and doing my usual thing which consisted of having a couple of beers and dancing like a combination of Mohammed Ali and Olga Korbet on speed. Mohammed Ali footwork and Olga's gymnastics. As you may have gathered I am/was into the acrobatic style of Northern Dancing. IAN CLARKE was one of the guest DJs, during his set I was dancing near the stage At the end of his set Ian approached me and asked if I would like to do a photo session for an upcoming Kent album. No need to think twice my immediate reply was Yes. A few weeks later I received a letter from Ian inviting me to attend the 100 Club the following Saturday afternoon, the name of the album was to be Shoes.
I duly turned up and walked into the club carrying my bag, wearing my favourite totally beaten up dancing shoes and a neck-brace. I had been in an accident a few days previous and was suffering from Whiplash. (A BMW had rammed my car from behind Knocking my car into the car in front, the car in front into the car in front and the car in front into the car in front. The front car was being driven by a cop. The end result was the my car became an extremely short Ford Capri and I went to Hospital with pins and needles in my arms, stopping off at a pub en-route thathad a soul night.)
My arrival at the 100 Club had an impact, Ian and Adie Croasdell (kent records and 100 club allnighters) almost shat themselves. They'd hired the club, a photographer, invited other people to come along as background dancers and I turned up looking like God knows What. I tried to put their minds slightly at ease by saying no problem I'll take off the neck-brace, I can still dance. I don't think they believed me.
The first set of photo's were of all of us sitting around a table drinking beer, some of the photos were taken under the table of our legs and shoes, my shoes it was decided looked too battered, a real pair of battered dancing shoes not good enough for a Northern Soul Album. so Ian loaned me his Black loafers for these photos. Spot the loafers and the black trousers , thats me. This photo is the front cover of  the album "Shoes".
Then back to my favourite, comfortable shoes. A few Polaroid photos taken, to check the range, lighting etc..and away we go, first session was with other dancers as background. Stop for a few minutes and then me on my own, the music that was played
during that session was unbelievable, bad back, neck, pain, everything was forgotten, the only thing that mattered was the music and dancing. I don't know how long I danced for, Handstands Backdrops etc.. everything in my repotoir I finally stopped ,when I was so exhausted I could hardly stand. These photos were used for the album "On The Upbeat"(Spot my name on the back) and various other albums since. I'm very glad that I had a chance to be part of Northern Soul History in this way.
I was in New Zealand a few years back and saw an album with my picture on it. That was a nice feeling to see that so far from home. I now live and work in Bangkok. Unfortunately there is no soul scene here, in life you can't have everything, but I have my memories of a time and people that were superb. Any one involved in the scene has 100s of stories to tell of the people they met the things that happened
I was in an All dayer nr Bristol and someone approached me and asked if I wanted to buy a pair of trousers, I asked to see them, he pointed to his mate and said he's wearing them. We agreed a price of 5 pounds to my
surprise his friend had to remove them there and then, He'd borrowed them and the guy who owned them had run out of money and wanted to buy a record. So he wound up with wandering around in his undies all day. I broke my left ankle dancing and ended up in plaster, I still went to allnighters, soul do's etc. I even learnt how to do handstands on crutches, I occasionally fell off. I had to go to Hospital every week to replace the plaster, the Hospital staff said they couldn't understand why my plaster kept getting broken, even after I showed them how to do a handstand on crutches they couldn't bring themselves to believe I was out most nights Dancing.
After the plaster was removed i fell off more frequently. I'd got used to the weight of the plaster acting as a counter balance and couldn't get used to the loss of weight on that side. The thing I remember most was so many totally insane people having a
good time.
I've transferred a lot of my records to minidisk They're a damn sight lighter than a couple of boxes of records and much more practical for bumming around the world(Arriving at a Soul Do with a box of records definitely has more style than 2-3 minidisks in your top pocket) so I may not be able to attend but I can still listen to my music and imagine it in my head.
I hear that the Soul scene has had a revival , not true, you only revive things that are dead, the scene never died it just went underground again.
I hope that anyone involved will have the fun that I had
Keep the Faith
Tom Halvey

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Mick' tale.
Shanes Tour.
American dream.
NS hypotheses.
Berlin scene.
Pete's story.
Them wer' days.
The first time.
Wigan !#?.
New blood.
Irish & exclusive.
Youngest soulie?.
My soul story.
NS obsession.
UK to LA.
Southerners tale.
Keeping the faith.
First steps.
A Great Crowd.
Oldie now Newie.
The Right Direction.
La Pella Nera.
My 80's Scene.
Wicked Story.
30 Years of Soul.
Filipino Style.
Cheshire Soul Club.
Man in Black.
Time's a Wasting.
Full Circle.
A Northern CV.
Californian Scene.
Awkward Homelife.
Plain & Simple.
Cleethorpes '98.

Handstand.
Move Forward.
Lost Soul.
A Favour?.

Copyright M Fitzpatrick
mickfitz@koan.de