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Book & Mags Reviews – Nov 2014

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Pretend You’re In A War
– The Who And The Sixties

By Mark Blake

I must confess, there are times when I see new books about certain periods, genres or specific artists in music that make me wonder why?

Is there really any more unearthed information about The Beatles, Dylan, The Rolling Stones or Elvis for example? How much more can be said about a band or artist that hasn’t already been covered by numerous books before?

The Who are a band which fall into this category. So many books of varying quality have been written about them, is there anything left to say? Surely any avid Who fan will probably know all there is to know.

So, I began reading this latest tome by Mark Blake with a small degree of cynicism and suspicion. However, by the time I had finished the second chapter I was totally hooked.

Of course there is some familiar territory to go over, but that is unavoidable when writing about a band like The Who. Things have to be put into context.

What I particularly liked is Blake’s narrative writing style. Informative, concise, well-researched and written in such a way as to be a joy to read.

The early photos of the pre-Who days are great, but this is not a coffee table book.

Tracing the bands evolution from their humble beginnings and childhoods through to the end of the decade, this is by far one of the best books about The Who I have ever read.

Blake is much lauded for his seminal work on Pink Floyd. I think it’s fair to say this book deserves to be recognised in much the same terms.

With the festive season not too far off, this book would give a Who fan a very happy Christmas.

Published by Aurum Press
ISBN: 978-1-78131-187-5

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The Album Book

By Jacqueline McFall

It is fair to say 2014 has been a big year for books about mod. Some have been much advertised in print and social media and rightly so, but there are one or two that may have escaped your notice.

The Album is one such; a 180 page photographic book documenting the mod scene in Northern Ireland. I have often heard people like Eddie Piller and Anthony Meynell from Squire speak very highly of their experiences in the region going back to the early Eighties.

Thankfully in 1983, a seventeen year-old photographic student chose the mod scene to be her subject for one of her projects and she chose to take only black and white photographs.

30 years on, and Jacqueline McFall can still be seen at mod clubs and events snapping away and documenting the scene with her camera.

This book represents most of the photos from her original published project from 1985 entitled ‘Mod Is Mod, Not Fade Away’. The second half of the book contains shots taken more recently. It was quite fascinating to see just how many of those very young faces were still on the scene today.

Just in case you were wondering, there are recent photos of both Eddie Piller and Squire playing live in Northern Ireland.

nm_nov_2014_quadrophenia

 

Quadrophenia – A Way Of Life

Inside The Making Of Britain’s Greatest Youth Film:

By Simon Wells

If nothing else, you can always guarantee that when Simon Wells takes on a project, no stone is left unturned. His particular field of expertise is film and British film from the Sixties and Seventies are his passion. Couple that with his life-long fascination with mod and you have a very capable candidate to write arguably the definitive work about a film that, over 30 years since its cinematic release, has retained the power to inspire and influence generation after generation and not just in the UK.

I’ll avoid the obvious and refrain from waffling on about the film itself. Heaven knows you should all be familiar with by now (sic). Neither will I go on about the continuity hiccups that are almost as famous (infamous?) as the film itself!

What is not in question though is Wells’ ability to wield both metaphoric microscope and shovel in his research.

Every key member of the cast and crew has input. The collection of unseen photos is quite extraordinary as are the selected script pages which highlight just how much improvisation and license both director Franc Roddam and the actors had with the storyline.

To give the film added kudos, Wells also interviews people for whom, the film and their involvement in mod has led to lifelong associations and therefore impacted on their lives.

This really is a fascinating, enjoyable and informative piece of work by Simon Wells. If you thought you knew all there was to know about Quadrophenia, read this, then you really can claim to know it all.

Published by Countdown Books
ISBN: 9 780992 830441

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Ugly Things Magazine

It’s been a while since I reviewed and edition of Ugly Things, the half-yearly publication from Mike Stax based in La Mesa, California.

The one thing that can always be guaranteed, is that every edition is packed with really good interviews and features.

Although the Fall/Winter edition is due out soon, this Spring/Summer 2014 version is a classic example. From the outset, the Pretty Things are a key feature with a thorough and interesting interview with Phil May. There follows an extract from Mr May’s forthcoming autobiography looking at the band’s experiences at the infamous Star Club in Hamburg.

For Small Faces fans, another equally absorbing interview with Ian McLagan followed by a reprint of Robert Haagsma’s interview with Steve Marriott a year before his death retains your attention with ease.

Other notable articles include Thursday’s Children, Carl Douglas and The Big Stampede, The Gears and the song-writing team of Carter and Gilbert.

With a whole host of music reviews as well, Ugly Things magazine is a mighty and very worth while publication.

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Soul Up North Fanzine

With the advent of social media, the era of the fanzine has been on the decline somewhat, so it was a welcome surprise to see ‘Soul Up North’ arrive at the NUTs office. It would be great to see some more fanzine’s!

Edited by Howard Earnshaw, this is one for the dyed-in-the-wool Northern fan.

Features include the Jessica Records Story (pt 1), The Trey J’s, an interview with Marvin Smith lead singer with the Artistics.

Martin Scragg continues his series of unveiling ‘cover-ups’ and loads of info and reviews of songs supplied by the likes of Steve Plumb, Wayne Hudson, Julie Molloy and Craig Butler to name a few.

Soul Up North fanzine is available by mail order only and at three quid per issue, it’s very good value.

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Manifesto Magazine

October 2014 Issue

Perhaps unsurprisingly, with all the hype over the film, Manifesto is loaded with Northern Soul references.

We have a great interview with writer and director of the film, Elaine Constantine and a nice feature about the film by Gareth Sweeney.

In addition, there are features on Ann Sexton and Leroy Hutson, a review of the Cleethorpes Weekender and the wonderful columns by Keith Rylett, Sean Chapman and Soul Sam (who is playing the NUTs NYE Northern Soul Celebration this year).

If you are a fan of all things soul-related (Northern or not) this is a must-have magazine. Its contributors are first-class and in Mike Ritson, it has a dedicated and highly knowledgable editor too.


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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November 16, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,
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The Beatroots (Newbreed)

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Newbreed4

The Beatroots are a Glasgow based band featuring members of The Hardy Souls, Figure 5, Red Sands and the Last National Band. The Beatroots perform their own take on psych classics, with live sitar and mind blowing sounds adding their own unique twist to the mix…

Band Members:
Neil Donaldson (Vocals, Percussion)
Graham ‘Groovy’ Gordon (Bass, Sitar)
Seb Jonsen (Drums)
Ian Hill (Keys/Bass)
Campbell Lindsay (Guitar)

Discography:
The Count/Hell Will Take Care of Her 7” single

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

It happened by accident really about 2 years ago. Paul Molloy (Tailor Made/Friday Street) needed a band for his monthly night in McChuills which was in a couple of weeks time. I suggested I could get a band together for it so I got in touch with Seb and Groovy and we put The Beatroots together and played what was a probably a pretty ropey first gig at Paul’s night.

02.What influences do the band members have in common?

A love of 60s music. We all have very different tastes but a love of garage, psych and freakbeat is what we all share.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

We are spoiled in Glasgow really. Helicon, The Fast Camels, Big Hogg, Trembling Bells, Crash Club, The Cosmic Dead, Medicine Men, The Wellgreen and Mushroom Club are all fab. The Fast Camels are particularly great both live and on record with great pop songs that echo early Pink Floyd and Sell Out era Who.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

Glasgow has a great club scene with something for everyone who has a love of underground music from the past. Tailor Made, Divine, The Freakbeats Club, Gimme Shelter, Nowt But Northern, Eyes Wide Open as well as the Glasgow Mod and Double Sight Weekenders all play quality tunes from start to finish.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Like a 60s Psych Pop version of a trad folk band. We select not-so-well known songs and do our own interpretation of them. With added sitar.

06. What are your live shows like?

Great fun!

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We play mostly all covers with only a couple of originals. Every musician that plays or has played with The Beatroots has their own band/project that they are involved in so we get together to indulge ourselves in doing songs by our favourite bands of the 60s and obscure psych 45s. Like The Doors’ Peace Frog or I Know What I Would Do by The State of Mickey and Tommy.

I don’t really depise any music these days, I have mellowed somewhat and grown to love a lot of 80s Pop that I would have once hated so I am wary of slagging off anything in case I go on to like it later in life. I do however despise the duke box in Nice n Sleazy. It is beyond pretension. Not that the music on it is bad, but when you are in a pub at 1am you don’t want to be hearing some Low album track. They should check out the Kempock’s in Gourock for some tips!

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

The more dandyish aspect of Mod fashion. And grass.

09.Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Oh all the usual… love, betrayal, murder and death!

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

I love doing the 2 songs that are on our 7” single. Our own song The Count and the b-side Hell Will Take Care Of Her originally recorded by Brass Buttons.

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

Colourful and vibrant. That you can be in London, Derby, Belfast or Berlin and have a mental night and meet so many lovely people is a beautiful thing. I have had some of the best nights of my life at weekenders all over the UK, at home and abroad since first going to Scarborough Mod Rally in 2002.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Dealing with Seb!

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse every week and gig about twice a month.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

It is pathetic. Especially on telly. We really need a less mainstream programme than Later with Jools Holland that would showcase the likes of Wolf People and Dead Skeletons and also cover the Liverpool Psych and End of the Road Festivals. Youtube and the internet is all well and good but I do miss looking forward to a good music programme on Channel 4 or the BBC. Shindig! TV perhaps?

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

The War On Drugs, Cate Le Bon, Real Estate, Warpaint, Kurt Vile, Woods, The Sufis, Quilt, Ty Segall and Goat all spring to mind.

16.Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Recording the Red Sands album with Marco Rea at the Barne Studio in Clydebank was a great experience and what I would do again if making another record.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Martin Keith that played guitar with me in both Figure 5 and Red Sands will be joining us along with well known face on the scene Charlie Bennett for the show in London at New Year which will be our last. For a good while anyway. I am going travelling in 2015 but I would like to think we will play again at some point, it has been a blast.

Web Links:

facebook.com/thebeatrootsband


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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November 16, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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The High Learys (Newbreed)

This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series Newbreed4

The High Learys are a four piece rhythm and blues band from Perth, Australia. Forming in 2011 the band have taken influence from artists such as Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Slim Harpo, The Rolling Stones, The Zombies, The Hollies, The Standells, The Bee Gees, The Animals, The Yardbirds and The Kinks.

Band Members:
Jamie Turner – Vocals, Bass
Mike Nutt – Organ, Vocals
Matt Williams – Guitar
Adrian MacMillan – Drums

Discography:
2013 – Album ‘Here Come The High Learys’
2014 – Single ‘Clear My Mind’

Updated Releases and Tour Dates: facebook.com/events

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We’ve been playing together now for nearly 3 years. Myself and Matt are cousins and have been playing music together for ages. We met Mike while at school and started playing in bands with him at an early age, a few years later we met Adrian around town while we were all playing in different bands, we decided to get together and start The Learys in 2011 and have been going strong ever since.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

We all share the love for the 60’s groups, even though we might take influence from different artists we can all agree that our sound is very much built on that.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Thee Gold Blooms are from Perth, Western Australia, they are fantastic!
Their music is very surf influenced and their songs are so damn catchy.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

It’s not too bad actually, we are fortunate to have bands like The Stems come from our neck of the woods, there is also some great bands in the eastern states like The Frowning Clouds.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

It’s a modern take on our 60’s influences. We’re very influenced by the British invasion and so I think that definitely comes through in our playing. The combo organ always adds a nice touch to our songs.

06. What are your live shows like?

I’d like to say it’s energetic, fun and captivating.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Our main influences are bands like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Zombies. Our current covers are by The Easybeats, The Clovers and Status Quo. We despise commercial and generic boy band garbage.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Outside of music we are influenced by all sorts, such as art, books and even new technology we find really interesting.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Jamie and Mike write the majority of the songs. The songs are usually about anything from girls to a particular state of mind.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Our latest single Clear My Mind is probably our favourite, although at the moment we have some brand new songs that will hopefully be appearing on our next album which are really great to play. Our other favourite is Ice In The Sun which is a 1968 classic by Status Quo, we love playing that one!

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

It’s very much alive! There are some amazing bands in the scene that are great players and who write some great tunes as well. We participate when we can!

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

I think our 2013 European tour was a huge challenge, it was so much fun but it was exhausting for all of us.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse at least once a week and play at least a show a fortnight. We like to get into the studio as much as we can! The European Tour is coming up and that’s going to be great.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

It’s always interesting reading articles and interviews of bands. You really get to know the artist and see what they’re all about. Live reviews are always interesting as well.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

A few bands we really like at the moment are Temples and Jacco Gardner.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Abbey Road is the dream as I’m sure it is for most bands. We’ll get in line and keep buying our lottery tickets though. Phil Spector would be great to work with if he wasn’t a holding a gun or anything sharp…

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We hope to write and record a new album in 2015. Our European Tour is really exciting as well, we’re really looking forward to heading back and playing some shows in our favourite countries.

Web Links:

facebook.com/thehighlearys
twitter.com/TheHighLearys
soundcloud.com/the-high-learys


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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November 16, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Big Boss Man (Newbreed)

This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series Newbreed4

Big Boss Man formed in November 1998, Their sound is a hip Heavy Hammond hybrid of pop, 6T’s R’n’B / Latin soul and funk. Early 1999 they got themselves a gig at the renowned “Blow Up”, then situated at the Wag club London, as usual the club was packed and the crowd absolutely loved the Big Boss Sound. They were then immediately signed up to the clubs very own “Blow Up” record label. The first release can be found on V2 Blow Upcompilation “Blow Up A Go-Go” with the demo version of the track Humanize, (recorded in the bands very own Ramshackle studios).

Band Members:
Nasser Bouzida: Organ, Mono-synthesizer, Bongos
Desmond Rogers: Drums
Scott “the Hawk” Milsom: Electric bass & Double Bass
Trev Harding: Guitar

Discography: (Blow Up Records unless stated otherwise)

Singles:
Sea Groove/Version (Blow Up Records) (2000) , Big Boss Man/Version (2001) Big Boss Man” The Hawk”/Frank Popp “leave me alone” (2005) (Record Kicks)
Party 7/Kelvin Stardust (2006), C’est Moi (2009) (promo cd only) Black Eye (2010) (promo cd only), Aardvark (2014)

Albums:
Humanize (2001), Winner (2005),
Full English Beat Breakfast (2009), Last Man on Earth (2014)

Compilation Appearances:
Blow Up a go-go (V2) The Later Lounge 1 & 2 (2000 ) (Later Magazine), It’s a Cool Cool Christmas (Jeepster) 2000, Unique Club Culture (Unique) 2000, Midem 2001 (Manchester Music) (2001) Robbi, Tobbi und Das Fliewatuut (Diggler) 2002, Soul Shaker 1 & 2 (2004/5) The Outernational Sound (18 St Lounge), Urban Deluxe (V2)(2005) Kitsch World Tour (Keks) 2007, Come on Soul (Legere) (2007), Raymann is Laat (Sonic Sorcery) 2008, Pradat (EMI) 2008, Vollanalog (private press LP) (2009) Blow Up Sampler (Blow Up) (2011)

Updated Releases and Tour Dates:
28th Nov ’14ZooZoo at The Blues Kitchen, Camden, London, UK
29th Nov ’14 – Jazz Cafe, Camden, London, UK
19th Dec ’14 – R3VIVAL, La Maroquinerie, Paris, FRANCE
27th Dec ’14 – Hipsville Xmas A Go Go, Fiddlers’ Elbow, NW5, London, UK

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

We have been together since 1998, Nass, Scott and Trev had been friends playing in bands for years, and when their last band “Skooby” hit the rocks the guys set up Big Boss Man mainly for fun; Nass, known principally as a drummer until this point came out from behind the kit to play organ & bongos and front the band. Scott played double bass in the early days.

One night we played at the Blow Up night at the Wag Club in Soho and were approached to sign to the Club’s Record Label and publishing company, they offered to pay for enough really good recording studio sessions, quality mixing and mastering to make a record we would all be happy with, and cut us in on a good deal so we haven’t looked back since. Around the same time we were invited to play at the Euro YeYe festival in Northern Spain, where we had a blast, it opened our eyes to the scene outside of Great Britain and the possiblities for touring that could be had, we have now toured Spain 5 times!

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

We all love playing, recording, creating, Soul, 60’s Garage, 60’s R’n’B, Psyche, Funk and Bongo-Fuzz sounds.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

We would def recommend: The Bongolian, The Hawkmen and The 45’s, they all feature members of Big Boss Man!

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

We are from all over, obviously London is great: club nights like: NUTs, Weirdsville, Dirty Water etc, Bristol has the frat house and department S.
Still working on Swansea, although there is a good Northern soul night that takes place in Pontadawe occasionally.

05. What are your live shows like?

We are a mainly instrumental band; we have the stage set up with Nass pounding the organ and bongos opposite Des beating the hell out of the drum kit and the two of them going generally mental whilst the Hawk and Trev hold it together.

06. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

We don’t do covers these days, though back in the beginning we used to do a rocksteady version of Peter Tosh’s “Steppin’Razor” and a Hammond Version of Elvis’s “His latest flame”

Our biggest influences are mostly black guys called Jimmy: Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Cliff, Jimi Hendrix, plus James Brown.

We don’t despise anyone!

07. What are your main influences outside of music?

Spinal Tap.

08. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

Nass writes most of the songs, but there are quite a few team efforts and co-writes. The few vocal numbers we have deal with; love lost, life’s bizarre experiences E.G. “Trans Adonis” and odd people we have met along the way. E.G. “Hail Caesar”

09. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Our Favorite song has got to be “Last Man on Earth” from the new LP/CD/digital download “Last Man on Earth” on Blow Up Records

Another Artist; anything by James Brown, say, “Sssh for a while” his avant-garde keyboard work on that track is second to none!

10. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

There are loads of great nights going on all over Europe, more than ever, we participate occasionally!

11. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

Deciding which tracks to put on the new LP we settled for: Aardvark, Theme from Last Man on Earth, Blow your own, Hail Caesar, Changing Faces, Crimson 6Ts, The Bear, Project No.6, Le Dernier Homme Sur Terre, Shot Down, Trans Adonis, Painted Rainbow, Sladey and Last Man on Earth (vocal version).

12. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We are always rehearsing, and have been playing a lot in 2014 to promote the new LP, we have been asked by one of the shows on BBC6 Music to come in and record a session, so hopefully that will work out then more gigging in 2015 followed by recording at Beat Mountain and Dog House Studios.

13. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Just get Shindig Magazine, that has it all covered!

14. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

There’s loads of great new bands out there if you look, “The Turning” for instance, good bunch of guys!

15. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Who: Any of the Soul Legends before it’s too late!

Where: Hitsville USA in Detroit (Motown Studio) or Studio 1 in Kingston Jamaica! Maybe some of the spirit of the classic tunes recorded there would rub off on us.

16. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Well we better get working on BBM IV! Next year we return to Spain (In April) so really looking forward to that. And hopefully dates on the UK festival circuit.

Web Links:

big-boss-man.com
facebook.com/BigBossMan
twitter.com/BigBossMan


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

November 10, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music News Tags:, , , ,
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Motown Shop Around

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Collectors Corner

Collectable early UK Tamla Motown singles

Along with Rock’n’Roll, The Beatles, Stones and Dylan, it’s probably fair to say soul has been one of the most collectable forms of music since the first record collectors started scouring junk shops looking for deleted obscure 45’s back in the late 1960’s. With it’s massive UK fanbase, Tamla Motown soon became one of the most popular labels to collect and there are plenty of choice UK rarities to empty your wallet with. The first release came out on the most celebrated of UK labels, London American, which was set up by Decca Records to release the latest sounds from the USA it held the rights to release.

In the mid 50’s the explosion of great R’N’B tracks released in the USA and the fact Decca had the rights to release music from Specialty, Atlantic and Chess meant we were treated to all manner of classic American music in the UK. And so in May 1959 the Marv Johnson US Tamla single “Come to me” was released on London HLT 8856, this was followed in November the same year with the piano led instrumental “The Hunch” by Paul Gayten (London HLM 8998) which had been released in the US on Anna records the previous month. Neither sold particularly well but do appear for sale occasionally, neither should cost more than £80 in top condition.

motown 1

In March 1960 London took up the option to release Barrett Strong’s classic single “Money (That’s what I want)” (London HLU 9088) which was at the time moving up the US hot 100 on it’s way to a #23 chart placing. Unfortunately the same thing never happened in Britain and the single flopped making it the most expensive London single to locate, a mint copy usually selling for around £100-£120. Britain had to wait another eleven months before the next UK release, but what a release it was.

The Miracles had just had Motown’s first million selling 45 in the USA , “Shop around”, and the track was released over here on London on HL 9276. Although it wasn’t a chart hit sales were respectable which is probably what tempted London into releasing a follow-up “Ain’t it baby” in September 1961 (London HL 9366) and even an EP release the following month “Shop Around” (London RE 1295). The EP is by far the hardest of the London releases and when it does appear is usually guaranteed to fetch way over £100.

motown 2

After six releases and no UK hits, Decca gave up and the releasing rights for Tamla and Motown moved to Philips subsiduary Fontana. A real mixed bag of a label, early releases ranged from Aretha Franklin and James Brown tracks to Cleo Laine and Sooty & Sweep! And so in November 1961 The Marvelettes debut US single and Hot 100 #1 smash “Please Mr Postman” was released on Fontana H 355 in Britain. Although not a hit over here it had steady sales prompting Fontana to release three singles from the label in quick succession early the following year.

The first release was from The Miracles “What’s so good about goodbye” (H 384), The Marvelettes “Twisting Postman” (H 386), and Eddie Holland “Jamie” (H 387). Not one of these singles bothered the UK charts and the Miracles and Eddie Holland singles are now prized rarities for the collector, the former usually selling for around £100 and the Holland 45 easily doubling that in perfect condition.

Around the same time (August 1961) a Motown anomily gained a UK release, The Spinners US Tri-Phi release “That’s what girls are made for” which was a Fuqua / Gordy composition sneaked out on Columbia records in the UK (DB 4693). Some discographies list this single and some don’t as it isn’t an official Motown release but we’ll go with the former as it is a £100+ rarity!

The fact that Fontana’s Motown releases were not selling as well as their Johnny Mathis releases was the probable reason the label was on the move again in autumn 1962 to the upcoming independent Oriole label.

motown 3

Originally set up in the mid 1920’s in Whitechapel, London, Oriole had begun to have regular chart hits in the late 50s and early 60’s with artists such as Chas McDevitt, Russ Hamilton and Maureen Evans all reaching high positions in the UK. Head of A&R at the company at the time, John Schroeder brought Berry Gordy over to London to sign a twelve month distribution deal and In September 1962 the company launched their “Oriole American” series with three singles leased from the Tamla-Motown stable.

Mary Wells “You beat me to the punch” (CBA 1762) was swiftly followed by The Contours “Do you love me” (CBA 1973) and The Marvelettes “Beechwood 4-5789″ (CBA 1764). All three were steady sellers, unlike the next release in December 1962. Mike & The Modifiers “I got myself a brand new baby” (CBA 1775) must have got lost in the Christmas rush as it sold pitiful amounts hence it’s rarity today. This along with the other ultra rare Oriole / Motown release “I found a girl” by The Valadiers which was released in March 1963 (CBA 1809) have both sold for up to £1000 each and are jewels in any UK Tamla Motown collection.

motown 4

Oriole released a total of nineteen singles in just under a year, including UK debut discs from Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas and Little Stevie Wonder. Most can be found at a reasonable price apart from the Eddie Holland “If it’s love (It’s alright)” (CBA 1808), The Marvelettes “Locking up my heart” (CBA 1817) and Martha & The Vandellas “I’ll have to let him go” (CBA 1814) 45’s which are all £200+ rarities.

Just as Oriole looked on the cusp of a UK chart hit with Little Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips” (CBA 1853) which was released in August 1963 the US label was snapped up by the giant EMI group of companies and after one final release from The Miracles “Mickeys’ monkey” (CBA 1863) in September Tamla-Motown found itself being released on the legendary Stateside label in Britain. But that’s another story altogether…


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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November 10, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, ,
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Fashion – 60s print and pattern (part 2)

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Fashion Scene

The late 50s and early 60s were all about looking forward. But by the mid 60s many would say that the true spirit of modernism had died out. It was everywhere of course in the media and on the advertising hoardings, as well as manifesting itself in bands such as The Who, The Small Faces and The Action. Mod was popular, so mods moved on. Elsewhere a backlash against modernism meant that artists and designers started to look to days gone by for their inspiration.

In terms of fashion, this resulted in a big cultural shift. Designers borrowed from Victorian era with its high-collars, the military wear of Edwardian-era and the Art Nouveau movement of the 1920s. The plain, abstract motifs of Op-Art gave way to the free-flowing shapes of nature. Fashion houses such as Liberty in London were a huge influence reproducing 19th Century designer, William Morris’ prints onto their fabrics. These designs feature huge swirls of acanthus leaves and other plants and flowers in large ornate colour ways.

A designer that really picked up on this look was Barbara Hulanicki, who opened her Biba store in London in 1964. This interest in more fluid line and pattern was also evident in Ossie Clarke’s designs in the 1960s.

London-based designers Foale and Tuffin who opened their boutique in 1962, just off Carnaby Street, also embraced pattern in their designs, utilising traditional British weaves such as plaid or herringbone or trouser suits trousers and tartan for mini skirts and tights.

The influence of the Empire and the East was also felt in this latest style revival. Touches of Madras and Paisley prints would feature on shirts, dresses and most popularly, scarves, both for men and women. The paisley twisted teardrop motif is thought to have Indian and Iranian and origins enjoyed a revival when it was adopted by the psychedelic’s and dandy’s of the mid to late 60s.

The motif, which looks a little like and uncurling fern or seed pod, in many ways symbolised the burgeoning ‘hippy’ scene.

The ethos of ‘flower power,’ as it was often referred to, was all about rejecting modern consumerism and getting back to nature, against the backdrop of political and social upheaval that was being felt across Europe and the US in the mid- to late 60s.

Fashion was quick to latch on to the movement and floral motifs became a staple form on shift dresses, pussy bow shirts and head scarfs. Sunflowers, daisies and poppies replaced circles targets and squares. The designs were none the less still modern, but the subject matter was entirely natural and not as just years earlier, a celebration of the man-made.

These prints feminised the shift dresses which became softer in line, with empire lines and high collars or huge penny collars added for extra detail. We also see here the introduction of the so-called ‘dolly bird’ style, all legs and doe eyes in short girl-like dresses, often worn with over the knee socks. Not a look many could get away with today, but this was the 60s after all.


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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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November 10, 2014 By : Category : Fashion Front Page Style Tags:, , ,
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Yann Vatiste – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 12 of 21 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 2

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

I got into music in my teens when I became a Mod. I was mostly listening to Black Soul music. My eclectic taste was ranging from R&B, Soul, Funk, Latin to Acid Jazz. However the discovery of the Kent LPs was for me the true beginning of a long and endless passion for rare soul 45rpm.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

In the late 80’s, I started my first DJ experience in my hometown Lyon – France.

From then, I played in various clubs and venues such as The Millionaire Soul Club in Lyon, 60s dos across France. In the mid 90s, I moved to London where the real thing began for me with the discovery of the 100 Club, Scenesville and Capitol Soul Club.

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Without a doubt, it has to be my first dj spot at the 100 Club in London. For a young Frenchie, it was a real honour to DJ in such a legendary venue.

I always remembered going down those stairs carrying my humble DJ box and getting so nervous.

When I got onto the stage, I got a tap on the shoulder from Butch who said to me with a big smile: “Don’t worry son”. I was petrified and could not really recall how I managed to cue up my first record. It was for me pure magic looking at the dance floor filling up.

04. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

Thinking back, there was no bad experience maybe with the exception of a DJ spot played to a very unappreciative and unknowledgeable crowd in Essex.

05. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Butch is for me the number one rare Soul DJ of all time. Thanks to his hard work and researches, he is constantly spoiling us with amazing c/u and unissued tracks.

Through the 100 Club and Cleethorpes Soul weekender, Ady Croasdell is a fantastic asset to the Northern Soul scene. We are so thankful to Ady for keeping the scene going for so long.

Dave Flynn is my mentor; I truly appreciate his amazing musical knowledge and impeccable DJ style.

I greatly admire Andy Rix for his passion for Shrine label and also for his discoveries of many incredible unissued tracks. I do hope to see him again behind the decks one day.

Soul Sam is the champion of the Northern, Modern Soul and Funk scenes for several decades.

A big thumbs up to the Lifeline residents, Mick H & Andy Dyson for their top quality rare sounds.

Not to forget the amazing Arthur Fenn and Kitch for being excellent representatives of the scene.

Amongst our European friends, I have to give a special mention to Marc Forrest and Eduardo Doninguez for their remarkable taste and contribution to the Northern Soul scene in Europe.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I am certainly influenced by the 100 Club sound. Being a regular punter for almost 20 years now, the 100 Club has been a great and constant learning curve. It is the place to discover new and different tracks every month, especially thanks to the mighty Butch.

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

I don’t have the preference for any best discovery but as a DJ I like to play lesser known tracks but with great quality sound.

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

As mentioned in question six, the 100 Club has certainly shaped my DJ sound. My favourite artist is the TSU tornadoes because they were prolific artists and produced great music.

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

I am a Shrine label collector and obsessed by it but unless I win at the lottery I doubt I will ever have the complete collection! I am very keen on instrumentals, Texas and North Carolina sound but do also appreciate great Oldies.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

At VaVaVoom Soul Club (VVVM) and Master Of Soul (MOS)

VVVM: Founded over a decade ago by Ady Lupton and myself, VaVaVoom is now well established Soul Club on the London scene.

Joel Maslin joined VVVM at a later stage and is a truly valuable member.

Our current venue is the stunning Bel Air House in Dulwich where we have been successfully putting up all dayers during this current year and hopefully with many more to come.

MOS: For the last three years, I am also running Masters of Soul with Leona Murphy & Naoko Omassa.

After a short break, MOS will be back with a bang at the original venue, the Winlock & Essex on Essex Road (Angel) with a new improved sound system.

Our next comeback night, not to be missed, is on Thursday 27th of November (7:30pm-1am) with the legendary Soul Sam & the fabulous Ian Wright!

For futher information, please check our Facebook page.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

It has to be Sandy Golden: Your love is everything (Masterpiece) It is also my wife’s all time favourite record. Hopefully, one day I will own one!

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

1. The Springers – Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby – Way Out
2. The Tomangoe’s – I Really Love You – Washpan
3. J D Bryant – I Won’t Be Coming Back – Shrine
4. Sandy Golden – Your love is everything – Masterpiece
5. The Prophets – If I Had One Gold Piece- Shrine
6. Patrinell Staten – Little Love Affair – Sepia
7. Clay Brown – Everybody’s talkin’ – Aljon
8. Eddie Billups – Ask My Heart – Peachtree
9. George Lemons – Fascinating Girl – Gold Soul
10 Deon Jackson – Some Day The Sun Will Shine – Unissued

Current Top 5 Tracks:

In no particular order

1. Pee Wee Shuck & Hue – Beside Myself – FLagg
2. Camaro’s – We’re Not Too Young – Dar-Cha
3. Betty Wilson – I”m Yours – Dayco
4. Buddy Smith – When You Lose The One You Love – Brute
5. Eddie Day E & The 4 Bars – Guess Who Loves You – Shrine

Web Links:

yvatiste.wix.com/vavavoom-soul-club
facebook.com/yann.vatiste 
facebook.com/events

 


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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November 10, 2014 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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David Flynn – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 11 of 21 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 2

Flynny has been based in Tokyo, Japan for the last decade, but was one of the resident DJ’s (alongside Irish Greg, Alan. H and Carl Fortnum) at the much lamented Capitol Soul Club. He runs AnoraksCorner.com for full-on Rare Soul collectors and even breaks down how to identify where and when, and indeed by whom, your 1960’s US Soul 45’s were manufactured, set alongside the tasty record sales pages, all regularly updated!

01. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

So, there I was, a 9 year old kid attending the local youth club back in the latter half of the 70’s when in amongst the chart hits of the day there was a portion of the evening handed over to the “big kids” with their own choice of records, and the DJ instructing us youngsters to clear the dance-floor to allow them to do their fancy dancing! Hop forward a few months to the night of the school leaver’s disco (wave goodbye to Junior school!) and the legendary “England This England” TV documentary on Wigan Casino was shown. I can still remember watching it and yelling to my Mum to come and see as this was the music I liked and was now dancing around to! That was it, pretty much Northern Soul from the start!

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

That would be back in the early 80’s at the Wheelwrights Club in Gloucester at the age of 16, I was already a veteran (!) having attended Wigan Casino and the Yate nighters from the age of 14 and had already put together a fair collection of original US 45’s, thankfully pocket-money would cover original vinyl back then! I would do the warm-up set and can still recall a feeling of pride as I noted that I had original US copies of some of the bootlegs/pressings the older guys would then be spinning later the same evening – the spirit of OVO was with me from the get-go!

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

Can’t pin-point down to just one, but the Capitol Soul Club nights were always special…looking out across the crowded dance-floor there was inspiring. Those were special times in London, the CSC, Scenesville, These Old Shoes and the 100 Club were all riding high! I also must mention the Uptight all-nighters in Frankfurt – they were special to DJ at too as many friends frequenting them from all over Europe.

04. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

No complete disasters to report, thus far, but it was kind of heart stopping last NYE when I played the Mello Souls out in the UK for the first time (for me) and it jumped on the intro due to the springy floor by the decks!

05. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Initially, I really enjoyed the sets from Dave Evison (Casino) and Jerry “Hippo” Hipkiss’ (Yate), as they mixed up popular and forgotten tunes – always with enthusiasm! Richard Searling of course, for his tail-end of the Casino classics, of which many have stood the test of time for both quality and rarity, and he always delivered them in a professional manner. Onto the mid-80’s with Guy Hennigan and Keb Darge pushing the scene forward in charismatic style, these guys were untouchable in their prime! The late 80’s early 90’s saw Butch solidifying his rightful place on the Soul-throne with a stream of top notch unknowns and Ady Croasdell took the Kent label to new lofty heights with the unissued material – again both presenting their sets in an addictive way that made one travel for hours to experience. I also must give nods of respect to Andy Dyson, Kitch, Dean, Kenny Burrell, Tony Smith and the omnipresent Arthur Fenn and Soul Sam, every one mentioned being consummate DJ’s and amongst my faves.

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I don’t have a specific “sound”, though it’s fair to say I am pretty much 95% 60’s only weaving classic Oldies, Stafford period anthems, 100 Club-esque big beat ballads and even a splash of Latin Boogaloo. Of late I am also conscious of playing possibly too many uptempo 100 mph sounds in a row, when I should be giving the dancers a breather between them, maybe!

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

There is one acetate I have been sat on for a while though – it is a powerful version of a track called, “Go On Home”, also recorded/released by Ray Charles – albeit with a totally different backing track and pace. The backing vocals are reminiscent of those on John Leach’s, “Put That Woman Down”, the harmonica stabs are “Of Hopes, Dreams & Tombstones” and the lead male vocalist is strong and earthy, whoever he may be, but I’ll call him “Jimmy Frasier” for now! Finding the first copies of many Northern Soul classics on Japanese presses has also been satisfying – Lada Edmund Jr and Joey Heatherton on Japanese Decca instantly spring to mind – totally unknown to exist until I turned them up!

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favorite artist(s)?

Musical directions – I would put forward Guy Hennigan and Ady Croasdell’s DJ sets as having majorly influenced my own development. I must also mention Joop Visser, who was a director at Charly Records during my tenure at that label/distributor – his passion for Jazz, Blues and vintage Soul was infectious. In fact my 20 years working within the UK music industry gave me access to so much music, so I honestly appreciate all kinds of musical genre – I also have to admit to having a rather large collection of vintage Japanese pressed Jazz and Latin albums! As for a favourite artist, for quantity and quality across a variety of styles I’ll go with Chuck Jackson, whose “Any Day Now” is one of my Desert Island discs for sure!

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

Nowadays my passion is for collecting and archiving vintage 60’s Japanese pressed 60’s US Soul, in fact I’ve been researching and writing a book on the very subject! There were no label listings, price guides or fanzines for me to refer to, so it has taken me years of collecting and reading through old record company catalogues in various archives, to actually piece together what came out, even for Motown! I am proud to say that I am now at the point where even the Japanese reissue labels come to me for information, pictures and source!

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

In the UK, only over the festive period nowadays – in Japan, the occasional collector’s night in Tokyo, and at least once per year down in Kobe at the Nude Restaurant, total respect to these guys who have held the only real-deal Northern Soul nighters in Japan regularly for longer than most UK clubs! Who knows, one day I may even pop up at a continental European doo once again!

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

Brief answer, I wouldn’t say no to the original acetate of “Suspicion”.

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

I certainly don’t mind the following to be on repeat – never get bored of them:

  1. Larry Clinton – She’s Wanted – Dynamo
  2. Soul Incorporated – My Proposal – Coconut Grove
  3. Mello Souls – We Can Make It – Mello
  4. Eddie Parker – I’m Gone – Awake
  5. Detroit Soul – All Of My Life – Music Town
  6. Jimmy Raye – Philly Dog Around The World – KKC
  7. Nomads – Somethin’s Bad – MoGroov
  8. Yvonne Baker – You Didn’t Say A Word – Parkway
  9. Edwin Starr – My Kind Of Woman – RicTic
  10. Major Lance – You Don’t Want Me No More – Okeh

Current Top 5 Tracks:

I will go with these from the shelves:

  1. Mello Souls – We Can Make It – Mello
  2. Prophets – If I Had (One Gold Piece) – Shrine
  3. Counts – Peaches Baby – Shrine
  4. Jimmy Frasier – Go On Home – Acetate
  5. Joey Heatherton – When You Call Me Baby (alt. version) – Japanese Decca

Web Links:

AnoraksCorner.com


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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November 10, 2014 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Soul Sam – Hey! Mr DJ

This entry is part 13 of 21 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 2

I managed to bag an exclusive interview with the great Soul Sam ahead of his appearance on New Year’s Eve in London and this is what he had to say.

01. How and when did you get into music and what was you listening to then?

I got into music in the late 50’s, as a typical teenager, listening only to the latest American Rock’n’Roll releases and buying the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Rick Nelson. The driving beat and tunes were the appeal as at the time as I wasn’t aware of the different r’n’b, rock-a-billy influences, my favourite artist being Buddy Holly and the Crickets! I listened to music in the local coffee bars or on radio Luxembourg and my very small record collection. By the 60’s I’d moved firstly to early r’n’b, then by the mid 60‘s, Motown & Stax, buying mainly “Soul’ Records but I also liked the Phil Spector sound, the surfing harmony sound, especially the Beach Boys.

02. Where was your first DJ slot?

In the Wrexham area, 1968, playing mainly in youth clubs, starting with the Victoria Y.C, then Queen’s Park and my first night club, Pepper’s Place, playing Club Soul, Motown and the latest uptempo soul releases and a few reggae record under the name of “Sam’s Soul Sounds” (no! I never had to play any progressive/heavy rock! LOL

03. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

This is impossible to limit to one, but most memorable nights included:

The Cleethorpes Pier All Niters (in my opinion the best ever!)

Raynscourt Hotel, Great Yarmouth (best cross over events)

In more recent times, Lifeline in the UK and the amazing European experiences at Bamberg and Barcelona.

04. What so far has been your worst DJ experience?

Perhaps the worst was comparatively recently; two minutes before I was about to start my spot, I was threatened with legal action by another DJ for what I had written in an article about him, so was not thinking too much about what I was playing in the next hour!

No names and the venue itself were in no way responsible for what happened so will remain anonymous!

05. Your favorite scene DJ’s and why?

1. In the 70’s Colin Curtis, he was such a perceptive judge of a new sound and has never lost his enthusiasm – from Northern through Jazz into Soulful House.

2. Arthur Fenn, my best mate on the scene has great taste in music and is always trying to break new esoteric sounds.

More recently Butch, so knowledgeable and innovative along with Mick H, Andy Dyson who have certainly given that ‘Lifeline’ to our scene!

06. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I was first attracted to the rare Soul/Northern scene as I was hearing interesting different records on a weekly basIs and still love the enthusiastic attitude now.

I could never be an ‘Oldies’ DJ confined to the top 100-500 records of the same repeated sounds (however good they are) as I want to play/share any new finds/sounds with hopefully the punters.

Hence while I still love 60’s/Motown, I’m equally enthusiastic to program the best more funky and modern tracks.

07. What was your best ever find/discovery?

On a trip to the USA in the late 80’s with Arthur Fenn, we were in a shop in Philadelphia and found, as a complete unknown Tolbert, ‘I’ve Got It’ on Rojac for a few dollars. Since then it has been one of my favorite records, almost making my all time top 10.

08. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favorite artists(s)?

I’ve never had a “bigger influence” as such, being more attracted by the overall sound and tune of a particular record. In the late 60’s many Motown record appealed for this reason, as the northern and modern ones later.

I’ve always like the vocal delivery of artist such as Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Otis Redding, Teddy Pendergrass, O’Jays, Temptations, but equally appreciate the one off masterpieces of totally unknown artists like the one in my top 10 all time favorite records.

09. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

The simple answer is no as I am not a completist only buying what I really like (and can DJ with), I do have many hundreds of Motown records, but would certainly not buy a Billy Ecstine Motown record!

As a result, I probably have records by over a thousand different artists on weird and wonderful labels, nearly all of which come under general category of “Soul” from the mid 60’s onwards to Y2K.

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

In the UK, I regularly do Lifeline, BAE systems at Broughtons, Radcliffe all-niters and many of the big Northern Weekenders, various small evening events around Manchester area (often more funky sounds here) as well as one off events around the UK and in Europe!

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

Perhaps the record I’d most like to own is one I don’t even have the correct information about, as it is a cover up by a mate of mine George Mahood – who credits this little gem to the Hamilton Movement.

Other top wants include, Bernard Drake ‘Do The Natural Thing’ (La Louisiana), Wanda Mcdanields ‘Ganster Boy’ (Appleray), Superbs ‘Wind In My Sails’ (Dore), Scott 3 ‘Running wild’

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 tracks of all time

1. The Mark IV- If You Can’t Tell me Something Good – Brite Lite
2. Joseph Webster – My Love Is So Strong – Crow
3. Velvelettes – These Things Will Keep Me Loving You – Soul
4. Moses Smith – The Girl Across The Street – Dionn
5. 4 Dynamics – Thing’s That A Lady Ain’t Supposed To Do – Peachtree
6. Lil Manor Williams – Girl (You’re So Sweet, You’re So Fine/Girl Don’t Leave Me – Williams III
7. John & The Wierdest – Can’t Get Over These Memories – Ties
8. Jan Jones – Independent Woman – Day Wood
9. Eddie Foster – I Never Knew – In
10. Supremes – Stoned Love
11. McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Know – Philadelphia International

Current Top 5:

1. Tommy Deny – Soul Thing – Cobblestone
2. Aggregation – A Child Is Born – Charity
3. Bamboos/Chris Columbus – Tighten Up (2 version) Kay Dee
4. Betty Boo – Jingle Jangle – Bell Sound Studio Acetate
5. Unity & The Down Beats – Love Dream – Sound Of Selma


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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November 10, 2014 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music UK Tags:, , ,
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Niamh Lynch – Hey! Mrs DJ

This entry is part 10 of 21 in the series Hey! Mr DJ 2

Niamh Lynch is based in North London, UK. Available for weddings, bar mitzvahs – you know how it goes. I used to be resident at Sophisticated Boom Boom years ago when it was a regular club at the Garage, Islington and then the Water Rats in Kings X.
She took some time out recently to talk to Dr. Robert @Nutsmag.

1. How and when did you get into music and what were you listening to then?

Does anyone remember when they first got into music? Does singing along in the kitchen with the radio when you were 3 count? I liked contemporary pop music and 60s music (nothing rare – I used to watch all the old 60s films on TV and loved the style and music) up until I went on holiday to Wexford (Kilmuckeridge) with a friend when I was 14 and we met up with some lovely mods. For some reason, those handsome, well dressed young men had an influence on me. So, I started exploring the music they were listening to and got dragged in. When I went to my first ever club in Dublin (the beautiful CIE hall), I got to hear all those old soul and RnB classics and spent the night open mouthed staring at all the amazing clothes. There was no turning back after that experience.

2. Where was your first DJ slot?

My memory on this is pretty poor and it is a toss-up between one of two. I think it was at the Dirty Water club in the Boston Arms having hassled PJ for a slot. It was a fairly shambolic poor effort but clearly didn’t put me off (probably put him off booking unknowns..) and I persevered. The other potential first spot was at a club called Track and Field in the Betsy Trotwood pub in Farringdon. I had bumped into one of the organisers, Steven Drew, in the Dublin Castle in Camden. I was drunk enough to be cheeky and ask for a slot. He was drunk enough to agree. He forgot about it but I didn’t and brazenly turned up with my records and guilt tripped a sober Steve into honouring his drunken promise. That was the slot that got me hooked as the dance floor was full and people even came over and thanked me after.

3. What was your most memorable DJ spot?

I am not sure I can single one out! I have had so many fantastic nights out over the years. There have been many iconic nights where I have felt truly honoured to have been invited:

6ts Rhythm and Soul at the 100 Club; The Mousetrap in Finsbury Park; Capitol Soul at the Dome in Tufnell Park, Middleton RnB room for Joe Dutton and, of course, rallies like Euro YeYe; All Saints; Two Men from Linz, The Italian Job; New Untouchables Brighton Weekender – all brilliant and all organised by enthusiastic dedicated people, which is what makes them such an amazing experience.

4. What so far, has been your worst DJ experience?

I think I could pick any of my early dj spots, purely for nerves! I was a very nervous dj in the early days. The first time Rob gave me a chance at Hipsters in the Pleasure Unit, I worried about it for a week beforehand, got my set in running order so nothing was left to chance, then got on and put on the first record, on the wrong side. Doh! Moved on swiftly to the next record (with Rob’s help) and then discovered that the headphones didn’t work. I had very little knowledge of the equipment and, to cap it all, the BBC were down filming for a documentary at the Pleasure Unit that night. I was desperately trying to line a record up using sight only with a camera in my face getting a close up while I let loose a string of four letter words.

Another good one was at Fab in Clipstone Street. Rob’s famous turntable that used to become possessed when it was on the correct speed (had to be +ed or –ed to work ok). Of course, no one told me and I put it on the correct speed only to have the record deck speed up in the wrong direction.

All character building experiences!

5. Your favourite scene DJ’s and why?

Again, there are quite a few contenders for this accolade: the classics, who come back year after year with great tunes – Ady Croasdell; Roger Banks (a complete entertainment system is Roger); Alan Handscombe. And there are many others who I enjoy Warren Boogaloo; Mik Parry (the abusive dance floor filler! I have never heard anyone else manage to abuse a crowd on to the floor, his amazing stomper tunes help of course); Nashee for her left field choices; Carl Willingham; Joe Dutton and there are plenty more who have influenced me; made me reach for my phone to get a photo of the awesome tune they are playing and who are just all round good guys (and girls) who have a passion for what they do. I think the people with a passion for what they are playing are the ones who generate the atmosphere as it translates to the crowd. There’s nothing better than seeing the dj having a ball singing along (and dancing if there’s room) behind the decks.

6. What has shaped your DJ sound and why?

I collect a wide spectrum of sounds but when I collect to dj, I like tunes that have a good strong dancing beat. I have tunes that I play at home that would never get to a club but when djing I want people to dance and enjoy themselves so I try to play danceable tunes with the odd unknown thrown in, always with a good beat in the hope no one notices (or cares) and carries on dancing.

I have also had the good fortune early in my collecting days to make the acquaintance of Ty Jesso, a dj and collector/ seller from Providence, Rhode Island. I met up with him in London after contacting him through a Yahoo group (the old Mods list) and listened to loads and loads of his 45s and bought about 30 straight off. We kept in touch regularly, he would send tapes of what he had for sale and I would send tapes of the sort of sound I liked. He twigged my taste very quickly and used to do compilation tapes and send them over with prices. And if he didn’t have time, I’d ring and he’d play his latest suggestions down the phone. I can probably attribute quite a large chunk of my early collection to Ty’s diligence and great prices (another £10 due to me there I think).

7. What was your best ever find/discovery?

Back in the 90s Channel 4 ran a series of dodgy b-movies season called “Exploitica”. There were many great films shown but one that struck me (and I taped on a good old VHS tape) was Teenage Gang Debs. Filmed around the Bronx in New York and using real street gangs, it was a very dark story about the rise and fall of a gang leader’s girl. The title tune by Lee Dowell was “Don’t make me mad”. I loved it and was desperate to get the record on 45. When eBay arrived on the scene and helped locating all those records overseas, I used to search it. Then Ty Jesso sent me a link of one for sale on eBay (one of only two I have ever seen for sale in all my years collecting, and I still have the search in to this day) and I went for it. I didn’t pay big money for the 45. It was a long time ago and I got it for less than $100. However, it was in the days when you could see who was the highest bidder on records and it was the only time I have ever been inundated with people after telling me to name my price. Which, of course, made me treasure it even more! It’s a good fast soul/ RnB tune and the b-side isn’t bad either! I played it (by mistake again) in Boston when djing at Vinny Nguyen’s club (cannot remember the name of the night) and left it to play through, though it’s very fast. It’s called “Be a black belt” and there is a dance in the film that goes along with it. Innes and I tried to master the dance but could just never get it right..

8. Who was your biggest influence musically and your favourite artist(s)?

I have to say that I started off with the Motown beat and moved on from there. I love Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson as all round soul singers. Their voices have lovely tones. And I am a total sucker for a female vocal, bubblegum; bad-ass; group; torch singers, the lot. A guy once said to me at the 100 Club that he didn’t think women could sing soul. I have never spoken to him since. Ha!

9. Do you collect specific labels/artists/genres?

No. I am definitely not a record label nerd. I don’t even catalogue by label like a lot of collectors/ djs. I rang a seller looking for a record once and told them the artist and song. The response was that they couldn’t check whether or not they had it because I didn’t know what label it came out on and they filed by label. That to me is a bit nuts as a buyer is far more likely to know the song/ artist they are after than the label!

It broke my heart when my collection got too large and I had to split it by genre. So all my garage and beat had to be weeded out and stored separately. And then further broken down to a play box and the rest. I liked it all when it was one big family but I got to the point where I couldn’t find anything and half the time couldn’t even remember if I owned it!

10. Where can folks currently catch your DJ set?

Next clubs spots listed below! It all comes in fits and starts and I’m happy that way. I don’t want to be out every weekend running around the country.

11. What is the record you would most like to own?

At the moment? I would love to own a copy of Jonathan Capree: Gonna build a mountain on Oxbow. That tune is such a builder and never fails to get me on the dance floor.

And there are some great classics I would love to have in my collection – to own if not to play:

That’s not love: Holly St James – nearly brings me to tears when I hear it…

Can’t we talk it over: L Allen – got it all, echo, de-tuned piano and it sounds like the master tape was worn/ stretched. All the faults just add to the atmosphere of the tune.

12. Please give us a top 10 all time favourites and a current top 5 spins?

Top 10 Tracks of All Time:

  1. Wheels of Steel: Saxon
  2. Run to the hills: Iron Maid… Oh. Sorry. That sort of top ten..

My top ten is unapologetically full of well known tunes. Tunes that were popular for good reason. The tunes that make the hair stand up on my neck when the first few notes echo out over a big hall and make me shove people out of the way in my haste to get to the dance floor.

  1. L Allen: Can’t we talk it over – the only thing that makes hearing this tune even better is if Kavel Rafferty is there to dance with me. A favourite of Ms Rafferty’s too.
  2. Ritchie Adams: I can’t escape from you – rolls along at such a rate. Never get tired of dancing to it
  3. The Majestics: I love her so much it hurts – Those horns!
  4. Wallie Hawkins/ Rose McCoy: Switch around – first heard this played by Roger Banks. Female backing to die for
  5. Jonathan Capree: Gonna build a mountain – an amazing tune that builds
  6. Holly St James: That’s not love – so much atmosphere
  7. Joanie Sommers: Don’t pity me – always loved this but to see her singing it live is enough to bring anyone to tears
  8. Fire: My Father’s name is dad – love this for the snotty youthfulness
  9. The Eyes: Rowed out – more snotty yoof
  10. Castaways: Liar, liar – this tune will always remind me of the old days at the Frat Shack and early Mousetraps. My first few years in London when I had started earning proper money and used to go out all the time to all the great clubs that flourished thanks to Britpop. So many happy memories and this tune brings them all back.

Current Top 5 Tracks:

  1. The Invitations: watch out little girl
  2. Voices Incorporated: Thinkin’
  3. Barry White: Tracy
  4. Lee Dowell: Don’t make me mad
  5. Plas Johnson: Downstairs

Web Links:

facebook.com/russ.popcornpony
Twitter – @popcorn_meister

Next Club Spots: Nuts 17th Anniversary at the Phoenix, Cavendish Square, London – November 8th 2014  17 years! Who would have thought it? I remember the first one.

Teen Scene at the Hideaway bar, Tufnell Park – 21st November 2014


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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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October 29, 2014 By : Category : DJs Front Page Interviews Music UK Tags:, , ,
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