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     Held at the Warina after
St.Ives was dramatically shut and sweaty . . .
 the floor rapidly turned into a
         swimming pool.

3rd, 4th & 5th held at the   'Fleet' in Peterborough...



                     & ABUSED
               at the Fleet Centre.

  What a bloody place Birmingham is. One thing to remember when in Birmingham, do not ask anyone for directions. We must have stopped about ten times to ask how to get to the Locarno and would you believe it, half the people had never heard of the place, the other half had us chasing all over the place, up and down one-way streets, including a lap round a National Car Park.
Still, amid all the cold and confusion, the Soul Symbol team reached the Locarno, whereby Stewart soon sniffed out the local "Worship Temple". Armed with his "Spencers bags", record box "Holdall" and cash he and the team moved forward at a fearsome pace with complete disregard to fellow worshippers so that an attempt at downing four pints in the remaining 25 minutes could be made. Sadly we failed, due mainly to Stewart's lack of cash and Simon's lack of sense.
Having left the pub, we moved forward eagerly awaiting something special at this All-dayer, and we found it. From the moment Stewart fell down the stairs. Only to find Chris King trying to strip-search the females going in. His excuse was: checking the texture of the girl's knickers. A likely story Chris. And next time he tries to talk me into walking round in a long raincoat, I'm leaving!
After having been left £3 lighter at the door, the team moved forward to find "Terry Sampson" doing a brisk trade on top of the tables with his new badges, but an even better trade under the table with assorted magazines.
We left our bags and coats at the excellent cloakroom facilities then steamed into the main hall. What is it like? In a word BRILLIANT! The place had been open only 20 minutes and already they were packing onto the dance floor. Mick was djing when we arrived (Cockney Mick? from Windsor!! really), actually since I last saw him he has improved no end and looks set to continue in the right direction. Either he's got the crowd sussed out, or they are easy to please. Whatever, they do love dancing, and dancing they did. The Birmingham crowd are great. They are one crowd I would like to take wih me everytime I DJ. I don't think I can remember an empty spot on the floor.
After Mick had finished his spot, Chris took the decks and played a set, giving the crowd everything they wanted to hear, plus a few more. It was at this stage that Andy Pittock put in a guest appearence and amid much laughter and kneeing in the groines, the old team of Stewart and Pittock were reunited. The next hour spent swapping stories and selling records with some of the nicest people I have come to know on the scene. I saw one lad with a copy of Susan Shirley's "Really into something", what a good record that is, and forced Clive Jones to part with a tin of beer. Something that others have only talked about in low whispers in dark corners.
The next few hours were for me a blank, as having just done the Bristol All-nighter , Stewart was feeling tired and shagged out. So retreating to the corner of the stage Stewart did the back collapse and fell asleep. Could this last though? No! From the depths of sleep your hero was awoken by none other than ROBERT from Aldershot, who persuaded me that the bar was about to open. Well that was it, I was up. A quick slurch across the floor to Jackie Lee revealed that the queue was starting at the bar and soon I would have the opportunity to part with more money for Mecca's version of beer (which is diluted water!)
Now the evening session was really under way and amid much merriment Roland from Newbury managed to pull a light out of the ceiling, and Roger Stewart got very pissed. Dave Greet was seen dancing again (not a pretty sight) and Andrew Cains still didn't find The Natural Four, never mind mate, one day.
So there you have it. Birmingham really is the All-dayer to beat All-dayers. And by the time you read this, another Brummie will be under the belt, and possibly two will be over if the organisers Chris King and Terry Sampson manage to get it together fortnightly. Which will also mean, my return to regular djing with my first at the Birmingham All-dayers.
See you all there in 1979, good luck to Chris and Terry. They are on to a winner there.
                   Nev & Christine friends to everyone who knew them.
  The new Mecca opened it's doors to the Soul fraternity on Friday night October 31st 1980, courtesy of local entrepreneurs, Steve Croft and Alan Senior. Both of these are well known on the scene, Steve as a Jazz/Funk and Northern DJ and Alan responsible for the Soul lists of the top sounds in the country. In the beginning Alan and Steve both believed in the policy of 'give the fans what they want' the same still exists.
The first five or so Nighters being run fortnightly on Friday nights / Saturday mornings 9p.m. - 8a.m. when in need of public created atmosphere to set the venue alight. Now the all nighter is established as the best in South Yorkshire and at the current rate of popularity it looks set to overtake the never ending Casino.
Attendances of five to eight hundred are evident if you take a trip to Rotherham. Anyone who has not should do so as you are guaranteed a night of top sounds. Moving to the sounds new records prevail which is pleasing to see as the South Yorkshire crowd are usually very slow to accept such. The new sounds are accepted with enthusiasm. The latest slogan in the Soul time promotion advertising leaflets is that at Rotherham the sounds of tomorrow are played today.
I for one hope the Rotherham Nighters continue to be a major success in the decline of our Soul scene, and I see no reason why this should not be so when coaches continue to travel from the far land of Scotland to the event.
A typical run down of events at the all nighter is as follows : -
9-10 Chris Brady. - A local young DJ who turns in the first hour, he plays a mixture of oldies from Edward Hamilton to George Benson.
10-12 Steve Mannion. - Another local DJ, Steve plats 99% oldies requests from the crowd. For example:- "Breakaway" Toni Basil, with the occasional newer sounds such as "Keys to the city" Omni.
12-2 Richard Searling. - The DJ, record buyer, and Radio Hallam Sheffield DJ turns in a spot of his current top sounds in the country spanning two decades such as "Learning how to dance" Roddie Joy and "Where I'm not wanted" Eddie Holman. From the 70's Zeezee and co. "Get ready for the get down" which is still for some reason covered as Oscar Perry and moving to the 80's Billy Nicholls "Diamond ring".
2-4 Pat Brady. - The Leeds man continues finding a few obscure 60's records. Sounds to be heard are "I can't find love" Eula Cooper, which is supposedly a Golden World acetate. This is a typical sounding Detroit sound and one of the few good 60's sounds of the year. Moving into the 80's he plays the Dells "Your song" which is now a rather established sound.
4-5 Gary Rushbrook. - Gary plays 80% newies 20% oldies, and has a talent of finding 60's style newies. Just a listen to "Standing at a standstill" Bobby Treetop c/u, "Another day" The Ascots and "Guess who loves you" Frank Wilson c/u and sounds that have been around for a couple of years, for example:- "Lady in green" Magnetics, "Somethings bad" The Nomads.
5-6 Poke. - It is nice to see the introduction of ex-Cleethorpes DJ who has been accepted by the fans by playing 70's sounds such as "Just be yourself" The Pretenders, this was c/u as The Quadraphonics and "Love music" James Bynum. Oldies include The Rimshots "Do what you feel", I hope that he stays on the road for more success and expands from being a regular at Rotherham.
6-8 Brian Rae. - If he does not do the last two hours he can always be relied upon to finish the venue off, say for the last hour with any current requests from the public. There are too many to mention lets just say "Tough girl" Billy Arnell and "When I'm gone" Brenda Holloway.

  That gives a summary of the fortnightly Friday All nighters. Check it out.....................
   There's always been a good following of soul in the south, from the early days of SHADES CLUB and others, and since July the northern allnighter at Stars & Stripes Club in Yate has grown in stature and attendances. From a near 150 to a regular 300+ every fortnight it's a good and friendly venue in both surroundings and followers. Organised by the Southern Soul Club, who regularly run coaches to Wigan and St.Ives. have with the Stars & Stripes established a force to be reckoned with and unequalled in the south.
Although it's hidden away in the Yate Centre and a few miles from the motorway or railway at Bristol it is fairly accessible - and followers hitch it down from as far as Birmingham & Gloucester. The club itself is very well set out, ample seats and dance areas - a small kitchen provides soft drinks and snacks - an extra bonus is the very popular pool table.
Yet with Northern Soul it's the sounds that count - and for what people travel for. Predominantly it's the OLDIES and requests orientated kind of allnighter, with a load of UK obscurities thrown in from people like UK collector Pete Widdison. Even so a good mixture of these and TOP sounds are played and it seems to be a well proven formula in the contriversial OLDIES v NEWIES saga. Discs that seem to be getting an exclusive play and gaining popularity are FRANK LYNDON on Uptown; BOBBY BELL on RCA; DEAN COURTNEY on MGM; TOBIE BOWIE on Patheway, and PRINCE & PRINCESSES.
So finally with so many scenes doing well in the North and Midlands it's a refreshing change to report a Southern Club doing it's bit in keeping the dancers happy and contented. From the guys who play football after the allnighter, to the coach driver who stays awake to enjoy the sounds, and from even the large labrador who made it there two weeks ago - here's to many more soul packers, muppet swinging hours at YATE!

            LINDA AND THE

  An intersting development on the scene is the declining populartity of the "on the fours" stompers, giving way to more modern releases: in fact uptempo pop disco records are now part of the scene. One such record is Millie Jackson's "House for sale", probably one of the most popular records in the bigger clubs. When Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Ian Dewhurst first played this release in 1976 we got very little reaction outside Blackpool Mecca. Today the record is guaranteed at least 10,000 sales thanks to the massive exposure given to it by Northern DJs.
Penultimately a particular hobbyhorse Ian Dewhurst. As the '80s loom on the horizon it would be good to see a scene which played strong uptempo releases alongside traditional stompers - underneath just one pigeonhole:
     Millie Jackson -
"House For Sale"
YATE - TODAY, AFTER ONE YEAR. C/O Talk of The North.
  For the past year Yate Allnighter has gone from strength to strength. To many newcomers on the scene it's all North of Watford. But to us southerners and the people who make it to YATE, it's 101% pure Northern Soul.
Geographically its all wrong that a club should flourish in such an area but drawing on cars - coaches - vans from Cornwall, Gloucester, Newbury, Southampton, Wales and even Birmingham and Manchester right up to Yorkshire and Leceister and Staffordshire - people from all these areas have made Yate the genuinely friendly and happy soul scene it is.
Basically it's a very well laid out club with ample dance and seating areas. Complete with record swapping and food bars its very comfortable.
Musically its always been an oldies orientated club - but as time has gone on many of the DJ's have tried to obviously obtain indemanders. Its a hard battle as anyone will tell you. The line up is varied and at present Tony Ellis plays a good selection of UK label oldies and newies that Pete Widdison and Adrian seem to start off at Yate. Dave Thorley places an opening cross over selection of say Dooley Silverspoon to Benny Troy and warms the evening up. From then on its a good mixture of requests and oldies from Hippo and Mac from Malvern, with indemanders put in where available, often these two dig out singles not heard in ages - but totally danceable.
Rock from Cannock and Jacko and Paul from Newbury play 100% oldies and are swamped with requests from; Superlatives and Dena Barnes to Darrell Banks to Parliaments.
Lastly there's me - Ian Clark, along with Dave Greet, I try my best, when luck and finances allow to play the newer stompers like Paul Anka, Bobby Paris, John Drevars, etc. The more harder to get items that are popular and not everyone has at home, so to speak - although tucked away in Bristol we do try and have pulled many a fine disc that has gone onto bigger things up north- it's good to know we have made what I feel is a worthwhile contribution to the Northern Scene. Butmost of all it's the cross section of genuine soul fans that we get at Yate that deserve a big thank you - without them there would be no clubs. Long may it continue.
As a guide to the in demand TOP NEWIES played here is my Top Twelve for September - all originals.
1. Bobby Paris - I walked away - Capitol.
2. Paul Anka - When we get there - R.C.A.
3. John Drevars - The closer she gets - M.G.M.
4. Margie & Formations - Sad illusion - Co-ed.
5. Pinkooshings - Make it easy - Mercury.
6. Buckinghams - Don't you care - Columbia.
7. Tamala Lewis - You won't say nothing - Marton.
8. Diane Newby - What you're putting me through - Kapp.
9. Kiki Dee - On a magic carpet ride - Fontana.
10. Peggy March - If you loved me - R.C.A.
11. Ad Libs - New York in the dark - A.J.P.
12. Lou Roberts - Ten to one - M.G.M.
DRIFTING NORTH . . the breakdown of what the misunderstood Northern scene is really about. Ian Dewhurst - Black Music 1979
    The club scene in the North of England has long enjoyed a reputation for controversy, diversity and tenacious, almost primeval habit of creating and staying within it's own trends. The mid-sixties saw the birth of the much maligned "Northern Soul" scene which, in spite of the criticisms levelled against it, continues to flourish - the mid-seventies saw the birth of a conoisseurs' haven for obscure, treasured jazz, funk and disco releases, a phenomenon which still exists.
It is the Northern Englands fans' almost compulsive dedication to all forms of black music - and also because there's a clearly definable, idiosyncratic scene in the area - that the idea for this page was born. For, aside from the geographical aspects of the scene, the North has thrown up some fascinating questions:-
Why do thousands of fans travel hundreds of miles each weekend simply to visit key all-night discos? Why did the All-dayer promotions start in the North? Why do All-nighters continue with such success? Why does a middle aged Welsh school teacher travel all over the country with a box of records worth thousands of pounds ? Why is a one-time Northern bootlegger now one of the world's foremost disco producers (with an L.A. pad and a bank balance to prove it)? Why were artists like Archie Bell, Earth Wind & Fire and George Benson household names in the North long before they achieved national recognition and platinum discs?
Get the drift? The North, far from being a mishmash of conflicting tastes, is actually a lot more cohesive than is popularly imagined. To suggest, for instance, that the top clubs in the North were playing "Captain Fingers" by Lee Ritenour a full year before the Southern jocks latched on may sound unbelievable. But it's fact. Or take Bo Kirkland and Ruth Davis. They had a veritable monster with "You're gonna get next to me" in the North in '76. A year later it became a national hit - thanks to Radio 1 ! Yep, it's a rough deal here int' wilderness.
      WANT MORE !!
THE RIC TIC REVUE.   Revued by Frank Elson.
  WHAT makes me so unhappy is that it was such a wonderful day. Surely the largest - and most enthusiastic - crowd at a Northern Soul venue since the Casino closed, and even then Wigan was a pale imitation of it's former self.
  Sunday, 23rd January, belonged to Ric Tic Records, and Golden World, and a dozen or more small town labels that presented the world with sounds like "Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache", "Call On Me" and "At The Discotheque". It belonged to people with bellies getting larger as hair gets thinner - it belonged to another era, a time that is past and will never appear again.
  You just had to look around you to see that I'm speaking the truth. Old, wonderful faces, wedding rings by the hundred, people who had to get back early because of the baby-sitter. There were more people there who no longer go regularly to Northern Soul clubs than who do. It was a marvellous, wonderful, exhilarating day out, it was Northern Soul at its very, very best.
  And what about the show? I don't know a nicer person than J.J. Barnes - he's a pal, he's a musical giant.


  Pat Lewis:
       Ric Tic biz
            at the Ritz
Pat Lewis is a Queen looking for a crown and she could have had one that day if we could have found one lying around. Al Kent makes one be-moan the fact that the word "cool" has been devalued out of sight over the last 20 years, with so much talent running around his head he should be a bundle of nervous energy (which he isn't). Lou Ragland is a genius. He's a superstar and the world doesn't know it yet. And Edwin Starr is Edwin Starr, energy wrapped up in a much-too-tight white outfit. A sway and a swagger, a turn of the head, one hand raised slightly above his head.
  They worked. Oh, how they worked! In England for less than a week, cossetted with a bunch of British youngsters from Nottingham who could hardly have been born when some of the songs they were backing on were first recorded - but who played with a feeling and spirit that became something special - the work went on and on . . .
  "I'll play this if you'll play that."  "Say, what if I go on stage and sing this first, go into that and then you come on with this . . ." They put it together for us . . . not for some supper club ciruit in the States. Not a simple he goes on and she follows, and let's just sing the songs we're famous for and then get off. An ACT for goodness sake. A homage paid to the fans who have supported them through tiny clubs in Sheffield and Warrington.
Then the people who haven't played before Northern crowds before . . . "Pat, you were a shot in the arm for the Northern Scene today," . . . ."You were a shot in the arm for me!"
  Pat Lewis has been with a Cole Porter Show for three months, then with another show in Detroit after that. She had a week to go and she walked out telling them, "I'm going to England." I don't hink she regrets it. A tight, very tight, white dress, mascara running down her eye, microphone jammed in her arm-pit to leave both hands free to clap with "Warning", "Can't Shake You Loose" a powerful but sexy voice - no wonder it's sexy, look where it's been!
  Al Kent, hunched over the piano, thoughts of his trip to New York next week, hunting for a publisher for his book, banished for twenty minutes. The book took him three years to write, a labour of love and sweat about a corrupt Baptist minister. A plain jacket that wouldn't look wrong on Ray Charles 25 years ago. A quiet, elegant and extremely talented man.
  Jay, why don't you get your hair cut? No  wonder that voice is so strong, look at the man's shoulders. A gentle turning of the head, a stroll across the stage and then back again, "How Long" - he'll always wonder how that record didn't hit - then "Sweet Sherry" and a kind of hysteria at the foot of the stage.
  "I'm paying the rent and I've got a few dollars in my pocket. I've got a track I'd like to find a release for in England, it's going out on my label in the States, but it's got that Northern Beat."


     I first heard this as sung live at the
       Ric Tic Revue at Hinckley's now
     famous Leasure Centre All-Nighter
        ( January 21 / 22 1983 )

 Edwin's performance, live, with the other stars that night still evoke memories . . . and this 12" 45rpm provides the perfect backdrop, to a perfect night had by all who went there and danced and sung along to their performances, still remembered to this day!!
He's coming back for a handful of dates in the spring - Scotland, he'll see you there.
  Edwin Starr's Backstreet is a knockout name for a Club, it's coming, it's coming. "Time" was never a Northern Newie, it became an oldie.
  Lou Ragland comes back on with Edwin, he's found his watch now, it fell from his wrist during the first spot. They smile at the band, they smile at the crowd, they smile at me, crouched on the floor with my camera, they smile and they perform.
  Edwin does his thing and that's WORK, will we ever see the like again? Of course we will, Edwin's going to live in England, he's going to tour and he's going to open his club. He KNOWS we love him, He loves us right back.
  Lou Ragland says it all reminds him of when he was young. He's still young. A foot raised, he hops across the stage, doesn't miss a note on his guitar, swings away again.
  I'm not saying nothing more about him. If you weren't there, someone must have told you about it by now.

   " MOVE ON
    THIS WAY  
     PLEASE !!!"



            THE 'PLACE-MATE'

My last All-Nighter was at Hinckley's Leasure Centre back in October '88. I had no plans to return to the scene, but like a giant magnet in February '96 . . . I was back at my old haunt . . . the St. Ivo Centre.
  Another All-Nighter and a Dayer and I arrived at the nighter above.
   SOUL ! ! !


        AT KINGS HALL,
          TOP PEOPLE . . . . MICK. . . . .
         . . . . . . PET & RUSS !!!

                         ...SAY NO MORE.

                           Grrrrrr !!!
              TOMMY LOOKS ON . . . .



                                                 HAVIN' A   LAUGH!!!

    CLEETHORPES . . . . . AGAIN !!!