A Rebirth of the Beloved Soul?
Hello to all the soul/funk/house family!
I feel we are in a perfect moment for the re-birth of our beloved genre. With so many Essex, South East club nights and events, the fabulous radio stations across all mediums (big up to Zero Radio) along with the tantalizing options of so many Soul Holidays abroad (tipping my cap to the Laguna family). I feel so lucky to have this much choice, clearly we are all now of the age where we and the DJs are “kids free” allowing us to re-indulge our passion for something that’s never really left us!
But let me take you back to a time where mine and many of you reading this passions began, 1979.
My cousin and soul brother Neil “Nobby” Hall was already into the scene and one day called me into his bedroom (yes we lived next door to each other –surreal) he had 2 albums that he’d just bought on import from “Ere for Music” Manor Park. Morning Dance – Spyrogyra and Street Life – the Crusaders. He played them both to me and ill never forget that moment as long as I live. The sounds washed over me and completely elevated my soul. It felt like id found god and in a way I had , my god was Soul and Jazzfunk!
From then on it was a case of albums and clubs, this wasn’t just music, it was a way of life. Robbie Vincent on a Saturday morning, Greg Edwards “Soul Spectrum” while I got ready to go out on a Saturday night, followed by a metal coat hanger attached to the fm lead of my massive stereo trying to get Pirate station Invicta on a Sunday!
Seeing The awesome Chris Hill at Zero 6, I remember one Saturday night a fire started on one of the settees –yes people used to smoke in hot, airless basements. Smoke billowed up, the alarms didn’t go off, we all threw our beer on it to put it out because Chris was playing a top tune and we carried on boogying!
For me, my holy grail was “Rappers” at the Epping Forest Country Club Chigwell on Monday nights – yes Monday nights and I used to get up for work on Tuesdays after getting in at 3am every week. How did I do it? oh yes – youth!
The legendary Froggy (RIP) and Eddie James supporting. I lived in Chigwell, how amazing to be on my doorstep but people came from far and wide. The smell of “unusual” cigarettes courtesy of the Leytonstone lads.
I watched Froggy mixing live , like no one else could at the time, invented by him – you could literally stand right next to him, amazing.
He was such a name back in the day he could bring in huge Soul acts for PA’s, I still cherish the Ronnie Laws – Every Generation album signed by Ronnie “I love this sleeve man” as he signed it “To Tony –keep funkin- Ronnie” , the beautiful Patrice Rushen “forget me knots”, Light of the World “Round Trip” signed by Gee Below among many others that I have that are priceless to me if not to those outside our Soul Family.
What a club – golden moments!
I hope I’ve taken you back down your own “memory lanes” and made you smile reading this blog, but remember right now we are making new memories helped by fab guys like Bully and MJ.
Feel free to add me on Facebook or look out for me at any soul events (especially Caister –Sept)….!
Im the bald one on the dance floor still dancing like its 1979!