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Wigan Casino ( 2 )           
                 My usual way to the Casino & other nighters in the 70's.
* WIGAN * Dateline: Friday 3rd Feb. Venue: Wigan Casino.
Event: Oldies 2nd Anniversary  Result: Overwhelming Success. C/O "New Soultime."
These two latter superlatives (excuse the pun) just about sum up the excellent night which was had by all. Arriving at the Casino around 12.30 A.M. we were met by a rather suspicious looking dark blue Ford Transit, on closer inspection we noticed that the occupants were not clutching hold-alls nor were they displaying the sacred "Keep The Faith" badges, being of average intelligence we presumed these people were not stomping freaks, we were proved right 5 minutes later when a young stomper (with a blank expression on his somewhat pale face) was reluctantly taken for a ride to Wigan Swop Shop. Leaving the car park we waltzed over to the entrance and joined 1,000 other people (Christ we thought, is it true that Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen were standing in for Russ and Richard) anyway after what seemed like three days we were eventually pushed through the door (literally) we paid our £2.50 and in return received a voucher entitling us to a "Free" copy of the "3 before 8" record (i.e. Tobi Legend, Dean Parrish, Jimmy Radcliffe) and another ticket which was later used in a raffle affair. Up into the Main Hall we trooped to be greeted by the golden tones of Uncle Russ (surely his true vocation in life must be the star of Buttercup Syrup commercial) anyway Russ played a fair selection of sounds which included The Newbeats, Lynn Randell, Earl Wright, Tomangoes and Johnny Caswell. After Russ we were subjected to Keith "Love-is-Like-a-Pernod-In-My-Hand" Minshull who played Garnet Mimms, Bobby Paris and Sisters Love. By this time Mr. M's was now open and in full swing with Kenny Spence, Stuart and Neil (Soul Twins) laying it out loud spinning Boots Randolph, Rufus Lumley, Lord Sitar, Jewels, East Coast Connection, Jackie Edwards, J.D. Martin, Joe Tex and the Supremes - "Nathan Jones" (very popular) a very enjoyable hour or two spent in M's, where do the stompers get their energy from? Grains probably, certainly not Weetabix???  Leaving M's and zipping into the record bar where Johnny Manship and Pat Brady were in attendance I met Ian 'Ginger' Stewart well known Cockney Comedian, Sex Maniac, Trappist Monk and general Piss-Taker, oh by the way he D.J.'s (if that's the right word) at the Reading Soul Festivals and the Ex Bisley All-Nighter, Ginger was on top form as he had been upstairs with the Soul "Personalities" Frank Elson, Barry Kingston, Terry Lennaine, Nick Cowan etc and was under the influence of Vodka and Lime, (actually Ginger had come up to Manchester Friday afternoon and before the 'niter Siz and Myself had taken him into Manchester on a session of Boddingtons Bitter alias Nectar of the Gods) he seemed dissapointed that Dave Godin and Andy Peebles had not shown their faces, anyway he went on to tell me about Ian Clark well known and loved spinner from down south, he's got a helluva reputation down there and his record collection sounds really incredible with U.K. Rarities being his main bag. (Be nice to hear him at the Ritz or Burnley). Back in the Main Hall Brian Rae was in the hot seat, he played an excellent spot spinning the Outsiders A.K.A. Detroit Shakers, Joe Tex - "Baby I want you" (certainly one of the most requested sounds of the night), Paula Parfitt, Andre Brasseur (interesting to hear the flip side "Holiday" also played) and Bobby Hutton (should be in the shops now c/w Willie Hutch's Dynamic "Love runs out".) At approximately 5 A.M. Mike Walker graced the stage with Barry Kingston (producer for Tommy Hunt and other International Northern Soul Acts e.g. Wigans Ovation) we received Mr. Walkers best wishes for the future, a little speech refering to the "3 before 8" waxing, a raffle and the usual shower of gifts, Brian Rae then carried on for a little longer and I dissapeared for a spell of record dealing. Richard was behind the decks when I returned and suffice it to say the dance floor was crammed, as usual Richard finished his spot with the "3 before 8". A few other sounds played during the night and worth a mention were Charles Wright, Alice Clark, Eddie Foster, Major Lance, Carstairs, Tommy Neil, Ace Cannon, Jackie Wilson, Dean Courtney, Voice Box, Volcanoes and one of my faves Billy Joe Royal - "Hearts desire". All in all a very enjoyable night maybe a little too crowded but that only proves the popularity of Wigan Casino.
     The famous frontage of the Wigan Casino at about 6.00 a.m. ...

   Richard Searling.
   Have some everybody - Flaming Emeralds (Fee)
   Disco Alibi - Al De Lory (c/u)
   I've got everything - Willie Hutch (c/u)
   Before love beats me goin' - Linda Glass (Vibration)
   That's no way to treat a girl - Marie Knight (Musicor)
   Ever again - William Lucas (c/u)
   Baby what's happening to our love - Ringleaders (M-Pac)
   Somehow you make me feel - Eddie Holman (Salsoul)
   Dancin' to stop cryin' - Bobbi Humphrey (Epic)
   A lot of love - Taj Mahal (Columbia)
Pat Brady' puts his tips in just after finishing the night shift.
   Belinda Jones - Dancing in the street (Loma L.P. track)
   Imperial Wonders - You live only once (Solid Foundation)
   Larry Lester - Go for yourself (Loma)
 and his most popular sounds : -
   Ann Sexton - You've been gone too long
   The Mob - Open the door
   Bobby Taylor - There are roses somewhere in this world
       Dave Evison, who has had a rough time lately losing Sale and Nocturne gives us the stiff upper lip and the top Casino oldies.
   Friday Night - Johnny Taylor - Stax
   You Lie So Well - Marie Knight - Musicor
   Cool Aid - Paul Humphrey - Lizard   *Tip for the top.
   It Ain't Neccessary - Mamie Galore - St.Lawrence
   I Don't Want To Lose Your Love - Jackie Wilson - Brunswick
   You Haven't The Right - Catalinas - Scepter
   Scott's On Swingers - Edwin Starr - Ric-Tic
   My Baby's Coming Back To Me -  Bobby Patterson - Jetstar
   Surprise Party For My Baby - Vibrations - Neptune
   I Love You Baby - Cindy Scott - Veep

An old Casino cloakroom
ticket . . . .remember ?
Upstairs from the balcony !!
  The dance floor, packed and in full swing.

      While flicking through my latest copy of Blues & Soul the now famous Wigan Casino advertisement
automatically caught my attention, "Hello, hello, hello", I exclaimed, "What's this, a Twisted Wheel All-nighter revival", as my eyes lit up and my heart began to skip a few beats I excitedly continued to read the ad, "By great demand we proudly present an additional special Friday all-nighter fri/sat July 15/16 12.30a.m. - 8a.m. featuring authentic guest "Wheel" d.j.'s. This is the one you've asked for - DON'T miss out". "Gadzooks, Bolivian Bolshovics", I declared releasing my grip on the chandelier and falling to the floor in a grovelling heap, it seems to me that Uncle Michael Walker in his infinate wisdom has decided that since he likes Charlie Richs' "Love is after me" so much he is going to hold all-nighters so we ( the
punters ) can listen to it undisturbed for a full 7 1/2 hours. "Hip, hip hurrah", I shouted as I threw my cloth cap at the flea-bitten moggy who had just made a mess in the corner, "I'll have to go and tell mother". I quickly jumped into my new clogs and ran into the garden, "Mother, mother, where are you", a piercing shrill echoed through the air, "  'ERE", with one almighty spin I revolved stopping directly in line of my mothers peering eyes from above her new Foster Grants, with an athletic leg kick I was by her side glaring down at the Bar B-Q that she had concocted which contained such delicasies as Black Pudding and Tripe, I hurriedly opened my B & S and proceeded to show her the ad, "Well mother what do you think?" "Well son", she said, "It seems to me that this little escapade could turn out to be a better rip-off than the ORIGINAL all-nighter posters they used to sell or maybe it's a cover up job so that they can bring out a new sew-on badge, they might even start selling original Ben Sherman button-down shirts instead of their despicable walking, talking pasties, but really son I heard a rumour at the mill to-day that they are going to be held every fortnight, I wonder if this could have anything to do with the fantastic success that the guys over at Wakefield ( i.e. John Green, Malc Burton, Pat Brady, Ginger, Soul Sam, etc. ) are having, you know what people say about Gerry Marshall and Mike Walker . . . . . . . they seem to be motivated by MONEY".
  I sat down rolled up a fag and thought to myself  "What a strange thing the  'Northern Soul Scene' is".


            THE  WIGAN  BADGE  SET.

  The success of the 'Disco Demand' and other records had sparked off extensive interest in the Casino, and included in the 'pilgramages' to the club was John Smith, who was a plugger for Spark Records. John was working on a record called "Pepperbox" by The Peppers, and hustled for exposure in the club - which he got and promptly found himself with a hit single.
  I got to be pretty pally with John, and  as a result of that friendship, met Barry Kingston, who was a house producer with Spark. I was familiar with Barry's work with the Sutherland Brothers, who were popular in northern soul circles, and worked closely with Barry on subsequent hit records including "Skiing in the snow" - a top ten record, and "Superlove" and "Personally" - all by Wigan's Ovation.
 At that time, Russ began to get involved with the liaison, and we all callaborated on future successes, particularly Tommy Hunt, who scored heavily with three releases, "Crackin' up", "Loving on the losing side" and "One fine morning" - all of which were produced by Barry Kingston - with (hopefully) a little help from both Russ and I. It was this success that prompted me to get a little more dirrectly involved with the music business, and found myself as Northern promotion manager of Spark Records, but still retained managership of the Casino.
 This situation lead to the formation in 1977, of RK Records, with Bob Kingston (Barry's Father), Barry and myself as chief executives and music instrument makers Boosey & Hawkes as associates.
 As a further developement, the "Casino Classics" label was formed in association with Gerry Marshall, and secured an immediate response with the first outing, "Time will pass you by" by Tobi Legend, which had been a Casino 'classic' for some time.
 Subsequent releases have included the Flirtations and Kenny Gamble double-A release "Little darling" and "I'll do anything" and the Lorraine Silver single, "Lost summer love". All of these releases, and the RK product has sold well, and we have great hopes for future activities.
 There are a lot of people who claim northern soul is dead, but in all honesty I just cannot agree. The record labels have made an impressive start, and  the Casino goes from strength to strength - and that's a healthy enough situation for anyone.   

     Quite frank-ly one of the best.

                     The 4th Anniversary cake. . . . . . . .being cut.
   Photo given away by the bucket
       loads at the 4th Ann.


      Wigan behind the scenes . . . another Frank Elson Exclusive ( March '78 ).
I WANDERED into the hall at Wigan to a sight very few people see. An almost empty hall. The time was 12 midnight and people with long hair and patched jeans were leaving the heavy rock thing that precedes the All-Nighter.
 On stage Russ is setting up his equipement as the heavy jock is dismantling his. Keith finishes his Pernod as an army of cleaners move in with brushes and shovels - pulled from the ranks of the All-Nighter crowd these cleaners get in for nothing after a half hour of quite hard work.
 One of them, a young lady obviously the worse for alcoholic wear is loudly informing anyone who wants to know ( and a few that don't ) that it's her birthday.
 Mike Walker prowls around pointing out things to clear away, spots a pint of lager residing on a speaker cabinet and takes it to the bar. Russ returns and accuses Keith of pinching his lager . . . .
 Russ and one of the heavy jocks have a discussion about lighting, apparently the heavy jock has found a way of getting the stage lighting to work properly, but Russ can't see a thing with all those lights in his face. It's about 12:15 and I wouldn't give long odds on the place being open.
 Mike Walker informs the birthday girl that she'll end up in one of the plastic rubbish bags if she doesn't get the rubbish in them. He then mentions ( loudly ) to anyone who is listening that he'd like this pile of glass moving "please"!
 Russ is satisfied with the stage lights speaks into the mike and seems pleasantly surprised when the sound of his voice fills the hall. A group of bouncers have a discussion about who's doing what, made more interesting by the fact that some of them are in the hall and some on the balcony. Russ plays Patrice Holloway's "Stolen hours" very quietly and again there is sound.
 Russ explains that this ( 12:30 ) is where he attempts to simultaneously turn the house lights down as he plays the first record - something he's still not worked out how to do after four years . .
 The music goes up . . . . pause . . . .the house lights go down . . . .people come in and Wigan Casino is in business.
                                                           GLYNN MORGAN & SOUND.
   FUNK IN THE NORTH. C/O. Talk of the North.
 The thought of having a healthy and progressive Funk scene in the North seems to be a contradiction in terms. However events over the last few years have shown that Funk has the power to draw numerous people away from traditional Northern venues. Moreover that power has become volatile and consistent enough to create a Northern Funk scene - one that will change, develop and last. Why has this alternative scene emerged?  How will it develop?  And most important what lessons can the traditional Northern Soul scene learn from it?
  The history of Funk in the North is a long and confused one. Despite the long antagonism Northern Soul and Funk, ( brought about mostly because of the even longer antagonism between North and South ), the two "musical types" have always been co-existent. In the early days of Northern, James Brown and Joe Tex tracks were often played at the Wheel. When the Wheel closed, and the centre of the Northern scene moved to Stoke, the links between Funk and Northern loosened somewhat. With the closure of the Torch and the opening of Wigan, Northern was almost exclusively ( and wrongly ) associated with stompers. Events of 1975 proved to be the next most significant stage in the history. Blackpool Mecca deliberately changed it's play policy and began to feature newer, rare soul which tended to be slower and / or "funkier" than the stomper. This change of policy came like an earthquake to the Northern scene. It has never been the same since. The events of 1975 directly caused a break which lead to an exodus away from Wigan, the emergence of the "oldies" scene ( growing from twenty minutes on the opening night at the Casino to the present absurd position ) and irrepairable split in the scene.
  The Northern split was characterized by great personal ill feeling. Kev Roberts sacked from the Casino, Frank censored for playing The Ladies Choice and Uptown Saturday Night ( which were subsequently banned ) and personal attacks on Mecca  D.J.  Ian Levine. Out of this labyrinth came some of the greatest ever Northern sounds - Anderson Bros., Mell Britt, Lou Edwards, Kenny Smith et. al.  It was a period in which a great deal happened. The Mecca began playing new releases ( a return to the policy of the Twisted Wheel ), a Funk All-Nighter opened at Sobers in Manchester and John Anderson established himself as the main discoverer of "Rare Soul" which guaranteed a flow of rare and "funkier" sounds - " Summer in the parks", "Cut your motor off", "Destination Unknown" etc.
  The Mecca and Wigan grew further apart and people who once attended both began to choose. The scene was irrevocably split, not between funky and stompers as the myth claims, but between those who thrived on change and those who resisted it. The Mecca changed by the week ( records, fashion and image ) whilst Wigan remained rooted in stompers, oldies and acvrobatics.
   With the emergence of the disco boom in the U.S.A. the sounds at the Mecca became newer and more available. On the surface it seemed that the "breakaway scene" was no different to hundreds of other discos throughout the North and South. Surface appearances are often deceptive, and were in this case. It was impossible that a group of people raised on the Northern Scene and used to travelling miles to a club, would capitulate and become ordinary disco kids. The Disco/Funk scene had arrived even the Mecca closing couldn't stop it. The Ritz All-Dayers and eventually Leeds Central kept the scene going from strength to strength. The Southern Discos began to borrow the ideas of All-Dayers and All-Nighters but in most cases they are entirely different events. The Southern clubs draw almost exclusively on local disco fans - in comparison Leeds Central draws it's clientele from Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Blackburn and Bolton. When a big event emerges in the South all the clubs arrive and there is little or no integration. Not so in the North where people from miles apart have known each other for years. A massive conga stopped the traffic at the last Mecca All-Dayer - this could not have happened at Purley in London - they'd be too busy intoducing each other.
  The Funk scene in the North has borrowed the best things from the Old Northern Scene - travelling, long friendships, knowledge of the music and homage to Black America. It has thankfully left the negative side of the "Oldies" scene to die in it's own time - unwillingness to change, stereotypical dancing and music which must be fast first and soulful a very poor second.

           Northern Noise  Russ' Current Wigan Top Twenty. Black Echoes Sept. 2 1978.
1. 'Salt and pepper' - Lou Edwards. 2. 'The Wigan Joker' - Royal Vibes.
3.  'Ten to one' - Lou Roberts. 4. 'Send her away' / 'You baby' - Jackie Trent.
5. 'I walked away' - Bobby Paris. 6. 'You're gonna miss a good thing' - John Bowie.
7. 'New York in the dark' - Ad Libs. 8. 'Colored man' - Teddy Vann.
9. 'If you loved me' - Peggy March. 10. 'Too much of a good thing' - Ambassadors.
11. 'Lost summer love' - Lorraine Silver. 12. 'Love hustle' - Family Affair.
13. 'Love music' - Sergio Mendez. 14. 'Don't pity me' - Sue Lynne.
15. 'Not my girl' - Johnny Hampton. 16. 'Why worry' - Baltimore Ohio Marching Band.
17. 'Out of this world' - Mystic Moods. 18. 'Kiss me in that special way' - Poppies.
19. 'Love is a magic word' - Dawn. 20. 'Everything's wrong' - Diane Newby.

WIGAN CASINO 1978 - a vintage year in most respects, a bad one in others, and the majority of it - good or bad - lies upon the heads of the D.J.'s. So based generally upon the opinions of enthusiasts and myself, I've decided to review one by one upon their performances at the Casino through 1978.
  Richard Searling. Well, how do you start, great, brilliant, superb - yes they will all do for now. The records he's come up with this year have played a large part in making it one of the best times to be into Northern Soul. Considering that at one point there were rumours that he was going to leave the scene, it's quite a turn around. Enough of my ravings and into his playlists which have included:-  Cobblestones, Johnny Hampton, Eddie Parker, Teddy Vann, Tamala Lewis, Chandlers, Herbie Williams, Wakefield Sun, Del Capris, Bob Seger System, Larry Clinton, Ted Ford, Yvonne Vernee, Twans, Randolph Walker, the list goes on forever but I'll end with the Casino's current No.1 - the incredible Joe Mathews cover up "I don't like to lose". Keep it up!
KEITH MINSHULL. Let's be frank, some of the records he's hammered this year have made me want to throw up! If any of the following descriptions apply to you, please tick accordingly:(don't tick more than one)
   Shoot yourself
   Go outside to sleep
   Raise a lynch mob
   Eat a ham sandwich
   Hurl yourself off the balcony
   and finally last and no doubt best
A normal spot consisting of 90% British 'pop'. I'll just mention:
Judith Durham, Tony Blackburn, Muriel Day. There's nothing else to say.
    Russ Winstanley. It appears to me that when they're knocking down the last wall at the Casino, sat in the middle of the rubble, looking completely emotionless, a little greyer perhaps will be Russ. Part and parcel of Wigan to the end. Despite what anybody says, or thinks, good or bad, he always does well, year in year out. Not brilliant, just well. Everytime you listen to one of Russ' spots you get a couple of things that are particularly good to hear. One of his best for a long time must be 'JOHN BOWIE', a record that a lot of people have been wanting to go big for about the past 4 years. And along with that records by:-  Lou Roberts, Gail Winters, Dusk, Pallbearers, Kenny Gardner, and of course, Harry Betts.
ALAN RHODES. Alan started off 1978 exactly as he'd left 1977, playing some class sounds and presenting them in such a manner as to make you want to dance. Sadly though towards the back end of this year the quality of some of his records has started to wane, and along with that a great amount of his enthusiasm, and on top of this he announced that he would be having to leave after Christmas. But, bearing in mind that he has the most difficult spot of the night, 6 till 7 he's still managed to turn out some brilliant hours; with his most popular sounds this year coming from:-  Bobby Diamond, John Drevas Expression, Jimmy Burns, Bill & Sherry, Wall of Sound, Ronnie Forte, Lucas & Mike Cotton Sound, Trade Martin, and the biggest of the lot no doubt - The Ad Libs "New York in the dark".
  DAVE EVISON. OLDIES The ups and downs of this particular Wigan jock make the Hawker Harrier Jump Jet seem obselete. It's a shame that the man's records don't match up with his undoubted professionalism as a d.j. One week he riles me by playing all the completely played out records around, and the next week - well about 5 weeks ago included in his spot were records from:-  Otis Smith, George Blackwell, Innocent Bystanders, Ann Sexton, Wonderettes, Bunny Sigler, Lee Andrews, Ivorys and Kenny Smith to name but a few, and it was great, I only wish we could hear more oldies of that standard every week.
 The record bar has also had it's moments, with the 'find' of the year going to ROD SHARP who picked up Kenny Gamble's "The joke's on you" for £2, and rumour has it that somebody got a Del-Larks original for £1 - I wonder who?? And very interesting boxes by Rob Lythall, and Dave Withers most weeks there's never a dull moment, well, not very often.
 It's been a good year - here's to '79. Have a happy Xmas.    Guy.



 SIX, NOT OUT! Frank Elson continues the Casino success story.......
  YES, Wigan Casino chalks up it's sixth year of operations for it's Northern Soul All-nighter as thoseof us who've been there all along reach for our walking sticks or bathchairs to wish it all the best and offer thanks for the last six years.
    Way back in 1973, when the micro-chip was just a bad dream, the Northern Soul Scene was spread out all over the country. The Casino offered just what was needed - Wigan was easy to get to via motorway or train and the ranks of Northern Soul fans needed somewhere with a great deal of room. Now, six years later, the Scene may have shrunk somewhat but the Casino still marches on, not only the longest lasting unbroken run of All-nighters but also the most well known.
   The Casino has it's own record label, it's been featured in television programmes and on national and local radio and in the national press - and international press. It all sounds like something wonderful and remarkable and of course the Casino is both of those things. Lots of those people who attended that first night six years ago have changed immeasuably from those days - I know I have - but we still keep coming back, even if, again like me, some of us don't get up there as often as we did.
   I went up to the Casino recently and wandered around accosting people throughout the night to ask them just why they were there and what they like about the place. Joyce Walker, a 17-years-old student nurse from Birmingham was the first person I spoke to. "I think the first reason for coming along to this place is the music" she told me. "That's why I first came here anyway. But it gets to be more than that after a while. I've been coming here for just over a year now and although I still love Northern Soul I like Disco/Funk as well now and I go to more Funk clubs than Northern ones in the week. On Saturdays I could only come here though. It's the people and the atmosphere as well as the music that makes it so good."
      "Atmosphere" that intangible word that I've used myself in reports on the clubs was probably the most popular word that night as person after person told me that they go to the Casino for "the atmosphere". Eventually I asked 21 years old Gordon Ray what he meant by atmosphere. "Well it's the feeling you get in the place even when you're alone really isn't it? I come here with my mates and we usually hang around and dance together but even if you're alone just walking to the bar or something the place feels good. It's nice to belong to it really." he said.
    I think perhaps Gordon's got as close to that as anyone could do. The Casino is a place for thousands of people who feel alike about many things to meet and belong. The girl who works in a shop all week with four other people. Two of whom are married with kids and televisions one of whom "goes to the pub with her boyfriend" and the last who is into pop music. All four of them join together in thinking that Ann Walker ( Joyce's sister ) is a nutter for travelling all the way to Wigan every Saturday to dance all night. "They say either that I'm crazy or that there's something alse going on." said Ann "they reckon it's an orgy or something!"
    That's the point really. Lots of us like to feel that we're different from the herd and it's fun in a way when people at our place of work look at us weirdly 'cos we have "funny" habits. However, come Saturday and we can revert to type and join the herd at the Casino - no insult intended - for that togetherness. This way we can be individuals and members of the greater mass at one and the same time.
   To get back to the current regulars at the Casino, I asked a geezer from Bolton whose name I can't read ( he's 20 and works as an electrician if that helps! )  the straight question - why was he there that night? - "Because there is nowhere else in the whole country where I can meet so many people who love Northern Soul as much as I do and nowhere else in the country where I can hear so many different Northern Soul records in one night. That's why." he said. I asked him how he knew and he said it was because "everyone knew that."
    When all the philosophising and social welfare bit is done and gone we have to remember that the Casino, open from 12 till 8 am, offers eight solid hours of Northern Soul music for those strong enough to carry on throughout the night. In fact I tried to grab a few people off the dancefloor and one young gentleman refused to stop dancing as he was after his own personal non-stop dancing record of   5 hours!  "I can't stop yet,"  he told me as he gyrated gently around me ( made me dizzy the bugger! ) "but you can talk to me between records." I declined on the grounds that I couldn't stand the strain! One guy who did stop dancing for long enough to talk was Ged from Doncaster. "Just put that - they'll all know me". He told me that he doesn't particularly care for the music or the club, "I just like dancing and showing off I suppose and Northern Soul is as good as any other type of music to dance to." He said "My wife's here somewhere talking to friends" he added "and I think she likes the place." Not complimentary at first sight but really isn't that what the Casino is all about? The club is a business venture when all's said and done and they open on Saturday nights to make money. To make that money they have to offer something that people with money are prepared to pay for and surely that job they do admirably.
  I can't wrap up this piece of writing without a few words devoted to Ian, Mike, "Dilly" , "Wack" and "Mercer" - mostly because of what they threatened me with if I didn't mention them! One, two or even more of this disreputable lot insisted that I tell the world that they go to the Casino "cos it's brill and the best place around." Who am I to argue..............did you get that?
 Soul Bowl left everyone gasping by pressing Maurice Williams and Little Joe Cook. Kev Roberts was gasping more than most because he had already got copies pressed up and was sitting on them 'til the demand was higher. . . . .
      Kev Roberts.
 Dave Evison now working as Promo man on Kev Roberts' legal label, Destiny . . . . perhaps now Kev's gone legit he'll see what trouble pressings can cause - if they do buy expensive houses and American cars . . . .


 COMENT. So again to foil the bootleggers the D.J.'s are covering up their discoveries once more. Back to the days when "Freddy Jones" and "The Johnny Jackson Experience" kept the dancers happy and the pressers frustrated. Half of the fun is uncovering the particular sound in question, but underneath it all is a serious element behind this action and that is to protect a D.J.'s faith and hard earned cash in the record. With people like Neil Rushton and Soul Bowl doing a great job, legally bringing sounds into the country it is making them, D.J.'s and Collector's sick of seeing sounds ripped off by a minority of greedy money grabbers masquerading under the guise of Northern Soul lovers. New Soul Time is all for the protection of these cover ups although it it is hard on collectors it is neccesary to keep the real title from the pressers and if I should be fortunate enough to find out what a cover up is I will ask the D.J. if he wants it printing or not before it goes to press. The supply of stompers is slowly but surely being used up, at the rate it is going the Rare Soul Scene as we we know it will collapse within a very short space of time. So New Soul Time says keep on covering rare sounds up as the last thing 99% of the scene wants is to see it destroyed by a minority of bootlegging bums. NEW SOUL TIME. (1977).
 WIGAN CASINO . . . .Towards the weekend of the January Wigan Oldies ( 1979 ), Mike Walker battened down the hatches and prepared for rather a disasterous weekend. When the smoke cleared the following Sunday he realised that they'd had one of the best weekends ever!
 The Friday oldies night was filled to virtual capacity and to top that the following Saturday
 ( always down a bit the night after an oldies session ) they pulled in nearly 800 people. A delighted but frankly surprised Mike told me that he didn't know how they got there with no petrol, no local buses and the foul weather but by hell he's glad they did!
 Mike told me that both Carlisle All-Nighters have been capacity and that the next one is on February 9th. One week before that on February 2nd is the third anniversary of the Friday oldies session - doesn't time fly why you're enjoying yourselves . . . . . . . . .
  The number one sound on the scene at the moment has gotta be Richard's incredible JOE MATTHEWS and "I DON'T LIKE TO LOSE" . . . which is incredible when you consider that only Richard has got it ( unless Brady worms one off Anderson ). For those who haven't heard it, you are missing one of the most brilliant sounds ever known on our scene. Pure Detroit music without the strings, just a couple of notes strummed on a bass and then in comes a waterfall of drums and we're off on two and a half minutes of sheer amphetamine-paced magic . . . . . JOE MATTHEWS . . . .history in the making . . .and you'll all know CONSTRUCTION with "HEY LITTLE WAY OUT GIRL" as it's been a monster for about eighteen months now, Richard made it massive at Wigan and eventually Pat "One step behind" Brady got it and did the same with it in his area . . . . ."LOVER" . . .DELIGHTS ( CUPPY ) . . is one that Sam has been murdering for ages and it deserves it, a great group sound, loads of breaks, just another gem in an era that's gonna go down as the best for years ( remember '74? ) . . . . FRANK DELL'S . . "HE BROKE YOUR GAME WIDE OPEN" on VALISE is another side that begs to be heard, if only all the knockers that say it's all pop could have this shoved up their arses they'd soon change their mind. ( and their underpants ) . . . . it's breaking my heart to even think about TAMALA LEWIS'S "YOU WON'T SAY NOTHING" ( MARTON ) . . . one that RICH started playing ages ago and covered it up until Ian Clark went on holiday. Great brass, wild vocals, and once again, in a class of it's own . . . . . . . .VICKY BAINES is currently one of the hottest things at Wigan and when you've heard "COUNTRY GIRL" you'll know why, on PARKWAY it's not unlike a faster version of Toni Basil. To Vicky Baines and Richard I raise my hat & my train ticket to Kings Lyyn . . . . .still on Vicky, the B side of that is called "Are you kidding" and Rich has been known to give that the odd spin, that is 'til he found out it was covered over here on Mercury by that well known soulstress KAREN YOUNG . . . . I've admired SYNG McGOWAN's  "THAT'S WHAT I WANT" ( HOPE ) for ages and I'm not sure if Searling played it first, but it is another tremendous Jimmie Raye type stomper that is turning out to be a lot less rare than we thought. ( You gotta hear the awful B side "PEGGY DID", to believe it ). There's another superb sound by this guy on the same label called "LONELINESS IS A PLEASURE" . .  it's another cracker, ask Manship . . . . Oh dear another Sam cast off coming up, TONI BASIL and "BREAKAWAY"  ( A&M ) is a slab of soul on a label that I thought would never provide us with a monster rarity . . . .Sam called it Lada Edmund eighteen months ago and I call it hypnotising NOW . . . . I've always had a built in resistance to tailor mades and records where there are no originals to be had, and I've cursed many of the Wylie productions ( Hanky Panky / Down in the dumps ) for that very reason but I almost throw any doubts out of the window when I hear the brilliant BETTY BOO "SAY IT ISN'T SO" . . story is that Sam's had an acetate for a few years but I ain't heard him play the bleeder, if that's true Sam you want whipping, as this is a great voc/inst that Rich has been hammering for a long time, apparantly it's one one of Richard Wylie's old production tapes that John Anderson has gotten hold of. ( They say Anderson has got so many tapes they offered him a part in the Watergate film ). Well the goodies are still coming and show no sign of stopping with stuff like KENNY GAMBLE's  "THE JOKE'S ON YOU" ( ARCTIC ) a nice mid tempo side that everyone likes, Alan Rhodes spins it when he can borrow it off Hovis and just when Searling started playing it Rod from Eccles! bought it for only £2, and that was in the record bar as well . . . . one of my personal faves ( apart from nearly all these others ) is "GONE WITH THE WIND ( IS MY LOVE )" by RITA & THE TIARA'S on DORE, which other jocks are spinning as the Velvelettes, now Richard has uncovered it, ( he will when he reads this ). Big for a couple of years "TRICK ME, TREAT ME" THE COBBLESTONES ( MERCURY ) is always guaranteed to get a full dance floor, every decent jock in the country is playing it ( or an EMI ) but remember who started it eh? No, neither can I, oh yes I do, back in the days of Gary Haines and the Ellingtons, only Richard and Ginger had it ( twice a week ) . . . . . another of my faves is BENNY SIGLER's "WHO YA GONNA TURN TO" ( PHIL-LA of SOUL ). Another soul record, that makes two two I like, it seems very odd that there should be a Benny and a Bunny Sigler in Philly at the same time, so could this be a printing error on the label? Anyway it's still brilliant, put another feather in your cap Richard, the jokes on SAM, . . . . and remember there's always J.C.MESSINA's "TIME WON'T LET ME" ( TOM KING RECORDS ) . . . . I've never been very struck on it ( bit heavy maaaan ), but it really is one of the most popular sounds of the moment . . . . "24 HOURS OF LONELINESS" by WILBUR WALTON JNR ( 123 ) . . .aha the boot's on the other foot, this time Pat got it first . . . it's an incredible record this, and it could have been on the Capitol Casino album 'cos it's a Capitol subsiduary, typical of the type Brady would choose to play, it was also done by Dee Clarke and came out over here on UK Liberty, that's a bit slow but there's also a nice danceable version on U.S. Liberty by Classics IV, but they're not as good as this tremendous Wilbur Walton version which is a B side . . . . one that Rich has been calling the Velours is "RUN BABY RUN TO ME" PETER JARRETT AND THE FIFTH CIRCLE ( MGM ), discovered by Rod Sharp from M/C it has really taken off at Wigan although he doesn't always play it which is tragic  'cos it's a cracker . . . ask him to play it . . . . ."NOT MY GIRL"  JOHNNY HAMPTON on DOTTY'S is a real slab of sixties soul, a very vare record and a very good stomper and the same applies to JIMMY BURNS  "I REALLY LOVE YOU" on ERICA which once again is out of SAM's box, I remember SAM getting this off Levine a couple of years ago and calling it Jimmy Mack, these are all superb sides and Jimmy Burns is no less briliant than the rest, and a side with the same backing track is "BRAND NEW FACES" by THE BRAND NEW FACES on LUJUNA, which is okay but doesn't match old Jimmy B . . . .And oh yes YVONNE VERNEE is so brilliant but grab a listen to the "CROSS MY HEART" by the LIVING BRA'S . . . .sorry I mean YVONNE & THE VIOLETS ( BARRY ) which old Rich covered up as Vala Reegan, and oh I see you-know-who has got one now ever slow to pick on a big one . . . it sounds more like the Twans than the Twans does, but RICH suddenly stopped playing it a couple of months back . . . .what does this mean . . . how do I know I just write this crap . . . .Sounding very much like Spyder Turner is "UP AND OVER"  JAY TRAYNOR ( ABC ). A very soulful sound not like many of Richard's other careering sides that epitomise the "speeding, stomping" two and a half minutes of dance floor ecsacty where all you think about is the pounding beat and moving your feet . . . . JAY TRAYNOR IS A SLOW, sluggish side . . he must like it himself to carry on playing it when it's not getting the usual reaction . . . .I can't be the least enthusiastic about "YOU DON'T NEED NO HELP"  REX GARVIN ( LIKE ) a messy funky stomper from the man whose single contribution to soul music was a song about James Bond . . . . I don't have to tell you anything about Paul Anka or Peggy March, only to remind you that Richard played them both first . . . . it seems so long ago since I first heard LARRY CLINTON's   "SHE'S WANTED IN THREE STATES"  ( DYNAMO ) but it's as good on the ears now as it was then, don't seem seem to be any copies about but Martin Koppel had it on his wants list yonks ago as DYNAMO 300, that's a different numbering system to the Stanley Mitchell Dynamo, anyone seen a copy? . . . . covered up as the Soul Generation is a nice version of the old O'Jays number "HOLD ON" . . it's starting to really go big and it's took so long but it's finally took off . . . . although I liked "Woman love thief" I'm not keen on "SUCH MISERY" PRECISIONS ( DREW ) with the same backing track, it's just a very average record in fact it's very boring I'M falling asleep just writing about the bloody thing . . . .anyway that's the pick of Richard's box, he must be the No.1 now with all those, I know Sam has some brilliant one's too but everyone else is just pissing in the wind.
 Wigan Casino -  A report by Nigel Hopwood ( Mansfield ).c/o SOUL SOURCE.
WIGAN, despite heavy criticism, must still be the country's best venue. Admitedly, other very good clubs have established themselves and are doing very well, for example Yate and Peterborough, but the Casino all-nighter has it's roots firmly in the ground and show no signs of decay. However, after saying this, it must be stated that there is a great deal of room for improvement. An incident illustrating this matter occured on the night when the Marvallettes were appearing. Russ finished about 2.45 and was followed by Richard who began with Betty Boo which was spoilt by the backing band tuning backstage. If this wasn't enough, Richard came off the decks at 3.30 , not having chance to play half his usual repertoire. Surely this is not the way to treat the Norths No.1  D.J. !
 Although things of this nature happen from time to time and to some extent give the Casino a bad reputation, I'm sure most people will agree that a fair percentage of new sounds are first played at Wigan before hitting the rest of the country. Here are just a few of the current biggies under the D.J.'s who spin them.
 Russ, of course begins each all-nighter, playing a selection of newies and oldies. Many of his latest sounds are Casino Classics. One of the best sounds that Russ plays is the version of Richard Temple's classic by
Caroline Willis called "That beat & that rythm" - A nice chance from the male vocal. Another sound that has gone big at Wigan through Russ is "Evil" by Posse on Janus, this is an unusual record but sounds great at an all-nighter. It features an excellent talking intro'  which occurs again several times throughout the record. Other records played by Russ are Linda Elliot - "Fell in love with you baby" ( Josie ), The Rainbow People -
"Living in a dream world" ( U.K. Pye ), The Pallbearers - "Music with soul" ( Fontana ), Dusk - "Point of no return" ( Bell ), Tommy Bush - "I don't like it" ( Rika ).  There's not much else to say except he plays almost everything three times a night.
 Richard Searling, the Casino's No.1 jock usually follows Russ and there is a very noticeable change of atmosphere when Richard appears. Many of the younger people move off the floor and the more sophisticated soul fans wait in antisipation. Richard continues to play some great new discoveries. The latest are excellent!  They include; Secret Weapons - "Put it to my baby" ( C/U ) - ( this is a '78 release by a country & western group on a small Texas label ), Steve Mancha - "She said goodbye" ( C/U ), The Superlatives - "I can't stand to loose you" ( C/U ), Robby Lawson - "This man in love" ( C/U ), Frank Wilson - "Guess who loves you" ( C/U ). These are already quite established after only a weeks play. However Richards No.1 ( current ) is Joe Matthews - "I don't like to loose" ( C/U ), which has reached monster proportions. Some of Richard's other biggies are Laura Greene - " Can't help lovin' that man" ( C/U ), Tamala Lewis - "You won't say nothing" ( Marton ) ( must have been No.1 for last year ), Jay Traynor - "Up & over" (  A.B.C. ), The Delites - "Lover" ( Cuppy ), Peter Jarrett & Fifth Circle - "Run baby run to me" ( M.G.M. ) ( covered as The Velours ), Kenny Gamble - "The jokes on you" ( Arctic ), Rita & the Tiaras - "Gone with the wind is my love" ( Dore ) ( covered as The Velvettes ), Frank Dell - "He broke your game wide open" ( Valise ), The Agents - "Trouble" ( Liberty Bell ), The Masqueraders - "I am nothing" ( C/U ) ( soul at it's best ), Don Ray - "Born a loser" ( R.C.A. ), Pierre Hunt - "The thought of loving you", Herbie Williams - "The lover who loves you not", Betty Boo - "Say it isn't so" ( Acetate ), J.C. Messina - "Time won't let me" ( Tom King ), Toni Basil - "Breakaway" ( A & M ).
 Alan Rhodes is next on and plays a good variety of newies plus the odd oldie. Alan always manages to keep the crowd happy playing such sounds as John Drevars Expression - "The closer she gets" ( M.G.M. ), Wilbur Walton Jnr. - "Twenty-four hours of loneliness" ( 1 2 3  ), Tommy James - "Run baby run to me" ( Roulette ) ( this is the same as Peter Jarrett but not as rare ), The Millionaires - "You've got to love your baby" ( Castle ), Mary Saenz - "Would she do that for you" ( Big Ben ), The Belmonts - "You're like a mystery" ( United Artists ), Bobby Sheene - "When they ask about you". Alan also plays the new version of the Anderson Brothers biggie of a few years ago - "I can see him loving you" by Ray Dahrouge, who wrote the song and produced the Anderson Brothers.
 Keith Minshull usually does a spot playing British Obscurities and other sounds, some of which have already been mentioned. The most interesting of kieths sounds is Bobby Coleman - "Pleasure girl" ( U.K. Pye ). This was first discovered on U.S. Bounty and believe it or not, Mansfield collector Chris Marriott had a copy on PYE lying in a pile of junk for more than four years !
 Dave Evison finished the night at Wigan with oldies, the most popular of these being Barnaby Bye - "Can't live this way" ( Atlantic ), P.P. Arnold - "Everything's gonna be alright" ( Immediate ), Viola Wills - "I got love" ( Bronco ), Joe Hicks - "Don't it make you feel funky" ( A.G.C. )  to mention just a few. Dave is criticised by some for what he plays but all in all he does a good job in playing some sounds which might otherwise have been forgotten.
 Well, that's the current Wigan picture, so if you haven't been up for a while, give it a try you should enjoy it!


   (note how much it was to get in & what you got)

CASINO BITS. c/o Frank Elson (Blues & Soul)    Frank Elson.
 Did you know that the current membership is running at 102,000 now? That's nearly as many supporters as Manchester United.......Oldies nights are all the rage for older fans these days with the monthly Friday night Oldies All-Nighters full of geriatric twists and back flops. The idea at first was to try to split the two nights up and give everybody some space but all that happened was that twice as many people came along so that Fridays and Saturdays are packed most weeks  ...... what price Thursday night All-Nighters? If the staff has the energy  Sunday All-Dayers would probably be full as well!
  On alternate weekends to the Oldies All-Nighters, also on Fridays the Casino has staged various "Revival" nights including Torch, Wheel and Motown Revivals - and the famous Mods Revival when some of the foulest smelling parkas in existence were dragged out of coalsheds and from under beds (one guy I know had his on his bedroom wall) to be worn with pride and nostalgia ....
  After three postcards and a letter flooded into the Casino the decision was taken to take the whole carboodle up to the Market Hall in Carlisle for a "Wigan Comes To Carlisle"  All-Nighter .....the event was a success and so far three such events have been held .....but seriously the demand was there and the Casino management did something about it. The power of the Casino really is mind boggling ......people turn up at the Casino from all over the country, that everyone knows, even from abroad .....people still talk about the couple who went on their wedding night however .....there's true love for you.........
  Live acts have always been a feature of the Casino although the task of finding Northern Soul heroes and heroines isn't easy. The last twelve months have been reasonably quiet on that front with two visits from Edwin Starr and visits from the Marvalettes, Martha Reeves and the Elgins .....the nights they appeared weren't quiet however as the artistes in question recieved the famous "Wigan Welcome" .....otherwise known as the noise that sunk a thousand ships!
 S  ul Sam.

 May saw the introduction of a new type of Northern Soul , with one of the first records being the Love Committee's  "I made a mistake". Soon the scene was to be flooded by an air of freshness with new released records recieving air play from Soul Sam originally. Later in the year it was enlightening to see Martin to have the courage to state his views on the stupidity of the current rare soul scene. The cover-ups began to predominate all the newies DJ's playlist, even though, in my opinion there was no need for so many cover-ups as the pirate grabbing bootleggers had begun to see the decline of the scene thus leaving bootlegs in the minority. Martin saw it was time to set up a new underground scene without the mass publicity and stale oldies, however he saw chance with his position as guesting DJ at the Casino. Alas unfortunately it was too much to take for many Northern Soul fans to be introduced to a complete 100% seventies sounds. Many followers stated that they were being brainwashed into accepting these sounds and yet it amazed me and a minority of people, as probably without realising it hadn't this being happening for a number of years as ego tripping DJ's played safe with very played out oldies. Needless to say Soul Sam was to leave the Wigan Casino under a cloud. However Sam was not dismayed and saw another chance at the re-opening of the Blackpool Mecca  Saturday night soul sessions, in September. Unfortunately the period was a short lived affair as many fans were unsure as to whether or not the Mecca was still open, due to no publicity what-so-ever. Arthur Fenn now joined Soul Sam in a complete newies playlist from the seventies and eighties and I for one was glad to see this. In issue one of this mag. I stated it was time for a 100% newies event. Constant backstabbing of the two DJ's continues to prevail. However let me take this opportunity in congratulating the DJ's for a soul saving freshness for the scene. At present the majority of the followers seem to think it is too fast a move at once but I believe in years to come this decision will be respected and many DJ's will begin to play the sounds of the seventies and eighties many years after Soul Sam, Arthur and Mario.
 Many top names on the soul scene are stating that this move results in fans having to listen to the sounds before dancing and accepting them. Sam's answer is : "What about the Twisted Wheel era of the sixties, wasn't there a listening situation then and surely they did not go back fifteen to twenty years for the sounds". This may sound like an attack of oldies DJ's playlists, but it is not meant to be as they have their place. There will always be  a need for new sounds but memories must live on for many soul fans. I'll just say I see no way that the scene can survive in it's present predicament. However many a time at Northern Soul venues the dance floor is immediately filled as oldies are played, is this really what the fans want? Surely we have a similar situation to the Mecca days that were scorned upon and yet now are hailed as 'great memories'. Carry on as you are Sam in this abyss looking scene I see light at the end of the tunnel when your decision will be accepted. I did not hold this opinion until I began to listen to the sounds and if you do not, then I suggest that you do.  Right have we got that ?
C/O Okeh Magazine (1980).


          OVER . . . .

C/O Frank Elson ( Blues & Soul )


        OF  AN ERA
      ...IT WAS FOR ME . . . .
  YES, finally, after nine years, the decision has been made to pack in the Northern Soul All-Nighters at Wigan Casino for all time. Russ Winstanley called the other day to say that the decision had been made with great reluctance but as a result of the continuing saga over the lease with the local council it was felt that it would be the best thing all around.
 Get the dates right folks. The last All-Nighter of all will be on 19th September, which near as dammit will also be the 9th Anniversary. The last Friday oldies will be 4th September. The situation is still somewhat unclear but there will be badges and freebies and competitions and I understand that they're trying for some of the former jocks as well.
 I've written Wigan obituaries before, and histories of the place, so I'm not proposing to go into it all over again. Suffice to say that in it's day Wigan has been, like the Wheel and Torch before it, the most important and influential venue for Northern Soul Music. A lot of people have been through the doors and a lot of music has been played. Wigan Casino All-Nighters are about to become a memory to a lot of people - I know that for me they'll be a happy memory.
 I can't let the occasion pass without thanking everybody who has combined to make Wigan the place it has been, from the top jocks who have stayed up all night, to the staff who've served teas and coffees and to the thousands of people who've listened and danced.

                                                              C/O Frank Elson.
 THE SUBJECT that all the Northern Soul world has been talking about for the past month is the business with Wigan Casino and their "last" All-nighter. I went along and was as surprised as everyone else to find the leaflets promoting yet another event at the Casino. With feelings running rather high, I have extracted details of what's been said - and by whom - and we'll take it from there.
 There are basically two stories here. One is the main point of another All-nighter at the Casino and the other touches on loyalty and, I'm afraid that "sheer naked-greed" I mentioned an issue or two ago.
 I'll take it in order that it happened to me. The first thing I knew that was out of the ordinary was when Richard Searling told me that he and Bernie Golding were putting on an oldies All-Nighter at Tiffany's, Wigan on October 2nd. Richard was rushing off to his holidays and had just had confirmation. Jocks included Keith Minshull, Dave Evison and Gary Rushbrook, as well as Jolly from Edinburgh.
 Just under two weeks later, at the final All-Nighter, Gary Rushbrook and Dave Evison told me that they had been put under pressure the previous week and that night to pull out of the Tiffany's gig. Dave told me that Russ had, that night, told them to contact Tiffs there and then or they would not be appearing at the Casino that night and would be out of any future gigs.
 Gary told me that they had been told the same thing the week before by Gerry Marshall who warned them and Richard (who was, of course, absent) that they were out on their ear that moment unless they gave ththeir word there and then that they would do his event and not Tiffs. Both deejays were rather upset and angry and added that they had given their words, under duress, because they did not want to let the kids down by leaving on the spot with no way of explaining to their own fans why they were not appearing.
 I asked Russ Winstanley if it was true that they had been threatened with the sack and he said they had, but added that they had all been booked a considerable time before to do the October gig for the Casino. Dave and Gary both denied this strenuously, telling me that the first they knew of the October 2nd gig had been the Saturday before when they arrived at the Casino.
 I tried to speak to Gerry Marshall that night but he was unavailable. However, some days later we spoke on the phone. With regards to the feeling of being cheated by people who had spent a great deal of money on the "last" All-Nighter, Gerry told me that he had sent back £7,000 in ticket money from people who couldn't have tickets (he didn't say anything about the people who paid at the door that night) and that this night in October was for them.
 The October 2nd event had been planned at a new venue, although he wasn't saying where, but it had fallen through. He did say - and I'll quote here - "This, without any doubt, is the last event at theCasino."
 He then went on to tell me that at the "last" Oldies All-Nighter in September he told Dave Evison to announce the October 2nd event - but at that other venue. All the jocks knew that there would be the other event and all should consider themselves working at it. The Saturday before the last All-nighter, and the last Nighter itself, the jocks, Dave, Gary and Keith, were asked which event they were going to work at and they all said the Casino.
 I told him what Dave and Gary had told me about undue pressure and Gerry denied this, saying that he thought Dave Evison was a "bloody liar" and trying to run with the hare and the hounds. He then admitted that he had lost his temper with them. He did tell them that they were fired and they said that they didn't want to leave.
 Gerry also told me that he was amazed to find that Richard had booked Wigan Tiffany's and felt that he had been stabbed in the back. Dave Evison had actually spent two hours in the office talking of various ways of keeping the Casino going when the closure was announced.
 A rather telling statement to my mind came at the end of our conversation when Gerry told me that Wigan Tiffs had offered the chance to do an All-Nighter to Russ Winstanley who had brought the offer to Gerry who turned it down on the grounds that at 2.30am start was too much trouble. Telling because I subsequently spoke to the manager of Wigan Tiffany's who said that Russ had approached him - not the other way around - and that he had turned Russ down because at the time he didn't want to run All-Nighers.
 I know all that is a bit confusing but I wanted to put everything in as and when I heard it. There is a lot more doing the rounds, talk of certain people threatening to break other people's legs and so forth, but I am not interested in hearsay - only what was said to me. All my conversations with Gary, Dave and Russ were witnessed and my conversation with Gerry on the phone, and the manager of Wigan Tiffany's, was taken down verbatim in my notebook.
 To my mind no-one has come out of this with any honour at all. I think that Dave, Gary and Keith should have had the courage of their convictions, although both have made their point that after years of working at the Casino it wouldn't be an easy choice to just walk out on two nights for the sake of one in the future. I think Gerry should have arranged his follow-up, if indeed one was necessary and I don't accept that it was, on a different night. I think that Richard Searling should have told Gerry before going on holiday that he was putting on an event at Tiffany's.
 I've written at length in the past about the money side of the Soul Music scene. To many fans who spend a great deal of money buying records and travelling to clubs, the subject of money and commercialism is not nice at all but it has to be faced that jocks need money and club owners need money to live off and pay the bills.
 Richard Searling, Dave Evison, Gary Rushbrook and Keith Minshull, had suddenly lost a source of income, a regular weekly sum of money so they looked around for another means of earning it. Gerry had lost a great deal of money and was also looking around for a way of replacing it.
 One thing that I've got from all the people involved with this fuss: after eight years they're all very sad, and genuinely so, that it has come to acrimony at the end. It's a great shame that one or two of them couldn't have got together before the event. Gerry assumed loyalty from people whose primary source of income he'd just removed, and jocks who'd lost that source of income felt free to look for another.
 It seems that October 2nd will definitely be the last All-Nighter at the Casino and it also seems that Gerry, ably assisted by Russ Winstanley, will go out looking for another venue. After all the trouble recently, I wonder just who will work for him.
 One thing that I do hope is that the violence that has been threatened does not take place. After eight years it really is a shame that the end of Wigan Casino should become such a mess and to be perfectly honest if I wasn't a reporter nothing on earth would get me through those Casino doors again.
Will the Wigan Wagon keep rolling?  Black Echoes ( Oct. 3 '81 ).
WHAT WILL be, in effect the All-Nighter after the "last" All-Nighter at Wigan Casino, has created bitter resentment and a mood of mistrust among the Northern Soul Scene's normally most loyal followers.
 The ill-feeling surrounds the Casino's much publicised "last nigth" on September 19, when, for a £5 ticket ( £2 up on the usual price ), the Wigan soul crowd were to have kissed goodbye to eight years of All-Night raving. For many it was the not-to-be-missed end of an era and one fan went as far as to have the nostalgic event recorded in the design of a tatoo on his arm.
 The tattooee and hundreds of others, some of whom have written to ECHOES, were disheartened, on arrival, that Saturday night, when they discovered tickets on sale, at the usual lower rate, for another All-Nighter at the Casino, this coming Friday ( October 2 ).
 Many felt cheated, and there was much speculation as to the Casino's change of mind. One rumour suggested that this other All-Nighter was down to sour grapes, due to the launching of a brand new All-Nighter venue at Wigan's Tiffany's also this coming Friday ( October 2 ).
 This, with the Casino closing, would effectively leave it's manager, Gerry Marshall and his chief DJ and long-time Casino anchor-man Russ Winstanley out in the cold.
 Marshall's reasoning for another All-Nighter after the "last" All-Nighter is that it is to compensate the many hundreds of Northern Soul supporters who were turned away on September 19. In addition, he says that this Friday's event with singer Tommy Hunt was announced on September 4. He didn't explain why the tickets are now costing less, nor did he have anything to offer the people who forked out the additional £2.00 in good faith.
 Although recent attendances at the Casino have dropped below four hundred, it would seem that the scene is, in one way or another, as healthy as ever.

ON SATURDAY September 20, I once again made my regular pilgramage to Wigan Casino, a journey I have been making for the last seven years. The only difference this time was that the Casino was closing it's doors for the last time. Because of this, I gladly paid £5 for a ticket.
 I knew that I would be saying goodbye to friends I had made from as far afield as Southampton and Edingburgh and was excited at the prospect of meeting again faces who had long given up the All-Nighter scene, with the electric atmosphere that would be created.
 What an anti-climax after entering the building to find leaflets advertising yet another All-Nighter on October 2, with tickets already on sale for it. I then realised how I and thousands more had been conned and made to look proper fools for paying £5 for just an ordinary All-Nighter.
 The supposed reason for the closure was poor attendances but if ever an underhand trick was devised to boost them, the so-called last night was it. And who the hell is pocketing all this money?
 I will no longer attend Wigan Casino. I believe the people who run the place are now only interested in ripping people off and pocketing as much money as they can before the place finally closes on October 2 and that Wigan Casino will be remembered as a great All-Nighter not as a venue associated with ripping off as it is now beginning to appear.
        J. Williams of Angglesey.
             Black Echoes Oct. 3 1981.


  That face is familiar . . . .  .Blues & Soul 1986.
Martin Cook writes with regard to seeing old faces at gigs, particularly All-Nighters. He points out that it's just not the same going to events and not meeting old faces. He further adds that there doesn't seem to be any focal point for the great gathering of Northern fans such as there was in the days of Wigan.
 Gotta agree with you there, Martin. Much as we may criticise Wigan - and that is only from the latter days, there was nothing wrong in earlier times - it was, it seems to me anyway, the last of the line as far as the big-time gigs go. What have we got today? Perhaps Morcambe, ( when we can work out just where it is this month ) is the closest we've got to the Wheel, Torch, Up The Junction and Wigan Casino. Basically it's a question of mathematics. If you take the whole Northern Scene as about 2,000 people - and it would be a brave person who estimated as any bigger - then take the fact that these people are spread between about six regular All-Nighters each month.
 The chance, then, of meeting your mates are about six-to-one, if you discount the fact that your mates are old and probably only go to a few All-Nighters a year, unlike the old days when they were out every weekend. Given the existence of such places as Bankhall Miners, 86 Club, The International, places where older people are attracted anyway, what you're faced with is the end of an era as far as one gig where everyone meets is concerned.
 Like it or not, that's what we're faced with on the scene these days. As most of you are aware, I'm an oldie myself, and my music is definitely improved by the companionship of old mates . . . . doesn't make it any worse though. And, as far as one big event where all the old faces will meet is concerned, it's a definate no-way. Let's just be realistic . . . .the Northern Scene, as those of us who've been around more than five years knew it, has gone, kaput. The music will always live on even if the scene shrinks even more   ( as I personally expect it to for a while ) if you like the music you've gotta be a member of the new scene, not the "Good Old Days" which are over and done with.
 When the Casino closed it really was "The End Of An Era" , but the era that it ended wasn't just encompassing the Casino. The Era started with the "Wheel", went through the "Up The Junction", "Va Va's", "The Torch" and "Wigan Casino". It's all over now. . . . . . . .so we thought . . . . .the scene is even stronger than ever now, with more local Soul Nights, more large All-Nighters, more records still being discovered and more acceptance of 1970's / 80's sounds and best of all, more people re-discovering their roots in OUR music and old friendships being rekindled . . . . YES, there is life after Wigan !!!!