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Niters & Dayers 1.           
"Secret Sounds" at The Wheel. c/o Dave Godin ( B & S  1971 )
 As "Secret Sounds" should not and can not remain secret forever. I thought it about time to peel off someof those white labels and reveal the details that lie beneath. In doing this one risks the ire of some, the derision of others. ( "some secret - everyone knows about that  one" ), and the approval of the boot-leggers ( who will only stay in business as long as you buy their wares ). Anyway, here are a few sounds, and at some time or other during the year they were BIG. First is The Ad-Libs' super classic "Nothing's worse than being alone" on the Share label. This one started off when I took my copy to The Wheel last year, and since grew to monster proportions. Penned by Van McCoy and his mate Joe Cobb, it is, quite simply one of those all-time greats that one will never tire of hearing. And those lyrics - we've got to use them as this week's lyric turn-on:
"To be or not to be, in love with you is the question. And so I search my heart and try to find the perfect answer. But no matter how I choose, either way I'm gonna lose; If I stay you'll break my heart, and yet I'll die if we ever part. So I'll take my chances and stick with you, cos nothing's worse than being alone. Part of the heartbreak I'll have to suffer through, nothing's worse than being alone. With you I know my life is bound to be full of sadness. I could find someone else, but no one else can bring me gladness. Eenie meenie miney-moe, should I stay or should I go. If I stay you'll make me grieve, and yet I'll die if you should ever leave. So I'll take my chances and stick with you, cos nothing's worse than being alone . . . . teardrops . . . . heartaches . . . . nothing's worse than being alone . . . . sadness . . . . loneliness . . . . nothing's worse than being alone . . . . " A fantastic sound, and a record that could well be a surprise hit if it were ever issued. If it is, and it does make it, then remember you read it here first! Another secret sound that was big was James Bounty's waxing on Compass "Prove yourself a lady". A real pile-driving thumper this one, it was not the instant hit I thought it'd be when I played it at The Wheel last year, but since then the penny has dropped, and . . . need I go on. I won't hype you to no bum sounds - if I tip it, then sincerely I reckon it'll win it's way, but if I tip a side as a good disco sound I do really reckon its chances.
 The big Wheel keeps turning. c/o Black Echoes.
The Twisted Wheel is a legend amongst the Northern fraternity, being without doubt the most
fondly-remembered location of all time. Here then, to give us an insight into some of the sides that were played is ex-Wheel soulspinner and respected collector Lez Cokell.
THE ROW going on at the moment on whether to play new records or old was never a problem at the 'Twisted Wheel'. They just had to be good Soul records!
 But, arguing with myself, I never could say 'Get On Your Knees' Los Canarios ( Major Minor 532 ) a good record, or class 'La La La La La La' The Blendells ( Reprise 20291 ) even as Soul.
 So maybe things have not changed that much. Anyway, the reason for this column; The original 'Twisted Wheel' was situated in Brazenmore Street - starting around 1961 - playing mostly Pop until the 'Folk Blues' fad. This hit the country about '63 ( although it had a following for years before that ).
 In this era great standards were released in Britain - missed at the time, but revamped two years later down the 'Wheel' by DJ at the time, Roger Eagle. These include:
 'Boy from New York city',  Ad Libs ( Red Bird 10.102)
  'I don't wanna fuss', Sugar Pie Desanto ( Pye 7N 25267 )
  'Gonzo', James Booker ( Vocation 9177 )
  'The swim', Bobby Freeman ( Pye 7N 25280 )
  'This diamond ring', Sammy Ambrose ( Stateside 385 )
 Just to mention a few. It had started - people were missing the records first time around. The rare sounds were coming into the Soul scene.
 It was late '64 when the 'Wheel' got it's new home in Whitworth Street, and not long after came the first all-night sessions ( as they were called then ).
 The late sixties did nothing to change the format and the kids danced the night away to great classics like -
  'Mr Bang Bang Man', Little Hank ( London 10090 )
  'Playgirls love', Five Stairsteps ( US Windy City 602 ) Hey that was my first import !
  'Turn back the hands of time', Bobby Adeno ( Backbeat 552 )
  'The entertainer', Tony Clarke ( Chess 8025 ).   And many hundreds more still around to this day.
 Although Britain did not get many US Soul acts in those days, the 'Wheel' always got the ones that came to these shores.
 I shall always remember the heavy gang. The two very large ladies The Soul Sisters singing about that 'Good Time Tonight ( London HLC 9970 ) and the fat man himself, the late Billy Stewart, telling us about his 'Secret Love' ( Chess 8045 ).
 But the guy who always pulled in the best crowd must have been Ben E. King. His biggy at the time was 'Cry No more' ( Atlantic 4043 ). What a guy and what a performer.
 Another name that will always be associated with the 'Wheel' is Brian '45' Philips - he was the Soul spinner for a number of years, starting some of the sounds that are still around today - including:
  'I hurt on the other side', Jerry Cook ( Capitol 5981 )
  'Zig zag lightning', Little Johnny Taylor ( Galaxy 748 )
  'Before it's too late', Jackie Day ( Sue 4040 )
  'Festival time', San Remo Strings ( Ric Tic 112 )    And a lot of others that are still burning up the oldies decks. And where does yours truly fit in; well, I only got a look in a year before the closing down in '71.
 Before I go here's a list of records popular in the early part of the seventies and still worth looking out for:
  'Gotta draw the line', Darrow Fletcher ( Groovy  3007 )
  'Up and down the ladder', Intruders ( London 10069 )
  'Pick me', Vibrations ( Columbia 8175 )
  'You turned my bitter into sweet', Mary Love ( King 1024 )
  'Keep my woman home', Danny White ( Sue 4031 )
  'Baby I love you', Howard Tate ( Verve 555 ).
 Anyway, while all these sounds were hitting the dance floor - because of the usual all-nighter hassles - the manager Mr Ivor Abbadi must have thought there was an easier way of making a living. He plushed up the place, gave it a new name ( The Pacemate ) and catered for the stacked heels, wide trousers and flared skirt mob.
 The 'Wheel' had finished its life and become a legend in its own right.

COKELL'S  all-time  greats :
   "The Drifter" - Ray Pollard ( United Artists )
   "Dreaming a dream" - Crown Heights Affair ( Polydor )
   "Have a good day" - Hamilton Bohannan ( Brunswick )
   "T.L.C." - P.J. ( U.S. Tamla )
   "My baby needs me" - Mellow Fellows ( U.S. Dot )
   "Hello stranger" - Barbara Lewis ( London )
   "Countdown ( here I come )" - Tempos ( U.S. Canterbury )
   "Dancing on a daydream" - Soulvation Army Band ( U.S. Soulvation )
   "Nobody but you" - Esther Philips ( U.S. Roulette )
   "Mister Soul Singer" - Vivian Verdree ( U.S. Atco )
   "Oo Linda" - Leroy Taylor ( U.S. Brunswick )
   "Thankful for what I got" - Barbara Lewis ( Atlantic )
   "I need you" - Diane Jenkins ( U.S. Creative Funk )
   "The girl's alright with me" - Temptations ( Stateside )
   "After hours" - J.R. Bailey ( U.S. Toy )
   "Permanent vacation" - Marion Sodd ( U.S. Mad )
   "Take it baby" - Showmen ( Action )
   "Who will do your running now" - Marvin Smith ( U.S. Mayfield )
   "I believe in miracles" - Jackson Sisters ( Mams )
   "Casanova" - Ruby Andrews ( U.S. Zodiac )
  THE TORCH.  by DAVE EVISON.    c/o New Soultime.
 There have been many great "All-Nighters" on the Northern Soul circuit and in many people's eyes the legendary Torch was unbeatable. When Siz approached me and suggested I wrote a brief history about it, I was delighted indeed privelidged to take on such a task . . . . . then I sat down and realised that one could very easily create a complete book never mind a few pages, consequently I hope ex-patrons of the Torch will forgive me, as I am well aware that due to limited amount of space, a magnitude of memories and occurences have inevitably been excluded.
 As a veteran of every Torch All-nighter, I must confess to having a very soft spot for what to me was the ultimate in N.S. havens. Situated slap bang in the middle of rows of terraced houses, the Torch stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in Tunstall, one of the fine towns of Stoke-on-Trent. Like so many other celebrated all-nighters, the Torch was very well established prior to getting the coveted all-night licence, but in all honesty without the now famous 8 - 8 Saturday / Sunday spot, the collapse of it would have been inevitable. Chris Burton, a house-hold name on the 'scene' was in charge from the very beginning to the tragic closure. What many readers may be unaware of is that the Torch started life as the 'Golden Torch' in the early sixties, catering for the general pop and rock and roll audiences every night bar Tuesdays and Thursdays. As a local lad I spent most of my youth in the place with such now well known characters as Colin Curtis, Frank Elson, and Keith Minshull.  In fact Keith must surely be the longest running regular D.J. to date as my first ever attempt at dancing was in fact to the sounds supplied by him over twelve years ago. Other D.J.'s included Dave Plumb, Chris Sweeting and later on a Wednesday night Colin Curtis, and on Fridays in '71 yours truly with Phil Morgan. (He also had the unenviable job of 'hearding' the live acts from Chris Burtons office down the tiny wooden stairs, through an average all-nighter attendance of 800, across the dance floor and up a flight of stairs to the wings of the stage.)
 More about the all-nighter later though, I have so many personal memories of the Torch as it became my home virtually, but a few points of interest must be recalled i.e. how ironic it is to think that one of the greatest names of our music Garnett Mimms attracted only forty five punters including me, one wintery night long before all-nighters. Legendary stars of our music who made Torch appearances were many. Of course with the Twisted Wheel in full swing the majority of acts 'doubled' with the Torch starting in Stoke and moving onto Manchester. Here are just some of the acts who gave their everything on the hallowed stage of the Torch; Fontella Bass, Edwin Starr, Ben E. King, Drifters, Doris Troy, J.J. Jackson, Oscar Toney Jnr., Otis Leaville, Detroit Emeralds, Jnr. Walker, Archie Bell and the Drells, O'jays, Roy 'C', Sam and Dave, Bob and Earl, Mac and Katie Kissoon, and of course Major Lance who's vast live talents were uncovered mainly thanks to Chris Burton. So popular was Major that well over the limited amount of soul fans from all over the nation quite literally shook the whole building; jam - packed, they stood like a seething mass, and hung from the balcony as though the Torch was a lifeboat. It was positively frightening, as had there been a fire there is no doubt that we would have become a large human, disco inferno. Regardless of the huge risk of literall suffocation the event was something I have personally never experienced even slightly like since. It could have lasted a week for us all as the atmosphere was electric and the might of the devoted fanatics was too over whelming for the Major who cried tears of joy at a reception which even the Apollo could never have equalled. All of this was captured in the live album Major recorded that night December 9th 1972. Another long serving Northern jock, and my buddy, until recently was Martyn Ellis and it was he who had the memorable privilege of introducing Major, and what a truly professional job he made of it. The other All-nighter D.J.'s were the local lads Colin and Keith, from Burton-on-Trent, Alan Day who made his name at the 'Up the Junction' All-nighter in Crewe, and of course the very Blackpool Mecca 'spinner' Tony Jebb. Other occasional 'Kingspinners' as they were known were Pep from Walsall, and Ian Levine another Mecca man (yes, the very same . . . .)
 With regards to the building itself; the premises were pretty old as it started life as a church, was converted into a cinema and Chris bought the property and so began life of a dance hall which as the years rolled on proved to be a major land-mark in the unique history of our enviroment. Luckily the 'commercial explosion' of a few years back, arrived after the club had terminated; for in the early seventies, although expanding rapidly, the Torch was able to cater for all-comers and the 'happy family' image remained in contact with everybody sharing a genuine interest in all that it took to be a Northern Soul fanatic. This desire of absolute involvement both musically and otherwise showed admirably in the responce which each and every record received, even first time spins were frantically danced to. More than ever before, we all wanted to do our bit to show our appreciation and I can never recall an empty dance floor. We danced as though our lives depended on it and as each Saturday passed by it was amusing to notice how various groups of Brothers & Sisters from certain areas of the country invariably "claimed" a certain part of the dance floor, and endeavoured to keep it from week to week i.e. the Manchester crowd were to the left of the stage at the front with the Cheltenham & Gloucester "clan" bordering onto them. This does tend to suggest that these groups isolated themselves from the others, on the contrary, this was not the case it was "dancing etiquette", in fact the beauty of this venue was the incredible warmth and friendship shared by each and every member. Unity was the secret weapon of the Torch and an unquenchable thirst for more, more, more. When I think back to those days of "Ben Sherman's", "Brouges", "Levi's", and "Brut", I always recall just how desperate we were to let the whole country know that here was a phenomenal brand of music with it's unique minority of fanatical supporters virtually bursting for some sort of recognition. In the Torch era our only reward for demonstrating the vast talents of black music was the general public acceptance of Tamla Motown, and the odd few Stax, Atlantic and Stateside sounds. It was like being trapped in a pressure cooker, but we would never have believed that our dream of success for under-rated black artists was about to blow up in our faces. The Northern Soul "powers that be" totally misrepresenting the initial aims of it's followers by presenting the "great big world" outside with what they considered the Radio 1, Top Of The Pops lovers would be able to accept. So with greedy visions of vast profits at the Northern Soul followers expence the utterly bewildered majority of the country was presented with mass produced, painfully bad imitations in the shape and form of "The Javelles" and the completely soul-less "Wigan's Ovation" which really added insult to injury as we became the laughing stock of the nation, and before we knew it hundreds of sightseers were in our midst. Needless to say when they discovered what our music was really like, they retreated to the wailings of the "Bay City Rollers" and other non-entitys posing as musicians and far worse rammed the lid back on our pressure cooker . . . . . . . . or was it worse? As it seemed so relieving to realise that by giving our musical product to the ignorant, it would have devastated our own chances as a secret underground family, regardless of how humiliated we felt at being sold down the river by our so-called ambassadors masquerading as promoters of our music but happily most of this happened after the Torch and other true Northern clubs had slipped away. The Torch was famed for it's discovering and launching of scores of "CLASSIC" records. America was ripe for the picking and soul was the influx of so many brilliant records, it was indeed unusual to hear the same record all that often. Very rarely were "oldies" played such was the availability of new material. Some of the sounds "discovered" at the Torch included the following now "classics" Sam & Kitty - "I've got something dood", Fuller Brothers - "Times a wasting", Eddie Parker - "Love you baby", (One of my all-time faves), Fathers Angels - "Bok to Bach", Just Brothers - "Sliced tomatoes", Producers - "Lady, lady, lady", Sequins - "Case of love", Soul Twins - "Quick change artist", to name but a few. London played a major part in the back up of records and it was strangely bizarre to have to travel into the heart of anti-northern territory in order to secure and capture some of these future monsters for our own followers. I recall a guy called Graham in Rupert Street who would wait to hear the 'password' "Torch" and would produce from his archaeic hand-cart off Piccadilly Circus, literally piles of mouth watering sounds. Bradford market was also a famous donor of records to the Torch, as was probably the most important of all sources Ian Levine. It's tragic to think that presently he is suffering abuse from people who are totally unaware of his vast contibution to our music. Levine had the money, but in all fairness, money could not buy an exceptional talent for finding the perfect records which he had. His jealous critics have always (and did at the Torch) attack his questionable personality, conveniently disregarding this unique ear for good music, indded an important 'cog' in the Torch wheel.
 Another D.J. who tends to get a little unfair stick occasionally was, as I mentioned Keith Minshull; next time any of us giggle at his antics or even the occasional odd choice of sound (and I am in no position to talk of that) remember that Keith Minshull was the insistent young lad in the mid-sixties who pleaded with Chris Burton to let him play this 'new' type of Soul in his club. Well done mate, it played off, thanks for giving me the opportunity of becoming part of Northern Soul's most exciting and productive era . . . . that of the irreplaceable TORCH
       Golden Nights at the 'Legendary' Torch All-Nighter.
THE VA-VA STORY. by RICHARD SEARLING.    c/o New Soultime.
 At mid-morning in April '73 I was working in the Global Records Offices in Manchester when the 'phone rang. At the other end of the line was one of my friends from Bolton, a D.J. called 'Wick' Barratt. He made me an offer which was eventually, although I didn't realise it at the time to change my whole life.
 He asked me if I would like to D.J. at an All-Night Soul Session that had just begun in Bolton at a club called 'Va-Va'. Evidentely, my name had been put forward by several soul fans in the area because of my involvement at Global and my record collection. Only a month earlier my answer would surely have been 'no' - But having just returned to England after a 3 week trip to the States (Philadelphia) and being armed consequently with most of the current top sounds I fairly jumped at the challenge.
 So the night after (Friday) I found myself 'slaving behind the hot turntables' at Va-Va from 1 - 8 AM, spinning (if my memory serves me correctly) sounds like 'One in a million' (Maxine Brown) 'Love is like an itching' (Timothy Wilson) 'Tainted love' (Gloria Jones) 'Last minute miracle' (Shirelles) 'Slow fizz' (Sapphires) 'Just ask me' (Lenis Guess) amongst many others.
 As anyone who ever went to Va-Va's will be aware the club held around 400 people when full, and was fairly 'plush' for an all-nighter, with plenty of comfo table seating around for those who became physically exhausted to 'crash out' on - although that rarely occured. Sectioning off the small, tiles dance floor from the rest of the club was perspex transparant plates into which people usually stumble - all in the course of a good nights' fun.
 The initial attendance on that first  all soul-nighter was around 100, and this gradually increased until, around June/July it was usually for 300 - 400 regulars to be present from all round the country. There was always a large Yorkshire Contingent (hello there Bob, Paul, Dave, Andy and all the rest) and they were all very loyal and never missed a week, like so many more of the super people who came along every Friday.
 I mentioned a few sounds earlier in the article, they were all tremendously popular, but obviously other records were featured over the following months, some taking off, others remaining semi-underground until later years. Examples of this are 'Love is wonderful' - Paula Parfitt (now very popular indeed in Yorkshire) 'No.1 in your heart' - Herbie Goins (Parlaphone), 'Baby I need you'- Marsha Gee (Uptown), 'Laws of love'- Volcanos (Arctic), 'Easy baby'- Adventures (Compass), 'Worth every tear I cry'- Dee Dee Warwick (Mercury), 'What love brings'- Kenny Bernard (Pye), 'Can it be me'- Mel Williams (Modern), 'Hide nor hair'- Earl Grant (Decca), and 'I don't mind'- Carolyne Cooke (RCA). Anyone who remembers the tremendous full- page ads in 'Blues and Soul' each fortnight will be able to see most of the other sides we played regularly.
 I say 'we' because I was helped out now and then by Marty Ellis (usually every week), Pep, and Alan Day - the latter having quite the largest record case I've ever clapped eyes on. I used to do between 5 - 7 hours each nighter as they ran sometimes 1 - 8 AM, and other times 2 - 8 depending on how busy the earlier 'pop' session had been. The car park outside was full of people "Wheelin' and Dealin' " from 11PM onwards, all ready to race downstairs when the first 'Northern' side was played.
 So, from a 'Luke Warm' begining in mid-April, May and June saw Va-Va become firmly established as a venue to be reckoned with, and all the nighters in July were absolutely packed with people travelling from all over the Midlands and South of England. This was the strength of Va-Va. People travelled week-in, week-out to meet up with friends, just like they had done at the 'Wheel' and more recently, 'The Torch', 'The Pendulum' in Manchester had many a bumper on Fridays with Va-Va - bound people choosing that well-loved venue as a meeting place.
 Then, just as word was spreading fast about the new Friday all-nighter in Bolton, a crook appeared that was eventually to prove to be the downfall of Va-va.
 Like so many other great all-nighters it was to be drugs that had the final say in which way the club was finally forced to close down. During a casual look around the club, drugs were found, and the management, quite understandebly became worried about their relations with the Police who had discovered the 'Pills'. Nothing was said on that Friday in August, but on the following Wednesday I received a phone call from the manager saying that the Va-Va all-nighter was 'No more.'
 Of course it was too late to stop the regulars driving on that fateful Friday, but even worse than that, 2 whole coachloads drived for their first visit to Bolton from Cheltenham, and they must have been redilly sick. I did from 12 - 2 AM behind the decks that night and lots of people were fairly close to tears I can tell you. The last record I ever played at Va-Va was Lynne Randells super 'Stranger in my arms' and I said goodbye and thanks to about 500 dissappointed all-nighter fans because that night I felt and still do to this day that we had finally been 'discovered' at Va -Va, but at least we went on the highest of notes.
 It all seemed so black that last Friday, but unknown to all of us, another all-nighter was to open nearby only 5 weeks later at Wigan, the rest is just history.
 Thanks to everyone who supported what many people consider to be the No.1 all-nighter of all time. I know I know I enjoyed every minute of it - and 4 years later it's nice to look back on what proved to be quite a stepping stone for me.
        Looking back.     An article written by Dave Mc.Cadden.
 I thought it would be interesting to look back at the sounds we were playing just as I came on to the scene. Perhaps to see where we went wrong, and to ask what happened to those sides never spun again. When I first became involved with Northern Soul in January '73, there was no Wigan, but the scene survived before Wigan came along, and it will indeed still continue after it has gone (as it inevitaly will). Here then is the top 20 records in the clubs I visited at the time. Even then I was writing them down, and as you can see I've not stopped writing since.
Jan '73  Va Va's Bolton.  Hurt on the other side-Jerry Cook, Just ask me-Lenis Guess, Key to my happiness-Charades, Countdown-Tempo's, Wanting you-Jimmy Bee, Love's like an itching in my heart-Timothy Wilson, Walk like a man-Johnny Moore, I can do it-The Autographs, I've got something good-Sam & Kitty, I got to find me somebody-Vel-Vets, Everything's gonna be all right-P.P.Arnold, Feels good-Bob Wilson, Love's like quicksand-Snady Wynns, Don't bug me-Diplomats, River of tears-Royalettes, Bok to Bach-Fathers Angels, Black is black-Lord Sitar, Breakaway-Valentines.
Well I only wrote 18 down.
Jan '73  Samantha's.  I got something good-Sam & Kitty, Quick change artist-Soul Twins, Little Queenie-Bill Black, Remember me-Whispers, Time's a wasting-Fuller Brothers, Love you baby-Eddie Parker, Breakaway-Valentines, I can't get enough of your love-Johnnny Sayles, Wanting you-Jimmy Bee, I can't get away-Bobby Garrett, Ooh pretty lady-Al Kent, Stay-Virginia Wolves, Lady,lady,lady-Producers, What would I do-Tymes, Tell me it's just a rumour,baby-Isley Brothers, What would I do-Superiors, Everything's gonna be all right-P.P.Arnold, Cracked up over you-Danny White.
June '73  Wigan Rugby League Club.    DJ-Russ Winstanley.  I got something good-Sam & Kitty, Blowing my mind to pieces-Bob Relf, Hit and run-Rose Battiste, Let her go-Otis Smith, Let's have a love-in - Flaming Embers, Earthquake-Bobbi Lynn, Girl across the street-Moses Smith, Satisfy me baby-The Sweets, I'm not built that way-Hesitations, Put your arms around me-Sherrys, If that's what you wanted-Frank Beverly, Oh Linda-Leroy Taylor, Love is getting stronger-Jason Knight, I worship you baby-Glories, I've been hurt-Guy Darrel, Queen of the go go-Rex Garvin, Slow fizz-Sapphires, One in a million-Maxine Brown, Everything's gonna be all right-P.P.Arnold, Purple haze-Johnny Jones, Living a lie-High Keyes.
July '73  Blackpool Mecca.   DJ's Minshull/Curtis.  Wait till I get to know you-Bobby Treetop, Nerves of steel-Gino Parks, Girl across the street-Moses Smith, Ain't that something-Brice Coefield, Heartaches away my boy-Christine Cooper, I'll save the last dance for you-?Damita Jo, Hide nor hair-Earl Grant, This man-Wally Cox, I still love you-Superlatives, Open the door to your heart-Mob, Working at the go go-Butch Baker, Desiree-Charts, We must be doing something right-Joan Moody, Blowing my mind to pieces-Bob Relf, Satisfied-Ben Aiken, If you ask me-Jerry Williams, You hit me right were it hurts-Alice Clarke, Stiring up some soul-Marketts, Love is like an itching in my heart-Timothy Wilson, There's that mountain-Trips.
July '73  Pendlum Club Manchester.   DJ's Dave White/Barry Tasker.  Working at the go go-Butch Baker, I'm in a world of troubles-Sweet Things, Just ask me-Lenis Guess, Countdown-Tempo's, Tainted love-Gloria Jones, The right direction-Clara Ward, There's that mountain-Trips, Blowing my mind to pieces-Bob Relf, Girl across the street-Moses Smith, Queen of the go go-Rex Garvin, I got to have all of your love-Mill Evans, Wanting you-Jimmy Bee, Grooving at the go go-Four Larks, Hurt on the other side-Jerry Cooke, You hit me right were it hurts-Alice Clarke, I got something good-Sam & Kitty, Inky dinky-Dramatics, Let her go-Otis Smith, Just like the weather-Nolan Chance, Everything's gonna be all right-P.P.Arnold. (Brings tears to my eyes that list).

    So, there you can see, no disco discs, no Joey Dee's, no new releases. The question is 'are we better off?' or have we gone to pot. But just because those were top sounds, that doesn't mean that no pop records were played. Theer were still things like "Bless your soul"-Dreamlovers, Guy Darrel, and not long after this we were subjected to The Vouges, Hawaii 5-0 and the inane Sue Thompson that some equally inane person pressed on his own label.
 Around mid '74, came the first warning of the great New York onslaught, in the shape of Fantastic Johnny C's "Don't depend on me", a nice enough side sounding typically Philly at the time, and I for one couldn't believe it, the first time this boomed from the Mecca's speakers. Christ, compared to today's Mecca sounds this one's a stomper. Soon Frank Elson did an article in his B & S column entitled 'Are the sounds slowing down?' and we all know what the answer was.
  From the early 70's the Mecca had always led the field, under the motto "What we play today the rest of the scene plays tomorrow", a fact only too well known by the rest of the scene. When Levine joined the roster, the Mecca had everything, and if it was desired, the Mecca could have gone on to become what Wigan is today. Their refusal to do all-nighters, meant this could never be. So, as Levine realised his venue could never be the No.1, armed with Colin Curtis, he set about changing the whole scene into one that could put the Mecca at the top. To be honest, there was no competition from Wigan. Levine knew that if he wanted to he could easily have built the Mecca up into the No.1 all-nighter, and I'm sure that if the Mecca ever reverts back to Northern Soul and holds ragular all-nighters, then Wigan could be pissed on.
  The argument for New York disco music is progress, and fresh supply of sounds. Mecca music is certainly that, but why say there are no more stompers when there are hundreds of undiscovered sounds in Levines collection alone. And if as Colin suggests, the scene must play the music of Black America today, then what took him and others so long after years of playing 60's records. Is he admitting he was playing the wrong type of music for all those years? No, the Mecca's big mistake was to jump in head first, the result would have been a lot less rebellion had the sounds crept up on the scene very slowly. The ideal situation would have been one where there was an even mixture of the best 60's sounds and the best new releases. Some of the new releases appeal to hardened northern fans. Instead they had to go 100% NY disco, just as Wigan was once 100% stompers, but surely if Wigan sees the change, then the Mecca can too. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd hear new releases at Wigan, but I must congratulate the whole scene for taking change so well. I would have liked the scene to have stayed 100% stompers, but I'm not kidding myself for one moment by believing it could. So to sum up, the scene is now about 55% 60's music and 45% modern recent releases, I don't think it will ever go on to become solely NY disco, and I don't think it will ever revert back to the 100% stomper days. I think we've got just the right balance. Let's keep it that way.  Right on.


  Dave Godin at Blackpool Mecca with Lynn, Denise and Bob, and the
        legendary "Boogaloo" from Manchester. c/o Blues & Soul 1971.
                           THE MONEY SPINNING MUSHROOM
            Neil Rushton charts the growth of the scene
        which proved that soul DOES thrive north of Watford.
   NORTHERN SOUL hit B-I-G in '75. For the first time there was splash coverage from the top press, a flurry of releases - many of them mediocore - from the London-based record industry and even the Beeb jumped on the bandwagon with a special edition of Radio One's "Insight" programme devoted to the scene.
 That beatin' rhythm even hit the telly - although the sight of Wigan's Ovation merrily murdering the Invitations classic "Skiing in the snow" was enough to make ancient Northern devotees drop dead in the middle of a backdrop.
 As one old-timer told me this week; "Christ, when I started going to clubs like the Twisted Wheel ( in Manchester ) in the Sixties it was a really small grass roots movement. It was all part of the mod thing. Everyone used to know each other and we were all really into the music. If someone had told me then what the scene would be like today, I'd have sent him off to the loony bin. It's sickening to see the way the music has been exploited."
 Clubs like the Wheel kept the soul fires burning in the Sixties after Southern club owners had given the sound of Black America the boot in favour of flower power and heavy rock. Not that you could blame the Southern clubs - the at - one - time - so refreshing dance beat of Tamla Motown, Atlantic and Stax had got TOO predictable.
 But while the London-based business forgot about soul ( with honourable exceptions like Dave Godin's Soul City shop in the West End )  the rare soul discos at clubs like the Wheel, the Catacombs in Wolverhampton and the Chateau in Worcester got more popular. Disc-jockeys like Birmingham based Carl Dene - who played at the imensley popular Sunday afternoon sessions at the Chateau - found they had to constantly go to greater lengths to satisfy the dancers.  "One day I got a letter from a guy in ****** who had a copy of Tony Clarke's 'The Entertainer' and I drove up there right away in case anyone else got it. But it was worth it - I got the record." remembered Carl.
 Satisfying the dancers WAS a problem. Spinners soon exhausted the Motown catalouge and started looking for UK released items with that uptempo beat that hadn't done a thing first time around. Records like "There's nothing else to say" - The Incredibles ( Stateside ), "Dr.Love" - Bobby Sheen ( Capitol Disco '66 ), "Ready,willing and able" - Jimmy Holiday & Clydie King ( Liberty ) and "Here she comes" - The Tymes     ( Cameo Parkway ) became sought after collectors' items and changed hands for £5 a throw. At the same time, enterprising dealers got hip to the cash potential from this underground movement and started importing esoretic US releases.
 Clubs like the Wheel were suddenly getting a lot of attention . . . . and Northern Soul was ready to start going overground . . . . But the Seventies started badly  - with the closure of the Wheel. Manchester drugs squad were getting increasingly interested in the amphetamine pushers and takers among the mainly "straight" Wheel crowd. After a series of spectacular and headline making raids, the club just had to shut.
 At the time, it seemed like a death blow. Other clubs tried to take the Wheel's place but found it hard to get established. Then came the Torch . . . . .
 Promoter Chris Burton explained; "We'd been running soul sessions at the Torch - a converted cinema at Tunstall, near Stoke - since 1968. The crowd kept asking me to try All-Nighters but I wasn't too keen. Anyway, I decided to have a go."
 The first All-Nighter - on Saturday, April 14, 1973 - attracted a near thousand crowd from all over the country despite little advertising. Encouraged, Chris started running them once-a-month, then once a fortnight and eventually every Saturday. "It was a great time,"  Chris told BLACK ECHOES. "Really it was the kids' own scene. They knew what music they wanted and created their own magic."
 Top-line artists like The Stylistics and Junior Walker appeared before the most knowledgeable soul crowd in Britain . . . . but the real crowd puller was Chicago soulster Major Lance. "He put us on the map and made people realise we were there. I don't think anyone in the industry could believe what we were achieving."
 Contempo Records cut a live LP of Major at the Torch and it's still selling steadily. The record industry had at last cottoned on to what was happening north of Watford and was spotting gold in them Northern hills. "I suppose the industry had to sit up and take notice of us," admits Chris. "Personally, though, I don't think we had that much influence on the business - I'd say it was Wigan Casino that has done that."
 When the Torch closed after 16 months of All-Nighters ( and a protracted battle with the drugs sqad that was eventually lost in the court room ) it seemed like nothing could ever emulate it. By the time it closed, Chris Burton's International Soul Club had 33,000 members. The market was huge - and DJ's like Tony Jebb and Alan Day were spinning an incredible variety of stomp-stomp dancers.
 Other venues - like Bolton's Va-Va's and the Highland Room at Blackpool Mecca - filled the gap. But what was really needed was another big All-Nighter venue.
 Enterprising disc-jockey Russ Winstanley convinced the management at Wigan's Casino club that an All-Nighter would be a success.
 The first one was in Autumn '73 - and there's been one every week since. The club now claims a membership of 70,000 pluss, and manager Mike Walker proudly boasts that the club attracts soul fanatics from all over Europe.
 One contraversal thing about the club has been the link with Northern copyists Wigan's Ovation with whom Mike Walker has a financial link. As one fan told me in the packed Wigan bar as scores of sweat-stained dancers took time off to plough through record boxes full of rare goodies for sale; "Trouble is, people who don't know anything about the Northern scene will think groups like that are what we like." "In fact, if they ever appeared here we'd throw things at them. We're into soul - not pop rubbish like that."
 Just what Mike Walke's views are on the subject is unknown. When BLACK ECHOES checked Wigan out recently he was "unavailable" for an interview.
 The growing Northern following has resulted in specialist Northern nights springing up all over the country - but quantity is no substitute for quality, is it ?
Cleethorpes. TOP NORTHERN venue on the East Coast is at Cleethorpes Pier where the Lincolnshire Soul Club run fortnightly All-Nighters.
 Cleethorpes has proved so successful that Wigan Casino recently tried to get in on the act by promoting a rival All-Nighter at the nearby Winter Gardens - but after four flops, Casino boss Mike Walker dropped out.
 Says Mary Chapman, the only woman running a Northern club; "Our members - we've got  2,000 in the new membership book - all stood by us. Their loyalty was quite staggeringand very heartwarming."  Mary reckons the main problem at Cleethorpes is the growing gap between followers of the old traditional Northern-style sound and the new wave of funkier sounds that are getting spins. "It's impossible to keep everyone happy all the time - I like the new funky items but there is a danger of Northern Soul losing it's true identity." The club will be holding a gala first anniversary All-Nighter on February  21.
 The five favorite sounds for the discerning Cleethorpes crowd are : -
1. "Right on" - Al De Lory ( Capitol )      2. "I can see him loving you" - Anderson Brothers ( G.S.F. )
3. "I don't know what foot to dance on" - Kim Toliver ( Castro ) 4. "Seven day lover" - James Fountain ( Peachtree )  5."Out of my mind" - Rain ( Bell ).
                                       WINTER GARDENS '76
 Square dealing with the faith. c/o Pen & Paper ( edited by Dave Godin )
"During the past year I have had the pleasure to share and enjoy Soul music in the company of many young people from all over Britain. When the doors open at our venues and everyone pours in - there's no doubt that Soul was made for sharing. How sad though that between one event and the next, those feelings get so trampled on until they remain just a faint glimmer of hope. In the course of presenting our All-Nighters at Cleethorpes, I've come acrosss so much ill feeling outside the actual event that the very word "Soul" becomes tarnished. The political manipulation indulged by individuals in order to gain prominence, money etc., at the expence of others makes me wonder if I wouldn't be off out on the dance floor with the happy throng of dancers. At least they know the meaning of the word "Soul". Recently it has become all too clear that jealousy, spite and greed are rapidly transforming the "Northern Scene" into a rat race that will eventually kill it. Our "scene" is so often at the mercy of owners of venues and promoters whose selfish concern for wealth and position leads to unscrupulous deals which result in "ripoffs" to the tune of literally thousands of pounds, and yet when an opportunity to set the record straight arises, our "wandering jounalist" Frank Elson prints all the "facts" without even bothering to check whether they are true or not. I would like to see the "contract" he says I had with The Winter Gardens, and if the manager, Mr.Galloway, had been honest he would have admitted that the Hull Drug Squad were showing more than usual interest in the activities of our members. Obviously he puts money before any other consideration and doesn't care how many innocent young people might well spend an unpleasent night at the local police H.Q. whilst they hunt for the guilty. Perhaps not, but then his friendly welcome to The Winter Gardens extends no further than his pocket so far as Soul is concerned. When we originally asked to hold All-Nighters there, early last year, he thought our members would "lower the tone of the place" and refused our idea. Thank goodness that the local Council have a more healthy respect for the youth of today. Not two days after our first successful All-Nighters at The Pier, Mr.Galloway begged us to go back to the Gardens. Strange how the very sniff of money makes all the difference. Odd too that with the invasion of Wigan Casino, came a sudden 50% rise in our hire fee for the Pier, and an ultimation of "everyweek" or nothing. Coincidence maybe, but then it seems that the price of success is paid in terms of sleepless nights if you've got any feelings at all. As easy as it may be to remain neutral, when the chips are down you've got no choice but to fight for survival. I wonder if competition from the forthcoming new Soul journal BLACK ECHOES will drag Frank off his precarious fence? Will his view be so bland and neutral when his own going gets rough? Competition is only fair when the rules are clean, and I can fight with the best for what I believe. However, my efforts to create a good scene where the right values count could well be shattered unless I am prepared to join the uncaring band of profiteers. I'll gladly queue up with the reat and pay my admission fee to enjoy Soul music rather than sell-out on the two things that make it all worthwhile - the music, and those who pay to appreciate it. Frank seems to do neither, but I think they deserve a better deal. Keeping the faith."
Mary Chapman.   Lincolnshire Soul Club.
Samantha's  Sheffield. ONE MAJOR Northern venue that has avoided the limelight and quietly got on with promoting top class All-Nighters is Samantha's at Sheffield. It's run by Mecca but most of the hard work is done by DJ  John Vincent - who also plays at Wigan.
Regular once-a-month All-Nighters began two years ago and soonestablished themselves. The management decided to put on fortnightly promotions and then this year the move to every Friday was made.
 Regular spinners are John and Ian Dewhurst. Guests including Blackpool jock Colin Curtis and Johnny Manship also appear at regular intervals.
 "Sammy's"  top five sounds are : -        1. "Gonna be a big thing" - Yum Yums ( A.B.C. )
2. "Right on" - Al De Lory ( Capitol )        3.  "I don't know what foot to dance on" - Kim Toliver ( Castro)
4.  "Pick me up & put me in your pocket" - Jeanette Harper ( 20th Century Fox )
                             5.  "Ton of dynamite" - Frankie 'Loveman' Crocker ( Turbo ).
          Bernie Golding and Ian Levine                 Ian Levine on the mix, '76.
    ( Never Mind the Quality, my boy ! )                   photo c/o Black Music.
( photo by Frank Elson at The Carlton  1974 )
  Blackpool Mecca. SATURDAY NIGHT soul sessions at Blackpool Mecca are as big an attraction to Northern Soul followers as the town's Tower is to their Mums and Dads.
  DJ's are spinner-turned producer-turned songwriter Ian Levine and the much respected Colin Curtis. Says Colin; "We have a policy of helping the progression of Northern Soul music. We attract good crowds because we don't keep going back into the past and we play good NEW soul releases whenever possible."
 He's got no time for cynics who protest that the "new and funky" policy is a sell out to the traditions of the Northern scene. "A lot of the criticism comes from people who have never been to the Mecca - if they come, listen and then criticise us we'll pay attention."
 Rare soul started at the Highland Room five years and apart from one break has been going strong since.
 DJ  Frank ( Yorks ). IAN DEWHURST ( stage name Frank ) is Yorkshire's top Northern spinner. A soul fanatic for many years, he has recently hit the limelight - mainly through his work at Cleethorpes - and wrote the liner notes for Pye's recent compilation album "Non Stop Northern Disco Sounds". Ian plays at Burnley Cricket Club every Tuesday, Primos in Leeds every Wednesday, and then on Friday tackles THREE venues - Leeds Central Club, The Star Light at Huddersfield and Sheffield Samantha's. "And then there's Cleethorpes All-Nighters?  Something I'm proud to have been involved in." he said.
 His top sounds are included in the listings for Cleethorpes and Samantha's.
 DJ Dave Evison ( Manchester ). TWENTY-FIVE years old Dave Evison - based at Manchester - specialises in playing "oldies" only.
 "I don't bother trying to keep up with new discoveries - I just stick to the music I grew up with. Some people might accuse me of living in the past but if you just forget about all the old Northern favourites it means you might lose your heritage."
 Dave works all over the North and Midlands but is most well known for his spots at Wigan Casino. He plays in the Mr.M's - the upstairs room that plays oldies only - and the main dance floor.
 "I know that the Wigan crowd want oldies. The incredible thing is that we can revive an old classic and many of the newer jazz fans won't have heard it before. Suddenly it's a real in-demander and fetching a lot of money."
 Critics who blast Northern DJ's for cashing in should note that Dave collects just £2 for playing in the main room. "It's nothing. The thing is that if I packed it up there are 50 people who would jump in and take the job for the prestige. Anyway, I'm not in it for the money - I just love and live for the music."






 Scotland, at last !   c/o Frank Elson. (1976)
     Graham Wallace, Tommy Cockburn and John Heslop,
  jocks at Edinburgh Tiffs.
 AFTER so much trying, I finally made it up to Scotland for the second All-Dayer organised jointly between Chris Burton and Garry, "Captain America". After getting up at an unbelievably early time in order to meet Chris to drive up with him in his Land Rover (gentleman farmer now he is), we arrived in Edinburgh and got to Tiffs to find the people packing in.
 After a short wander around the first thing that touched me was how ordinary it was. As I remarked to a few people I don't know if I expected two headed people - or fellers in kilts - but in fact it was ordinary Northern Soul Fans dancing away to good sounds provided by Graham Wallace (an exile from Wilmslow near Manchester, living in Edinburgh for a few years now), Tommy Cockburn and John Heslop.
 The only way in which the scene could have been said to be different was that the paying customers do seem to be that little bit more enthusiastic. However there is that little bit of bitchiness up there that we know so well further south as evidenced by Tony Cochrane of the Scottish Soul Society who brought a coachload over from Dundee.
 All very nice but when they were refused passouts (one of the awkward parts of the archaic Scotish licencing laws) they phoned the local "Sweeny" to say they were being kept in the dance against their wills. Not the nicest thing to do and certainly not in line with a feeling of Soulful brotherhood.
 Guest jock at the All-dayer was Neil Rushton who should have travelled up with Chris and myself until his car broke down. After a loosely veiled threat from Garry, who is a buyer for a large chain of record shops in the Edinburgh area and is consequently a big customer of Neil's record wholesaling business, Neil borrowed his mother-in-law's car and made it up there in record time - a great feat in itself.
 Herb and Brenda Rooney, looking healthier than ever, appeared on stage after a phenominal drive north and almost brought the house down with a superb set on the last night of their tour. Herb has some incredible ideas for recording in the near future including an epic tentatively titled "Ballons" which in my humble opinion could bring them back to the top of both British and US charts after they played me a very rough tape recorded in their living room at home.
 A nice point of the visit was that I could put a face to was that of Frazer Dunn who jocks at the West Coast Soul club in Glasgow. That scene needs more support for they get  only a handful of people out of a million residents in the city - there must be more Soul fans than a handful in that lot, surely?
 Altogether a great day which only serves to whet my appetite for more of the scene in our northernmost colony (that'll get 'em going), although with the event losing money I am forsed to wonder if there is a big enough cadre of Northern Soul fans in the country to sustain any Soul clubs.
 It seems that Funk does very well in the area so maybe there just aren't enough Northern Soul fans. I can only repeat my disgust and dislikes for the many enemies of Chris Burton when I look at the state of him when we parted after 26 hours without sleep for the both of us. As Chris said, "there must be an easier way to lose money" but it didn't stop him talking about his plans for another All-Dayer.
 Congratulations to Chris, Garry and everyone else involved with making it a day which brought pleasure to a whole lot of people. Maybe it didn't make money but by any other criterion it was a success.


                      LOUGHBOROUGH. C/O. NEW SOULTIME.
Loughborough is on the A6 main route near Derby. It is situated in the Town Hall in the centre of the town and has adequate parking facilities for a capacity audience. The place is run by the Northern Soul Scene which 'Terry Samson' is behind. ( Membership 30p at any N.S.S. venue ). He told me that they were trying to build the attendance up so that they can get two rooms going
( oldies and newies ) at every 'Niter'.
  Anyway it was £1.60 admission ( 30p less for members ) and from 12 till 8, so it was fair value for money. Into the main hall I marched and having missed 'Colin Bee', I saw 'Brian Rae' spinning the oldies, "Lend a hand" and "Same old thing" 'Olympics were pretty popular. I must say the sound system is pretty primitive and not very good - a black mark on the N.S.S.  But you get used to it after a bit and by the time 'Sam' came on things were cooking. The number one was without doubt "Fools paradise" by 'Jeanette Harper' c/u a floating sound with lots of bells in - smmaarrtt!
  I then surveyed the snack bar, I must say it was reasonably priced and very good   ( hot dogs
recommended ), which is more than I can say for the record dealing. Apart from ' Colin Bee's ' stall, there was little / no bargains to be had, rarity wise. Just the 'run-of-the-mill' cobblers, bootleg pressings what was pissing me off. Anyway 'Sam' disappeared with "The one you love" ( due out soon ) and 'Nev Wherry', hope that's right, came on with some tasty oldies and a lot of them British things.
  The hall itself is quite small, but is nearly all dance floor, so that's not bad. A nice dark atmosphere, but you could still see your way round. 'Pep' came on, I felt a little sad as I heard a man trying to spin sounds that will never 'go' and stuff that has been 'played out' six months ago. I don't think he has bought a single top sound since doing Wigan. A great pity from a jock who was once quite popular at the top of the tree. Still, 'Pat Powdrill' was quite popular plus
"Stop" and other stuff like that. 'Sam' came back on again and set me tingling with "Tough girl", "Feelings", and "Burning bush".  Cor! whip me with a five pound bag of change, I luv em!! 'Sam' was lurching about like a depraved honey monster behind the decks and I was like one on the dance floor. So, 'Brian Rae' folded up with the 'Wigan 3' and Charles Mann  "It's all over".
  We emerged into the daylight with eyes like 'pissholes in the snow', well satisfied and determined to make a return visit on the 3rd December '77  which is when the next 'Niter' is.

    KEV & MICK.

       From Sheffield here comes 'John Vincent's'  top 10
                                           and also  "happy returns" on his 21st birthday.
   All of my feelings - Mike Post - A&M ( original slower than Fred Mc.Coys )
   A good thing going - Phil Coulter - Columbia
   Here comes the heartaches - Lovells - Brent
   A gift of love - Ann Marie - Fam-Lee
   You took my love - Patti Austin - c/u
   Don't leave me this way - Dynamites - Pay
   Where is he - Flamma Sherman - S.N.B.
   Something about you - Sam Ward - c/u
   Should I give you my love - Wooden Nickels - Omen
   The loner - Little Charles - Decca

Who's the thin git?
   Kev buzzin' about.
      ALL-DAYER 1977   
     ME,    KEV,    MICK  

Coalville Tiffanys near Leicester is one of the places I hadn't managed to get to, but had a good reputation and on my recent visit was not disappointed with the thriving Friday all-nighter scene there. Chris King is the guy who runs the place and he told me a few facts and figures about it. Admission is £1.50 for members and £1.75 for non-members, but as membership is only 30p (available from Notts & Leicester Soul Club,Derbyshire) you are much better off sending an S.A.E. for one. One of the things I really liked about the all-nighter was the hours, 8 till 8, a real all-nighter and the bar was open till 2 o'clock, making this an attractive place to visit. The place is restricted to over 16s and this is quite strictly kept to, I'm glad to say. Tiffanys seem to have that simular sort of look about them and this one is no different. Having two rooms - the main hall being new sounds and oldies and the smaller room at the far end of the hall playing oldies. But as Chris called them older oldies like Hey-Sa-Lo-Ney, Nothing else to say, Dr love, etc., from the pre 74 era on the whole. This means that even when both rooms are playing oldies two completely sets of oldies are going at the same time - a situation that has obviously been well thought out.
 Every second Friday in the month the all-nighter is held and D.J.'s on the 19/20 May were Chris King, Rob Lythall, Nev Wherry, Brian Rae, Soul Sam and Rob Smith, plus a few local lads in the oldies room. The D.J.'s collections vary widely from Nev Wherry's virtually 100% British playlist to Rob Lythall's, one of the new D.J.'s making a breakthrough into the top flight of rarities D.J.'s, making for a varied time. But I must say good as  Muriel Day - 9 times out of 10 is I'm getting tired of it. I heard it no less than six times in six hours and that's just too much for me personally.
 On the food, there was a coke and soft drinks bar after 2 o'clock and also a snack bar which sold beefburgers, chips and enormous cheese and onion rolls (which I devoured), tea and coffee. It was about the best food at a venue I'd had since Loughborough (must specialise in nosh in the Midlands.)
 Neil Rushton provided the record bar and record dealing on the whole was quite good, with the local lads doing a brisk trade out of the boxes they carried. On the night about 900 people were in the place and just a special name check to Ian 'Bananas' Stewart and his girlfriend Jasmine. Not for any reason, just that I'll get ear ache if I don't. So all in all quite a good place with a good cross section of records being played and good car parking and catering facilities provided.
 To round off a few of the sounds the D.J.'s played:Chris King: Kenny Gamble (Tony Blackburn) -  I'll do anything, Burning Bush - Keeps on burning, Shirelles - Last minute miracle. Rob Lythall: Derek & Ray (Alan Reuss) - Destination everywhere, Mike Post (Baja Marimba Band) - Along comes Mary, Lou Pride - I'm coming home in the morning. Nev Wherry: John Drevar - The closer she gets, Helen Shapiro - Stop and become aware, Lorraine Silver - Lost summer love.
Brian Rae: Muriel Day - 9 times out of 10, Outsiders - Lonely man, Harry Betts - Fantastic plastic machine. Sam: Village of tears - Ben Zine, Phil Coulter - Good thing going, Billy Arnell - Tough girl.

 MECCA A VIEW BY TONY J.   c/o New Soultime.
Well everything's still happening down windy Central Drive on a Saturday night at the Highland Room, nothing much changes here except the sounds but one thing you can never be sure of is the atmosphere, however on my last visit it was nothing short of brilliant but only two weeks before it was a bit thin, never-the-less still an enjoyable night, most of the troubles from the last couple of months seem to have been buried and things are thankfully clicking away. As usual Ian and Colin are the jocks and the music is ultr-modern. Popular sounds over the last month or so are
   Peter Brown - "Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me".
   Smokey Robinson - "Theme from Big Time".
   Maceo - "Star Wars Theme".
   Roberta Kelly - "Zodiac Lady".
and a new version of the Brothers  "Are You Ready For This" by Jean Napoli. (Same title).
 During my stay at the Mecca one particular point came to my attention, i.e. the price of the sounds. ( £9 for a double LP with one stand-out track). Making an appearance at the Highland Room that same night was Mr. Pat Brady (the same) he told me that he was trying one hour of old Mecca sounds or 'New Oldies' Friday nights over at Keighley RAOB which is going down rather well. I also had a chat with a Punk / N.Y. Disco follower who was recently involved in the recent troubles at Wigan, he told me that he kept an open mind to any kind of music and he had been singled out for unfair treatment because of his dress style, judging by his battle scars I can say that he wasn't lying. ( CLICK HERE TO SEE HIS LETTER). I'm glad to say that the only troubles at the Mecca are prices of drinks and the idiots downstairs who fight amongst themselves.
 A sound worth mentioning which I personally think could go down well at either Mecca or Wigan is by Larry Houston entitled "Start my life (all over again) on a grey Mobile (I think) now pops up on light green Mobile with the instrumental on the flip, a driving rythym that reminds me of "Body Shop" speeded up and that chorus, pure magic, arranged by L.Dandridge and J.Davis (of Virtue label fame?) a real stormer which could really go places.
The 29th of October '77 will be a black mark in the progression of modern music, the day Mecca closed. Although there had been rumblings of this coming there was no hint of it on the night, with a lively crowd of above average attendance enjoying the latest American Disco Music supplied of course by Ian Levine and Colin Curtis.
 Of course the Mecca has closed before and re-opened but the impression I was given over the phone to 'Colin' is this time it could be more permanent, "I don't want to make any comment, obviously I am dissapointed but what can you do, I need time to think about the future, my music and".
 The 'Mecca' has always been in the lead with stompers, playing them many years before they became hailed as 'Wigan' classics as 'Russ' wrote in Black Echoes and 'Richard' will tell you at any time.
 When the change took place 18 months ago they still lead even Americas top discos as the 'Blackpool' crowd adapted to new sounds quicker than Dave Mcadden to insults.
 Back to the night though, there were a lot of old faces from '73 there although there was no way they could have known it was the last night. Sounds played on the night were Cocomotion,EL Cocoa,Dance Dance Dance,both L.P. tracks Mandrill,Funky Monkey,Pockets,Come go with me,Patti La Belle,Dance wit me,Montreal Sound,Music,Village People, San Francisco as you can , a fair share of disco music.
 The first rumblings were when Colin 'ran' in to the 'Highland Room' and went to Ian whose mouth opened immediately, I thought it was just another Blackpool bitching match going on but it turned out that it was the end. I didn't find out till the Sunday that it had finished.
 I have phoned 'Fred Pye' (the guv) five times but he's never in or available but I've heard a rumour he doesn't like soul.
 Anyway I'm just hoping that the Mecca All-dayer due first or second Sunday in December is the Mecca sounds from start to finish and not just funk, that would be cheating the Patrons and Regulars from over the years who made the 'Mecca' one of the magical names of the Northern Soul Scene.
              Nev Wherry & Chris King.




 A GREAT ALL-NIGHTER..     ..12 HOURS LONG....2 ROOMS.....  ..£1.50....BARGAIN!!!

       ONES TO WATCH FOR c/o "New Soultime".      * - Soultimes tips for the top.

Breakers "Right direcion" Gerry Jackson (Stone blue)
"I'm gonna get that guy" Susan Maughn (Spark)
"You don't need no help" Rex Garvin (D.P.M.)


The Northern Soul Scene -



O.K !   Okay !!   Okeh  !!!

                  Who is Howard Mallett, anyway ? By Frank Elson ( B & S 1974 )
NOT THAT I really care but I do try and think up catchy headings for the clubs that I visit !
  As many of you will have guessed by now I eventually got round to visiting Tony Dellar and his happy band of sex perverts, mass murderers and hermaphrodites ( only kidding ! ) down in the University town of Cambridge ( who won the boat race this year then? ).
 Regular readers will know that I've been getting letters almost by the ton for ages now telling me how good the Howard Mallett Club Soul Night on Friday nights is and I can now reveal the truth. It is as good as they say.
 It's a hell of a long way from where I live but I had all day so I was down in Cambridge colliding with idiots on pushbikes quite early. I went 'round to Tony's home ( he lives just outside the town ) and I must thank his wife Tina for the lovely tea.
 Naturally enough we were rather late setting off for the club ( Weren't really my fault ) and when we arrived at the Mallett ( "We" being "Maggot" and Mark Goodman as well as Tony and yours truly ) there was already a large gathering of people at the place. I was frankly quite surprised 'cos the building is rather newish ( shouldn't think it's much over ten years old at the most ) and the disco part is really nice.
 There is the main dance area in front of the D.J. stand ( nice size actually ) and then there's another, smaller area for dancing and standing around talking about six stairs higher. And then there's yet another level at the back where the bar is situated. The whole layout is very different but quite appealing.
 I had a chat with the manager of the Club, name of Dennis, and a nice feller, and he told me that the place is Council owned and is what is known as a Leisure Centre - Youth Club. Gym, Disco's and all that. He also told me that the only music he will give room to now is Soul. As usual Dennis is amongst that happy band of people who have found that Soul fans don't bring aggro.
 One of the first people I met at the club was Lee Hudson ( without  her Wigan hat ) one of the people who has been trying to get me to visit the club. Gary Mader is a guy who has written me before and we spent some time talking during the evening. And his collection of albums which I saw when we had coffee at his house after the club is nothing short of fantastic. Thanks for the singles as well Gary.
 Other very nice people that I met at the club include the very lovely Janet Colley and her feller, Alastair - all the way from Leicester. Alastair told me that he and a mate had travelled from Leicester one week and enjoyed the club so much that they had persuaded droves of their mates to come along as well. Janet also asked me to give a mention to the Sunday night Soul Scene at The Saracen's Head, Loughborough where Kev Hall and Steve Frost spin the sounds. I hope to check that scene out real soon.
 Besides Tony Dellar me old mate Glenn Bellamy from Northampton does a bit of D.J'ing at the club and he played an incredible sound which he calls "Within the part of me" by Shelia Jones, it's a cover up of course but a good one. Another sound that he's pushing ( and it's going down well ) is "Catchin' up on time" a track from one of those Isley Brothers' albums on a cut-price label.
 And now to the man himself. Mr. Tony Dellar, got quite a few fans if all those letters are anything to go by. Tony became a Soul fan around 1964 starting off like so many people, with Motown and getting onto Northern Soul through Market Harborough. He started D.J'ing about  3 1/2 years ago " 'cos I didn't like the commercial sounds all the local clubs were playing" at a pub in the village where he lives.
 He has played clubs all over the Cambridge area including the Mallet since he started but the regular Friday night Soul Scene has only been going for about a year. The club get's packed almost every week with Northern Soul Fans from all over the East and South East ( and of course a few Midlanders get down there. )
 Tony's favorite all-time sound is "Heaven must have sent you" by the Elgins and I forgot to ask him if he has any dislikes.
 Records that are going well at the Mallett at the present time include Earl Jackson's  "Soul self satisfaction", John Roberts' "I'll forget you", Dave Love "Coalalined baby", John Adfern and the Springfield Flute "Black is black" ( a good version of one of my most un-favorite tunes ); and Jeanette Williams' "Something good's got a hold on me".
All-in-all a very enjoyable evening was had by all and I recommended the club to Soul fans of any sort if you live within range. It's also a very good way for Southern fans to find out more about Northern Soul without travelling too far.