Cleveland Anderson

In Conversation 2004


Cleveland Anderson is someone I met in the early 80’s on the All-Dayer scene in the North. What made this unusual was that Cleveland was a London DJ, and, at this time, Southern DJ’s rarely played up North (and vice-versa), whereas Cleveland became a regular part of the line-up at events in cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham etc – this gave him a unique perspective on the early 80’s period, with a foot in both camps, so to speak. He also talks extensively about the London scene of the 70’s, and legendary clubs like Crackers and Global Village, dropping some serious knowledge with regards to Britain’s dance heritage.

GW: Whilst Northern Soul and the Rave era is well documented, in between there’s a big chunk of British club history that remains largely obscured, but which an increasing amount of people are now intrigued by. What’s particularly interesting from your perspective is that you were regularly heading from London to DJ at the All-Dayers in the north and midlands during the early – mid 80’s, so you had a unique overview of what was happening back then, both on the scene up north, as well as in London – a foot in both camps. Where did you come from?

CA: I was from London.

GW: Whereabouts?

CA: West London, Acton.

GW: Oh yeah, I know Acton very well, are you still around there?

CA: Yeah, I’m still there, Ealing.

GW: I remember at one point coming down with you on the coach, I was in London over the weekend and I think I jumped on your coach and hitched a lift down there. So now I remember where you were. I lived around Wembley for ages myself.

CA: You kind of know where it is.

GW: Yeah, I’ve got a very good mate who lives there, and I stay with him from time to time. So, what were you doing at that particular point in time? How did you get your own start?

CA: I started DJing in 1976.

GW: Same time as me. I was late ’75.

CA: Well you will have done the same schooling as myself. Back then you’d be the guy who did the school Xmas party, and the community centre party, you know, the cubs and Scouts parties, because you had the records… “Let Cleveland do the party” you know what I mean.

GW: Did you have your own mobile?

CA: Yeah, I had my own mobile disco called, damn! Ohio Express.

GW: (Laughs) ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’ (in reference to the one and only Ohio Express hit in 1968):

CA: Yeah, you know. So, the strobe lights and the all-in-one console, a couple of speakers and you was well on the way. As you know, back then it was majority 7 inches, and then you had the super 12s came out and you got excited when they came out! So that’s how I started out, doing a lot of school discos, Scout discos and various things like that, before I broke onto the club circuit. At first I was like, warm up DJ. I was warm up DJ for George Power.

GW: Where you?

CA: Yeah.

George Power

GW: Right, George Power is one of those names that, again, it’s a bit of a shrouded one but he pops up in a lot of areas and seems a very significant DJ from that period, obviously overshadowed by the whole Soul Mafia thing. I know Steve, or I knew Steve fairly well. He was one of the few people who had the muscle to stand against those guys really, on his own terms. I remember he had some big events going in London. Tim Westwood was warm up for Steve Walsh for some time.

CA: Yeah he was as well. For me the George Power thing, that was really the side I was brought up and groomed on. There were two sides to the Soul scene in London. There was the South; the black side. Then if you like there was the Chris Hill – Goldmine and Lacy Lady, the Caister side of Soul. There was a difference in the music, it was all Soul, but there was a difference.

Chris Hill and Robbie Vincent with Froggy on his DJ console @ Caisters

Chris Hill @ The Goldmine / Canvey Island

Then you would go down to, say, Crackers, and the clubs at the time like Crackers, Global Village, Beagles and Bungles, those were the real underground places which were happening at the time, and you would hear some real deep down funky jazz-funk stuff.

GW: Was this more the black side of things?

CA: The black side was more, say if you went to Global Village, Crackers, Bungles or Beagles, the crowd was definitely a mixture of black and gay.

GW: Right.

CA: It was very much black and gay at the time.

GW: I never knew that at all.

CA: We went to the clubs because we loved the music. To be perfectly honest it didn’t even occur to me that other people in there were gay; it wasn’t what I was going there for. I was going there for the music. The music was that great! Obviously at that time you had the Soul boy, Reggae boy thing, and they (Reggae boys) used to think the Soul boys were queers, but we were going there for the music. So generally on the black side that’s what it was.

GW: That’s bizarre because that’s another part of the history that I’ve never even heard, because now you are touching on what was happening in New York where you had a mix between all sorts of different audiences that were gay, straight, black and white, and there isn’t really a precedent in this country for that, but what you are talking about, this is the closest thing that I’ve heard to it.

CA: Yes, it was very much that because, I mean, occasionally, occasionally right, of course I knew people like Chris Hill and occasionally I’d get called to play x amount of gigs and I would go down to their clubs, and it was by and large a complete different vibe. Totally different vibe! The Soul music tended to be… it had definitely a more commercial edge to it. But it wasn’t the kind of Soul that you would hear in the overground clubs, it was still underground. But it was more commercial underground, whereby Crackers, Bungles, Beagles, Global was real deep underground! Where you had, say you went to places like Goldmine, y’ know, there were people who appreciated Soul music, but like I say, it was more at the commercial end of underground soul music. So therefore what you would have is that the majority of people that would go there, there was a lot of head nodding going on. Maybe a little bit of dancing going on, but the crowd tended to be predominantly white, and they were very much into themselves.. as in, well, you either had to be straight, or you had to be white.

Whereby if you went to crackers or Global, all those kind of clubs, it didn’t matter what you were because everybody was there for the music. If there was more colour in the blacker clubs there was a lot more colour going on, not just in colour – tone of skin, but whatever sexuality you were, whatever preference, it didn’t matter how you dressed, there was some outlandish dressing going on.

GW: Right!

CA: So freaky! Back in them days it was really freaky! So if you go back to the Caister, they were more, it was predominantly white and it was kind of laddish, it had a rowdyness about it. And that was really, if you like the London scene, what happened from that point onwards was that, yeah, your Caister, which was obviously a Mafia… They took off and really that was instrumental through Robbie Vincent because Robbie Vincent had a show every Saturday, and what he used to in those days was, we didn’t have pirates, the nearest thing we had in London was Invicta.

GW: Invicta was a pirate wasn’t it?

CA: Yes it was, yeah. So at the time London had only two commercial, let’s say black dance programmes. One was Greg Edwards on a Saturday night, which I used to listen to religiously, and then there was Robbie Vincent, which I still listened to it, but I was really a Greg boy, I listened to Greg Edwards. In those days Robbie Vincent used to invite Sean French, Chris Brown, Froggy and all that lot, and they started building this Mafia thing whereby if you like, the Crackers thing with George Power, it didn’t have the radio exposure, it was always underground, somebody had to tell you about Crackers.

Robbie Vincent & Greg Edwards

GW: What other big DJs were there from that side of it apart from George Power?

CA: There was a guy called Andy Hunter, Paul Anderson was a very big Crackers DJ.

GW: Of course.

CA: Nicky Price, Alex Alexander, these were your main Crackers DJs. George wasn’t the original Crackers DJ, because George took over from, I’m sure it was Alex Alexander (Mark Roman was the original Crackers DJ, between 73-76). Alex was this white guy who, damn! Did he know his music! He was awesome this guy! And then out of the blue he just packed up DJing. Obviously Crackers continued and then George came along, George took over and so forth, so basically Crackers already going at least a good couple of years before George actually… because it was Whiskey A Go Go…

GW: Right, is that what it was before? Ahaa!

George Power and Paul Anderson @ The Astoria – London

CA: George took over a period of time when I suppose the music was beginning to change to a large extent. When we were going to Crackers first, at the time we were hearing a cross between Funk and a certain kind of Disco being played, stuff like John Davis and that kind of thing.

GW: Yep, John Davis & The Monster Orchestra.

CA: So that kind of Disco in amongst your Funk stuff. But then when George came along, roughly around the George era, that’s when things began to open up a little bit more, you were still hearing that stuff, but more Jazz influences started to come into the music at that time, leading up to Jazz-Funk, not quite there yet but it had more of a Jazz identity of its own. Then as more Jazz tunes came out and were played amongst the Funk and the Soul it developed into Jazz-Funk. Talking late 70s, around ’78, ’79, that’s when Jazz-Funk came into itself.

So around that time George was running two very successful sessions at Crackers, one was Sunday night and the other Friday lunch time, which was very popular, we all used to bunk off school and go up to Crackers on a Friday afternoon. It was strange really because it was for people who were at work, and who’d probably take a couple of hours off…

GW: Well that’s mad because if you go right back into the 60s, the whole Beatles thing, a lot of the stuff that was going on there at The Cavern was lunchtime sessions, so there must have been this whole kind of scene. It’s interesting to hear that it still existed at that point in time. I can’t remember anything similar in our neck of the woods from that period of time.

CA: It was fantastic, and then the 100 Club they had their Saturday afternoon running simultaneously on a Saturday, so you would have Crackers on a Friday afternoon, this was how your weekend went. No, let’s start again; we would go out on a Monday night, Hammel Hampstead – Scamps, which was underground serious music on a Monday night. Tuesday was Sutton Scamps; serious grooves! This was where all the underground heads used to get down. These places didn’t hold more than three to four hundred people but it was wicked! Then on the Wednesday was a place called Bungles, and then the weekend was upon us. Back in those days we used to rave practically every night of the week! Thursday will come back to me. Friday afternoon we used to go to, like I said, Crackers, bunk off school, other people took leave off work, sometimes we didn’t go to school in the morning, we’d end up taking the whole day off. So you’d rave on a Friday afternoon, you’d then change back into your school uniform and go home. Then Friday night…

GW: Interesting, ‘cos I was talking to someone about this before… that term ‘rave’ did you actually use that term back then?

CA: No, no.

GW: I’ve always wondered where that developed from anyway. I didn’t know whether it was a black term, I remember hearing people like Kermit and some other black mates using that term. But I also know that it goes back to the 60s anyway, it was an old 60s word for… sorry to stop you there.

CA: Funny you should say that because that was a phrase, a word that was reborn from Acid House.

GW: That’s right. (I’ve since learned that it was being used in the context of a DJ party in Jamaica – the source of the modern variant)

CA: That came back early Acid House. For us things were so much about the music that really, we just spoke, in terms of going out, it was clubs; it was this club, that club. And then if there were any other labels that we would use, it was generally the music that was played, it was Funk, Jazz, Soul y’ know. Until Electro came about which was another label. By the time we go to the late 80s, as you know, a whole new can of worms was opened up. But going back to those periods in the 70s, late 70s, you had Crackers on a Friday afternoon, then on Friday night, depending on the time of the month you’d either have a 100 Club all-nighter going on. That would be awesome!

GW: That’s another big link back to the 60s as well.

CA: Yeah because the 100 Club was run by a guy called Ronnie L. Ronnie L stopped DJing in the end, he was roughly in his early 60s when he stopped.

GW: So all these clubs welcomed the black audience, obviously there were other clubs about that wouldn’t, because of the racism back then.

CA: There wasn’t loads of them but you kind of got into a circle where if you got into that circle you would know where the clubs were. Outside of that circle there were hardly any clubs for us to go to. We’re talking about half a dozen clubs really, which in the scheme of this is not a lot. The majority of clubs in London did not let black people in, they just didn’t. So you had to have your ear close to the ground to know what was going on, or you just didn’t go anywhere. So on a Friday night it would be a 100 Club all-nighter, or there was a place called Countdown, which since then has changed its name so many times. It used to be called the Old Hombres. But it used to be called Countdown. Then on a Saturday it used to be the 100 Club lunch time sessions with Ronnie L and Greg Edwards. The doors used to open at about 11 o’clock and we used to rave until 4pm. It was a real sweat box. Once again, you’d come home and Saturday night, you could go to places like Beagles; there was Beagles on in West Kensington. Global Village which is Heavens now, that used to be the biggest gay black gathering back then.

GW: Right, that’s interesting, I mean, the homophobia within the black scene is very much highlighted, especially even now. There’s always been that kind of stigma, it’s always been there generally, like with a lot of Reggae acts nowadays, there is still this kind of thing that is there. Just trying to get my head around that scene that you are talking about there, whereby black people felt comfortable enough to be in that environment?

CA: Well it was the only environment where you weren’t looked upon as if you shouldn’t be there. Amongst a more flamboyant or gay crowd, by and large they didn’t care whether you had two heads! It was a place where a lot of the dancers were born, a lot of the great club dancers from London. Because they were able to go there and just express themselves.

GW: Where there many black gays that you remember? What was the situation there within the community, how were they received within their own community?

CA: Firstly, from a club point of view, at the end of the day it was live and let live. You went out, you knew that certain guys who, if you like, batted for both sides. “That’s pretty cool, they are nice enough guys” But when it came out of that club culture, and if you are talking about the community – on the street, it was not received well at all!

GW: I would have imagined a lot of people would have been worried about seeing straight people from within their community in these clubs?

CA: I would say that it tended to bother black people more than it did white people. I can’t speak for Asian and Chinese, most Asian weren’t going to clubs back then. But as far as a black and white thing, I went to a school in Acton that was three quarters black. Same school as Norman Jay, so to be a Soul boy, it wasn’t just three quarters black, it was also three quarters plus Reggae influence. So to be a Soul boy at that school was murder! Believe me, it wasn’t an easy thing being a Soul boy.

GW: This is another thing that was an important factor. When you are getting towards the Electro, Electro-Funk period, is that it’s the changing of cultures… a lot of people don’t appreciate, or realise that with black culture at the back end of the 70s, there was so much West Indian culture, and the pride within what was happening from the Reggae side, especially with Bob Marley and what he was saying. It’s like you are saying there, it was very Reggae influenced, and that the Hip Hop culture fusing with the West Indian culture, I think is what’s caused the great musical advances from black musicians in this country like Jungle, Drum & Bass through UK Garage…

CA: That would be a fair reflection. I would also say that from the point of view of say the Reggae side of the fence, going up through Hip Hop and possibly a certain kind of R&B feel today, however then there is the other side of black music which is very rarely acknowledged by most black people as being black music is a certain side of Soul which is more your Teddy Pedergrass. I mean there was a period when black people in London embraced Teddy Pendergrass and people like that. But by and large, even if you went to a Barry White concert not too long ago in London it would have been a predominantly white crowd. There was a list of black artists who made a certain kind of R&B that was never embraced as black music. But then there was a slight change in the mid 80s when the likes of Alexandra O’Neil hit the scene, and then people like Luther (Vandross) came to the forefront. You also had bands like Change, S.O.S Band and Kleeer, so black people began to embrace the likes of Teddy Pendergrass at the same time, because, if you like, R&B was more in line with what he (Teddy) was doing; it wasn’t an R&B sound that was on the Hip Hop side of the fence, it was more on the smooth side of Soul. It was more about the passion, the type of Soul that you and I would probably appreciate, probably the type of Soul that would be in line to the D’Angelos of today.

GW: I think that was it, that the American side of the culture was becoming more and more prominent right through, but initially that whole West Indian identity was so strong, and with Bob Marley especially, also Haile Selassie, the embracing of the Rastafarian religion. I always remember that time in Liverpool, around the late 70s early 80s, that in Toxteth, the black area of Liverpool, where all the street signs were painted in the Rasta red, green and gold, there was that kind of whole pride and feeling of connectedness. I don’t think people felt that they where British, it was much more West Indian, and pride in that culture. Whereas the US black culture came through strongly alongside that and I think it was properly embraced within the early 80s and the Hip Hop culture. And like what you are saying there with the more soulful artists as well. Whereas, before that, if you look at something like Northern Soul, this was a scene of white enthusiasts of black music, just like the whole Caister thing was initially as well, I know a lot of black kids came into that scene eventually.

Caister Soul Weekender Number 2 October 1979

CA: Yes, yes eventually that became more mixed as the years progressed. I’ve got friends now who went to Caister who probably wouldn’t have gone, or didn’t go to the first maybe 3, 4, 5, 6 Caisters, right when they first started. I suppose when you look at it from that point of view it shows how much a generation has come together, however it’s strange, you see people or generations come and go, and you hit your 40s and you’ve got a bit to look back on, and one thing I have noticed that I do see is when I look at today’s club scene and maybe apart from the odd event like the Soutport Weekender and probably Carnival and maybe one or two others, by and large the club scene is very segregated.

GW: Which is wild isn’t it, because through that early period that we’re talking about, it was about the coming together you know. I think the rave scene drove it all apart in a sense.

CA: I think yes, the thing is, when we go through the 80s and we talk about the Soul scene, and what was happening through the Jazz-Funk era, and after the Jazz-Funk era, that early 80s period, when Soul was always there, Soul had never gone out of vogue, no matter how people like to tell you from time to time that Soul is dead, but Soul was always there. But it has its moments when it comes to the forefront and then it takes a step back, but then it came back to the forefront again in the early 80s when you started getting things like Arnie’s Love http://youtu.be/Jzp1jf3S2b8 and all kinds of things coming back out but Soul had returned on a slightly mellower tip. That was when the Reggae Soul scene came together, because all of a sudden now, Soul music was of a tempo and of a whatever that most black people who weren’t considered as Soul people before then, I can only speak for London, someome has to tell me what it was like in other parts of the UK, but as far as London was concerned, all of a sudden now… before that if you tried to get a Reggae person to listen to a Soul record it was murder. If you went to a dance they’d probably put one on, but they wouldn’t play that Soul record all the way through! Y’ know, they couldn’t get it off quick enough.

GW: In a way, when you think about it, it makes sense; that coming together at that point, because the predominant Reggae music at that period of time was Lover’s Rock. So it was soulful Reggae.

CA: It was very soulful! Funnily enough at that time I was kind of influential as well within the Reggae scene even though I was a Soul boy, because at the time I was also Personal Promotions Manager for Carroll Thompson and various other Reggae artists, I used to do Eddie Grant and various other people. So I had a very good overview of what was going on, though I wasn’t known for playing Reggae and I didn’t play Reggae in the clubs. However, from a behind the scenes point of view I was involved in Reggae, but as far as the public was concerned I was a Soul DJ and that was what I played. So I could see the whole thing coming together. So that was when you started getting things like getting things like ‘Magic Touch’ (Rose Royce http://youtu.be/XL8VehptfIA), all those nice Soul Grooves that I think was the coming together where London is concerned of both black and white cultures dancing to one Soul. That now lasted for three of four years. Then what started to kick in down here, probably not up your way, at practically the same time was the JBs, and Hip Hop started coming in. Although before Hip Hop we had Electro.

GW: Well this was obviously the period that I was heavily involved in. What I was going to say was, just to back track you a little bit, because I wanted to ask you how you actually came to be doing the all-dayers in the North? How did that happen?

CA: How did that happen, wow! That’s a good question! How did that happen?

GW: It was through Richard Searling wasn’t it?

Richard Searling in 1982

CA: Yeah, definitely through Richard. I’m just trying to think how the whole thing connected. I can’t think how. In those days, going North, or travelling up to Manchester was a big deal! It’s not like now, now DJs are international. But in those days going North, or coming South was a big deal.

GW: Yeah definitely.

CA: So yeah, it was definitely Richard, and I’m sure it was through Black Echoes actually.

GW: So Lindsay might have had something to do with it?

CA: Yeah, that’s right, Lindsay Wesker. At that time Black Echoes magazine played a very major role in black music in this country. The publication of black music, alongside Blues and Soul, at that time you got one or two of the magazines. He (Lindsay) was in touch with a lot of the promoters.

Black Echoes October 1982

GW: Also, Lindsay was the more progressive aspect of it. Blues and Soul had got a bit, kind of, they were in with the (Soul) Mafia, so they weren’t gonna rock the boat too much.

CA: Yeah, they only covered certain events and the rest just went amiss. Lindsay always knew I was an adventurous soul…

YouTube Preview Image

MTV Music Editor Lindsay Wesker:

‘The Era of Black Music & DJ’s In The Early 80s’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QimrwL5BrPc

GW: So Lindsay would have gone to clubs that you did?

CA: Well Lindsay used to come on the coach; he used to come with us all the time. We started going up North. The very first time I think was Lindsay had put myself and Richard in touch, and we got talking, Richard told me about The Ritz all-dayers he was having in Manchester. He invited me to come down and play, he said bring some people if you want. So I thought why not, so I got a coach together and we went up.

The Ritz All-Dayer  Manchester – 1982

GW: Lindsay had already been up to my gigs in Wigan Pier and Legend. I’ve got the report he did on it, so I’m just trying to piece it together myself… Maybe there was a contact made around about this time between Lindsay and Richard and then it came about that you got the contact through Lindsay with Richard, then you started coming up and doing The Ritz. So Lindsay is definitely the key to this I would imagine.

The Ritz All-Dayer Manchester – 1982

CA: Linday was pretty much involved in a lot of things that I was doing, especially when it came to me going up north. Obviously he was in a very key position through the magazine. He was speaking to all the key promoters and DJs etc, he was kind of like match maker. So yeah, I would say that was far from how it happened.

GW: What did you make of it coming up North?

CA: I loved it! I came up North and I fell in love with the North. Funnily enough for a few years I think a lot of people weren’t actually sure where I came from (laughs)

GW: (laughs)

CA: People had forgotten where my roots were, because when I came up North I just found the whole thing fresh! It was open, relaxed and the music was great! It was real music, people were passionately into music. Even though we had some of that in London, the problem with London was every now and then it would be subjected to fashion, whereby being up North the trends never got in the way. The music was always about the music, that’s what really did it for me. When we came up North I was amazed how many people were into Soul! When I came back down South and told my mates they were like “Na na na” So I told them to come and see it for themselves, so more of us went up there. Because before that… Most people from London… London can be a very arrogant place!  They think nothing happens outside of London.

GW: This was it, that’s what Lindsay was getting when he first came up; he was taken aback by the North. For a lot of people that I knew from London who would come up, there was that preconception. I remember they used to say they thought people would be doing crab walks across the dance floor because it was a throwback to the Northern Soul thing. People were generally surprised at that point in time, that it was such a strong scene we had going there. A lot of the Northern People were very anti South because they felt that the South put them down. I was always a bridge builder, I always wanted to… I actually brought Froggy up for an all-dayer in Wigan Pier and took a lot of stick from the northern correspondents in Blues and Soul about that because “what have they ever done for us in the South, and we shouldn’t be getting them up here…” and so there was that political thing, and that’s why it was very interesting with you because you just cut right through that. There was never that kind of… you were just one of us, there was never that feeling of you being an outsider or something.

Cleveland Anderson, Greg Wilson & Mike Shaft @ Rotters / Manchester – Black Echoes 1982

CA: Well put it this way, I got really into the Northern lifestyle that much that I ended up in deep North for two and a half years. I actually ended up living in Scotland.

GW: Did you?

CA: Yeah, that was on the back of my times going up there. Really for me London was, there was a sense of reality, even back then, that London had lost. There was a sense of realness about everything in the North. It was like a magnet to me.

GW: I agree with you, I can remember those times with London, there was an arrogance with… it wasn’t necessarily with London people, it was more people living in London. Often it was Northern people who lived in London. But it was that London attitude of “We’re here, we’ve got it all here, we don’t need anything outside this, and so I could see that and I always thought people were at an advantage who understood what was going on elsewhere.

CA: Most definitely. The thing was what made it worse was the times I did come back down to London, for me London just seemed flat, it was just going through the motions, scratching at things. The more I came back down to London the more I wanted to go back up North, it just wasn’t saying anything to me anymore down here, I’d actually lost the vibe for London, so that was why I spent most of my time playing in and around the North for a hell of a long time. Also even down to the music, I was coming down to London where they like to pride themselves in being advanced, being this and being that, when there was music I was hearing way in advance up North. People telling me “you’re trying to tell me” “Na na na, I heard this at bla bla bla up North about three of four months ago!” At the time London had record shops like Groove Records, Record Shack and all these various record shops that were considered as cutting edge, and they were, don’t get me wrong. But it was all very hard for Londoners to accept.

GW: It’s like now, re-documenting this whole period, even though I date back with you to that earlier period I’m mostly seen with regard to the Electro-Funk thing because it happened in the North and specifically the clubs that I worked in, that’s where it came from.

(Tape Cut out whilst Greg asking Cleveland about Electro in the London clubs)

CA: I think when Tim Westwood started Electro was just phasing out and Hip Hop was coming in.

GW: Tim Westwood was always at Spats I believe. Do you know anything about the Language Lab? ‘cos this is seen as an early London Electro thing with Tim Westwood. I’ve heard so many different accounts how things developed in London. I did radio interviews, one with Radio 1, one with Kiss. And from the Radio 1 side, probably because Westwood’s a Radio 1 DJ, they were putting forward him as the pioneer at the Language Lab. But in the Kiss one Gordon Mac was talking about Paul Anderson and the Electric Ballroom.

CA: I would say that that’s correct.

GW: Now the other person that comes into the equation is a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for years, but during this period of time I didn’t see him that much, I saw him a few years later, but I knew he worked for Radio Invicta, and I know that he did an Electro-Funk show on there and that was Steve Devonne.

CA: No, I’ve not seen Steve for a good while, I dunno where he is.

GW: I used to DJ in Europe, and he did as well. So I know him through a mutual friend that we met out there. Apparently he was seen in Brixton a few months ago, but he’s got nothing to do with music now. But Steve did Invicta Radio around this period. I’ve even seen Gilles Peterson interviews where he’s listed Steve as a huge influence on him. He kind of sits in a period of time more to do with this pirate radio thing, and I know that he did an Electro-Funk chart on there as well.

CA: I would say from a radio point of view definitely Steve, from a club point of view…

GW: Paul Anderson.

Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson in 1982

CA: Paul Anderson, without a shadow of a doubt! I mean, I actually remember when Tim Westwood started DJing… I’m not saying Tim wasn’t collecting records, but he wasn’t one of the players from a DJing point of view. Tim really did begin to come into his own once Hip Hop began to open up. The Electro, no that was really, you’re talking about going back to, really Tim Westwood wasn’t on the scene at that time. We’re really going back to Man Parish and all those kind of Grooves, that was Electric Ballroom and at that time Paul Anderson was playing there, and a guy called Tosca.

GW: Oh I know Tosca, I didn’t know that!

CA: So yeah, mainly Paul Anderson, Tosca, and once again George Power. Paul Murphy was doing the Jazz room with Baz Fe Jazz.

GW: Well that makes sense because you know, that’s the two kind of aspects of it that’s been put forward, the Westwood side, which I knew myself had to be later, in terms of I knew that something was going on at the Electric Ballroom because I knew that some of the break crews from London that used to go down there. I’d imagine, going back to what you were saying there about the whole Electro period only lasting, from a London perspective, for about one and a half years… It’s probably the same in the North, I think what killed it, although killed it is probably the wrong word, so I think what stumped it so to speak was that the breakdancing thing, for a period of time, was so huge, and then it went into overkill. It was on all the… the Weetabix advert on TV http://youtu.be/QD1igYSJJl8 I remember from some of my mates, Kermit is the perfect example because when it started he was the first UK breakdancer photographed in this country for a national publication, breakdancing was the coolest thing on the planet at that moment in time. I remember he was one of the first people to get out of breakdancing because he could see that all the little kids were getting involved in it, that now it was like any TV show was showing a bit of breakdancing, it all of a sudden became uncool. From being ultimately cool it was kind of the raping of a culture in a sense. Have you seen the documentary ‘The Freshest Kids’ that’s been done recently? http://youtu.be/2Yv3d8KTwSQ

CA: No, I haven’t

GW: Oh it’s incredible!  It’s absolutely amazing! And it’s that, it’s from the bigger picture, from New York’s side and it is about that. Rock Steady saying how for that moment in time they were celebrities, they were travelling all over the world, and then all of a sudden they couldn’t even get into the Roxy, a club whose legend they played a key role in creating.

CA: This is where the problem is… Probably, like yourself, I had Hip Hop in my collection, Electro, Funk, I’ve got everything. Generally by and large I’m a lover of music.

GW: Exactly!

CA: But then you of course have your preferences right, and Soul has always been, and then followed by Jazz. However, getting back to the point, I think one of the things that Soul music has never done, where I think a lot of other types of music do eventually; it isolates itself from the female side of the club scene, eventually it becomes too male. Like the Hip Hop thing, it starts great, girls start going, everyone is loving it, the music is fun at the time, women do not feel threatened, everything is cool. Then as time goes along the guys begin to take over, then it becomes… everyone wants to challenge each other. This isolated the women.

GW: You are so right!

CA: Breakdancing did this.

GW: Exactly! I’ve already documented this as being the moment that the scene split. Initially when breakdancing started it was so visually exciting that everyone just loved it, but then after a few months, after people got used to it, then especially in a club like Legend, where the dance floor wasn’t massive, that if kids were breakdancing there was obviously a circle of people around them, as this carried on, the more that this happened, the more the girls were saying we can’t dance, we can’t get on the dance floor because they are taking the space. This is what I saw as the schism within the scene at that point.

CA: Which is what’s happened to Drum & Bass, it’s happened to UK Garage, and it’s going to happen to the current mould of R&B as we see it. Because what happens is like I said, it starts off first as a scene for everybody, but slowly it begins to shrink, then what happens is you end up with a group of guys who are all battling it out for supremacy of what they are doing, but what they end up doing without realising is isolating all the women, then what happens is once the women go, then you lose x amount of guys, so then the scene goes. You can see history repeating itself, even with the current R&B. I’m already seeing a lot of people who was going to clubs, who were going to 2 Step clubs who are going to Soulful House clubs now, and they are beginning to like the music now. My son goes to me ‘it’s kind of cool here Dad’ I mean OK, some of the music, I’ve got to be honest, I’m still not quite into. What I like about it it’s chilled, there’s no competition, there’s loads of women here and the women are approachable. That’s the problem with when a scene becomes too popular, including what you were talking about; let’s say TV wants a piece of it, the media wants a piece of it, everybody wants a bit. A few years back it was 2 Step, a few years before that it was Drum & Bass, a few years before that it was House, a few years before that it was this, and we can remember when it was Soul. So what you are saying is correct.

GW: It’s like the black kids are always the first to move on because they are the trend setters. It’s like now there’s a huge Electro community on the internet, but the demographic of the people is really interesting ‘cos they are all white kids, or I say kids; they are white people who are now in their early 30s to mid 30s and they were the Morgan Khan Street Sounds Electro generation. This is where the white kids started to get, in a big way, into dance music, that were brought into that side of it. It was through Morgan doing those albums and also with Street Sounds albums and it’s funny because you don’t see the black kids from that period in time using forums on the internet, they’ve moved on to wherever they have gone to. They love that period of time but they’ve moved on, and that’s always been the case. I remember seeing that so clearly with someone like Kermit who was the first to embrace this whole thing, but the first to get off the boat when they saw that it wasn’t cool anymore. And so yeah, I can see that’s why it was a little glorious period, it was very short-lived in a sense. But it was kept going by white kids which is really strange.

CA: You see the thing is that one of the major problems I think, with the UK then, and even still now, is how influenced Britain has been by American music, there’s no getting away from that, especially black music. However, I think one of the major problems I find now is that, for the first time in a very long time, there are now some great UK soul singers around, there is a history here now, OK we haven’t got the history that the States has got, but there are some really great vocalists here now, and musicians and so forth. But what the saddest thing is… it’s not moving off the point now, because it’s the same thing that happened back in the 80s, but it’s still happening now, it’s probably worse now than it was then, but at least in the 80s you had a chance of your Loose Ends breaking through, maybe your Hi Tensions breaking through, your Jackie Graham, David Grant. OK some were underground, some were overground whatever. But then I look on the UK side here, by and large right, and I don’t take much notice of MTV but I tune in every now and then, by and large it’s wall to wall US. You might get the odd, OK they say Craig David, but I’m struggling to name five on one hand. And this is the problem, we have roots here, it’s not as deep as the American roots, but there is a root being built here and this is what we are talking about here; talking about club culture, black music culture in Britain.

GW: Yeah

CA: That’s all a part of the roots here, we have our own roots. But the problem is, when you do look at these documentaries, whenever it’s covered on TV, it’s never been told in way were you can say OK they’ve missed a bit out there but what he’s saying is fair. So at least you can say the things he was saying were fair. But to my mind, with most of the documentaries that have been made, there’s been a lot of stuff missed out and they aren’t fair.

GW: That’s it, and that can be more damaging because that can throw people right off the scent. You’re talking about the roots of it, and this is the whole point of this phone conversation in the first place. My project is called Electro-Funk Roots, in terms of documenting that period in particular, but it’s not just about that, which is why I want to interview Les Spaine, I want to go before that, I want to find out how these things developed, and how these things came to a point where it allowed the scene in this country to develop in the way that it did. Which for a British side, it’s an amazing country for developing musical scenes, both black and white.

CA: I think it has the ability to go further than that, But not until we look under our noses to also embrace the talent that we have here, as well as over the pond. The seeds are being planted but a lot of people don’t know they are there, so they ain’t being nourished, and the story is not being told.

GW: I think that’s it.

CA: It needs to be passed on from generation to generation.

GW: If people understood that then what you’d get is the next generation of musicians and singers, they won’t be relying so heavily on the American experience and they’ll be looking to the experience in this country which obviously links into America, and always will, but like we were saying before, that the whole West Indian identity in this country is just major, it’s just a huge thing, the way that the whole club scene has been run for a start. The Blues dances, the illegal dances, the rave scene. What you are talking about there with Norman Jay is you putting on illegal events because you can’t find clubs to go to. This is very similar to what was happening three or four years down the line with raves, and it’s coming from a tradition within the black community, which comes out of the West Indian community of the Blues dances http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_dance It’s the mother of necessity, you couldn’t get in certain clubs, so you put your own clubs on. This isn’t something that people have taken from America, this is something that has evolved in this country, and so it’s like this history, I feel it’s so important that the whole history of our culture in this country, our club culture and our music culture is properly documented because that is the roots of it, and that is where we are coming from with it. It’s too simple to say the north was Northern Soul and the south was Caister, because just by saying that in the first instance you are negating so much of the whole black influence.

CA: Of course, I think we have a big problem here still, I mean I think we are getting over it, but how long it will take us to actually get to a point whereby we have eradicated ourselves of it is unfortunately… rather than people who have been instrumental within the scene, and some of whom are still instrumental, coming together and putting together something for the cause of the scene, everyone stands back and they have this tendency of when they are approached, to document things, through their own eyes, which is fair enough, but often it’s done with tinted glasses.

GW: Well of course, that’s why it’s important, like were you said before, that if somebody is talking about Manchester, it should be somebody who was involved in Manchester, if somebody is talking about Birmingham there should be somebody from Birmingham because you get the right perspective.

CA: I’m never gonna be able to give what it really meant… OK I played in Birmingham, I played in Manchester a few times, but you need to go and speak to a promoter or some DJs, they can tell you what it was like from the bottom upwards. The way Manchester or Liverpool people felt, or what the Soul scene meant to these people, how they were living it, how they were dressing.

GW: It’s the influence, the whole thing in the North with The Haçienda is that here’s a club that became world famous as a dance venue and yet within all the documentation of it you cannot find anything, or you’ve got to dig very deep to find out how this club that was an alternative club become a dance venue. I know directly because I was involved in it, I went across and did the first dance night at The Haçienda and this was where the black crowd came across from Legend the breakdancers from Broken Glass came to The Haçienda at this period where we were saying it was the real cool thing that gave this club a focal point with the black audience in Manchester and then so you get some years down the line, you’ve got some of the DJs that have been quoted saying the original house crowd in The Haçienda was a black crowd, yet nobody who’s documented that has gone well where did these black kids come from? How did they get into this club in the first place, ‘cos people don’t just arrive there, it evolves, something evolved. So what you’ve got is a whole evolving scene within Manchester that’s resulted in the conditions that allow that club at that particular moment in time to become what it became, and the weird thing about it was that many of the black crowd moved out at the moment when it became the big rave club. Because it was all these white kids who weren’t really that up front or knew their stuff. But they discovered it.

CA: They heard it was trendy.

GW: They’d taken a pill, they discovered it… “Right, we are into dance now!” So the black kids moved on from there. So it’s like with what’s on the surface, sometimes you are just touching on the story and from my point of view it’s really important from a Manchester perspective to document the fact of just how influential the black audience was. That could never, ever have happened, and yet so many times I read accounts of it where it just negates that. It’s not there, it’s touched on maybe. And the people who are writing it, I don’t think they are trying to rewrite history, I just think they are the people who didn’t get into the scene until 1987 themselves. They were so blown away by it, but they don’t know what happened before. And it’s not knowing before as in speaking to someone and getting a bit of a kind of oh, there was this club and there was that club, but they didn’t live it.

CA: It’s like say Trevor Nelson, when he did Soul Nation, say for arguments sake, and like you say living it, and I’ve known Trevor for Donkey’s! Trevor used to come on my coaches to Manchester.

GW: Did he?

CA: Yes. So before Trevor was a Soul boy he was a Reggae boy, that’s Trevor’s roots. He’s a Reggae boy, yes he loves his Soul, and some may argue that one day Trevor may go back to his roots. But the point I’m making is that there were times I heard, I aint seen the whole of the Soul Nation, but there were times I’d heard that Trevor was making comments or suggestions, even quotations towards certain areas that he weren’t even there. And he was getting it completely wrong… Totally wrong!

GW: He put so much in store about The Wag Club in London that was a kind of a trendy, The Face audience, and yet he said within that that he couldn’t get in The Wag Club. So what we had was Sade, Simply Red and all this, whereas at the same time you had this cross culture.

CA: Yeah, But he was wrong because I could get in there. The thing is if you was an original black soul boy of course you could get into The Wag. ‘Cos Wag was the only clubs where… Let me explain, if you looked like a black guy who’d just got into Soul you wouldn’t get in. But if you was a black guy that looked like a Soul boy you’d get in. But in them days trying to tell the Reggae Soul boys there was a big difference in the way we dressed. We could tell from a mile off who was Soul boy, or who had just become a Soul boy, it was painfully obvious in their dressing that they weren’t real Soul boys, and in them days, if you liked places like Whisky A Go Go and Wag, they wanted to stay trendy. Don’t forget Soul people were seen… We kind of dressed freaky.

Cleveland in 1982

So these clubs, all they wanted was freaky dressers, so it wasn’t good enough just saying make up your mind one morning and suddenly saying “well I really like Soul music” there was a whole lot of other things to go with it, and if you weren’t like that then you would have problems getting into a lot of Soul clubs. But then having said that, someone like Trevor would have found it very difficult, not just getting into Soul clubs, because he probably wouldn’t have been seen by security as being trendy-soulful enough, but then on the other hand if he went to the white clubs they wouldn’t let him in ‘cos he was black. So I can see what he’s saying, but I don’t think Whisky A Go Go didn’t let him in because he was black, I think it was because…

GW: No, the doorman that he was talking about was black, because he actually interviewed the doorman there and he was saying “why didn’t you let me in?” and it seemed like he was making this big case for The Wag, but then saying I couldn’t get in there, and it was seen that because he couldn’t get in there it added more to the whole kind of thing for him. So it was all about his experience of trying to get in The Wag rather than somebody else’s experience of what actually was going on, which would have been interesting to hear. I went to The Wag around that time myself, I knew what was going on there, but it was one side of the picture, I know there was a coming together at a certain point with what became the Rare Groove scene, but at the same point in time you’re talking about people like the Mastermind Roadshow and Paul Anderson, these people were out there doing stuff, and none of that was even mentioned. One of the things that struck me about the whole thing was that when he got to Soul II Soul he was saying that Soul II Soul was the first Soul Hip Hop band, and what the people who made the program hadn’t realised was that they hadn’t even said what Hip Hop was. They’d done this whole program without even saying what it was, where it came from, how it fitted into the picture in England, but all of a sudden we were late 80s and here was the first Soul Hip Hop band. So all that period of time… They talked about the sound systems saying that the sound systems either played Rare Groove or Reggae, but Mastermind Roadshow mixed all the Electro albums. In Bristol, Bristol wasn’t even mentioned in the whole series, you had The Wild Bunch who fused Electro, Reggae and building a sound that became known as the Trip Hop sound. So it was a very blinkered viewpoint. I would imagine that within himself he feels, “Oh shit! I made a big mistake with that”.

CA: Well maybe these programs should be titled ‘The Soul Scene Seen Through…’

GW: Yeah I said ‘Soul Odyssey’ Trevor Nelson’s Soul Odyssey, My Life in Soul Music’ fair enough, but to call it Soul Nation was a real big mistake because straight away you are putting forward that this is some kind of definitive statement of the whole British Soul scene. Whereas it had 12 minutes of Northern Soul at the beginning and the rest was in and around London, the whole thing, there was not even a mention of, not just the north, but Bristol didn’t even get a look in.

CA: We had over here in London there was DJs like Trevor Shakes, who was very well respected on the underground black music scene. Once again he was gay and black. You asked me a question about was there many gay black guys on the Soul scene? Yes there was. Most of the best dancers, there was Mohammed, Franklin, Horace, Peter Franklin, Trevor Shakes, Clive Clarke, Tommy McDonald, some of these guys were gay. I mean they saw girls as well but they were gay. They were amazing dancers! The best black soul dancers were born out of the gay black soul clubs. Because that was where they could really express themselves.

GW: What’s really strange on that level is that with the Northern Soul scene, the more you look into that scene it’s hugely gay, and when you listen to some of the music you can hear it now. It’s so camp. But it’s obvious because there is a scene, and it’s the same as what you are talking about, here is a scene where at a point in time where in a normal club atmosphere if a guy was seen dancing on his own people would be calling him for being queer or whatever, you can go onto the dancefloor and you can dance on your own and nobody cares. So it was a loophole that allowed people to go out and be themselves. It’s very interesting, it’s just something that I’ve always thought it had to be there, but where was it or how was it. And so what you’ve told me tonight, it’s intriguing talking on these levels because it’s like when I spoke to Les Spaine I got all the American air base side of it and that whole thing, and the fact that he was saying that there was loads of people going to his clubs that were then going to Vietnam where people died, and so you think god! That happened, and your telling me this. And I’m sure there is an equivalent if I look into the black scene in Manchester, the kind of 70s side of it, you’ll find that there, it’s just that people didn’t talk about it.

CA: Probably the same thing you’ll find, probably a mirror of what was going on in London.

GW: Of course it’s got to be there. People, regardless of the colour of their skin, are gay and are straight, and they’ve got to find a way of expressing themselves, so it’s very interesting – the whole London scene that you are talking about, and again a scene that’s not well documented.

CA: The thing is, it makes me laugh this right, bring it up to today and you are talking about R&B and Hip Hop and how macho and how badboy it is. But would you believe, I know you would not be surprised, but the same thing goes on in that scene, but the difference is that it’s not acceptable for it to be seen or flaunted. But it does go on, that’s the reality.

GW: It’s got to (Laughs)

CA: Who are they trying to kid?

Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, Tee Scott

GW: Exactly! I’ve just read an amazing book which is called Love Saves The Day which is a history of the whole of New York Club scene from 1970 through to 1979, again it was an eye opener because I knew there was a huge gay influence, but I didn’t realise how gay. I didn’t realise that all those DJs were gay – Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, Tee Scott; all black guys, all gay. It was a different kind of equation than it was in this country, but it was huge, there was a coming together. It was like that kind of scene where it wasn’t just gay clubs, the clubs where mixed. In the progressive underground clubs there was always a mix of races as well, and that’s what made it what it was, what made it special. There was also a lot of racism; there were gay clubs that were just for white gays, and gay clubs just for black gays. You start to realise and unpick this whole thing that at one time in your own isolation of whatever you were doing that it bore much more relevance to you, but I find out that some of these DJs from the early 70s, there is one guy in particular – David Mancuso, he was the guy that found ‘Soul Makosa’ by Manu Dibango http://youtu.be/w2jYjUiulMQ he found that on a French album, and that was why I was playing it when I started out as a club DJ in 1975. So you start to link your own history back through these things and realise that this went on.

This has been fantastic talking to you Cleveland! We must get together, as I say I’m up in your neck of the woods now and again.

CA: When you are you’ve got to give us a shout, touch base and have a coffee.

GW: Definitely, and now that you know where I am, if there is anything that you need that I can do for you. So if you are looking to do this documentary, I’ll give you all the support that I can on that.

CA: Well you are definitely on my list of people to… What I’m doing is I’m slowly… I’ve got Richard’s number, I’ve got Colin’s number, your number, you know so when the time comes. And if there’s any names missing one of you guys must know…

GW: Exactly, people like Ian Dewhirst.

CA: God! Ian Dewhirst, another guy I aint seen for ages!

GW: Well I see Ian quite regular, he is a wealth of knowledge.

Ca: Give him a shout for me.

GW: I will do yeah, definitely.

CA: Do you know what earlier on you mentioned two clubs that… one in particular that I would have loved to have done and I just never got around to doing it, the opportunity never came around, and that was Legends.

GW: Legends yeah, well that was my club. That was my baby.

CA: I would have so loved to have done that.

GW: You came to Legend did you?

CA: I did yeah, on various occasions, maybe two or three times. But from a playing point of view, that was one club, everything else I’d done in the North, no, there was another – Wigan Pier.

GW: That was my other club. They were my venues (Laughs)

CA: There you go. I know, they were basically residential clubs with residents. I look back and when people talk about the North they always mention those two clubs. By and large I played at all the big Northern all-dayers, but they were the two clubs, especially Legends, which for me was legendary!

GW: It was an incredible space. Again, a lot of the documentation I’m doing is… I mean, I know I was blessed to have worked there. I was there for nearly three years and it was an incredible scene, and so influential. As you will remember it was predominantly black, it was seen as a black club. Wigan Pier was much more of a neutral venue. Legend was in Manchester so even though people travelled from all over, the Manchester crowd was predominant there. Whereas Wigan Pier, it was as much Birmingham’s club as it was Liverpool’s or Manchester’s there was people coming in from all over the place, so there were two different kinds of dynamics with each. But at the end of the day Legend was just a very special club to have been involved with. I’m made up that you actually came there and you saw it and everything.

CA: I did, the thing was for me, even if I wasn’t playing out, it got to the point if I was going to go out for a night out or just for a social whatever, I would much rather go up the motorway. It really got to that point. So I’ve been up there a few times, and you know it’s one of those clubs, a few people talk about legendary clubs, yes Crackers, Bentleys which Froggy used to do with Derek Boland, I dunno if you’ve heard of a club called Bridge?

GW: No.

CA: That was something myself and Norman Jay used to do, around the same time as Bentleys.

GW: Was this like about 84, 85?

CA: Yeah.

GW: Well I was a bit out of the scene; I’d stopped DJing by then. Again Derek B used to come up to Wigan Pier.

CA: Yes.

GW: Derek Boland, I didn’t know him then, it’s only later that I found that out. When you start talking about legendary northern clubs and so forth from the south, to be perfectly honest there are people down here who know about Legends, but they tend to be people who’ve been around a long time and they know a bit of history about Legends and Wigan Pier and various other clubs, but as far as outside of that, the knowledge, this is what you touched on earlier on, these documentaries, or various people documenting these things, so if a generation can embrace that and say “Oh yeah, there was this club called Legends that used to go on in Manchester right, around the same time that the Electric Ballroom was doing it’s thing. And that’s the side that’s been held down. Because it was a black club. It’s hard to put it in those terms but that’s it. Had Legend been the same club packed with a white audience everybody would know about it. The funny thing was with Legend, just to sum it up really, years later The Happy Mondays had a track called ‘WFL’ and it’s a brilliant video, they made a great video for it, and it was right at the height of the ecstasy period. It was a video that if anybody said what was it like back them with that whole kind of E – ravey kind of thing? I’d say watch that video, that’s the closest you are gonna get to it. And the weirdest thing of it is that the video is not recorded in The Haçienda, the Happy Mondays were a Factory band, so you’d you would have thought… Well it was recorded in Legend. Spectrum, you know Spectrum?

CA: Yes

GW: They did a Manchester night.

CA: I heard about that yeah.

GW: Paul Oakenfold used to ring me up back in the early 80’s, before he ever had a name, he used to ring me up for my list of records and stuff. He was aware of Legend and Spectrum picked that as their club and they did it for a period of time. But they filmed it there, and it’s a great video. You’ve got a dancefloor and it’s full of energy, packed with people dancing and buzzing… But the weird thing was that it was all white kids dancing, and I remember thinking wow! That’s mad! It symbolizes the whole Rave culture because this dance floor was once packed full of black kids, and now it’s the same energy but it’s white kids. I was so happy that they filmed it there because it does exist. http://youtu.be/QrVH8tEIjEk

CA: Have you got any footage of any of your nights?

GW: No we haven’t got footage that’s the problem.

CA: You’ve got flyers though?

GW: Bits and bobs of stuff, I’ve got loads of archive stuff. I’ve got all my record lists and stuff like that. But nobody ever thought of filming in those days did they?

CA: No, not really, well down here you might get a bit more footage.

GW: Yeah, the Goldmine, there’s lots of stuff on there, but it’s very rare that you find much else.

CA: Before you go, what’s the scene like over at your end currently?

GW: There’s a lot of bars nowadays, bar culture has taken over.

CA: It’s the same down here as well.

GW: Because people don’t want to go and spend money in a club when they can stay ‘til 2 o’clock in a bar, which you never used to be able to. You used to get kicked out of a bar at half ten didn’t you?

CA: Yeah.

GW: I think it’s going through an interesting period of redefining itself. It’s probably very similar to what it’s like now in London. But what I’m noticing now is that a lot of the younger people are very interested in what used to go on. I’m getting people getting in touch with me of ages early twenties to twenty five, saying educate me, tell me about this music, what was going on? You know, I’m playing them stuff like ‘Spread Love’ by Al Hudson http://youtu.be/-uAM5OKGQTc and they are just blown away! They are like Wow! I wanna buy this and play it! So I think that there is a good openness at this second, and it’s at one of those periods where it’s just waiting to happen.


Useful links referencing some of the above:

About Crackers, George Power & Paul Anderson:
http://www.red5599.com/pages%202009/crackers%202009.htm
http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.com/2008/06/crackers-1976.html

About Chris Hill:
http://www.soulpranos.co.uk/DJs/soulpranos-djs-c.html

About Caisters Soul Weekenders:
Caister No3 Finale,with Chris Hill,Robbie Vincent,the Funk Mafia DJs:
Part 1 http://youtu.be/B-sFijIyx7w
Part 2 http://youtu.be/NBNUJBEUr1s
Part 3 http://youtu.be/7_-k7PXKldM
Part 4 http://youtu.be/obkI3zjThdI

Chris Hill / The Goldmine interviewed by Paula Yates on The Tube:
Part 1 http://youtu.be/qFM1PY9ksps
Part 2 http://youtu.be/RiprWQenvMg
Part 3 http://youtu.be/UiuHJaxXIJQ

About Froggy:
http://www.djhistory.com/interviews/froggy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DJ_Froggy
http://forum.speakerplans.com/froggy-and-the-soulweekenders_topic17026_page1.html
Froggy Mix: http://youtu.be/gILQtGtpPUs

About Robbie Vincent:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_Vincent
http://www.radiorewind.co.uk/radio1/robbie_vincent_page.htm
http://www.radiocafe.co.uk/talk/archives/35

About the 100 Club
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Club

Steve Devonne on Radio Invicta June 1981:
http://dixmix.podomatic.com/player/web/2009-09-12T01_55_28-07_00

About Trevor Nelson:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Nelson

Gay community on the Northern Soul Scene and in Manchester:
http://www.mdmarchive.co.uk/queernoise/help.htm
http://www.soul-source.co.uk/soulforum/topic/219294-gay-connection/

About Derek B:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/nov/17/derek-b-obituary

Also, check out this incredible footage of the 4th Prestatyn Soul Weekender. It clearly illustrates a turning point in 1988, where many soulful scenes converged; where the established weekender Soul Mafia mic based DJs worked a crowd, where Jazz-Funk was being reinvented by DJs like Gilles Peterson and labels like Acid Jazz. Where Stetasonic T Shirt wearing white kids signal the arrival of Hip Hop, and where Acid House music had begun to take over…

Prestatyn 4 Soul weekender 1988 Part 1
http://youtu.be/geIah0omm3s
Prestatyn 4 Soul weekender 1988 Part 2
http://youtu.be/1_P5dNyRDNU
Prestatyn 4 Soul weekender 1988 Part 3
http://youtu.be/AWQhCIq6CcY
Prestatyn 4 Soul weekender 1988 Part 4
http://youtu.be/FKeMFnF8vSk
Parts 5 – 8 available on facebook via Graham Ibiza-music

Thanks to Dan Smith for the transcribe & further research.


© Greg Wilson, 2004 (First published July 2012)

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