The Music , Culture & A Couple Of Testimonials .
I am an ardent follower of what's going on in my city , especially with music , venues & a lot of online music stuff . To fully understand the music & youth culture of any period of time you need to have lived it.....which I did . I was at school in the day of the Mod ( my brother was one ) My own influences of music came from my brother & my mates from school ( mainly West Indian kids ) . Northern Soul was a phrase dreamed up in the 1970s....alot of what the Mods danced to was what people refer to as Northern Soul today . I started DJing in the late 60s . By then I'd got a good collection of Motown , Soul , British R&B , Ska / Bluebeat / rocksteady & what was just being hailed as Reggae . The best British Band for me , back then , was Birminghams Spencer Davis Group . Stevie Winwood ( for me ) is one of the great vocalists of all time & no one ever mentions the influence he & Spencer Davis had on the youth of that era . A lot of people don't know that they played at just about every venue that is now embroiled in Northern Soul History......The Torch , The Twisted Wheel , Blackpool Mecca & The Wigan Casino .
After the Mods came a short lived phrase for a group of people that were refered to as Townies or Soul Boys ( atleast they were called that around here ).
Going into the 70s the scene started shifting a bit.....in Brum Reggae was happening , Funk was starting up & the charts of the day were a bit more diverse . As for the youth there was a new mob on the scene.....The Skinhead .
My time was just starting......I was barely out of short trousers when I started DJaying , but even more amazing was the fact that after doing a few gigs , a couple of youth clubs I was thrown into the limelight & landed a spot in what I considered the best nightclub in Brum in It's day....Rebeccas .
In my short time at Rebeccas the room I worked saw the beginnings of a new Funk culture , The Trojan Explosion & a Northern Soul Revival . Actually it was at this time the phrase 'Northern Soul ' had only just been used . I'd always played a lot of old Mod Stuff & that's what it was .
Going right through my time from my 15 year old DJ start up to Rebeccas following through with Glam rock , The Punks , The New Romantics then back to the Book & Candle......Everything rolled into one bag there....Motown , Reggae , New Romantics , Disco . Over the years I saw a lot of diverse fashion , changes in youth culture & music . At the end of the day don't put music in a box , music is music & is there for all to enjoy .
One thing I will say about music back when I started to when I finished . Because it was produced by people who could play instruments & sing with virtually no technology it had a lot more feeling about it in general . I think the fact there was little or no money about made people a lot more creative .
Sue from Coventry
Wow it was brilliant it really took me back, things i'd forgotten I have just remembered & briefly relived. We had such a great an exciting time, it was always go! go! go!. You were a great & crazy DJ & you can certainly play at my funeral! Lots of love' Sue'.
Brilliant....what more can be said
Just been quized about bands around now. Need a good night out then google 'The Soul Survivors'. They do quite a few local Midland gigs & are possibly one of the premier live soul bands in the country.
And on the subject of music 'Mr Bang Bang Man'by Little Hank & 'Going To A Happening' by Tommy Neal. Great Northern Classics. Currently big on my man cave play list is 'Last Tango In Paris' by Willie Mitchell...it has that late 60s early 70s definate film feel to it, cracking instrumental. Talking of instrumentals 'K Gee' by the Night-Liters. A 1972 gem of an almost forgotten treasure .
A real testimonial is all about someones character, it's about people that help shape your life [ Mitchells & Butler shaped mine ]. My list is endless but it starts with my Dad [RIP ]. He'd take me anywhere...drop me off, pick me up & what do you do...just take them for granted like most kids do. Never too late to say thank you. Lenny Rew as well, good roadie for a couple of years, thanks Len [RIP ]. And all the others Sid, Dougy, Newey, Duke[RIP],Elton, The Judge, the two Steves[superstars], Dave Keen, Ron Peel, John Fewtrell, Don Fewtrell, Stuart Gargon, Bob & Jean at the Book, Paul the Irish Burger King, the Albatross, the Holy Family, oh & not forgetting Ginger Aldridge .......the list is endless. I could go on if I could remember peoples names, I've posibly done 30 + residencies over the years [ infact i know I've got a list of them somewhere ] & I might put them on this website one day. These are the people who helped shape 20 odd years of my life.