ODDS ‘N’ BODS
YAZ(OO) ‘SITUATION’ remixed imports can no longer be sold here as the publishers, Sonet, have not issued a licence to cover the mechanical copyright — so why don’t Mute put it out? . . . Casablanca will soon release here the highly prized (and priced) Disconet remix of Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’ . . . Greg Henderson will be the first release on import distributors Greyhound’s own new Greyhound Record Productions label . . . Gwen McCrae ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ is due on 12in this weekend (c/w ‘Funky Sensation’) . . . Billy Griffin will be on UK 12in early November . . . Gary’s Gang has been picked up by Arista . . . UK release is also due for the SOS Band, Extra T’s, “Q”, Bobby “O”, Divine, Flirts . . . Caister debuted the Arthur Baker produced remake by Nairobi of ‘Soul Makossa’ (out here immediately after the first import copies arrive), Prince ‘Dance Music Sex Romance‘ (a big Chris Hill wind up mixed with Mandrill/George Clinton but not due on single), Central Line ‘You’ve Said Enough‘, and (another Hill exclusive) the promo-only US RCA 12in B-side remix of Eric Robinson ‘Walk In The Light‘ . . . Pieces Of A Dream have answered Grand Master Flash with their own rap treatment of ‘Mt. Airy Groove’ in the USA . . . Earl Klugh’s old ‘Twinkle‘ 12in (Liberty 12UP 647) has been revived for his UK visit . . . Ralph Tee’s excellent much read Groove Weekly fanzine has sadly bowed out, but in great style, marking both its 100th issue and the 10th Caister with a fully typeset edition featuring a full colour cover . . . David ‘Rowdy’ Yeats has returned to PRT in an A&R capacity . . . CBS disco plugger Caroline Douratsos has been receiving completed reaction reports to a record which although mentioned never came out — there really are some dummies out there! . . . Al Taylor (Bodelwyddan Poppeys) says a Phil Ramacon PA was overshadowed by Island plugger Lloyd Burrell’s limelight stealing Jeffrey Daniel dance routine! . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms), plugging local funk group Cloud’s ‘Steppin Out (With You)‘ / ‘Rico Rico‘ single due soon, wishes there was a central agency organising club PA’s instead of all the individual companies that have to be contacted . . . DB5, London based mobile disco company, for the coming Christmas season need around four reliable entertaining jocks with records and transport but not necessarily equipment, though they must have “all round” ability — call 01-629 5897 . . . Cleveland Area DJ Association welcomes all DJs to a meeting this Sunday (24) at Thornaby’s Odd Fellows Arms to discuss book keeping and tax, but at what time is unclear . . . ‘The Smurf’ is evidently a big new dance in the States, GQ’s latest less than great single being ‘Try Smurfing‘ . . . Sharon Redd’s LP — “(all cuts)” — now tops the US Dance/Disco Top 80 but Evelyn is still top Black single . . . Stacy Lattisaw ‘Attack Of The Name Game‘, not due here until at least the new year, is hitting US pop, as finally is Grand Master Flash, but Rockers Revenge has stagnated in the lower reaches of the US Black chart . . . Khemlstry are produced by Willie Lester & Rodney Brown, adding to the soulfulness of their set reviewed last week . . . Lionel Richie’s LP suffers from bad surface noise on everybody’s copy, I’ve discovered . . . Imagination’s drop in the pop chart, if continued, must show that the wrong singles choice was indeed made . . . Paul & Robin Wheeler have in fact just this moment sold their Wheelers club in Henley . . . Canvey Goldmine owners Stan & Jayne Barrett have now bought the Sheffield Arms pub in Sheffield Green near Haywards Heath, where they plan to open ‘The Music Room’ next month . . . Stan incidentally thought he’d found a shortcut from his hotel to Caister, but ran out of road and had to take a ferry across the Norfolk Broads! . . . Barry Maleedy, jocking around Merseyside from St Helens, runs a renowned ‘Streetbeat’ disco fanzine with help from Barry Williams and ‘Chad’, and reports the local scene seems to be going back into the cities like Manchester after being country and town orientated for a while, many dedicated DJs being unable to break into clubs because of Wally jocks domination of potential up-front venues . . . BBC Radio Merseyside “soul show” DJ, Terry Lennaine must be largely responsible for Liverpool’s decline as an up-front funk centre, actually boasting that he hasn’t bought a record (let alone an import) for ages and only features the crud he’s sent in the mail — no wonder that Soul On Sound with its preview mix is selling hugely in Liverpool! . . . Liverpool does now at least have a reportedly good up-front import shop, Cheverton Records in Richmond Street . . . ‘Chad’, funking Liverpool Cagneys with Mike Davidson Fri/Saturdays, is one of the jocks seeking up-front work (on St Helens 60587) . . . Standish Cassinelli’s is being refitted but starts its up-front nights again in the new year . . . Godalming’s Secrets is temporarily closed following a fire which gutted the main bar . . . Nic Wakefield, my host at Caister, is as up-front as possible and very jazzy on Fri/Saturdays at Sidmouth Carina’s, together with Exeter Boxes Chris Dinnis keeping a healthy scene going down Devon way . . . Greg Wilson, good at his doubling-up mixes, could now handle guest spots in the South (or anywhere) on Saturday nights or Sundays alldayers ideally, as long as up to date vari-speed decks are provided — call 051-678 9683 . . . Froggy ‘Goldilocks’ now claims he never made out he was a mixing jock — he certainly talks enough these days! . . . I came up with, even if I do say so myself, some killer mixes on the next Soul On Sound: (Editor’s note: the mix starts at 0:58) Denroy Morgan/Whodini/Loose End, and Bootsy/George Clinton/Warp 9/Tyrone Brunson/Pure Energy/(chop) Planet Patrol/Joel Peskin . . . Ilford Funk Union, keen on my SOS mixes, kindly say I should jock Caister . . . See Bees T-shirts’ Radio Caister commercials kept emphasising that they don’t print a size big enough to fit Steve Walsh! . . . Steve’s Svenson advertising photo was actually used totally out of context by Private Eye recently! . . . Flashback has now moved to 90.2MHz . . . Cramond Perry (Edinburgh Annabel’s Riviera Suite) says winter’s already arrived up in Scotland — brr! . . . Dave Rawlings (Reading Rebecca’s) warns against leaving records unattended in your car, having lost a box (luckily of replaceable stuff) at 3 o’clock on a Sunday morning . . . Jeff Shack, of all people, is reportedly unkeen on competitive prices in rival shops! . . . Paul Anthony (Wolverhampton Eve’s), now with Beacon Radio’s Pete Clement bring merriment, madness and a bit of music to a few select mobile party bookings, has a list of “do its” for DJs, eg: DJs DO IT WITH TWELVE INCHERS!
Caister’s Soulful Weekend
SUNDAY AFTERNOON, I’m standing atop a sand dune. Behind me, the sea, solitary stoical fishermen, children playing on the beach with their dogs. Immediately in front of me, the Cambridge ‘Dons’ are waving their arms in time to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, while a few hundred yards across a football pitch 3,500 more happy funkateers are all doing likewise crowded in front of a makeshift open air stage, all the sound being relayed on hundreds of portable radio/cassette speakers. This was the climax to Showstopper Promotions tenth ‘Golden’ Caister Soul Weekend, one of the very best ever, held for the first time over four days and with the largest crowd admitted since Caister II.
Amongst many innovations, the musical venues this time were spread out across large distances thus meaning that the most common sight was of windswept shivering hordes trekking from site to site between caravans and chalets that were throbbing to a jazzy soulful beat.
The main “vibe up” Silver Sands venue, equipped with Froggy’s superb sound system and brand new banana shaped console, was so hot ‘n’ humid on Friday night that it even had its own cloud formations, inside! Friday in fact seemed the biggest night, as with three nights and four days there was a much easier pace to everything, enabling the jocks (Chris Hill, Robbie ‘Painkiller’ Vincent, Froggy, Jeff Young, Chris Brown, Pete Tong, Martin Collins, Sean French, Bob Jones, Paul Clark and a fleeting Colin Hudd) to stretch out and play a wide selection of music with no rush . . . and the music this time was truly memorable, a mixture of jazz and soul of different vintages, including much James Brown/JB’s of the ‘It’s Too Funky In Here’ type.
Chris Hill was at fever pitch on Friday, less frenzied on Saturday when he featured Latin jazz and lots of mixing amongst the wind-ups, in a marathon two and one half hour set. Meanwhile in the Holiday Inn jazz room, Jeff & Pete’s double act was totally compulsive in a “what are they going to follow THAT with?!” way, culminating with some swing and even Georgie Fame’s ‘Yeh Yeh’. In fact nowhere on Saturday seemed packed, least of all the Neptune’s Palace live music venue. Because of the large crowd, admission to this was divided according to people’s pass number, the Warrior and Junior each doing shows on Friday and Saturday — but live music seemed less of a draw than records, and while the Warriors were well received Junior was perhaps too pop for prevailing tastes. This venue was also used for another major innovation, music videos and late night film shows of the ‘Porkys’, ‘Airplane’, ‘Life Of Brian’ type, plus some surprise “extras” including an audience participation ‘Animal House’ (bun fights, ‘Shout’) and a brilliant impersonation by the Brixton Front Line’s Ed and Kev of the Blues Brothers before the film of the same name.
As before, there was round the clock Radio Caister, the radio Stardust Room with all day bar becoming the social centre especially for resting jocks and all the piss artists! This time to my ears the radio stars were Chris Brown and the now well practised Jeff Young, Jeff’s Jap jazz show especially being good (anyone recording it could have saved a fortune!). This shift of social centre meant for me at least there was less caravan hopping than before, but Groove Weekly’s Ralph Tee and I were entertained to a trout dinner by Sidmouth Carina’s Nic Wakefield, Tim the jazzy chef and Frank the dog.
OK, so what were the hits? There was so much played that the accent was not necessarily on newies, but the two biggest buzzes were definitely — I hesitate to mention it — Kid Creole’s ‘Annie I Love Your Fanny’, and Willie Hutch complete with dance step to “in and out, up and down, around and around”. By the end of the weekend everyone was singing ‘In And Out‘ acappella, and a flushed Chris Hill was saying “Now let’s see Motown lose that record in the charts!” Chris has been reviving the Detroit Spinners ‘I’ll Be Around‘ for ages so that was the biggest oldie (Jeff also did well with their ‘It’s A Shame’), along with Donny Hathaway’s original ‘The Ghetto’, other oldies often heard (as well as James Brown) being Beginning Of The End ‘Funky Nassau’ and the Moments/Whatnauts ‘Girls’. Robbie Vincent (“the Leonard Cohen of jazz-funk”?) so overkilled Marvin Gaye ‘(Sexual) Healing’ that I and several others real demand for electrophonic phunk was met by some jocks with ‘E.T. Boogie’ and ‘The Smurf’, other monsters being George Clinton, Gwen McCrae, Billy Griffin, Steve Arrington, Greg Henderson, while other current material I was conscious of hearing included the SOS Band, Mandrill, New Jersey Connection, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Exodus, Tomorrow’s Edition, Jay W McGee, Weeks & Co, The Limit (‘Pop’), Deodato, Leon Ware, William DeVaughn, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Nunn, and — raising none of the response that Froggy had expected — Kool ‘Hi De Hi’.
All in all, an excellent Caister, with good weather when it mattered, and leaves still on all the trees. Caister XI is already set for 15, 16 and 17 April 1983, shortly before a return trip to St Tropez. My favourite comment of the entire weekend was overheard as someone stepped into a caravan: “I’m really worried, I came here expecting a rockabilly weekend . . . !”
JIM KERSHAW, the Sheffield DJ who as we reported was picked for his uncanny resemblance to the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ to play the part in a film, has now indeed completed his scenes. Called ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ and made for TV, the film will be shown in the States at Easter — but apart from video sales there are no plans yet for a UK showing. Jim’s scenes are all done as flashback sequences through a sepia screen effect, without dialogue. It’s certainly not the happiest of roles with which to make one’s screen debut, but even if (as discretion must surely dictate) he’s not seen nationally this time, Jim will hopefully get other chances.
PEECH BOYS: ‘Don’t Make Me Walt’ (TMT TMTT 7001, via IDS 01-476 3222).
Larry Levan’s masterwork (the New York mixing jock virtually is the Peech Boys), this was continually used as reference point in my reviews until the term “fierce” came to signify the style of freaky electrophonic disco which this extremely important record started way back at the beginning of the year. OK, so it’s been big on import ever since — but this direct influence on Rockers Revenge (and currently great mix with ‘E.T. Boogie’!), full of flutter flanging and all sorts of fierce freakiness, is now here on 3-track 12in in 115bpm original A-side form, 114bpm alternative ‘Dub’ mix (the easiest to use), and brand new 116bpm vocally started special version which is very different, with hollering acappella finale! Go get it!
RUDDY THOMAS & SUSAN CADOGAN: ‘(You Know How To Make Me) Feel So Good’ (Virgin VS 555-12).
Causing a sensation ever since it appeared just the other day on Hawkeye, this beautiful gently reggaefied 85-86bpm 12in lovers rock duet of the familiar Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes “touch me” slowie has a backing lifted from William DeVaughn’s ‘Be Thankful For What You’ve Got’ and now it’s on a major label is all set to mash up de nation!
CONWAY & TEMPLE: ‘You Can Lay Your Head On My Shoulder (Love Lights)’ (Jive JIVE T 27).
Kinda late out here, this excellent sneakily compulsive catchy chick ‘n’ chap duetted 111bpm 12in soulful swayer grooves pleasantly before becoming a bit of a rapper near the end (instrumental flip). Previously better known as ‘Love Lights’, the rearranged title now puts emphasis rightly on the line that everyone remembers. Continue reading “October 23, 1982: Caister Soul Weekend report, Peech Boys, Ruddy Thomas & Susan Cadogan, Conway & Temple, Donald Byrd”