ODDS ‘N’ BODS
BADEM’S DISCOTEK ’81 equipment exhibition is at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel (near Russell Square tube) for four days starting this Sunday (13), the first two being public days for the likes of us (£1 admission) from 11am-6pm (7pm Monday) — and during these two days the DJF is running a series of 12 DJ seminars in the hotel’s Wren Room from noon to 6pm, with many guest speakers covering all sorts of topics, the seminars costing £1 each, £4 for one day’s six, or £7.50 for all twelve (I appear to be involved in Sunday’s concluding open forum) . . . Sunday evening there is then a British Disco Awards ’81 presentation at Busby’s in Charing Cross Road (near Tottenham Road tube), compered by Radio 1’s Adrian Love, the £2 tickets being available earlier in the day at the BADEM show’s DJ Registration desk . . . Roger Squire’s Disco Centres, with a stand at Discotek ’81, will also be mounting a supplementary Discorama ’81 exhibition on all four days at the Bonnington Hotel, just down the road from Russell Square in Southampton Row, cannily opening an hour earlier and closing at 8pm (8.30pm Tues/Wed) . . . Donald Byrd’s ‘Love Byrd’ LP (reviewed last week) is now on UK release as Elektra K 52301 . . . Funkapolitan’s white label instrumental version of ‘As The Time Goes By’ turns out to be promotional only . . . Bunny Mack Supafrico’ has been picked up by RCA, while Akie Dean’s newest production due on Rokel is Jimmy Haynes (Senyah backwards — or is that vice-versa!) ‘Funk On The Rocks’, which goes great between Carl Carlton and Mike “T” . . . Chris Hill has been doing some white label promotion on The Dukes ‘Mystery Girl‘, an Arif Mardin-produced tightly played (Greg Phillinganes on keyboards amongst others) jogging 0-106-107-108bpm swayer with lush vocalese by the Incognito singers — suffice to say that they’re a famous hit-writing duo, and (to put you further off the scent) it’ll be out via WEA . . . CBS’s September LP releases should include Bob James, Herbie Hancock, Sadao Watanabe, Gladys Knight, Teddy Pendergrass, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stars On 45, Stylistics, Hi-Gloss, Cheryl Lynn . . . Showstopper Promotions are still taking bookings for their West Country Weekender at Perron Sands in Cornwall over October 2/3/4 (starring Froggy, Chris Brown, Sean French, Tom Holland, Jeff Young, Brother Louie, Martin Collins, Chris Dinnis) — the cost is £25 each, but to book you must send £10 deposit and two passport-sized photos per person, plus your names, addresses, number of reservations covered by deposit, and an SAE, to The Royalty Nitespot, Winchmore Hill Road, Southgate, London N14 . . . Tony ‘Tycoon’ Jenkins has joined up with Anthony Bernard’s brother Chris Ellis in a plan actually to open a club in Harrow called Wallaby’s, due to demand created by the on-going “wind-up” situation, motto obviously being ‘Jump to the beat at Wallaby’s’ and resident DJ Ken Gerou (think about it!) . . . ta for the coconut slice, Chris! . . . Jerry James, standing in for Phil Leppard at East Grinstead Martine’s until next Saturday (19), advises non-members of his Thurs/Friday residency at Brighton’s Bonsoir to get to the Bonsoir by 10.15pm if they want to get in, it gets that full . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny/Reading Cavershams), horror of horrors, suggests a Eurovision Winners medley . . . Rob Harknett (Harlow), reminding us of how Czechoslovakian DJs have to take exams before they’re allowed to spin a record, reports that of thirty-four would-be DJs recently examined, only TWO passed (now there’s a way to get rid of cowboys!) . . . Elra Dee, wife of John Dee who is running a charity disco for Stuart Henry’s MS appeal at Merthyr Tydfil Tiffany’s on Monday 28th September, bets that DJs’ wives and girlfriends are the most underpaid personal secretaries in the business! . . . Barbara Mason has answered Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields on US WMOT 7in with ‘She’s Got The Papers, I Got The Man’ — while a dynamite mix out of ‘I Like Your Lovin’ (despite being faster at 110-111-113bpm) is the O’Jays ‘Use Ta Be My Girl’, which then sets the scene for ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ and a nice mellow oldies set . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMillans) suggests mixing Mass Production ‘Shante’ over Modern Romance ‘Salsa Dub’, and Kev Hill (Southend Rascals Tues/Wed) extends Donald Byrd ‘Love Has Come Around’ using two copies and chopping after the chick’s long wail towards the end into the first piano-led instrumental bit about 30 seconds from the start . . . US imports have been flooding in over the past two sun-drenched weeks, but I’m afraid I’ve been more interested in getting fresh air for a change, staying with my pals Sparrow, Nivea and Harriet out in the country for as long as possible . . . Soft Cell is obviously an extremely popular record for which a case could be argued to cross it over into the Disco 90, where in fact it would be number 18 —but then Aneka would be number 22 in this current pop dominated era, and do we really need such stuff in the specialist chart? . . . I’m only crossing over such pop/futurist material as is getting a buzz from mixing-style DJs, who obviously find anything over 135bpm to be incompatible . . . Corfu nothing, why the hell isn’t ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ at number one here, yet? . . . KEEP IT COOL!
SAVANNA, whose ‘I Can’t Turn Away‘ has exploded on white label prior to official release next week on R&B Records (RBL 203), turn out to be four North Londoners led vocally and on guitar by Leroy Osbourne — the other guys being Orphy Robinson, Jeffrey Durrant and Raymond ‘Sammy’ Graham-Jacobs. Without musically putting a foot wrong, they’re heading in the steps of label-mates Imagination to score a smash on their first outing.
DISCOTEK ’81 A look to the future
DJ of London’s Le Beat Route, ALAN COULTHARD, surveys the opening of ‘DISCOTEK ’81’ and looks at the future for discos and DJs.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 sees the opening of the National Discotheque Trade Show at the Bloomsbury Centre Hotel, Coram Street, London WC1. Judging by the rush for stall space, it looks like being the most successful exhibition yet with almost 60 stands.
But though trade is flourishing for disco manufacturers, the same cannot be said for the club scene. New Romantic boom or not, club attendances have been experiencing a bit of a lull. Some say this always happens in the summer holidays, but the real reason can be attributed to the return of the ‘all-dayer’ which seems to go hand in glove with funk and soul: we all know that the current ‘in’ craze is a funk revival. But although all-dayers are exceedingly popular, the recent glut has led to stagnation in the clubs, which has resulted in the drop in numbers.
What makes us go to clubs and discos? SEX, DRINK, MUSIC and FASHION, though not necessarily in that order! We go to be entertained, and a disco is the only place which offers all four ingredients. But we also want variety, and while technicalities can improve turntables, speakers and lighting, to the average punter it doesn’t mean that much. However, the introduction of video into our discos will bring us into a new age.
My own club, Le Beat Route, along with several others up and down the country has not been slow to recognise the potential of video equipment. Most DJs intersperse their set with a video track, but this is only scratching the surface. While the DJ has control over the dance floor every time he plays a record, when he puts on a video he has the attention of the entire club.
As soon as the video disc and videogram have been officially put on the market, there will be specialised clubs dealing exclusively in visual music. With two videograms for playing videodiscs instead of having two normal turntables, the DJ of the future will be able to progress from one video disc to the next with the minimum of difficulty.
Already in America clubs are investing in wall to wall screens for this purpose, and some bands are specifically making videos to go with their 12-inch singles. Duran Duran, for example, did this with the extended format of their ‘Girls On Film’ single and while it will never be shown in this country it is guaranteed a success in the New York clubs.
Where does this leave the mobile DJ, whose pocket cannot stretch as far as a VCR? They are very costly at present, but once the equipment becomes easier to produce, prices will drop. Certainly, a mobile DJ with video facilities could charge a higher rate for his services.
I’m not suggesting that the day of the record spinning DJ is numbered, but today’s jock should be aware of any new innovations which might affect his trade.
Visitors to Discotek ’81 will soon become aware that this is rapidly becoming big business, which suggests a promising future for the disco DJ. My only worry is that the thriving supply side of the industry will not find an equal demand for their products in clubs and dance halls that seem to be stagnant at present.
Let’s hope I’m wrong. Certainly, there’s plenty of hope for the future as long as we are to accept the changes which are destined to come.
WHO’S WHERE AT BADEM
THIS year BADEM (British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers) are welcoming all disc-jockeys to the exhibition on the first two days, labelled ‘Public Days’, with the 15th and 16th being set aside for trade only. RECORD MIRROR will, of course, be present in force and to help you find your way around, here’s a guide to the various stands which will be set up for exhibits.
1. Video Disco Supplies, 2. Akwii Electronics, 3. H&C Electronics, 4. CEL Electronics, 5. Perception Electronics, 6. Mill Hill Switchgear, 7. RK Lighting, 8. Moflash, 9. Multiform Electronics, 10. Le Maitre, 11. SIS, 12. Northern Lights, 13. RCF/Covemain, 14. Sound Electronics, 15. RSC, 16. IC Electrics, 17. Disco International, 18. Zero 88, 19. Optikinetics/Mode, 20. Galaxy 7 Policies, 21. & 22. McCormack Electronics, 23. Pulsar, 24. Citronic/CCM, 25. JW Parker, 26. Mico Lighting, 27. CDC, 28. Avitec Electronics, 29. Cloud Electronics, 30. Wilmex, 31. Project Electronics, 32. Rainbow Cases/Mega, 33. FAL, 34. Aston Engineering, 35. RECORD MIRROR, 36. Cerebrum/Powerdrive, 37. Manhattan Sound & Light, 38. (to be filled), 39. DSN Marketing, 40. Roger Squire’s, 41. Soundout Labs, 42. East Anglian Productions, 43. Shure Electronics, 44. Adda, 45. Astral, 46. M-Jay Electronics, 47. Lightomation, 48. Malham, 49. Palm Garden, 50. (to be filled), 51. Canstrut, 52. Disco CS, 53. Powerhouse Enterprises, 54. Park Light and Sound, 55. Martin Audio, 56. Disco Sales and Hire, 57. Northern Light.
EVELYN KING: ‘If You Want My Lovin’ (RCA RCAT 131).
Virtually ‘I’m In Love – Part 2’ and a doddle to mix with it, this bubblingly snapping 116bpm 12in smacker nevertheless has plenty of appeal of its own and seems set to be equally as big.
STAR SOUND: ‘Stars On 45 Volume 3′ (CBS A13-1521).
Not as it turns out a Supremes medley after all (negative reaction must have got through to them), the latest 124bpm 12in instalment is a hotch potch collection of ’19 Favourite Instrumental Intros’ seemingly chosen at random, with a bias to rock and pop hits of the ’70s this time.
ARETHA FRANKLIN: ‘Hold On I’m Comin’ (Arista ARIST 12428).
The disjointedly dramatic intro winds up and then the regular brassy beat explodes into a fiery roaring and storming, wailing and soaring 122bpm 12in revival of Sam & Dave’s soul classic, while the sinuously smoochy 31½-32½bpm ‘Love All The Hurt Away‘ plugside finds her duetting with George Benson in radio-aimed style. The latter is also title track of her LP (SPART 1170), on which the joyfully strutting 0-114bpm revival of the Rolling Stones ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want‘ and dead slow ‘It’s My Turn’ are also getting attention. Continue reading “September 12, 1981: DISCOTEK ’81 – “A look to the future””