ODDS ‘N’ BODS
LIVE WIRE’s Easter weekender at Prestatyn Pontins seems to have been an unqualified success, a bit long at four days (a sense of routine sets in), with the superior camp site already booked for a three day return weekender on October 30-November 1 — but before then there’s a 5pm alldayer on Bank Holiday Monday, May 25, at Great Yarmouth Tiffanys with the usual “mafia” stars … OK, so it was Exit 20 on the M6 after all (three separate maps said Exit 9), but otherwise my route directions for finding Prestatyn seemed much appreciated by all except Tim Westwood, who couldn’t handle the duckpond details! … Prestatyn apparently wasn’t considered “credible” enough an audience for the Tashan/Chuck Stanley/Oran ‘Juice’ Jones tour, after all, although Bobby Womack came specially as a surprise guest to play to the 4,000 soul fans (who, as promised, kept shaving foam and water fights to a minimum this time) … Robbie Vincent’s live show on Radio 1 unfortunately helped perpetuate the old ‘soul boy’ image, the crowd chanting and whistle-blowing along (they booed the News!) … Chad Jackson (repeating his snooker cue stunt) and Chris ‘CJ’ Mackintosh were star turns in the hip hop-orientated Warehouse venue (all halls being in the same smart building), while the Jazz Village was a haven of Sixties jazz and soul … I hear that Bob Masters’ Bournemouth weekender went well, too … Mason’s dad looks so like Chuck Brown that that’s who I thought he was at first — their album was actually completed two years ago … Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ is being reissued as an extended mix flipped by his live medley of it with ‘Land Of 1000 Dances’, always huge at jazz gigs (like ‘Bossa Nova Baby’) for the likes of Chris Brown! … Germany’s BCM label has been at it again, compiling a 10 track CD ‘Chicago Trax — Volume 1‘ (BCM T.X. 50-5001-44) from its (and London’s here retitled) Trax Records double LP, with the addition of Farmboy’s ‘Jackin’ Me Around’, while on vinyl their again confusingly retitled version of the US ‘The House Sound Of Chicago — Volume 2‘ (BCM/DJ International Records DJ 33-3003-43) substitutes Darryl Pandy s storming 122-0bpm ‘Work Your Body’ for the Frankie Knuckles track … TC Curtis’s widely promoed next single, not due for over a fortnight and oddly not on his new LP, is the drily pattering go go-ish repetitive 0-103⅔bpm ‘Love Got Me On A Merry-Go-Round’ … Club Nouveau ‘Lean On Me’ is being creatively marketed as a (0-)90½bpm Club Edit Nouveau (Warner Brothers W8430TX), which seems rhythmically cleaner … Level 42 ‘To Be With You Again’ has already been trickily remixed by David ‘O’ Ogrin as the 114¾bpm A.D.S.C. Mix (Polydor POSPA 855), with a dub replacing the flip’s ‘Lessons In Love’ remix to make the whole exercise fairly pointless … One Way’s commercial B-side appears to be the (0-)75¼bpm ‘Oh Girl’ … Lee Prentiss, whose UK recorded 114½bpm cover version of Rainy Davis’ US hit sleeper ‘Sweetheart‘ is out on May 11, is currently midway in a marathon 17 date PA tour mainly of Scotland and the North … Isley Jasper Isley’s datedly Steely Dan-ish 130½/132bpm ‘8th Wonder Of The World‘ seems only to be on seven inch (Epic 650750 7) … I came back from Prestatyn with a streaming cold, so recuperative sleep filled some of the time in which I would normally have BPMed the Sly & Robbie LP, strong sets by the Whispers and Norwood, plus the trickily varying four-track 12 inchers of (THE Prestatyn smash!) Maceo & The Macks ‘Cross The Track‘ (Urban URBX 1) and War ‘Low Rider (Remixes)’ (LA International XLAX 100, via PRT) – as usual, check the Disco chart in case they hit … Simon Harris is doing a weekly half-hour megamix between 1-1.30am on Chris ‘Trog’ Forbes’ Saturday night-Sunday morning Capital Radio soul show, and will be following his War ‘Low Rider’ B-side mix (Arthur Baker did the A-side) with a house mix of ‘Galaxy’ … CBS tried unsuccessfully to jam Music Of Life Records’ ‘Def Beats 1’, album, claiming the name could be confused with the Def Jam label, little realising that the word “def” is in such common usage that it’s listed in Collins English Dictionary — and what about Def Leppard?! … Graeme Park, who packs out Nottingham’s Barracuda on Saturdays following his photo appearing in rm, is now featuring oldies (Sixties/Seventies soul, Seventies disco-funk) every second Friday there, May 1 being next … Sunday (3) lain Norman and Def Stef soul-funk-rap-jazz Stowmarket’s Stag Tavern, weekly if this one’s a success … Polygram in the US has revised the Wing label, with such dance artistes as Atlantic Starr’s former vocalist Sharon Bryant … LL Cool J’s new album uses rock ‘n’ roll breaks by Bill Haley … LAH DE DAH DE!
Jeff Young was the roving reporter, out in the crowd with a mike, during Robbie Vincent’s live Radio 1 soul show from Prestatyn.
Bobby Womack’s appearance on the first, Friday, night at Prestatyn was such a well kept secret that nobody in the much teased crowd knew who the mystery guest was going to be until he actually hit the stage for a full live set!
Chris Forbes’ main appearance at Prestatyn was in a double-header with Chris Hill on the Friday night, but he was so keen that after returning to London for his Saturday night show on Capital Radio, he came right back to North Wales just for the finale!
Chillin’ at Prestatyn were the Soul Splash crew, who’ve been known to promote their own alldayers and similar events too, with ambitious plans for the future.
Live Wire Television, the special close circuit channel at Prestatyn, on the Sunday night was hosted by Robbie Vincent (centre), with his assistant Cathy O’Brien and the omnipresent ‘Dr Ruth’ Maggot, who gave sexual advice about the use of condoms and other such timely contraptions.
ROY AYERS played two full live concerts at Prestatyn, the climax of each being a breakneck challenge on the vibes by his percussionist Unfortunately, during Sunday’s simultaneous Radio 1 broadcast, he got bogged down on some new unfamiliar instrumentals and only played such hits as ‘Poo Poo La La’ after he’d gone off air.
DJ JAZZY JEFF & FRESH PRINCE ‘A Touch Of Jazz’ (US Jive 1040-1-JD)
Much rescratched and extended with a title line vocal drop-in, Jazzy Jeff’s 103⅙bpm vintage jazz-funk medley of Marvin Gaye ‘T Plays It Cool’, Bob James ‘Westchester Lady’, Donald Byrd ‘Change’ (and now ‘Places And Spaces’), Bobbi Humphrey ‘Harlem River Drive’, Grover Washington Jr ‘Mr Magic’ is in three new mixes (the flip’s with added rap and some Chic ‘Good Times’) plus the LP’s original, beautifully packaged.
ERIC B AND RAKIM ‘I Know You Got Soul’ (US 4th + B’way BWAY-438)
Casually though insistently chatted jiggly 104bpm rap ‘n’ scratch set to Bobby Byrd’s 1971 soul hit of the same name (in three mixes), so naturally massive already in this “rare groove” era. Considering somewhere I’ve got the complete recorded works of James Brown and all his associated acts up to the mid-Seventies, I wonder what they’re worth now?
DUANE & CO ‘Hard Core (On The One)’ (US Dance Mania Records DM 004)
Marshall Jefferson programmed drums with presumably Jesse Saunders cutting in James Brown to blatantly commercial effect, as before, on the new 121bpm ‘J.B. In Heat’, 121bpm ‘J.B. Traxx II‘, 118¾bpm ‘Lowdown ‘N’ Funky‘, 118⅔bpm ‘At The Organ‘ variations on the rare groove goes house theme. Continue reading “May 2, 1987: Prestatyn Easter Weekender, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, Eric B & Rakim, Duane & Co, Black Britain, The O’Jays”