October 29, 1977: Chris Hill’s revival night at Canvey Island Gold Mine

Chris Hill, now DJ’ing at Ilford’s Lacy Lady, moved back to his old haunt of Canvey Island’s Gold Mine on Sunday for a special one-off revival night . . . and what a beautifully heavy little number the joint was for a few hours again!

Kids had come in cars and coaches from all over the Home Counties to revisit the scene of 1975’s “Swing Thing” and to hear the best of fast Southern funk.

The ambience was like steam heat as the unself-conscious and spontaneously natural dancers liberated their healthy randiness and forgot the Nazi-revivalist times in which we live.

Frank sexuality was expressed in the healthy eroticism of their fancy dress, lit by flickering electric bulbs of multi-coloured hues.

The fancy dress winners included a (male and hairy!) mother and infant, overgrown boy scout, sexy schoolgirl, Diddyman, Spiderman and a couple of Fred Astaires, while a “mooning” contest between the lads of Stevenage and Romford saw the former letting it all hang out, over and over again! Oh yes, it was all healthy fun, the mood being moulded by Chris’s choice of music.

Naturally he played funky faves old and new, but things really took off when he progressed through thirties and forties swing tunes to the bootleg R&B of the early fifties before suddenly switching to organised country dancing. Yes, ‘Strip The Willow’ no less!

Then it was the ‘Hokey Cokey’, ‘Gay Gordons’, ‘Boomps-A-Daisy’ and ‘Conga’ going straight into Jackie Wilson’s ‘By The Light Of The Silvery Moon’, Mandy Miller’s ‘Nellie The Elephant’ and Tiny Tim’s ‘There’ll Always Be An England’ medley.

Master of the echo unit and mike, Chris fills out the records by adding harmonica, swanee music and vocal accompaniment, hardly ever letting anything sound the way it was intended.

He really does have to be seen to be believed and is a lesson for all beginning DJ’s who can learn a lot about pacing, verve and vitality by catching the likes of Chris and his peers.

Anyway, there’s likely to be another Gold Mine revival night near Christmas when the joint’ll be jumpin’ again!

And apologies to Dave Godin for some borrowed phraseology – nothing nasty meant!

New Spins

GONZALEZ: ‘I Haven’t Stopped Dancin’ Yet’ (EMI 2706) (BNDA debut 12/12/78)
The long established live act’s best bet yet, a creamily churning happy romper with infectious Tavares-type appeal – a real grower!

PATSY GALLANT: ‘Are You Ready For Love’ (EMI 2714)
Rather good, pleasant, light lopper, surprisingly soulful.

SPACE: ‘Tango In Space’ / ‘Carry On, Turn Me On’ (Pye 7N 25756) (BNDA debut 6/4/77)
Double-sided disco smash, already charted as LP tracks and import 12in.  Continue reading “October 29, 1977: Chris Hill’s revival night at Canvey Island Gold Mine”

October 22, 1977: Diana Ross, Kenny Everett, Munich Machine, Le Pamplemousse, Roy Ayers Ubiquity

New Spins

DIANA ROSS: ‘Baby It’s Me’ LP (Motown STMA 8031) (BNDA debut 10/15/77)
Sensational album, with at least five strong disco cuts – take your pick!

KENNY EVERETT & MIKE VICKERS: ‘Captain Kremmen (Retribution)’ (DJM DJS 10810)
Capital’s star is right on target with freaky stereo and a catchy semi-slow synthesizer melody.

MUNICH MACHINE: ‘Get On The Funk Train’ (from LP ‘Munich Machine’, Oasis OASLP 502) (BNDA debut 6/11/77)
Cerrone-type side-long thumper from Giorgio and the gang, and it’s disco dynamite!  Continue reading “October 22, 1977: Diana Ross, Kenny Everett, Munich Machine, Le Pamplemousse, Roy Ayers Ubiquity”

October 15, 1977: Showdown, DD Sound, Brecker Brothers, Brick, Boney M

New Spins

SHOWDOWN: ‘Keep Doin’ It, Pts. 1 & 2’ (State. STAT 63)
Rather good perky disco shuffler from Meco Monardo and the Camouflage team – could be big.

DD SOUND: ‘Shopping Baby’ (Mercury 6007155) (BNDA debut 7/16/77)
Bright and bouncy Munich remake of ‘Rock Your Baby’, promoed on 12in.

BRECKER BROTHERS: ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ (Arista 117) (BNDA debut 4/16/77)
Long overdue on 45, it’s a strong and simple (for the Breckers) funky pounder.  Continue reading “October 15, 1977: Showdown, DD Sound, Brecker Brothers, Brick, Boney M”

October 8, 1977: TK, Ariola & Hansa, Motown Gold Vol. 2, Whispers, Santa Esmeralda, Love And Kisses

Florida’s TK group of labels is now distributed here by the ever expanding CBS, who will be issuing all future TK products. RCA, who evidently obtained the UK rights to TK for only six months, have a selling-off period for everything they’ve already issued. The news about this switch has come as a big surprise to many DJ’s, who consider it to be rather unfair on RCA. Some jocks are even rumoured to be planning a blacklist ban on all future TK products to teach the American company a lesson. This in turn would be unfair on both CBS and the TK artists but it’s certainly true that too many US companies seem to have a distorted view of this country as a market place. They could well be taught an effective lesson. In fact, RCA did a remarkable marketing job for TK, giving them a far bigger hit with T-Connection than was ever scored in the US. At the same time, CBS were unable to chart the Lovers’ ‘Discomania’ which, although not on TK worldwide, was on TK’s Marlin label in America . . . this, despite the Lovers’ huge disco acceptance here. RCA’s own disco promotion team seem relatively unruffled by the change but then their other labels are currently hot too!

Ariola Records and Hansa Productions, the Germany-based source of so many current disco hits, have opened their own London branch and debuted the new Ariola label last week at a lavish reception. In a lucky number ticket draw I won first prize of either a weekend in Germany or a stereo music centre! Gubbins chose the latter (maybe I can swap it for a colour telly?) which was presented to me by Ariola’s UK head, Robin Blanchflower, and ticket drawing Tina Charles. Anyway, we’re going to have to wait another month before Ariola release what’s likely to be their first hit, the Euro smash and disco import by Amanda Lear, ‘Blood And Honey’, which will be out as a 12in on November 4.

New Spins

VARIOUS: ‘Motown Gold Volume 2’ LP (Motown STML 12070)
Eighteen big hits, both old (Stevie, Marvin, Smokey, Diana, Isleys, Temps) and new (Thelma, Commodores).

WHISPERS: ‘Make It With You’ (Soul Train FC 0996) (BNDA debut 7/23/77)
This great Tavares-type 12-incher is now finally out here.

SANTA ESMERALDA: ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ (Philips 6042325) (BNDA debut 9/3/77)
Flamenco-disco by a sorta Spanish Cerrone, edited from his upcoming LP, already a Euro smash and US biggie.

LOVE AND KISSES: ‘I’ve Found Love’ (Barclay BAR 701) (BNDA debut 6/11/77)
Clumsily edited from the hot US disco smash import album, it’s an effective Euro-pounder which mixes well with Celi Bee.  Continue reading “October 8, 1977: TK, Ariola & Hansa, Motown Gold Vol. 2, Whispers, Santa Esmeralda, Love And Kisses”

October 1, 1977: Tina Charles, Mike Theodore Orchestra, Rose Royce, Barry White, Smokie

New Spins

TINA CHARLES: ‘Love Bug’ / ‘Sweets For My Sweet’ (CBS 5680)
Back on form with a jauntily jiggling medley, 12-inched for first 10,000 copies.

MIKE THEODORE ORCHESTRA: ‘The Bull’ (from LP ‘Cosmic Wind’, Atlantic K 50411) (BNDA debut 9/3/77)
Terrific rhythm rattler, a great mixer, with many other strong disco tracks featuring CJ & Co. on vocals.

ROSE ROYCE: ‘Do Your Dance’ (Whitfield K 17006) (BNDA debut 9/24/77)
It’s been 12-inched with the full 9:15 version on one side!  Continue reading “October 1, 1977: Tina Charles, Mike Theodore Orchestra, Rose Royce, Barry White, Smokie”