November 22, 1980: Kanu Sukalagwun – “Have you ever been had?”

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CHRIS HILL’S Venue gig ended after two weeks due to incompatible attitudes, but at least it gave us a nice night out on the opening . . . Don Ghostey’s brother Tony Hodges has a charity alldayer for Age Concern at Chesham Gatsbys next Sunday (30) starring a host of unpaid jocks and guest PA’s, £3 advance tickets from Tony (cheques/POs payable to Charity Soul 80) at 12 Gilbert House, Green Street, High Wycombe, Bucks . . . Gibson Brothers ‘Latin America’ now appears to be on 12in flipped by ‘West Indies’, the 7in having an instrumental B-side, while Change ‘Glow Of Love’ remix is still only on 7in at time of writing, and Heatwave ‘Gangsters Of The Groove’ is on US 12in now . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMlllans) sent me a cassette of the two ‘Bits & Pieces’ US disco mixers, the flashier ‘Bits & Pieces 2 – 80’s Medley‘ (Energy 12in) being expertly done in choppy, short segments while the more laid-back ‘Bits & Pieces‘ (Disco Mixer JGL 3711) is less exciting if more satisfying . . . Devon Air broadcasts a ‘Dance To The Music’ soul show Saturdays 6-8pm, and on Radio Norfolk next Wednesday (28) sometime between 2-4pm Wally Webb & Charles J do a disco spot . . . Thames Valley DJA meets on Sunday (23) at noon in Chez Skinners on the Henley-Maidenhead Road at Remenham Hill, non-members welcome . . . Steve Maxted, stuntman personality jock extraordinaire, now flies to America regularly to check out the music and is doing increasingly more soul nights (like Fridays at Strood Micawbers) as he finds it so rewarding filling the floor with terrific non-chart music – welcome to the club, Steve! . . . George ‘Mug Push’ Spence – Ivan ‘Natty’ Freeman funk Liverpool Timepiece now every weekend, with a Real Thing PA at next Saturday’s all-niter (29) . . . Chelmsford Saracen’s Head live jazz Fridays have finished so once again Bob Jones (Chelmslord 62924 evenings) wants a regular Friday gig . . . Brian Cardno, mobile around Berwick and at Seahouses Dolphin Club on Sundays, sent in a great newscutting from Scotland’s Sunday Post, headlined “Dangerous New Dance At The Disco” – you guessed, they’ve just discovered people rowing to the Gap Band, and getting pulled muscles or stomach cramps! . . . Paul Sexton’s piece on Linx in last week’s RM was nicely articulate – dldja read it, or do you only open the paper at the back? . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny) complains about the low volume cut of Stevie Wonder and other LPs, and, while I agree, I find conversely that some LPs like Seawind or Rick James are cut less harshly than their respective 12in releases . . . Parliament ‘Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)’, at 106 – 109bpm and People’s Choice ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ at 111 – 112bpm are two oldies proving useful for me at the moment . . . Jerome ‘If You Walk Out That Door’ is naggingly like Edwin Starr’s old ‘War’ . . . Delegation ‘Heartache No. 9’ is a killer mix out of Geraldine Hunt’s break . . .


WELL KANU?

KANU SUKALAGWUN’S long run on Japanese import has proved its point and sorted out the men from the boys, but the time has come to clarify what it was all about, as a record dealer has somewhat unscrupulously been cashing in on a demand for a record which in actual fact does not, nor ever did, exist – outside of the fevered imaginations of Chris Hill, City Sound’s Johnny Wright, and myself . . . plus a lot of mafiosi and other fun-lovers in the know! Of those not in the know, and totally taken in by my review in October 18th’s RM, Chris Dinnis of Exeter Boxes still maintains that his copy of the non-existent LP was found by a friend on holiday in Paris at a hip soul-jazz store off the Champs Elysees. Thanks for your charts, Chris, but I can’t really take them very seriously. Not since the late ’60s demand created by a record shop for a fictitious LP by ‘Heavy Jelly’ has a non-existent record been so successful. Chris Hill previously launched a non-existent Northern Soul hit, Luke Warm ‘Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am’, which showed up in a few DJ charts too, while similarly the non-existent Essex clubs Candles and Dimlos a few years back resulted in “DJ Wally” being added to three record mailing lists! As in the ’60s when two separate Heavy Jelly LPs subsequently appeared to satisfy the demand, a Japanese LP actually by Zerosen (Zero Fighters) has been over stickered to make it look like a Kanu Sukalagwun album. Thls it is not, and in fact as Chris, Johnny and I between us own the artist’s name, you can expect an official Kanu Sukalagwun release in the new year. Until then, keep sucking! (In case the penny’s just dropped, Johnny Wright’s favourite expression once he’s had a few is “can you suck a large one?” – now go back and re-read that original review!) Have you ever been had?


IMPORTS

PATRICE RUSHEN: ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ (LP ‘Posh’ US Elektra 6E-302).
Typically sparkling set, the killer being this jauntily strutting Emotions-type lightly smacking 117 – 116bpm swinger (try synching the EWF ‘And Love Goes On’ intro through it. ‘The Funk Won’t Let You Down‘ being a marathon solidly smacking ever-building purposeful then skipping 113 (intro) – 115 – 117 – 118 – 116 – 119 – 116bpm bumper in several sections with an instrumental emphasis, ‘Don’t Blame Me‘ a squeakily sung steadily snapping jittery little 105bpm jogger with jazzy-piano tension, while the 7in-issued ‘Look Up!’ is an insubstantial hurried 130bpm staccato racer, ‘Time Will Tell’ a brassy 133bpm clicker and ‘I Need Your Love’ a lush 51bpm slowie.

FLOYD BECK: ‘Party Is The Solution’ (US Precision 4Z8-9804).
Deceptively strong powerfully thudding smoothly rolling 111 – 110 (break) – 112 – 111 (outro) bpm 12in heavy funk smacker sounds really good out on the floor and mixes like a bitch with some Sweat Band tracks.

SWEAT BAND: ‘Freak To Freak’ (LP ‘Sweat Band’ US Uncle Jam JZ 36857).
The new label’s name could refer to James Brown as his ex-sidemen Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley & Maceo Parker combine for another “zappy” set of heavy P’funk gems (they’d be better with more bass cut into the LP – adjust your tone controls) this at 110bpm and the 111bpm ‘We Do It All Day Long‘ mixing superbly with appropriately BPM-ed bits of Floyd Beck, while ‘Body Shop‘ and the instrumental ‘Hyper Space‘ both at 106bpm work with Zapp/’Oops!’/etc, ‘Love Munch’ being a jazzy 76bpm samba and ‘Jamaica’ a complex convoluted 126bpm fast burbler.  Continue reading “November 22, 1980: Kanu Sukalagwun – “Have you ever been had?””

November 15, 1980: Glen Adams Affair, Frankie Smith, Seawind, Symba, Shirley Brown

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

GREG EDWARDS – sorry, Egg Edwards – is learning to live with the yolk – er joke! . . . LOTW’s next 12in will couple a longer ‘Sheriff’ with ‘Painted Ladies’ though the 7in will feature the promo 12in-issued ‘A New Soft Song’ as flip – and their LP is finally on full release now . . . RCA are doing a 4-track 12in promo of Banda Black Rio ‘Miss Cheryl’ / ‘Melissa’ / ‘Subindo O Morro’ / ‘Amor Natural’ . . . Charles Earland’s review last week omitted ‘Zee Funkin’ Space‘, a ponderous jittery 107 – 109bpm thudder . . . BT Express ‘Stretch‘ on 12in acetate for the lucky few is an excellent uncluttered bass thudded 112 – 113bpm heavy funk jiggler, while the remixed ‘Do It (Till You’re Satisfied)’ should be their LP’s other killer . . . Solar’s “live’ promo 12in has Dynasty ‘I’ve Just Begun To Love You’ at 119 – 120bpm and Shalamar ‘I Owe You One’ at 120 (intro) – 123 – 124 – 125 – 126bpm . . . DJM/Champagne are revamping their mailing list so send genuine DJ credentials to Dave McAleer at James House, 5 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SE . . . Morrissey / Mullen have signed to EMI / Groove . . . MCPs are banning import of Heatwave’s LP . . . London’s Venue has superb US-style lighting over the dancefloor but of course punters prefer shuffling on the carpet in the dark – so when will someone design a jazz-funk club with carpeted dark dancefloor and brightly lit corners? . . . Chris Hill (who like me loves LAX ‘Possessed‘) wonders where the punters went . . . Ray Stevens now jocks for Funktion on Fridays at the Penthouse featuring his “Trad-ish” jazz spot while Tony Perkins – sorry Jenkins – does the Embassy on Sundays . . . Paul Stewart plays regular disco but is angling for a jazz-funk night at Belfast’s first restaurant/cocktail bar/nightclub, the Ritzy . . . Ron Tisbritch, thinly disguised as Chris Britton, seems to know something sinister about Don Ghostey – is he the phantom phonecaller? . . . Steve Walsh re-christened Stevie would make an anagram of White Slaves (or indeed Weevils Shat!) . . . Shakatak’s Les McCutcheon is promoting an all-dayer this Sunday (16) at Nottingham Palais featuring the first live appearance of Level 42, plus lotsa PA’s, Colin Curtis etc . . . Young & Co were last week’s highest new entry at 17 in the Capital-broadcast London sales chart . . . Richard Witcombe (Shepton Mallet YC) says that the sleeve of ‘Not The Nine O’Clock News’ spells PRT as PRAT with the A crossed out) . . . WRVR’s switch from jazz to country has caused several other New York area radio stations (plus others around the USA) to boost their jazz output, so all is not lost, while the Citizens For Jazz On WRVR action group recently raised over 15,000 more dollars at another concert starring the Brecker Bros, Hubert Laws, Bob James, David Sanborn, Lenny White, Eddie Daniels & Dave Valentin . . . Only In America, huh, gang? . . . KEEP IT GOOD!


UK NEWIES

GLEN ADAMS AFFAIR: ‘Just A Groove (Remix)’ (Excaliber EXCL 502).
Morgan Khan’s latest hit import acquisition is another shopgirl-aimed Young & Co-like monotonous mindless chix-chanted thudder with Slave ‘Just A Touch Of Love’-style hookline set to a Chic beat now in remixed more repetitive 117bpm 12in form, the roomier rolling 116bpm original US version being flip here.

FRANKIE SMITH: ‘Double Dutch’ (WMOT WMTL 102).
Import smash great jauntily jumping bass boomed 118 – 120 – 119bpm 12in funk thumper based on schoolkids’ playground chants, taunts and dares, flipped now by a less bassy 120bpm instrumental remix that’s exclusive to Britain.

SEAWIND: ‘What Cha Doin” (A&M Disco AMSX 7575).
Excellent sparse staccato strutting 117bpm 12in bass smacker sung in Michael Jackson / Teena Marie style by pretty Pauline Wilson slots sensationally between the Reddings ‘Funkin’ On The One’ and Prince ‘Head’.  Continue reading “November 15, 1980: Glen Adams Affair, Frankie Smith, Seawind, Symba, Shirley Brown”

November 8, 1980: Cloud, Edit Point, Reality Band, Herbie Hancock, Charles Earland

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CHRIS HILL’S Venue debut last Thursday packed the place with more fellow jocks and record company people than either of the past DJ forums held there, making it a party not to be missed and an extremely influential gathering . . . Linx ‘Rise And Shine’ white labels are imminent . . . Change ‘Glow Of Love’ 12ín will be an extended remix . . . UK 12in releases now due include Frankie Smith ‘Double Dutch’, Randy Crawford ‘Tender Falls The Rain’ / ‘I Stand Accused’ / ‘Endlessly’, Fatback ‘Let’s Do It Again’ / ‘ Chillin’ Out’ / ‘Hot Box’, Pointer Sisters ‘Save This Night For Love’, LaToya Jackson ‘If You Feel The Funk’, Peaches & Herb ‘Funtime’ . . . RCA have done a promo-only 12ín from the Solar “Live” set pairing Dynasty ‘I’ve Just Begun To Love You’ / Shalamar ‘I Owe You One’ . . . Caister’s highlight evidently was when someone threw an egg at Greg Edwards, who thought it was a ping-pong ball and headed it! . . . Funktion have switched from Bennett to the Embassy Club as their jazz-funk venue every Sunday, and start this Saturday (8) at the Barracuda in Baker Street . . . Ray Edwards started a weekly Saturday 6pm soul show on Reading’s Radio 210 last week – his catchphrase on Capital when known as Raymondo was “Sorry, ‘baht that!” . . . Froggy’s “Kenwood” ‘mix on Robbie Vincent’s show evidently caused last week’s chart rise for Gayle Adams ‘Stretch’in Out’ with other jocks attempting to emulate him all over London! . . . Robbie Vincent incidentally interviewed HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace recently, and while walking through got handed several dedications – one from “the Funky Footman”! . . . Steve Wiggins has been guesting this and last Sunday on CBC’s ‘Souled Out And Roots Rockers’ show (7 – 9pm), and Nlki Peck guests on Dave Brown’s BBC Radio Medway soul show this Friday (7pm) . . . Dave McAleer’s Champagne label won Billy Frazier, but unfortunately the record seems to be one of those that DJs love and dancers don’t as it’s bombing badly for many . . . Donna Summer’s album too is reputedly bombin’ with disgruntled customers complaining they’d expected disco and not rock from her – yup, it’s only in America that disco is dead! . . . Tony Hodges’ record boxes full of white labels and rarities got nicked from his car boot in White City car park last Friday (obviously by someone in the know), contact him at Record Shack with info for a reward . . . Tony Monson at Disc Empire has been flogging a Japanese Victor LP by Zerosen, with all labels copy printed in Japanese hieroglyphs, over stickered as being by Kanu Sukalagwun – which it ain’t, so beware! . . . Heavy Jelly, anyone? . . . Andy Hunter of Brixton’s Solar Records shop is sick of folks phoning up to ask for Dick Griffey! . . . Ray Clark (Birmingham), Anthony Williams (London) & Paul Mulligan (Edinburgh) all want repeat info about the ‘Disco Hits Of 1979’ US Disco Mixer 12in, while Larry Foster (Ilford Room At The Top) & Gary Allan (Liverpool McMlllans) say there’s a new 1980 medley now called ‘Bits & Pieces Part 2′: the best US source for these is Downstairs Records, 55 West 42nd Street, New York City, NY 10036, USA (ask for price and postage details on 0101-212-354 4684 or 221 8989) – but since I last gave this address I rather think that Record Shack have been importing them, which could be easier for you . . . London’s LODJ Assn meets this Sunday (9) early afternoon at Oxford Street Spats (just down from Tottenham Court Road tube station) . . . Sutton Scamps was suddenly closed last week being ruled structurally unsafe so Marc Damon now does Mon/Thursdays at Croydon Scamps . . . Dave Rawlings has a Northern Soul session at Reading Rebecca’s every Wednesday spinning the fans’ own records between 8.30-10pm . . . Rob Harknett (Roydon 027979-2329) needs a jock to cover a club for him on New Year’s Eve . . . Neil Coad stoutly defends Weymouth, where some shops maybe don’t deal in them but Austins of Weymouth Esplanade do have a 12in stock and order all that they’re asked for . . . KEEP IT UP!


UK NEWIES

CLOUD: ‘All Night Long’ (Flashback FLASH 001).
Swindon-originated good 121 – 122 – 123 – 124 – 128 (break) – 125bpm bass-pumped white label 12in instrumental with scratching tighten-up guitar and screeching jazzy sax before a long rhythm break (which mixes into Incognito) and electric piano outro.

EDIT POINT: ‘Help Yourself’ (Earthshaker ETS 001).
UK-recorded pleasantly loping jazzy piano and synth clapping 116 – 117 (vocal on) – 116 (bass) – 115bpm 12ín instrumental, mixing neatly between ‘Love X Love’ and Mouzon’s ‘I Still Love You’, due for later full-scale release with vocal remix but already on the flip in another 115½ – 116½ (vocal on) 117 – 116bpm version with no bass break.

REALITY BAND: ‘Step Into My Life’ (Galactic GALD 004).
Pleasantly insidious meandering 121 – 122bpm 12in jazz-soul swayer with effete squeaky fellas taking over from mellow brass while bass burbles away, all of which is irrelevant as some people will mainly be attracted as it’s still on white label. Dummies.  Continue reading “November 8, 1980: Cloud, Edit Point, Reality Band, Herbie Hancock, Charles Earland”

November 1, 1980: Mouzon’s Electric Band, Fatback, Chocolate Milk, Light Of The World, Eddy Grant

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DIANA ROSS ‘I’m Coming Out’ is due this week on UK 12in, others soon are Level 42 ‘(Flying On The) Wings Of Love’ (coupling two different mixes), Michel Urbaniak ‘Nanava’, Sadao Watanabe ‘No Problem’, Seawind ‘What Cha Doin’ . . . Blondie’s Boney M-like 97bpm ‘The Tide Is High’ (Chrysalis CHS 2465) was a late ’60s reggae hit by the Paragons . . . Young & Company on UK 12in turns out to be 120bpm . . . Incognito’s non-white label 12in was pressed in France and is the first injection moulded 12in I’ve seen . . . UK newies last week were again in the wrong order, and should have started with Kool, EWF LP – yes, EWF, two hours to BPM and not even printed! . . . Glenn J Simpson has left PEEL to form his own Airplay plugging company and needs more rock jocks for his ever-open mailing list – write him at Airplay, 32 Sovereign Street, Leeds LS1 4BJ (0532- 445102) . . . Dougall DJ has started an independent Promo-Scot! radio/TV/press/disco promotion service for record companies to cover Scotland in various combinations and packages, details (this is not a DJ mailing list) from 13 Burnbrae, Twechar, Kilsyth, Strathclyde, G65 9QY (0236-821120) . . . Andy Martin runs his Yarnton-based Midnight Hour mobile around the Oxford area doing weddings, parties, student gigs and the odd funk slot, and needs someone enthusiastic and versatile enough to run his second unit – apply on Kidlington (08675-3269) . . . Gonzalez blew up a storm at Mayfair Gullivers last week, one of the best bands ever there . . . I wonder where on earth in Exeter it was that Chris Dinnis bought a copy of Kanu Sukalagwun? . . . Paul Davison (Sawston Black Bull) says George Benson ‘On Broadway‘ is evidently a big Northern hit at Wigan Casino, etc . . . Dave Else’s Guildford Wooden Bridge venue must be one of the most-plugged currently, even if it is only to warn motorists about the road- works outside it on Capital Radio’s traffic news! . . . Kool ‘Love Festival’ is the most sensational synched long running mix out of Deodato ‘Night Cruiser’ – you can keep ’em going for ages as they’ve the same bass line! – my other killer megamix being Instant Funk ‘Everybody’, synch Prince ‘Head’, chop (minus guffaw) Tom Browne ‘Thighs High’, synch Kool ‘Celebration’, chop (minus intro) Wax ‘Got To Be’, chop Stevie Wonder ‘Did I Hear You Say You Love Me’, chop (minus intro) Jacksons ‘Lovely One’ LP version, while less spectacular but quite neatly synching are Wilton Felder ‘Insight’ / Slave ‘Feel My Love’ / Lenny White ‘It’s Music It’s Magic’ . . . Andy Greg (Loughton), Roy Gould (London Serpentine Restaurant) and James ‘Fish’ Heron (Stranraer) wonder why I segregate general pop hits from the disco chart, well, I reckon that people look to the disco chart for what is now a well defined type of music, that radio-plugged pop gets enough help elsewhere, and, to judge from the charts we get, that our contributors agree with this – however, whenever one of the DORC pop hits which might normally have been expected to feature in the disco chart finally gets enough “black-orientated” support to make the disco top 50 then I cross it over, the DORC being comprised of material that hit the pop Top 75 without any prior disco action . . . KEEP IT CLEAN!


CAISTER

SHOWSTOPPERS’ SECOND autumn 1980 Caister Soul Weekender starting this Friday stars Froggy, Greg Edwards and Jeff Young with, getting major mafia billing for the first time, Brother Louie, Martin Collins, Pete Tong, Mick Clark, Bob Jones, Les Knott and Eric Hearn (don’t forget to ask Eric about the Westwood Grange!). Going on past experience, the following comprises a Caister Survival Kit for any innocent first-timers: loo paper, soap, towel, matches for the cooker rings (instant central heating!), electric heater if you’re in caravan blocks below G, radio with FM waveband (very important!), several dry changes of clothing (water pistols get confiscated), and plenty of food unless you like mushy peas and chips. The mafia’s recommended eating place in nearby Gt Yarmouth is the Anglian Lodge at 69 Regent Road, just off the roundabout at the start of the main seafront about two miles from the camp (book on 3985 if eating after 1 am), where we normally gorge on lobsters and ginormous steaks for very reasonable money. Have fun, and if you can’t be good, be careful!


IMPORTS

MOUZON’S ELECTRIC BAND: ‘I Still Love You’ (US Vanguard Disco SPV 36).
Infectious steadily cantering 116 – 115 – 114bpm 12in lurching swinger with squawking jazzy sax and title line-chanting squeaky chaps, thrown away as flip but far more effective than the ‘Everybody Get Down‘ fast bounding 131 – 130 – 129bpm “disco” A-side.

FATBACK: ‘Concrete Jungle’ (LP ’14 Karat’ US Spring SP-1-6729).
Unusual almost afro-type rattling 121 – 122 – 123bpm mainly instrumental chanter with moody synth tones over percussion that synchs superbly out of the Linx ‘Family Mix’, ‘Let’s Do It Again‘ being a boring monotonous 111 – 112 – 111 – 112bpm funk plodder and ‘Chillin’ Out‘ a samba-type jazzy 56/112 – 113bpm instrumental swayer. The UK album will also include ‘Backstrokin” and ‘Gotta Get My Hands On Some (Money)’.

CHOCOLATE MILK: ‘Hey Lover’ (US RCA PD-12031).
Always my own fave off the New Orleans-based band’s LP, this heavily thudding 105bpm stolid funk clomper is now on beefed-up 12in and should be a useful mixer (it used to go with ‘Oops’).  Continue reading “November 1, 1980: Mouzon’s Electric Band, Fatback, Chocolate Milk, Light Of The World, Eddy Grant”