ODDS ‘N’ BODS
GREG LYNN, ex-disco plugger most recently responsible at CBS for pushing Adam & The Ants (and Star Sound), has moved to Ensign as marketing and international manager . . . Bobby Thurston’s UK 12in will now be ‘Very Last Drop’ following its Robbie Vincent-caused popularity surge . . . Shakatak’s founders have for years been making disco and pop records under various pseudonyms (several came out on Ensign) so the identity of Enigma shouldn’t be too hard to fathom . . . Linx ‘Together We Can Shine’ on their new 12in is in fact a complete remake, while with vari speed adjustment their ‘Throw Away The Key’ is indeed an amazing imperceptible mix with Change ‘Searching’ . . . BADEM’s Discotek 81 equipment exhibition at London’s Bloomsbury Centre Hotel on September 13-16th will for the first time be open to exhibitors who by being either too small, new, or not directly involved in the disco business would not normally qualify for membership of the trade association – fuller info from Howard Hills on 01-669 9464 . . . Showstoppers mafia DJ team have now rethought their all-dayer/niter strategy and plan for any future events only to sell tickets actually in the clubs where they work, direct to their regular punters . . . Southgate Royalty has been forced to close down the Friday jazz-funk night as the local tube station now shuts early to prevent alleged aggro – and the Saturday is only continuing with the help of a specially organised bus service to get punters home . . . Capital Radio’s Roger Scott, Mike Allen and myself start a weekly series of lavishly organised oldies nights this Saturday (6) at Edmonton’s Picketts Lock Sports Centre, with hot rods, rock ‘n’ roll groups, dance troupes, competitions and much more . . . Camberley’s Frenchies venue at the Cambridge Hotel has temporarily closed for an extensive £120,000 refit but meanwhile Chris Brown and Johnnie Walker continue spinning Latin-tinged jazz every Sunday at the Silvermere Lakeside Club in Cobham (just off the A3) . . . Reflections is the new club in the completely redecorated Devil’s Dyke Hotel at Poynings near Brighton, jazz-funked Thursdays and Sundays by Jon Hill with Paul Jaconelli . . . Sudanese superstar Muhammad Al-Amin, who picks a lute-like sound while wailing in Arabic, appears with his whole orchestra this Saturday (6) at 8pm in Bloomsbury’s Logan Hall (20 Bedford Way, just off Russell Square) – I saw him solo last week with a crowd of Ethiopeans/Sudanese whose exciting reaction to his admittedly (to our ears) esoteric ethnic music was reminiscent of scenes at Harlem’s Apollo, so with an orchestra it could be incredible . . . DJ Alan Matthews was booked and confirmed to do the disco at Jeff Young’s wedding but, without any explanation, was best man himself at another wedding and so sent someone else with equipment which immediately failed, and although the music was a shambles for ages the evening did finally come together and somehow this unfortunate guy (with help from Joe Williams) got things going OK . . . Linx’s David Grant, Phonogram’s Orin Cozier and Rush Release’s Robert Blenman should have been photographed together, they all looked alike . . . Chris Brown, Tom Holland, Bob Jones, Mick Clark, Nicky Peck, Richard James were amongst DJs taking the night off. Robbie Vincent left early and the Brixton Front Line stayed late – some wedding guest list! . . . PEEL’ s latest sponsor disc package arrived burst asunder, spewing forth T-shirts, flexi-discs, boxes of shampoo and a jingle-interspersed 12in of soul oldies, all rebagged in polythene by the Post Office – very efficient (the PO I mean!) . . . Kool’s ‘Celebration’ has been the USA’s biggest selling single since 1979, or to put it another way – since they said “disco is dead” (what do they know?)! . . . Billy Ocean is doing well Stateside with ‘Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)’ . . . Marvin Gaye somewhat belatedly won the People’s Choice vote on Capital Radio, which means the phone-in panels have been consistently soulful recently . . . ‘A’ and probably ‘O’ level exams have been hitting disco attendances for some clubs recently . . . Chris Hill has joined Rusty Egan in being one of the main boosters for Was (Not Was) ‘Wheel Me Out’ . . . Chris also raves about a reggae goodie, General Saint & Clint Eastwood ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ (Greensleeves 12in) . . . Gino Soccio’s 123bpm ‘Dancer’ slots sensationally between Future Flight ‘Don’t Pull The Plug’ and Strikers ‘Body Music’, while his ‘Try It Out’ synchs perfectly with Mantra ‘Doin’ It To The Bone’ . . . Ramsey Lewis’s new import set is due here too, so full review when received but meanwhile the killer cut looks like ‘Expansions’ followed by ‘Lakeshore Cowboy’ and ‘Romance Me’ . . . Phil Haslehurst (The Mighty Chomper) finds the real floor fillers at Whitehaven’s Whitehouse are mod oldies like Velvelettes ‘Needle In A Haystack’, Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’, Spencer Davis ‘Keep On Running’, R Dean Taylor ‘Ghost In My House’, Harry J ‘Liquidator’ . . . I’m back on my diet and losing weight fast Phil! . . . Gary Allen is calling himself the Liverpool McMillans famous Gnudger Gnome mascot was described as a pixie behind a toadstool! . . . Chris Kaye (0892 23186) wants to hear from Owen Washington, Keith Kapri and King Enri, who will find it to their advantage . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Freddies Bar), can’t contact Excaliber’s ever reliable Morgan Khan anywhere – join the club, Steve, you now know what he’s reliable for! . . . Silly not to? . . . HO DE HO!
AURRA was assembled by Slave’s Steve Washington using several sometime members of Slave, lead vocalists Curt Jones and Starleana (“Star” for short) Young (whose brothers are Young & Company!) also having been in a New Jersey group called Symphonic Express. Slave lyricist Jennifer Marie Ivory (London-raised, Jamaican-born) helps out too, but apart from Steve on lead guitar/bass/drums/percussion, the other main musicians are keyboardist Philip Fields and saxist Tom Lockett.
BARRY BIGGS: ‘Wide Awake In A Dream’ (Dynamic DYN 12-10).
Philip James & The Blues Busters 1965 slow ska classic has been beautifully revived true to the original as a gorgeous 65bpm 12in lovers rock smoocher which literally exploded in London two weekends ago, unfortunately after last week’s page had gone to press. Hear it, don’t miss it!
KENI BURKE: ‘Let Somebody Love You’ (RCA RCAT 93).
This ex-Stairstep’s infectiously jittery 119-120bpm 12in clapping soul bubbler took off like a rocket on import and seems set to go even higher now it’s out here. The instrumental flip’s useful too for mixers.
BOBBY THURSTON: ‘Very Last Drop’ (LP ‘The Main Attraction’ Epic EPC 85070).
Robbie Vincent pioneered acceptance for this McFadden & Whitehead-ish lush jiggly smooth 113-114-115-116bpm soul swinger (which I had a hunch could do the business) while initially the buzz was on the incredibly ‘Ladies Night’-like (and still extremely strong) 111-(intro)-115-116-117-118bpm ‘Is Something Wrong With You‘, ‘Main Attraction‘ being a conversation-introed slinkily jolting 54(intro)-108bpm bumper, ‘I Know You Feel Like I Feel‘ a bumpily rolling 103-104bpm jogger and ‘Keep It Going‘ a less incisive but eventually quite tense 112-113bpm swayer. Continue reading “June 6, 1981: Barry Biggs, Keni Burke, Bobby Thurston, Hi-Gloss, The Impressions”