ODDS ‘N’ BODS
BOBBY WOMACK & Company at Hammersmith Odeon last Saturday would have been one of the best, most comfortable, soul shows ever seen in Britain even had Stevie Wonder not stepped on stage out of the audience! Alltrinna Grayson, one of Bobby’s three backing girls (the band were ten strong), practically stole the show with her goosebumps-inducing voice when she soloed and duetted —obvious comparisons being drawn with Jennifer Holliday although for me she was more like the one occasion I saw the late Linda Jones — while Bobby paced everything superbly with much sly wit, like slipping briefly into a Jimmy Reed blues riff during the harmonica solo of ‘Surprise Surprise’! … Fonda Rae should finally be in the shops on Streetwave, and is proving moronically catchy enough now to be massive … Yasuku Agawa’s Japanese LP is hard to find, the potentially hot c99bpm ‘LA Nights‘ being a re-worded revival of Light Of The World’s ‘London Town’ … Real Thing return in a couple of weeks with the soulfully credible c103bpm ‘We Got Love‘ … Music Week celebrated their 25th anniversary with a star-studded party at Abbey Road Studios last Friday, for which I dug out all the hits from August 1959 and March 10th 1960 (their first chart) plus other oldies for the disco — the hottest newie I used was Bronski Beat ‘Why?‘ which got screams and people rushing to see what it was! … The Record Retailer Vol 1 No 1, which is how Music Week began, was reprinted specially, and interestingly listed as a July/August 1959 release Quincy Jones & His Orchestra ‘Syncopated Clock‘ (Mercury EP) … Steve Washington’s remix should be 103(intro)-105-106bpm (very significantly speeding up for mixers), Stevie Wonder ‘Don t Drive Drunk’ 125bpm and ‘It’s More Than You’ 35/70bpm, Dianne Reeves ‘Sneaky’ 103bpm … Ray Parker Jr ‘Ghostbusters’ 12in is now on a great picture disc with luminous ghost (try mixing ‘Relax’ out of it!) … Simon Harris has joined forces with Froggy, the M ‘Pop Muzik’ mix on DMC actually being an unbilled Froggy Production Team effort created in his newly built remix/editing studio, the duo’s next job being a re-edit of Jeffrey Osborne’s forthcoming ‘Don’t Stop’ … Warren Aylward (Portsmouth) does a weekly mixing spot on “fast-talkin’” Franklin Hughes’ Sat 6-9pm Radio Victory ‘Funkadelic’ disco show … Hereward Radio’s soul jock Steve Allen, whose ‘Street Beat’ Sat 6-8pm show will next month be transmitted from Northampton on 102.8FM/1557MW as well as from Peterborough on 95.7FM/1332MW, appears at Kings Lynn’s Precinct Club next Wednesday (3) and rightly says “Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields ‘Jazzy Lady‘ always was THE track on the LP!” … DMC’s Les Adams mixes 8.30-10pm during experimental Monday night transmissions by Radio Contact 102.9FM … Horizon 102.55FM’s Chris Stewart, who tickled my ears with some really tasty mixes last Wednesday lunchtime, hints “don’t believe all we say” and promises another 20 feet of transmitter aerial —reception’s been so patchy it wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t hit by lightning on Monday afternoon … JFM 103.3FM’s new “TV turn-off” time late night jock Lee Doyle, a familiar looking punter from way back, should gain lots of listeners when Horizon irritatingly shut down for a while at 1am … Tim Smith sounds slick Tues 4.30-7pm/Sun 11pm-1am on JFM, while biggies on Motown/’70s-slanted Thursdays at Guildford Cinderellas Rockafellas are Karen Young ‘Hot Shot‘ and Kool & The Gang ‘Open Sesame‘ … Peter Young is now in residence at Mercury Radio and worried that pluggers may not know how to send product to him there, c/o Radio Mercury, Broadfield House, Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9BJ … Geoff Dorsett, veteran DJ currently on South Shropshire’s Sunshine Radio 299MW and each summer on Central Florida’s Q-102, calls on all club jocks to boycott product on labels who no longer service mailing list promos, just to show ’em who’s got the power —which is all very well, but (naming no names) those labels’ marketing departments even with DJ support couldn’t break disco material, which may be exactly why they cut back! … Norma Lewis stars at Edinburgh Fire Island’s first allniter Sat (29) … Tony Jenkins confides the recent Soul On Sound alldayer at Epping Forest Country Club, by all accounts a great success with 3,000 there, made him more money than anything else he’s ever done — Soul On Sound now moves to Scotland this Sunday (30) for a 3pm-3am alldayer at Glasgow Custom House Quay’s Panama Jax with jocks from around the UK as well as locals (oh, and the old Funktion moveable venue idea could be due back in London!) … Gary Olds has “bak to skool” fun at Dalton Piercy Slix Friday (28), when Darryl Hayden hits Chester College, and Owen Washington (with all new records at last!) funks Rayleigh Pink Toothbrush — Owen’s still Thurs/Sun at Neasden Level 1, and now Sat at the Lyceum in London … CBS one time disco plugger Steve Ripley’s dad pilots the Capital Flying Eye! … hey, hey, LET’S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
JFM RADIO’S ‘funk cruise’ to Holland last week was, for me, exhausting but well worth while. Anticipation of the early 6.30am start by bus from Victoria to Sheerness meant I only managed one hour’s sleep, but there was so much to do once aboard the luxuriously equipped Olau Hollandia that I kept going regardless, carrying bags for Haywoode and her chum (ex-Toto Coelo) Anita Mahadervan, queueing for breakfast with Jimmy Ruffin, eating it with Paul Hardcastle (who’s written some electro for the Beach Boys!), sunbathing with Pzazz plugger Orin Cozier and Joanne Hudson, drinking lunch with Island’s Adrian Sykes & Julian Palmer and PRT’s Robert Blenman. By then the music had started in the ship’s regular disco, its resident DJ Tom Felton (of Leysdown Stage 3 fame) having to mend the linear-tracking decks before any of Clive Richardson’s great ’60s oldies would play properly on 7in. I spent the afternoon with my binoculars watching sunny Belgium and Holland glide by, looking right inland at all the windmills and villages, before briefly disembarking at Vlissingen (also known as Flushing), where rather than join the common herd in a dreadful disco pub that could have been anywhere, the more adventurous Martin John, Sandra Goy, Silhouette plugger Bryan O’Connor and Fiona Waterman (that was her on the right in the recent Miss Wet T-Shirt photo — the GOOD looking one, cor!) joined me dining on fried eel. Orin and Joanne had missed the bus, so back on board in the excellent restaurant I joined them for a starter and pud, Orin much amused by the Dutch for “whipped cream” being “slagroom”! Although there were several hundred in our party (mainly it seemed from South and East London), the car deck which became the main disco was always very underpopulated, chief jock Steve Walsh winding up the crowd with chants of ‘Lon-don” and “you what?” whenever he wasn’t doing a Tony Blackburn routine. Haywoode PA-ed, in the dark until I adjusted some lighting onto the poor girl, Precinct impressively carried on singing even when the volume was whipped out under them, Loose Ends had some neat choreography, while I missed (but talked to) Jaki Graham, Cool Notes, Total Contrast and of course Jimmy Ruffin. The talent was certainly there, so maybe the comfy cabins were too big an alternative attraction once it was night? Finally just as I’d managed to get a couple of hours’ much needed sleep, JFM jock Steve Jackson and friends started roistering outside my cabin door, and when at last they’d shut up the loudspeakers started announcing breakfast being served, thus rendering any further sleep impossible! As a day-and-night’s outing to foreign places amidst good company it was great fun — hopefully like me the punters were there less for the “funk” than for the “cruise”. Thanks, JFM!
BRASS CONSTRUCTION ‘International’ (Capitol 12CL 341)
Brilliantly remixed by M&M&M (Morales, Munzibai & Muller!), their friskily jiggling 120½bpm LP hit now has Lionel-like appeal with an afro-caribbean acappella-ish intro before hitting a much more instrumental and really infectious ‘Movin’’-style groove — potentially their biggest hit here ever! — on 3-track 12in flipped by a similarly exclusive UK-only 121-122-0bpm remix of ‘I Do Love You‘, and the 0-118bpm dub mix of ‘Partyline’. Due commercially October 8th.
GLENN JONES: ‘Finesse’ LP (US RCA NFL1-8036)
Rightly selling fast, an exceptionally consistent modern soul set in sorta more mellow Kashif/Lillo-like style loaded with train-spotter credits to ensure top notch quality (if few surprises), six cuts — count ’em! — being excellent sinuous dancers, the 112bpm title track, 109bpm ‘Meet Me Half Way There‘, 108½bpm ‘You’re The Only One I Love‘, 98bpm ‘Everlasting Love‘, 117bpm ‘It Hurts Too Much‘ and 12in issued 84bpm ‘Show Me‘.
KRYSTOL: ‘After The Dance Is Through’ (US Epic 49-05084)
Broken wide open in London by repeated radio plays, this Leon Sylvers III co-prod excellent chix sung jittery rolling remorseless 106⅓bpm deliberately paced hot tempo chugger (inst flip) really worms its way upside your head — you’ve been warned! Continue reading “September 29, 1984: JFM Radio’s “funk cruise” to Holland, Brass Construction, Glenn Jones, Krystol, Bar-Kays”