ODDS ‘N’ BODS
Two weeks away on Sunday March 10, Disco Mix Club’s DJ Convention at London’s Hippodrome costs £10 with excellent buffet an extra £7 (food only available if booked): send cheque made payable to DJ Conventions 1985 at 25 Monkspath, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B76 8RX, and remember it’s who you meet that’s more important than the actual event . . . Manchester’s Millionaire has arranged an amazing exclusive boost for any visiting artistes doing PAs —they also appear beforehand at the Arndale Shopping Centre’s packed Top Shop, right next to a chart return record shop (details John Mayoh 061-236 2466 or Ratko Top Shop 061-747 4655) . . . Britain’s majority musical taste remains unfortunately as ever influenced over the short term (reflected in the chart) by national Radio One: however, it’s heartening to recall those many soul classics which might have sold better back in the 60s, when the Light Programme in its equally ignorant way was just as blinkered about black music, and which are now better remembered by everyone than the briefly successful “popular” pap that was forced instead onto a public who knew no better — until that is they eventually heard Booker T & The MG’s, Ramsey Lewis, Edwin Starr, Eddie Holman, Jackie Wilson, The Drifters, Delfonics, Tams, Isley Brothers and indeed all the early Motown hits, on the second or even third time around often many years later . . . Redds And The Boys’ import version is far stronger than the UK version . . . Kool & The Gang ‘Misled’ in a less rock-y remix “to help break it on the floor” is due flipped by the original . . . Record Shack picked up the new Disconet remix of Samantha Gilles, and 10 Records have Maxi Priest . . . Richard Jon Smith’s promoed 118⅓bpm ‘ABC Of Kissing‘ is a dead ringer for Phil Fearon! . . . Caister’s main camp, on the same April 12-14 weekend as the overflow Caister Soul Weekender has been ousted to the nearby Seashore camp, is rather strangely the site for a rival Caribbean Weekender with lots of London sound systems and such radio jocks as (probably) David Rodigan and CJ Carlos — could make an interesting clash! (details Jet Promotions 01-689 9231) . . . LWR, Solar, Horizon, Skyline and seemingly more Greek and Arab stations than ever were all going strong in London last week despite official claims and hopes to the contrary . . . Radio London Soul Night Out tickets are only available on the door from 9pm Thursdays at Kilburn’s National Club, to prepare for a scrum . . . Radio Mercury’s auntie funker Peter Young actually played Prince ‘Erotic City‘ — it’s the way he funks ‘em! . . . Bronski Beat ‘Smalltown Boy‘ topped US Dance/ Disco, with the Prince-prod/penned Sheena Easton ‘Sugar Walls‘ in hot pursuit and big in the Black chart too . . . Rick James predictably takes a Prince-like rock route on his new material — well, he would wouldn’t he? — while Mick Jagger’s current video is remarkably like Prince (or is that vice versa?) . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meets noon Sunday (24) at Bracknell Oceans in Market Street . . . Phillip Sampson tonight (Thursday 21) opens Brighton’s first purpose-built gay club (the mind boggles!), Beverly Hills in Meeting House Lane, with next week (28) Earlene Bentley the first of its Thursday big name cabaret stars . . . Tuesday (26) Laura Pallas & Phyllis Nelson star with Adrian Dunbar at one-off gay Basseys in Southampton’s Mayfair Suite, while Sunday (24) sees Carol Jiani at Bournemouth Academy’s Bolts and Divine at Edinburgh Fire Island . . . Hi-NRG breakers include Vivien Vee ‘Americano‘ (Dutch Break), Fancy ‘Get Lost Tonight‘ (German Metronome), Rofo ‘I Want You‘ (Belgian Infinity) . . . Peter Stringfellow, raving about Edwin Starr’s new and unplaced ‘It Ain’t Fair‘, has signed Dusty Springfield to his Hippodrome label (she refuses to go Hi-NRG) . . . Friday (22) finds Lonnie Liston Smith and other explosive New York jazzers at Southgate Pink Elephant’s Ethiopia benefit night, Mainstream live at Dartford Flicks, Darren Dawes with Ian Swanson, Clive Farrer and Hi-Res Break Crew at Bracknell Rugby Club, and Chris Hill at Peckham Kisses’ allniter . . . Bossa Man Baz Fe Jazz guests Sat (23) with Rhythm Doc at Coventry’s Precinct Roma Wine Bar, and he’s in the jazz room (where else?) at next Sunday’s (3) Nottingham Rock City alldayer . . . Pete Haigh’s new monthly funk alternative on Morecambe Promenade Upstairs At Charlestons is Tuesday (26) . . . ET’s protege ‘Mambo’ Peter Sharma is now resident at Edgbaston Faces International with an upfront funk policy Wed/Sat — there’s also a new Celebrity cocktail bar with pianist Dave Mellor, ex-MD for the late lamented Matt Munro (my condolences to Michelle) . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson has just arrived at Jackie’s in Cairo’s Nile Hilton Hotel for his latest Bacchus residency . . . Washington DC go go label DETT’s third UK 12in through Fourth & Broadway in April will be the newly mixed studio version of Experience Unlimited ‘E.U. Freeze‘, the basis for Kurtis Blow’s ‘Party Time’ — which itself is due again in freshened form . . . I frankly will be glad when go go goes, BPM-ing all that wandering percussion is driving me mad, but not before Tony Blackburn and I have been the guests of Island Records mid-March in Washington DC! . . . Nick Ratcliffe (Portsmouth Ritzy) adds Atlantic Starr ‘Gimme Your Lovin’‘ to his go go-ish oldies . . . Keith Bell, chairman of Winchester City Football Club, after his recent record wants received ‘phonecalls from all over Britain — and the discs for free from DJs Rob Fox (Peacehaven) & Andrew Charles (Plymouth) — plus he had two offers of friendly games for the Football Club, and a proposition from an ex-girlfriend who’d rediscovered his number here (his wife was well pleased)! . . . Record Mirror, where even the small print gets results! . . . French linguists will realize the ’50s Paris discotheque last week was L’Etoile . . . Bobby Womack’s singing discovery now seems to be spelt Alltrinna Grayson . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry) reports MCA product is hard to find even in Cardiff’s top record stores and wonders if they want jocks to push it? . . . LET’S DO OUR JOB BEFORE THEY DO THEIRS!
MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly: ‘Back In Stride’ (Capitol 12CL 353)
Back in strength, too, this surprisingly catchy insidious jittery 113-0bpm pusher on 12in has the old New Orleans live ‘Joy And Pain’ & ‘Feel That You’re Feelin’’ as flip, while their terrific consistently satisfying LP ‘Can’t Stop The Love’ (US Capitol ST-12377) has the mellow mesmeric tugging title track 0-100bpm ‘Can’t Stop‘ swayer, jiggly burbling 110⅔-112-111bpm ‘Too Many Games‘, gently weaving 91¾-91½bpm ‘Reaching Down Inside‘, lovely drifting 0-94⅔bpm ‘Magic‘, insistently worming 102-101½bpm ‘I Want To Feel I’m Wanted‘, smoochy 70½-70-69⅔-70⅔bpm ‘Place In My Heart’. Back on top!
DeBARGE: ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ (US Gordy 1770GF)
From Berry Gordy’s hip hop kung fu movie ‘The Last Dragon’, a totally infectious Lionel “calypso”-type jaunty 116bpm singalong jiggler for dancing all night long (all night), only on 7in until the M&M remix but already glossily videoed to make it a smash (slow 37½-75bpm ‘Queen Of My Heart‘ flip).
MIDNIGHT STAR: ‘Operator’ (Solar MCAT 942)
Long overdue UK release for the simple strong Zapp-ish burbling backbeat (0-)119⅓bpm import smash, still flipped by the equally good older 107bpm ‘Playmates‘, likely to establish Solar’s current US superstars here. Their LP ‘Planetary Invasion’ (MCF 3251) has been hottest for the superb Marvin Gaye-ish 100⅚bpm ‘Curious‘, and rock-funk 118bpm title track. Continue reading “February 23, 1985: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, DeBarge, Midnight Star, Tom Browne, War”