ODDS ‘N’ BODS
JAKI GRAKAM, Princess, Black Britain and Dorothy Galdez are amongst the UK acts confirmed for next Tuesday’s British Dance Music Gala at New York’s Palladium (where only a few hundred of the 7,000 capacity crowd will be lucky to see anything!) during the New Music Seminar, while UK DJs performing too include Chad Jackson, Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold and, as MC, Steve Walsh … Disco Aid has actually changed the date of its national charity night, coming forward a week to Saturday, November 14 … Tony Blackburn’s frequent plugs for Paddington’s Bluebird Records shop, supplier of imports for his Radio London show, made headline news last week in The London Evening Standard: it seems he exceeds by far the four or five mentions he’s allowed to give the store in a year on non-commercial BBC, one listener having counted 29 plugs during the last three months — tut, tut! … Chris Hill was the subject of, and took part in, a segment of Ned Sherrin’s sparky ‘Loose Ends’ programme on Radio 4 recently, talking about his Canvey Island Goldmine career (currently revived on Fridays) … Theo Loyla’s Herne Bay-based Superjocks club promotion service has been incorporated (with himself as head at the old address) into the new Disco/Club Promotion division of London-based retail/media promotion company Bullet … Record Shack Records are finally forsaking Hi-NRG “to follow our natural route to dance orientated rock music”, says Jeff Weston, the label having found that apparent disco and radio acceptance even in the US does not necessarily translate into actual sales … Dancin’ Danny D has serviced lucky DJs with a ‘Rock The House’-ish 116½bpm jiggly thrash ‘n scratch in the current retro-funk fashion, Criminal Element Orchestra ‘Put The Needle To The Record‘ (Cooltempo COOLX 150), which he says will only be available commercially as a track on the label’s upcoming ‘Fierce’ compilation of current releases, although the promo 12 inch contains three mixes … Kool Chip (who, following his photo appearing last week, I now hear from Island Records is currently on bail after being arrested) has had a more jerkily rhythmic 0-100-0bpm Summerbeat Remix by Dancin’ Danny D (Fourth & Broadway 12BRWX 62) … Mantronix ‘Scream’ is also in a 101bpm Jack ‘N’ Chill Remix (10 Records TENR 169) … Arthur Baker’s creation for Champion Records, white-labelled for the New Music Seminar but not due commercially until probably September, Jack E Makossa ‘The Opera House‘ is, as exclusively revealed months ago, a truly “diva”-started 0-119½bpm scratch ‘n mix of opera and house, although basically just a bass-heavy jack trap as the flip’s opera-less African Mix emphasises … David Joseph’s white-labelled ‘No Turning Back’ is daringly an African-tempoed 108¾bpm instrumental wriggler — incidentally, it transpires that the original vocalist who David replaced on Chris Paul’s ‘Expansions’ was John Matthews, DJ on Sundays at South Harrow’s Bogarts! … Prince (if one can still mention him) has ‘Housequake’ scheduled as only the B-side of ‘U Got The Look‘, his follow-up next month, while as probably anticipated Herb Alpert follows with ‘Making Love In The Rain‘, the remaining Janet Jackson-featuring album track, but stupidly the Beastie Boys’ newie is ‘She’s On It‘ when ‘Girls‘ is just crying out to be a national number one! … I thought Tony Griffin’s comment about Bristol’s lack of a funk scene would stir the locals, Gary Neal responding: “How can someone who’s only been in Bristol a couple of months be such a wally? If he’d care to look around he’d find a great, healthy funk and disco scene” … Paul Morrissey spins soul/jazz/rare groove on Thursdays at Bristol’s The Colosseum, Redcliffe Hill, and on Mondays with Mike Shawe and Vince Thomas at Bath’s Chemies in Kingsmead Square … Nicky Holloway and guests continue funking downstairs on Fridays, with Bob Jones newly resident upstairs for jazz and real soul, at the revamped Special Branch near London Bridge (strictly members only, details on 01-439 2628) … Ian Gordon funks Thursdays at Southport’s Kingsway Entertainment Centre on the promenade, and Saturdays at Bootle’s Quadrant Park … Sybil joins DJs Jeff Young and Paul Oakenfold at Streatham’s Project at Zigi’s this Friday (July 10), and is with Jocelyn Brown at Nottingham Rock City’s alldayer on Sunday … Jackie Becker has started a Thursday upfront funk/house/hip hop night at Brighton’s The Gloucester in Gloucester Place, and is after suitable PAs on 0273-604136 … Al Charles (Newton Le Willows Scandals) tells the tale of a Southport club owner who installed SL 1200 decks for the first time, and then told the new mixing DJ to stop scratching as he thought it would damage them! … James Brown’s oldies are being scratched in so much on other people’s records these days, why doesn’t he do a rap to them himself? … Les Adams has just equipped his home mixing studio with a 16-track recorder — makes a change from the old mono Studer! … Kev Ashton (Newquay Frizzbys/Tall Trees/Disco 5000) reckons Rozlyn Sorrell ‘Sucker For Candy’ sounds like Serious Intention’s ‘Serious’ … Freddie Jackson really needs to have a photo session, his latest import single features yet another of those old balcony shots! … Sherrick was actually included on WEA’s ‘Spring In The Air’ promo cassette sampler back in April, and played at Prestatyn … Boogie Down Productions/DJ Scott La Rock & Blastmaster KRS One’s ‘Criminal Minded’ album will be the first LP on Westside Records, with two unreleased bonus tracks, on July 20 … Feedback’s ‘Simply Magic’, already reviewed, isn’t in fact out until next week (distributed via PRT) … Natalie Cole’s jerkily bashing staccato 123bpm ‘Jump Start’ will here as well as in the US be flipped by her album’s far classier ‘More Than The Stars’ – that LP plus the equally classy Vaneese Thomas and funk-orientated Trouble Funk import sets, and the cocktail sippin’ and pickin’ George Benson/Earl Klugh collaboration will be reviewed when the weather’s not so good! … I last week took time away from the turntable to explore those bits of the sun-soaked Midlands that I’d previously rushed past, falling in love particularly with Bridgnorth, and Ironbridge – in the latter of which, discerning gourmets note, the recently opened Au Pont de Fer restaurant has food on a par with Ullswater’s Sharrow Bay Hotel, um yum, bloat bloat! … A&M serviced certain lucky DJs with Fred Perry shirts emblazoned by the Breakout logo in place of the designer trademark … Alan Jones and I do implore chart contributors please to make sure that their names and venues are always listed too on their returns, as some of the blank chart forms that record pluggers are sending DJs are very rudimentary and have no space for these (we don’t mind DJs using these forms if they find them easy to fill in, as we monitor all returns closely to prevent blatant hype anyway) … Pete Haigh (Blackpool) puts the South East/North West soul music divide in neat perspective – London is “rare groove”, we are “cool groove”! … LAH DEE DAH DEE!
‘DIRTY DEN’, Bristol’s Technics mixing finalist Dennis Murray, also came out as winner of the Mixing part of BBC Radio Bristol’s recent 1987 West Of England Rapping & Mixing Championships, with an inventive set which made up in klaxon and cheers-greeted excitement what it sometimes missed in finesse. Ironically, runner-up to him in the Technics area heats, Burnham-on Sea’s Martin Eccles was second again, with Richard Dean third. Winning rapper was MC Wizz Fresh, with the eight year old Little Rapper (Sam) coming second, judged on ability more than on sentimentality about his age, and Prince Gismo (Nathan Lewis) third. The radio station’s ‘Close Up’ programme presented an informative round up of the contest, with audience interviews which proved funk is truly alive and well, and living in Bristol!
[Note: there was a mix-up in the ordering of this week’s reviews, which should have been led by Sherrick’s ‘Just Call’.]
DAVID GRANT ‘Change’ (Alternate Mix)’ (Polydor POSPX 871)
Obviously a punning title, this Phil Harding mixed rolling (0-)119¼-0bpm churner is just like ‘Searching’ by the group called Change’!
ERROL BROWN ‘Personal Touch (The Personal Mix)’ (WEA YZ130T)
Swain & Jolley-produced gently jiggling weaving (0-)97⅙bpm jogger with an interminable start, less blatantly commercial than his Hot Chocolate stuff although much tighter and more typical in its edited version.
OFF ‘Electrica Salsa’ (Sonet SONL 2323)
Ancient news for many by now, maybe, this Falco-esque gruffly muttered, changed and “aha aha”-ed haunting (0-)113⅔bpm electro pulsed jiggly Continental swayer (Remix flip) has been huge in Scotland, and in Eurobeat venues generally, but still has powerful pop potential. Continue reading “July 11, 1987: Sherrick, Colonel Abrams, Keni Stevens, Mr Lee, Public Enemy”