December 19, 1981: Kool & The Gang, K.I.D, J. Walter Negro, Lamont Dozier, Kryptic Krew

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

BRANDI WELLS ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ / ‘Watch Out’ are already on PRT-distributed UK 12in promo back-to-back (Brandi incidentally was in Slick of ‘Space Bass’ fame) . . . ‘D’ Train ‘You’re The One For Me’, a dramatic chart riser this week (note it’s the instrumental that’s the hot side), will be out here late next month, but amazingly the Jones Girls’ big-selling import album is unscheduled . . . Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields’ ultra soulful ‘She’s Got Papers On Me’ will be edited for 7in only issue as flip to ‘I’ve Got To Learn To Say No’ on January 8th — surely a full 12in could have been a smash? — while the same date sees a 3-track 12in from Earth Wind & Fire of ‘I’ve Had Enough’ / ‘Sparkle’ / ‘Let’s Groove (Remix)’ . . . Mirage ‘As From Now’ is on 121-125bpm white label 12in at any rate . . . Kraftwerk ‘The Model’ / ‘Computer Love’ (EMI 12in) has been relaunched with a new picture sleeve, which should please Leicester’s HMV Shop at least! . . . Aneka ‘Japanese Boy’ is on remixed US Handshake 12in, Laurie Anderson ‘O Superman’ in the States is on both 33 1/3 rpm 7in and 45 rpm 12in, while Herbie Hancock ‘Magic Number’ has been remixed for US 12in promo . . . US Warner Bros has started a slightly rock orientated Video Club subscription rental scheme for American discos to hire at 60 dollars for 8 months their specially compiled promo-only various artists video tapes, which do include black acts, with 5 second gaps between numbers so the video can run as a complete 30 minute programme or be individually cued . . . Rush Release in fact next month start their own similar video promotion service, which will be kept to a maximum of 100 subscribers . . . CBS entertained a gaggle of DJs last Tuesday lunchtime to launch the ‘Second Suite’ and ‘Ace Of Clubs’ albums, Bournemouth’s Steve Glover and Wigan’s Greg Wilson both arriving late after learning the hard way that it had been snowing in the South-East! . . . Second Image at Mayfair Gullivers last Wednesday were much improved if only really exciting on a rap number and in a call-and-answer audience participation part which ended with the tongue twisting bit from ‘The Lone Ranger’, their encore then culminating as a jam with Heatwave’s Keith Wilder, Imagination’s Errol Kennedy, Carl Douglas, and the cool and soulful Lloyd Charmers . . . Gullivers’ two special parties with dirt cheap drink on recent Mondays were such a success that now every Monday the drinks are 50p . . . Liverpool’s first all-dayer for two years at the Warehouse recently saw Mike Davidson, Frank Cookson, Gary St Clair and Gary Allan spinning solid funk for 12 solid hours to a good attendance with — and this is the story, really — no trouble at all . . . Steve Dennis, undaunted by criticism of the Edgbaston Faces DJ Convention, is planning another for next year with the promise, “And now . . . Something Completely Different” . . . Paul Anthony has moved to Wolverhampton’s new de-luxe Eve’s in Showell Road, where with two lighting engineers he handles the large rooms two dancefloors, while Dave Tee jocks the small room . . . Chris Stewart & Roger Allen hint that Londoners could broaden their soul radio ‘Horizon’ by tuning to 94.4 FM on Sunday evenings after 7pm . . . Roger Squire’s London shop is busy advertising legal CB rigs on Capital Radio . . . Sheffield DJ Jim Kershaw will be presenting his own ‘History Of Reggae’ over six weeks on Radio Hallam in the new year, the first show in the series concentrating on the calypso and mento era with lots of rare oldies . . . Blackburn’s Martin Platts, whose real ambition is eventually to beat the Trans-America running record of 46 days 13 hours, clarifies that on his John O’Groats to Lands End run his accompanying four roadshow DJs will not be there to run as well, but to raise funds while he’s running . . . Nigel Porter of Leicester has a theory that his home town’s discos lack imagination and variety because of the strong live music scene at such major venues as the university, polytechnic, and DeMontfort Hall, as well as at many small clubs and pubs, while Leicester DJs tend to toe a safe management line without establishing any character of their own — it also takes ages for records to catch on there, and old Motown singles still outsell many of today’s lesser hits! . . . James Brown contrary to reports of his age during his recent visit here, was in fact born in May 1928 . . . Anthony Godden (Earls Court) points out the similarity of Kim Wilde’s ‘Cambodia’ to Peter Jacques Band ‘Welcome Back’ . . . Alan Donald (Rothesay) says the Pretenders ‘I Go To Sleep’, Springfield / Warwick sound notwithstanding, was on Cher’s first solo album — admittedly right in the era it still reeks of . . . Alan incidentally has an AMI Continental jukebox for sale, and will put up anyone trekking out to buy it (call 0700-3696 / 4673) . . . Alan Coulthard (Marble Arch Dial 9) will pay full price for two second-hand Technics SL-1500 turntables (the digital vari-speed readout model), call him on 01-485 8744 (room E67) — he also says two copies of Alton Edwards synched two beats apart gives a dynamite effect . . . Gladys Knight’s ‘Reach High’ is sensational out of Mike & Brenda Sutton . . . Sally Marsh (Burgess Hill) sez forget Froggy (she’s actually less polite than that), the best mixer in Britain is Steve West at Basingstoke Martines! . . . John Grant really did retire permanently from jocking in the North-West — he’s now, honestly, the harbour master at Newhaven! . . . Lee Taylor, languishing at Scheveningen’s Kurhaus Club in Holland, sends love to Michelle . . . Weeks & Co. ‘Rock Your World’, belatedly hitting the chart (it’s the one with Beggar & Co rip-off chants), actually works out at 116(intro)-118-116-118-117(break)-118-117-118bpm . . . Blue Rondo A La Turk, still strong in the clubs, had an amazingly short Top 75 life . . . PRT distributed product like Grandmaster Flash can’t be reviewed as I don’t have it . . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) is now, oh gawd, learning the bagpipes specially for New Year’s Eve! . . . Liz Bailey (Leicester) was the first to send a Christmas card — to her and all the other subsequent kind senders, very many thanks indeed . . . Davy King (Ballymena Raglan), who presumably knows, says Santa must be Irish because with all the doors and windows about he still comes down the chimney! . . . KEEP KOOL!


ALTON EDWARDS looks set to give Kool & The Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ a big fight at the top of the disco chart in the coming weeks with his ‘I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You)‘. One thing that is consistently said of the Zimbabwe-born soulster is that wherever he does a PA, his record then becomes one of the top requests . . . which may explain why it’s already the number one seller in London.


UK NEWIES

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Get Down On It’ (De-Lite DEX 5).
Nicely timed to be a Christmas chart topper, this terrific heavily thudding infectious 110-111bpm 12in funk bumper is also in certain circles sung as “Suck My Helmet” (“oh all right then”) and accompanied by a downwards pointing gesture during the title line chorus! A consistently huge request in hip clubs for ages, it’s now flipped by the atmospheric moody slow original studio version of ‘Summer Madness’.

K.I.D.: ‘You Don’t Like My Music’ (Excaliber EXCL 515).
Appalling re-edited 118bpm vocal version of ‘Hupendi Muziki Wangu?!’ replaces the original instrumental’s magic with awful zingy Liquid Gold-type over obvious Wally appeal — however, the 3-track 12in is flipped by the great weirdly introed percussively building madly catchy jauntily bounding 119bpm instrumental original (terrific out of Bohannon), and the mundane chanting 119bpm ‘It’s Hot (Take It To The Top)‘.

J WALTER NEGRO & THE LOOSE JOINTZ: ‘Shoot The Pump’ (Zoo York 12WIP 6765).
All about the dangers of letting off fire hydrants to gush cooling water into New York’s sizzling summer streets, this second cousin to Kid Creole is a great slightly salsa-style semi-rapped 121bpm 12in rattling and thudding jiggler with lotsa dialogue and effects all wrapped up in a gimmicky pictorial sleeve. Right, that’s the import review from three months ago which had such underwhelming effect until this got sent out for free to rave reaction. Bah!  Continue reading “December 19, 1981: Kool & The Gang, K.I.D, J. Walter Negro, Lamont Dozier, Kryptic Krew”

December 12, 1981: Mirage, Diana Ross, Syreeta, Fatback, Purple Flash

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

TOM BROWNE ‘Fungi Mama’ will be on 12in immediately after Christmas, with a remix of ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica’ as flip . . . The Clash’s excellent disco-orientated 123bpm ‘Radio Clash‘ is due on 12in too . . . Ruddy Thomas has been picked up by Creole, and not Phonogram after all . . . J Walter Negro & Loose Jointz ‘Shoot The Pump‘, favourably reviewed on import some months back, is now being distributed here via Rush Release prior to Island release, and all of a sudden seems hot for the majority who ignored it . . . Joe Williams deserves slapped wrists for gee-ing everyone up about this Monday jazz-funks moving to Valentinos and then not telling a soul that in fact they moved right back to Tottenham Eltons after the first week — so Chris Hill and all the other guests mentioned recently in RM (and other papers) had their whereabouts totally misrepresented . . . Blackpool’s Frenchie, ever a mine of useful info, says incipient superstars Mike & Brenda Sutton actually wrote and appeared on Cheryl Lynn’s ‘Shake It Up Tonight’, and adds that their own ‘We’ll Make It’ could be a case of “Play it again, SAM”! . . . David Norton, star of the great ‘An American Werewolf In London’, should be familiar to some — he was the Travolta clone in TV’s ‘Makin’ It’, and had a minor hit with the theme song . . . Al Taylor, of 26 Terence Avenue, Rhyl, Clwyd, North Wales, wonders if anyone can turn him on to a good source for VHS videos of stuff like ‘Soul Train’ or any other soul on video, except live concerts . . . Neil Fincham (Edinburgh Uptown) had the local SDP lot in on the night of the Crosby by-election, and entertained ’em with the likes of ‘Death Of A Clown’ (dedicated to Maggie Thatcher), ‘Help’ (Michael Foot), ‘Let’s Work Together’ — oh well, there goes his knighthood unless a miracle happens! . . . Lenny at Edinburgh’s Nite Club above the Playhouse Theatre seems to spin a lot of electro-funk and more . . . Johnnie North, still at Erith 2001 on Saturdays, now does Croydon Scamps on Wednesdays, Soho’s futuristic Le Kilt on Thursdays, and Mayfair’s Samantha’s just off Regent Street on Fridays . . . Rockafellas, the late nite eaterie right next door to Samantha’s, has finally re-opened after a refit of its fire-damaged kitchen . . . Tom Holland now funks Dartford Flicks every Thursday with a leaning towards choice oldies . . . Martin Starr, Dennis Richards & Superfly’s Saturday lunchtime jazz-funk sessions at Bristol Scamps offer special admission prices for fellow DJs and out of towners — is that higher or lower?! . . . Nigel Halkes says that Bristol’s MHE Records & Tapes in Gloucester Road has current 12in imports at reasonable prices . . . Bristol’s Radio West must certainly be the first UK station to have Brandi Wells on its main playlist (good on yer, Dave!) . . . Chris ‘Anthony Bernards’ Ellis, picking himself up after both the “Wallabys — discotheque disaster” fiasco and writing off his dad’s new car, invites any tribes with contributions for the Easter Caister Staines Phewshun Phew magazine to contact him at 15 Georgian Close, Leacroft, Staines, Middlesex TW18 4NR . . . Gt Yarmouth Tiffany’s custard pie-flinging Paul Major (who’s moving on in the new year) has a DJ-ing brother, Roger Dynamite, who rocks Yarmouth Wheels on Thursdays and is more futuristic on other nights at Crystals, Tiffany’s, and Lowestoft Hedley House — which brings me to my query, how many other families have two or more siblings in the record-spinning biz? . . . CBS-loving Chris Cole (Guildford), look out — following last week’s quote, Loraine Trent says “Right, I’ll have him!” . . . Julio Iglesias’s huge breakthrough with a foreign language hit could hopefully make UK companies realise that the main charm of Continental recordings is that they AREN’T in English . . . I always play the foreign version on the rare occasion we get the choice (even ‘D.I.S.C.O.’ is quite palatable in French!) . . . Vicky D ‘This Beat Is Mine’ should be retitled ‘This Synth Is Evelyn King’s’! . . . EWF’s tricky ‘Let’s Groove’ intro varies down to synch sensationally over Tom Browne’s ‘Fungi Mama’ (my mix), and ‘Godmoma Here’ goes great with ‘Do It Roger’ (Graham Gold’s mix) . . . Groove Weekly’s Catherine Dean evidently would be lost for words without this page — hi, Cathy! . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) seems so hung up on ‘Brideshead Revisited’ that he’s even incorporated his chart into an accurate pastiche of a typical scenario . . . Christmas may be coming but we’d still appreciate getting as many DJ charts as possible over this busy period: however, please note that if you’ve any disco dates or comparable urgent info, our deadline for anything happening up to January 6th is this coming Tuesday — yes, TUESDAY (15) — and for dates later in January it’s the following Monday (21), after which we won’t be looking at the mail again until the new year . . . KEEP ‘EM COMING!


UK NEWIES

MIRAGE: ‘As From Now’ (Copasetic COP 005, via PRT).
Extremely classy excellent smoothly pushing then choppily jiggly Michael Jackson / Brothers Johnson-ish exciting high-flying 122-123-125bpm backbeat stormer with some yowling guitar, presumably on 12in but reviewed off 7in.

DIANA ROSS: ‘Tenderness’ (Motown TMGT 1248).
Infectiously buoyant bubblingly tugging 119bpm 12in skipper from her Chic session, and a lot stronger than anything on her new album, flipped by a brand new but very disjointed long ‘Medley’ of old Supremes classics.

SYREETA: ‘Quick Slick’ (Motown TMGT 1247).
Delightfully sung bass synth burbled slinky 116bpm bouncy funk bumper suddenly comes alive now it’s on beefed-up 12in, with instrumental flip.  Continue reading “December 12, 1981: Mirage, Diana Ross, Syreeta, Fatback, Purple Flash”

December 5, 1981: Alton Edwards, New York Skyy, Gayle Adams, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Aurra

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THE KOOL Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ is proving too hot to hold and now it’s being rushed on sale before Christmas in a fortnight, flipped by the original studio version of ‘Summer Madness’ . . . Central Line’s album is out in the States next week, the UK version in January having an extra bonus track, but as a stop-gap Phonogram are importing US copies for sale here before that — so don’t pay Import prices . . . Angela Bofill’s LP is not actually out here yet, having been put back to the New Year, although Tom Browne’s is now in the shops — and the correct titles for his two hot tracks turn out to be ‘Fungi Mama/Bebopafunkadiscolypso’ and ‘Bye Gones’ (the latter sung by Keith John) . . . Melba Moore’s album is due here next weekend . . . Ernie Watts has evidently discofied Vangelis’s ‘Chariots Of Fire’ film theme for US Qwest 12in, while Michael Henderson ‘(We Are Here To) Geek You Up’ and Sylvers ‘Come Back Lover Come Back’ are reportedly on US 12in too (promotionally at least) . . . Lakeside have two different conflicting new sets on Solar in the States, respectively via WEA and RCA . . . Charmaine Burnette ‘(Am I The) Same Girl’ (PRO 12in), reviewed last week in haste, actually has a better 0-87-88-89bpm B-side dub played by trumpet over a good sparse beat, listed on the label as being Session In Session ‘Direct Response’ (although the tune is still in fact ‘Soulful Strut’) . . . George Benson’s 12in B-side version of ‘Soulful Strut’ is 0-101bpm, and ‘Unchained Melody’ 0-33½bpm . . . Theo Loyla is now disco plugger at MAP (Magnum Associate Promotions), where not surprisingly he already has his old DJ mailing list — incidentally, Theo, the G-Clefs / Freddie & The Dreamers ‘I Understand’ was based on ‘Auld Lang Syne’ . . . Debbie Gopie’s stay at DJM was short lived, her redundancy following hard on Dave McAleer’s resignation, so that now the future of the Champagne label itself must be in serious doubt . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn invite anyone from the disco industry to their Christmas luncheon at Maidenhead’s Riviera Hotel next Sunday (13), tickets for four course menu, speakers, awards and cabaret costing £9.75 from Steve Brandy, TVDJA, PO Box 39, Staines, Middlesex (cheques payable TVDJA) . . . Essex Radio’s programme controller, despite the new ILR station’s situation in one of England’s funkiest counties, has decided there’s no call for a soul show — still, everyone there listens to Dave Brown on BBC Radio Medway, don’t they? . . . Roger Tovell, whose ‘Friday Funkshun’ goes out weekly between 7-10pm on Gloucester’s Severn Sound, alternates with Sean French as the Sunday guest of resident John Rowe at Cheltenham’s new Frenchies in the Charles Hotel (or is that a pub?) . . . Neil Fincham is now resident at Edinburgh’s plush Uptown in South Clark Street, Colin Cordrey helping him at the funkier weekends when (Fri/Sat) they hope to stay as up-front as possible . . . John Mayoh has been joined at Bolton’s Cinderella Rockerfellas by John Barry (ex-Millionaires), this new partnership promising plenty of zany entertainment including a Charles & Di panto over Christmas . . . Kev Hill (Basildon Sweeneys) reckons everyone is waiting for an excuse really to let rip over the extended holiday period this Christmas, which should see some really massive celebrations, sez he . . . Guy Andrews (Bawtry), I hate to shatter any illusions, but I’m not actually all that into Boney M myself! . . . Chris Cole (Guildford) can’t understand ‘Zulu’s’ high chart showing considering its poor floor performance for him, and in general seems less than enchanted by the product mailed out from CBS . . . Jim Kershaw (Sheffield) says several of the current ethnic African releases, like Pablo ‘Bo Mbanda‘ (Island 12in), are doing the business for him on dancefloors around South Yorkshire / North Midlands . . . Chocolate Milk ‘Blue Jeans‘ (US RCA 12in), Kwick ‘You’re The Kind Of Girl I Like‘ (US EMI America LP) and, especially, the Chi-Lites ‘Try My Side (Of Love)‘ (US 20th Century-Fox LP) are in danger of qualifying for the “One That Got Away” category unless someone else realises their floor potential pretty darned quick! . . . 14-year-old Nigel Halkes, who does Under-13 mobiles with a mate, was bitterly disappointed that Froggy left out his mixing at his recent Under-18’s Radio One disco in Bristol — Nigel saying “it’s not just the people old enough to go to clubs who are interested in hearing the best mixing jock in Britain” . . . Imagination ‘Flashback’, mixed during the instrumental bit after the intro and before the main vocal, is a killer synched through the break in George Benson ‘Give Me The Night’, and ‘Burnin’ Up’ surprisingly vari’s down for a blinder out of Chic ‘Good Times’ (LP/US 12in version), while K.I.D. ‘Hupendi Muziki Wangu?!’ is sensational out of Deodato ‘Whistle Bump’ . . . Perry Haines ‘What’s Funk’ is of course, as I’m reminded, virtually a cover of the Rare Gems Odyssey oldie on Casablanca . . . Twennynine by total coincidence are appropriately at 29 in the disco chart this week! . . . I’m sorry there isn’t room to print the POD chart larger, but it still deserves close scrutiny in comparison with the more specialist main soul-orientated disco chart, and should be considered a main chart too (the split seems to be working rather well, don’tcha think?) . . . FILL THAT FLOOR!


Morgan Khan, the shy and retiring 23-year-old whizz kid founding managing director of Excaliber/R&B Records, the incredible hit release ratio of which is well known, has now just signed a brand new deal for all future material (excluding Imagination) to be released via CBS, UK originated product on his own Streetwave label and licensed US product (from sources like Salsoul) on a split Epic/Streetwave logo. It’s no longer got to be about the product — now his new Streetwave slogan is “longevity . . . continuity”. And teenage girls?!


UK NEWIES

ALTON EDWARDS: ‘I Just Wanna’ (Spend Some Time With You)’ (Streetwave STR A13-1897).
Morgan Khan’s new label bows in with an ultra-exciting hot then cool then hot then cool 121bpm 12in smacker which kinda combines ‘It’s A Love Thing’ and ‘Give It To Me Baby’ over a rhythm track that’s so sharp it draws blood (there’s an instrumental flip), the 7in edit actually making it a tighter song.

NEW YORK SKYY: ‘Let’s Celebrate’ (Epic / Streetwave EPC A13-1898).
Smoothly thudding jiggly base and steady beat driven 118-119-120bpm 12in cool groove giving the impression of having less cooing vocal than instrumental, flipped by the extremely Prince-like but excellent pent up jittery jolting 122-123bpm ‘Call Me‘.

GAYLE ADAMS: ‘Love Fever’ (Epic EPC A13-1881).
Great purposefully chugging break-filled 106-107-108-109bpm 12in smacking bumper with catchy synth and an hypnotic tension as it just keeps right on rolling along.  Continue reading “December 5, 1981: Alton Edwards, New York Skyy, Gayle Adams, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Aurra”

November 28, 1981: Luther Vandross, Bob James, Trini Lopez, Dynasty, Perry Haines

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CBS COMPILATIONS due in a fortnight are a killer Prelude-culled set called ‘Ace Of Clubs‘ featuring Sharon Redd ‘Can You Handle It (Remix)’, Conquest, Vicki Sue Robinson, Empress, Strikers ‘Inch By Inch (Remix)’ and more, and the follow-up to ‘Bitter Suite’ called ‘Second Suite‘, with Eddie Russ ‘Zaius’, Marlene Shaw ‘Go Away Little Boy’, Heath Bros ‘Dreamin’, Bobbi Humphrey ‘Home Made Jam’ and more . . . New York Skyy ‘Let’s Celebrate’ c/w ‘Call Me’ is due next week on Epic/Streetwave 12in and has already been serviced to DJs by Morgan Khan, who is currently working out of CBS’s offices while his own in West Acton are prepared . . . Record Shack would appear to have stepped in at Red Bus/Excaliber following Morgan’s departure . . . Alphonse Mouzon on 12in (finished pressings are 118bpm) has an excellent totally instrumental version as flip . . . Lowrell Simon ‘Love Massage’ actually bangs about a bit at the start, last week’s review being done while Graham Gold was playing it at Gullivers and he had mixed in after the intro . . . Boney M’s 12in version of the not particularly danceable 0-155-0-36/71-0bpm ‘We Kill The World’ features as B-side (not on 7in) a special mixer medley of ‘6 Years Of Boney M Hits’ (starting at 128bpm) which must have helped chart it nationally . . . Dave Rose has left EMI to join WEA in an A&R capacity, but he’s also running a new DJ mailing list supplementary to Fred Dove’s, concentrating on the “white funk” / futurist / heavy metal / Top 40 / video end of disco – but don’t apply as he’s already got his own short list . . . Jenni Nicholson has abruptly and unexpectedly resigned from her assistant disco plugging job at CBS, with talk about returning to Bath – where she’d welcome any PR work for Bristol area clubs / record companies (call 01-886 9393) . . . Showstoppers next Sunday (6) have a special alldayer at Reading Top Rank built around a live appearance by Heatwave, with Chris Hill, Sean French, Brother Louie, Pete Tong, Mike Allan . . . Alton Edwards at his Mayfair Gullivers PA last Friday had to sing along to a specially extended (by me!) combination of vocal, instrumental and back to vocal versions of his ‘I Just Wanna’ white label – the guy has stamina! . . . Tony Todd, the memorably different lead vocalist with TCOJ a few years back, now fronts the rejuvenated line-up of Chequers, who are well worth catching live . . . Dennis Brynner’s mixing partner on Thurs/Fridays at Southampton Barbarella’s, Steve Quinn now joins Dennis and Dave Van Seiger on their Sunday ‘Disco Report’ show over the local university’s Radio Glen to amaze the student listeners with his mixing skills . . . Alan Costa reports for the last month his most popular record at Brighton’s Kings Club and Kings II has been Alec R Costandinos ‘Americana‘ (French RCA) but none of his punters can buy it anywhere . . . Friday (27) at 6 in the morning those four World Go-Go Dancing Record challenging girls step into their shop window in Dudley’s Wolverhampton Street, where they hope to stay until Saturday afternoon next week, gyrating for charity . . . Martin Platt’s last charity marathon run raised an additional £200 from RM-reading DJs (this’ll buy a braille computer and tape recorder for a blind 7 year-old), and he’s now planning to attempt the Land’s End to John O’Groats 2½ weeks running record with nightly stops for an accompanying roadshow to raise money for the Spastics Society – this gives a whole new and accurate meaning to the word “roadshow”! – Martin is actually wanting to hear from any interested roadshow DJs, at 18 Coronation Avenue, Feniscowles, Blackburn, Lancs . . . Alan Taylor (Rhyl), who led the disgruntled North Wales delegation to the Edgbaston Faces DJ Convention, comments “It was another washout, although I agree organiser Steve Dennis held his ground and did his part. The meal service was diabolical, the drinks cost a fortune, and I didn’t learn a thing – same topics, same speakers as last year, same bloody arguments. We all left at 6pm determined not to waste another £40 next year” . . . I always say these sort of events are most useful as meeting places, and Faces was no exception – maybe the answer is for future forums to cut out the speakers and just be a glorified cocktail party? . . . Steve Glover says the Bournemouth disco scene is going through a high at the moment, weekends anyway, the renewed vigour coming from interest in UK “white funk” and “salsa” . . . Disco Lite is a budget priced miniaturised sound-to-light converter constructed as a simple plug-in mains socket adaptor with possible appeal to small mobiles – it only handles 450 watts worth of lighting (7x60w / 11x40w / 18x25w bulbs, or Christmas tree lights) on just the one channel – available direct from Winship & Smith Ltd, 12 Fieldside, East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire OX12 8BS, for £17.20 (p&p included), or from electrical shops at about £18.09 . . . Graham Bond (Teesvalley Roadshow) reports that the refitted Tony’s Records, 162 High Street, Redcar, are discounting current UK disco releases (Kool LP £4.40, Modern Romance 12in £1.60, Linx 12in £1.32) . . . Pete Alex, working in Southern Norway at Kristiansand’s Downtown disco, is another DJ who recommends the already previously mentioned Mikie Burke’s Record Shop, 4890 Grimstad, Norway, which imports disco newies at about the same time (and prices) as shops in Britain, and operates a CoD postal service . . . Bootsy, once a leading light of Southampton University’s soul society, now jocks virtually every night (not Thurs/Sunday) at Chesham-Gatsbys 1812 club . . . Alan Coulthard’s now confirmed as Sat/Mon/Tuesdays at Marble Arch Dial 9 . . . Alan Cody, known around Knotty Ash as Nutcracker of the Liverpool Gnomes, recently trekked to Swindon’s Brunel Rooms and raves about DJ Sandy Martin – whose increased head size should make his trumpet go toot, TOOT! . . . Noel Wright (Watford Baileys Juliets / Ware Beckets) says Bohannon mixes beautifully out of the final break in K.I.D. ‘Hupendi Muziki Wangu?!’ . . . Imagination may be sorry in the long run . . . Pete Tong has obviously heard my mobile goes out for high prices! . . . DO IT TO IT!


UK NEWIES

LUTHER VANDROSS: ‘Never Too Much’ (Epic EPC A13 – 1857).
His languidly swaying distinctively phrased 110bpm US smash is now finally on welcome extended 3-track 12in, flipped by the jerkily lurching 109-110-111bpm ‘Sugar And Spice (I Found Me A Girl)‘, and soulful 45-46 bpm ‘Don’t You Know That?’

BOB JAMES: ‘The Steamin’ Feelin’ (Tappan Zee CBS A13 -1837).
Another Rod Tempterton-penned/arranged terrific bubblingly jaunty though downtempo 101bpm 12in tripper, very similar to if slightly less catchy than ‘Sign Of The Times’ (with which it’s a great mix).

TRINI LOPEZ: ‘Trini Trax’ (RCA RCAT 154).
Back in 1964 when as a mere broth of a lad I was jocking in America on Long Island, about the only white record I ever had to play was Trini’s ‘Live At PJ’s’ LP – and he’s now revived the exact same material (‘If I Had A Hammer’ etc) and singalong hootenanny format but in 144bpm 12in medley style, making it a must for MoR crowds and a likely smash.  Continue reading “November 28, 1981: Luther Vandross, Bob James, Trini Lopez, Dynasty, Perry Haines”

November 21, 1981: Brandi Wells, Norman Connors, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Tom Browne, Tracy Weber

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

KOOL’S HOT ‘Get Down On It’ is set for white label 12in circulation just before Christmas, going on sale at the start of January . . . Morgan Khan’s first rush-release on Streetwave will be Alton Edwards ‘I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You)‘, an ultra-exciting if – in 12in form – slightly rambling 121bpm smacker with a rhythm track that’s so sharp it draws blood (this is remixed and not the same version as originally put about by DJM) . . . Rick James has some great videos doing the rounds, ‘Give It To Me Baby’ revealing a temperature-raising lady and ‘Super Freak’ a squad of lovelies, while he and Teena Marie are both featured in concert . . . Kool’s ‘Steppin’ Out’ is also on video . . . Great Yarmouth Tiffany’s this Saturday (21) holds a DJ Jamboree (7.30pm – 1am) with six jocks on stage simultaneously accepting 20p requests for charity, Pepe spinning soul, Roger Dynamite futurist, Bobby H rock, Paul Major jazz-funk, Ian Soames rockabilly, Paul Venables pop – things could get noisy! . . . London’s pirate radio stations, operating mostly on Sundays and now rather overcrowding the FM wavelengths, held a big meeting last week convened by Radio Invicta at which all their various grievances were thrashed out – while channels of co-operative contact were opened not a lot else was resolved, although the first initial outcome is likely to be some wavelength changes, with a further meeting called before Christmas . . . Ricky MacKenzie has joined Karen Spreadbury in the Eyes And Ears PR firm and is compiling a DJ mailing list, so send full work details to her at 31 Osborne House, 414 Wimbledon Park Road, London SW19 (01 769 9673) . . . Barry McCloud Enterprises are updating their DJ mailing list to 1,000 for transfer to computer – apply to Linda Winning at Suite 29, Isabel House, 46-47 Victoria Road, Surbiton, Surrey (01 399 5324) . . . I dunno who’s sent ’em, but everyone except me seems to have had Reggae Allstars and Defunkt promos . . . Alistair Watt (Fraserburgh) says he’s at least one rock jock who reads this page – and Carrere confirm they had great response to their recent request for rock jocks . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn members (non-members welcome too) meet this Sunday (22) at noon in Cippenham Alexandras on Bath Road in Slough to hear about equipment technicalities, insurance, and legal CB rigs – TVDJA details from Frank Smith on Ashford (Middx) 42587 . . . Adrian Williams (who with Ian Turner spins hot wax Thurs/Fri/Saturdays at Rhyl Central Hotel’s Grass Roots wine bar) was thoroughly underwhelmed by the Birmingham Faces DJ Convention and together with others from North Wales left before the open forum . . . Graham Bond (Teesvalley Roadshow) however reckons that Faces “was the best weekend I’ve had for ages, everybody was very friendly and I’ll be going again next year” . . . Greg Wilson (Wigan Pier/Manchester Legend) points out that not all the Northern jocks at Faces had chips on their shoulders, he and Paul Randall (Legend) both took the stage to scold the complainers: speaking as well connected and well paid DJs in two of the UK’s top clubs, Greg says it’s up to the Northerners to narrow the advantage London area DJs have in being local to the record companies by keeping in close contact with the companies themselves and going to them rather than expecting things to be served up on a silver salver . . . I know for a fact that pluggers put PA’s in venues and service DJs with exclusive promos wherever in the country they may be as long as those venues/jocks create the right chemistry, which amounts to an enthusiastic environment made up of responsive crowds and civilised surroundings held together by someone who knows what they’re doing . . . Andy Collins reveals that the “Bobby Moore” chant began in the Fusion Few and Magnum Force coach on the way to Caister as rhyming slang for “Are you sure?” (“Are you Bobby Moore?”), and built from there to take over by Sunday’s finale as THE Caister call – Andy also complains that there wasn’t enough of Sean French at peak times (“he’s brilliantly stupid at big events”), adding Tom Holland and Chris Brown did good sets playing newies . . . Phil ‘Rod’ Andrews, whose ’60’s chart was printed last week, is now at Derby’s Horse and Groom on Mon/Tues/Wednesdays, plus the Woofters Roadshow does a promotional disco all day Saturdays in Derby’s HMV Shop to help boost sales . . . Joe Williams jazz-funk Mondays in Tottenham have moved from Elton’s to Valentino’s (the old Charlie Brown’s), Steve Walsh starring next week (23) . . . Soho’s Hombres in Wells Street (north of Oxford Street) is the latest London club to have 25p drinks all night, on Tuesdays . . . Samantha’s in New Burlington Street (west of Regent Street) is finally removing its celebrated E-Type Jaguar DJ booth after 17 years . . . Rockerfellas “tomorrow” is long time coming . . . Pete Tong is now, apart from odd Sunday gigs, only at London Baker Street’s Barracuda every Fri/Saturday, his old Hilltop venue having closed on Mondays while Nicky Peck has taken over Fridays at Charing’s King Arthur’s Court . . . Mondays at the Barracuda are now live music night under the name ‘Diverse’, £3.50 tickets (including automatic membership) in advance only, full details on 01-903 2962 . . . Alan Coulthard now funks Fri/Saturdays at Dial 9 off Marble Arch, between his University of London studies . . . Lee Taylor, ex-Tokyo Joe’s, heads for Holland and four months in Chevingham – but what club? . . . Incognito’s 7in sleeve has one of the Big Dipper’s Heavenly Bodies posing with Bluey . . . Imagination’s pianist Tony Swain very obviously plays on the theme from Barbara Woodhouse’s new TV series . . . Phonogram are picking up Ruddy Thomas ‘Just One Moment Away’ . . . Four Tops ‘Don’t Walk Away’ will be follow-up, and Bar-Kays ‘Nightcruising’ is set for UK 12in . . . Sunnie correctly draws for the fine distinction that the Pretenders ‘I Go To Sleep’ is actually more like Dusty Springfield than Dionne Warwick . . . Keith Henderson (Birkenhead 644 8178) says the funk scene in Merseyside is improving, and then in the next breath adds he’s looking for somewhere to funk . . . Central Line’s ‘Walking Into Sunshine’ is now Top 40 in the US soul chart and even a low entry in the Pop Hot 100 . . . Paul Major (Yarmouth), that’s a 15-17, and a 15-31 to you too, fella! . . . ALL THE GOOD NUMBERS!


SANDY MARTIN of Swindon’s Brunel Rooms is currently being nicknamed ‘Toots’ thanks to his activities with a trumpet, especially in accompaniment to Blue Rondo A La Turk – for which he also gets whistles and maraccas going. He used to jock in Scotland. Could it be a case of – sorry ‘baht this – “Toots Mon”?!


UK NEWIES

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Turn Your Love Around‘ has turned up on 3-track 12in (Warner Bros) with ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘Soulful Strut’, and PATTI AUSTIN’S 123bpm ‘The Genie (Remix)‘ is on 12in now too with the 103bpm ‘Every Home Should Have One’ (Qwest). Other hot numbers which lack of space and time mean you must wait until next week for full review include PERRY HAINES ‘What’s Funk?‘ (Fetish Funk Rox.12in – 115-114-113-112bpm), DYNASTY ‘Love In The Fast Lane‘ (Solar 12in – 111bpm), GQ ‘You’ve Got The Floor‘ 120-119-118-121-119bpm / ‘Face To Face’ 98bpm / ‘I Love (The Skin You’re In)’ 106-108bpm / ‘Shy Baby’ 114-116bpm (Arista LP), ANGELA BOFILL ‘I Do Love You‘ 0-56/111-56/111bpm / ‘Tropical Love’ 0-43/87bpm / ‘Something About You’ 113-114bpm.


IMPORTS

BRANDI WELLS: ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ (LP ‘Watch Out’ US WMOT FW 37568).
Watch out indeed – for the next Evelyn King! Mixing sensationally with her last two hits, the otherwise classy slow set’s two killer dance cuts are exceptionally strong, this powerfully lurching 113bpm snickety strutter progressing through some great sparse breaks to have a slight edge over the chunky bass rumbled 117bpm title track, which has a rap about her backing band and some superb scatting. Dynamite stuff!

NORMAN CONNORS. ‘Mr C’ LP (US Arista AL 9575).
Satisfyingly strong consistent set (especially for listening), dominated by the punchily pushing 0-132bpm instrumental jazz title track which has to be the best of its bass and brass powered searing sort for months, up-tempo vocal cuts being the Temperton/Wonder-ish jauntily jerky smacking 0-116-118bpm ‘Keep Doin’ It‘, Latin flavoured urgent jittery 118-120bpm ‘Stay With Me‘, Jean Carn & Derrick Hughes-duetted tripping 0-109bpm ‘Love’s In Your Corner‘ mellow shuffling 119-120-121-120-121bpm ‘She’s Gone‘, and heavily funky 114bpm ‘Party Town‘.

MIKE & BRENDA SUTTON: ‘We’ll Make It’ (US SAM S-12342).
Superstars they may yet be despite their unalluring name, this terrific backbeat kicking 117bpm 12in swinger being not only just like Phyllis Hyman’s ‘You Know How To Love Me’ as if sung by Ashford & Simpson, but also a mind bogglingly similar mix out of Melba Moore’s ‘Take My Love’. It’s a hot one!  Continue reading “November 21, 1981: Brandi Wells, Norman Connors, Mike & Brenda Sutton, Tom Browne, Tracy Weber”

November 14, 1981: George Benson, Incognito, Earl Klugh, Syreeta, Jakob Magnusson

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MORGAN KHAN, who built Excaliber single-handed and then even more significantly R&B (which scored three hits with its first three releases), has formed a new label called Streetwave with CBS in a deal that could make him almost as rich as the rest of his family, the label to be headquartered in fashionable downtown West Acton . . . Linx won Capital Radio’s People’s Choice vote last week but I’ve yet to find a DJ that doesn’t agree their new single is awfully dull . . . Hot Cuisine’s ‘Disco Calypso’ is being issued as remixed A-side — and, incidentally, which US disco chart is it that they’re top of? . . . Dynasty ‘Love In The Fast Lane’ and Donald Byrd ‘I’ll Always Love You’ are due on 12in . . . Wallabys opened on Tuesday and not Monday, as an unfortunate printing vision last week would have had you believe, Jeff Young’s gig being at another venue on the previous night and Martin Collins’s weekly night at Luton’s Hat & Bonnet on Tuesdays — apologies to all concerned . . . Anthony Bernards & Ken Gerou will be taking Wallabys to various venues around the London area as a loveable feast, full details of dates as they are decided . . . BG & Alex Allders, late of Funktion, have formed their own Winners moveable event, having taken over London’s Embassy this Monday just gone for an historic event fancy dress party, and then start two weekly next Thursday (19) at the Exclusive Club in Margaret Street on the site of the old Speakeasy . . . Jr. Walker last Wednesday at Mayfair’s Gullivers could not have found a better setting or atmosphere for his dynamite chuck and jive-filled act — protesting after every number that he had to go, he nevertheless stayed on for an hour and a quarter of energy packed blowing and hollering all firmly rooted in the blues, to produce one of the very best nights that Gullivers has ever seen . . . Mark Haywood’s Roots With Zoots night every Monday at Soho’s Le Beat Route features 1940s/early ’50s R&B and boogie laced with doowop . . . Mark Clark (Bracknell) is in charge of presentation at Earl’s Court’s Ski Show from Saturday (14) for eight days, promising plenty of appropriately cool soft soul and jazz over the speaker system . . . Tom Amigo & Steve Wiggins are cataloguing 10,000 singles from 1973 to now, all tastes and invite jocks with wants to send an SAE to Steve at 19 High Street, Barry, South Glamorgan CF6 8EA — legitimate DJs will get a good deal . . . Frenchie reports from the North-West that — in places like Manchester’s Placemates, Legends, Rufus, Wigan Pier, Blackpool Man Fridays, etc — the jazz-funk scene has survived the disasters of 1980 to get back on the right track, and he wonders how this compares with the scene down South . . . Steve Dennis and Gibbo, playing disco/soul and electro/futurist respectively at Edgbaston Faces, both say their punters are demanding newies rather than oldies — how refreshing . . . Alan Gaskell (St Helens) buys his imports at Liverpool City Centre’s Rumbelows (NEMS) in Whitechapel, where prices are LP £5.49/£5.99, 12in £3.49, 7in £1.10 (in the current climate these prices may have changed by now), while Steven Fay (Darwen) recommends Manchester’s HMV Records in Market Street for 7in imports and LPs . . . Alan Coulthard’s killer mix between Modern Romance’s ‘Tear The Roof Off The Moose’ and their US ‘Can You Move’ rapper remix of ‘Salsa’ reveals a remarkable similarity in the backing tracks . . . Jon Williams (Birkenhead) reckons all labels should employ a clerk to BPM their disco releases so that the correct BPM can be printed on the record, thus spreading the enjoyment of the art of mixing to all DJs . . . Sylvers ‘Come Back Lover Come Back’ last week should have been printed as 0-108-107bpm . . . Neil Benjamin (Guildford) now looks ultra-futuristic but used to roadie for Chris Brown, and says “hi” to Chris . . . Roger J Cooperman souls Wed/Sat/Sundays at Reflections in Stratford, E15 . . . Xmas hits are tricky to predict too far in advance, but I for one won’t be upset if Cliff Richard’s revival of ‘Daddy’s Home’ wins the race this year . . . I wonder how many other mobile DJs find their biggest request is nearly always Dire Straits? . . . KEEP ‘EM HAPPY!


LUTHER VANDROSS, looking like Lenny Henry on his finally released album’s sleeve, made his name as a session singer and by doing numerous commercial jingles for US TV and radio, before finding fame as the vocalist on Change’s ‘Glow Of Love’ and ‘Searching’. Didja know though that he arranged the vocals for Barbra & Donna’s ‘Enough Is Enough’?


UK NEWIES

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Never Give Up On A Good Thing’ (LP ‘The George Benson Collection’ Warner Bros K65107).
An obviously high quality oldies double album set (including CTI and Arista material), packed in a single pocket sleeve with a testimonial filled booklet, the only newie apart from the 7in-issued 102bpm ‘Turn Your Love Around‘ being this excellent smoothly whomping brassy 114bpm backbeat smacker which is already huge for demo-serviced jocks and well up to his usual standard … though word has it that the rest of his newly recorded material was not, hence this hasty stop-gap set.

INCOGNITO: ‘North London Boy’ (Ensign ENYT 221).
Their most commercial bet yet, this terrific powerfully skipping 121-122-123bpm 12in jazzy shuffler has het-up vocals by Tessa Webb, the good lyrics interspersed with some searing sax stabs.

EARL KLUGH: ‘Twinkle’ (Liberty 12UP 647).
Dynamite bass snapped delicate but beefy 123bpm guitar picked instrumental jazz jitterer, great mixed out of ‘Heavy On Easy’, on 3-track 12in with the lusher ‘Broadway Ramble’ and ‘Dance With Me’.  Continue reading “November 14, 1981: George Benson, Incognito, Earl Klugh, Syreeta, Jakob Magnusson”

November 7, 1981: Modern Romance, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Twennynine with Lenny White, Rick James, Teena Marie

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DAVE McALEER, evidently disenchanted by the lack of chart success for such hot product as Jerome, has announced he is leaving DJM/Champagne . . . Champagne meanwhile are readying their ‘Re-Mixtures’ follow-up, an 8-track LP split between UK and US material (Justo Almario ‘Sho’ You Right’ being the only one with any previous action), this set appropriately titled ‘Pre-Mixtures’ and selling for the price of an import 12” . . . US imports have however shot up in price again, even Groove now listing albums at £6.49 (though regular DJ customers get a discount) . . . Second Image blow the brass on – guess what – the Jam’s current hit! . . . Kool’s ‘Get Down On It’ has spawned a new hand gesture, at the relevant points in the song you point in time with the music at the point you’d like your partner to get down onto, grinning wickedly the while! . . . Gonzalez are looking ultra sharp these days all dressed in tuxedos, with a gorgeous sexy black lady now singing and gyrating out front, Janice Hoyte . . . Jeff Young is not only up-dating the soul, general and rock mailing lists at Phonogram but he is also compiling a brand new electro/futurist DJ list, so any busy jocks with big audiences who’d like a stab at any of these should send full work details to Jeff at Phonogram, 50 New Bond Street, London W1Y 9HA . . . Rush Release had nothing to do with the 7-Up rock ‘n’ roll mailout, which was sent by someone else (PEEL? MAP?) . . . Noreen Allen has shifted sideways following Motown’s departure to handle now the general EMI disco mailouts . . . Gee Bello tells me that Light Of The World’s new single was written a year ago and recorded six months ago – so if it sounds like Linx (who have the exact same line-up) it must be something in the air! . . . EMI incidentally sent some people a pair of snazzy pale blue socks imprinted with a Light Of The World logo . . . RCA celebrated the acquisition of Motown with a party at Soho’s Le Beat Route, where an impromptu raffle of various Motown LP sets raised £110 for Capital Radio’s Help A London Child campaign . . . Motown’s back catalogue is now available through RCA, and still includes a lot more old singles than you’d probably realised . . . Decibel Disco Distributors – just opened at 99 Stoke Road, Slough (Slough 35814) – as well as selling gear also service it, with a Monday in / Friday out turnaround and subsidised collection/delivery . . . Trevor Walters sounds so exactly like the record when singing live over the instrumental version at PA’s it is uncanny . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry Freddie’s Bar) now joins those raving over Continental hit Pino D’Angio ‘Ma Quelle Idea‘ – how about it, RCA? George Andrew (Salford) says as well as on the expensive German double pack, Boney M ‘Margherita’ has been on French Carerre 7in for ages (49.709) – the twin 12in set being the big attraction though, and Gordon Laing (Hamilton) is desperate to get it . . . Alan Costa (Brighton Kings Club Kings II) is back from Venezuela recommending salsa fans to check out Billo’s Caracas Boys ‘Billo 81½’ LP – but where’dya get it, Al? . . . Sandy ‘Toots’ Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) horrified the Halloween punters by eventually opening the coffin, to reveal – Buzby! . . . Gail Cartwright, Denise Hickman, Kim Bissell and Julie Smith attempt to break the 200 hours 7 minutes World Go-Go Dancing record starting Friday 27th November at 6am (if successful they’ll still be wiggling at 2pm on Saturday 5th December!) backed up by the Signs, In Transit and Tracks ‘N Grooves mobile discos, all in a shop window in Dudley’s Wolverhampton Street – sponsors to benefit the Lower Gornal Children’s Leukemia Appeal Fund should contact Al Gilbert on 021-557 6609 . . . Rob Harknett debuts next week (Tues/Wed 10/11) at Harlow’s new 1920’s decorated Joseph’s Bar (restaurant & disco) where he’ll be having to use the managements own record selection – will they be 78rpm to go with the decor? . . . Frenchie has managed to get a Sunday dancing licence for his Charnock Richard gig at the Bowling Green, this solo venture not however indicating any sort of a split with his partner Pete Haigh . . . Feta Anikulapo-Kuti evidently celebrated last February 28th in Nigeria by marrying 26 wives all at the some time! . . . Greg Phillinganes (pronounced Fill-in-gains) when asked for simplicity’s sake who he had NOT played with, after a moment’s pause said “Earth Wind & Fire – by that much!” . . . Lesley Gore’s original ‘It’s My Party’, was, it seems timely to remind you, produced by Quincy Jones . . . Flash Gordon (Bristol Misty’s) reckons Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’ LP track sounds like a future smash . . . Martin Starr has started a soul column in ‘Out West’, Bristol’s listings magazine . . . Bristol’s DJ mafia are miffed by Radio West paying less attention to them than they say they’d evidently been promised – but then isn’t that the story wherever a new station opens up? . . . Paul Gambaccini’s Drifters history last Thursday on Radio One was excellent . . . DJ diners discovered last Friday night that the kitchen had burnt out at Rockerfella’s, off Regent Street . . . Sunday morning in wooded Surrey was breathtakingly beautiful, the trees at their most brilliantly autumnal and the sun shining as I motored back from a gig prior to Inter-City expressing (without sleep) up to Birmingham after all . . . Paul Allen of 170 Claremount Road in Halifax had all his gear stolen – equipment, lights, records, the most easily identifiable should anyone in the area be offered any for sale being a Citronic mono console MM313L (Serial number 940081 – 94881/SP25/F4300), Citronic P100 amp (s/no T7023), and a Lewis 10 band graphic 120w amp . . . Davy King (Ballymena Raglan), sorry I don’t know nuffink about makes of lighting equipment . . . Steve Walsh joke corner: “What’s the difference between Steve Walsh and Polo? People like Polo!” (whoops, you’ve probably just sussed who the Pope joke was about!) . . . MAKE ‘EM LAUGH!


CAISTER

Ever since saying that there weren’t many new records played at Caister, I’ve had a succession of aggrieved DJ’s telling me I should have been in such and such a venue at such and such a time and I’d have heard them play such and such a newie. I actually made a point of spending more time than usual in both venues specifically to listen to the music. I also conferred both at Caister and since receiving these complaints with other people whose judgement I trust. I still think that too many old records were being featured, but will grant the jocks that they did a good job and that the people who matter, the punters, had a lovely time. Northern Soul fans have a lovely time in Wigan, too, and that I fear is where the concentration on oldies and recherche jazz is heading, the Southern scene if the DJ’s aren’t careful. Robbie Vincent pointed out that at least the oldies were a fresh selection and not Brass Construction or Roy Ayers all the time (Froggy then upset this argument by later confessing that he had played them in his last session!), Robbie adding that very sensibly, new records were built up to, out of ones that everyone knew. Two years ago, though, it was the other way round and so much new material was being played by every DJ that it was the oldies which were built up to . . . this being what made them stand out. Two years ago it could be said (though not by me) that there was much more strong new material about. Two years ago the big hits to come out of the first Caister, which everyone played on all their sessions, were ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ and ‘Ring My Bell’. Would any of the DJs now play ‘Ring My Bell’? Like hell, they would!


FACES

THE FIRST thing you see on stepping out of a train at Birmingham is a building with big letters on it saying “Futurist”. This turns out to be a cinema, but no matter, as that is where much of Birmingham’s night life is currently at, musically speaking. Disco was the topic of discussion on Sunday though, at the DJ Convention in Edgbaston’s Faces, where 290 disco jocks turned up to meet each other (most important) and listen to a variety of guest speakers droning on. The only one to get a cheer was Morgan Khan, who merely stepped mikeside to say that despite his showdown at R&B/Excaliber he has far more exciting future plans in the contract signing stage. The forum finally got going with an open discussion which mainly consisted of pain in the arse Northerners with chips on their shoulders having a go at London Lyceum DJ Steve Walsh and WEA’s Fred Dove about the age old North versus South attitude, and why doesn’t Fred send out rock records (“Because I’m head of black music promotion!”). This was great fun if not very constructive and was just settling into a nice invective-spitting groove when convention organiser Steve Dennis called it to an untimely halt. Boo! In a combination fax ‘n info quiz and It’s A Knockout-style silly games competition between teams from the North and South, it was perhaps quite telling that while the Northerners were better at games, it was the Southerners’ far superior knowledge that won not only the quiz but the whole contest. An actually rather subdued Fatman Graham Canter had drafted me into the Southern team without telling me about the games, and I’m afraid I was too tired to take in exactly what was expected of me, but I probably wouldn’t have done any better if I had known! Overall, despite the greatly increased attendance, the convention seemed a bit less significant than last year’s – however, it was very well organised and well worth attending as a meeting place. I greatly enjoyed meeting and re-meeting many of our regular chart contributors and am glad I sacrificed sleep and good sense to go there after all. And so back by train, with a guard who over the intercom sounded exactly like Reginald Bosanquet. Very Strange!


UK NEWIES

MODERN ROMANCE: ‘Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey’ (WEA K 18883T).
Sensational ultra-happy conga-kicking singalong fun, the 12in version of the 118bpm title track (an instant pop smash) then continuing as a great instrumental 117bpm ‘Moose On The Loose’ with Beggar & Co-ish “woah-oh” chants (good mixed with ‘Zulu’), the flip being a cooler 118bpm dub amusingly called ‘Tear The Roof Off The Moose‘ – these latter two versions being fine for less pop-orientated venues as nobody’ll know what’s hit them, they’ll just dance.

BLUE RONDO A LA TURK: ‘Me And Mr. Sanchez’ (Diable Noir VS 463 – 12, via Virgin).
Equally sensational frantically flying zestful 127bpm 12in salsa blast, produced by Pete Wingfield with lots of authentic rhythm and jazzy playing coming through on the ‘Club Mix’ while the more vocal ‘Extended Mix’ (not necessarily longer) has English accented lyrics. Try it out of Bunny Mack.

TWENNYNINE with LENNY WHITE: ‘Twennynine (The Rap)’ (LP ‘Just Like Dreamin’ Elektra K 52325).
Excellent consistent sounding coolly rhythmic set with several potentially hot cuts, this being a great powerful bass bumped 115bpm chix-rapped smacker (good between Slave and Skool Boyz), ‘Need You‘ an infectious chunkily rolling 96bpm beefy offbeat-smacking jogger, the title track a softly cooed gentle Sergio Mendes-ish 0-114-115bpm floater, while the 117-121bpm ‘Rhythm‘, 113bpm ‘Movin’ On‘ and 117-119bpm ‘Don’t Look Back‘ are all variations on a pervasive bass-pushed guys ‘n’ gals-sung classy dance sound.  Continue reading “November 7, 1981: Modern Romance, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Twennynine with Lenny White, Rick James, Teena Marie”