ODDS ‘N’ BODS
DARTFORD FLICKS caught fire a fortnight ago while Morrissey Mullen were playing, the fire spreading from a kitchen extraction unit and mainly damaging the roof, but thanks to proper fire drill and no punter panic (for which DJ Colin Hudd gives thanks) all 700 inside were outside in three minutes — no disasters so no national press coverage of a disco blaze that ended well, huh? — all of which means that Colin’s gigless and Flicks is closed for a couple of months until the revamped “space age” reopening . . . ‘Orange Grove‘ has appeared in the plural (‘Groves’) as by Ranson/McKenzie & Friends on finished label Smokey 12in (SMJD 005), the 131-132bpm jazz-funk flier having hit on white label as by Ransom, MacKenzie & Friends . . . other white labels about include Second Image ‘Star‘, a Roy Carter-produced cleanly striding 120-121bpm smacker (due next week on Polydor); Congress ‘You Gotta Get It Right‘, a Gonzalez associated chap-sung building 110-118-110bpm bumbling soul shuffler with “you can get it girl”-type whispering group refrains (Tooti Frooti); Linx ‘Plaything‘, disappointingly starts as a convincing beefy Walden-ish 0-120bpm smacker before dissipating in a sub-Jacksonian jumble of directions which so far have cleared floors fast (Chrysalis); Chris Hunter ‘Keep This One In Tune’, a jerkily bounding inconsequential 120bpm thudder with nice sax by sessioneer Chris but about as much actual vocal tune as Patrick Boothe (Polydor); plus there’s an extended 118-119bpm promo remix of Rose Royce ‘Best Love’ (Epic) . . . Dennis Brown and Change are evidently about on UK 12in now . . . First Light ‘Horse With No Name’ should be 129bpm . . . Incognito really blazed on their instrumentals at Gullivers recently, while last week Elixia lived up to all the raving that’s been going on in Essex, although their proposed ‘Changing Me Over’ debut single (on cassette) could be more adventurous and less typically Britfunk . . . Streetwave’s Morgan Khan has passed his driving test, so if you see a flash Cadillac behaving erratically, run for cover! . . . Bristol jazz-funk mafioso Martin Starr is on a production and presentation course at the National Broadcasting School in Soho’s Greek Street, so not surprisingly he, Superfly and myself met up outside Groove last week . . . Froggy’s evidently remixing releases on Record Shack . . . Neil Fincham (Edinburgh Mad Hatter’s Speakeasy) says Morrissey Mullen ‘Come And Get Me’ is great out of ABC ‘Part 2’, and recommends as a reliable source of imports in Scotland (to order only, 2-3 day delivery) Glasgow’s Disca’s at 1139 Pollockshaws Road . . . Kev Hill, just before quitting the now pop-orientated Basildon Sweeney’s, by chance got great revived action from Finished Touch ‘I Love To See You Dance’ (US Motown, 12in, c.1978) . . . Pete Davis (Derby) warns, re the Sharon Brown remix, “Ignore the sticker and listen first, ‘cos some copies were the original (that’s the swizz!)” . . . Martin Platts, now reputedly working in North Wales (has he really got a gig anywhere?) has been running up Snowdon with a 90lb pack on his back in an effort to raise another £10,000 for charity . . . Sunday 27th June’s National Soul Festival at Margate Winter Gardens features Shakatak and Second Image plus Steve Walsh, Dave Brown, Owen Washington, Ian Shaw, Dave Collins, CJ Carlos and, doing a mixing set, James Hamilton (who’s he?) — come and see how I compare with my 11 years old photo! . . . Tony Howard wonders whether there are any jazz-funk clubs in Worthing: well, Paul Clark does the Montague every Thursday, Tony . . . Nick Ratcliffe has swung Tuesday’s at Camberley Ragamuffins around to black funk, and moves Wed / Fridays to Basingstoke Martines . . . Tony Cochrane has opened the “modern dance” Club Feet in Dundee’s Tay Hotel with DJ Dancing Dick Dastardly on Fri / Saturdays (10pm-2am), plus Under-18s early evening Saturdays . . . Robb Jones’s soul show hit the Hereward Radio airwaves just as I dial tuned driving past Peterborough going home for Whitsun, fading away short of Newark, and sounded more soulful than disco (Saturdays 10pm-1am) . . . Diana Ross threw a wobbler because what she was singing didn’t make the audience boogie, amongst other reasons, and was full of tantrums on her opening Wembley gig — the fact that she got her act together on subsequent nights can’t have helped those original £20 ticket holders . . . ‘The Microphone Boom Of Laura Mars’? . . . Rayners Lane’s Record & Disco Centre, which gets hot imports fractionally early as they’re nearer Heathrow, both hires and sells a comprehensive range of equipment — look out for their special Disco Spiders, a snip at three for £42.90! . . . Martin Kent lost his Truro Penalty Spot gig as the club’s for sale minus one licence, so he’d welcome offers of work at 36 Malabar Road, Truro, Cornwall . . . Paul Major, who’ll need a Svenson himself if he keeps abusing his own hair so, is now nosing for a funky South-East / South Coast gig (who isn’t?), offers to 119 Higher Drive, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk . . . Martin Richards (Erith’s Phoenix mobiles) protests that mobile jocks, just because they give people a good time at MoR gigs, are not themselves (necessarily) Wallys, and I agree, being very much an MoR jock myself when doing parties . . . Tony St Michael (Finsbury Park) wonders whatever happened to — and then lists a thousand names: everyone’s a star for 15 minutes, although many he mentioned are still around . . . Nick Mahon, regrettably, “No” . . . There’s so much product about right now that most of it must, inevitably, get lost (however, maybe now my more recent reviews will finally appear!) . . . Pop Orientated Dance has become the Nightclubbing Chart but is still compiled as before, like the blacker Disco Chart, from DJ’s returns: to contribute, send your dancefloor reaction Top 20 (or more, preferably) to arrive by the Wednesday of the week prior to publication (remember this time lag if enclosing gig info) on your own paper addressed to James Hamilton, Record Mirror, 40 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JT . . . Level 42 as predicted are bigger Nightclub than Disco . . . KEEP IT TIGHT!
PATRICE RUSHEN, pretty as a picture, has finally been replaced after seven weeks by Odyssey as London’s best seller, but she’s still hanging on in our chart after a similar stretch during which not only was her single number one, but her album peaked at number two as well! Is this a record?
LARRY GRAHAM: ‘Sooner Or Later’ (Warner Bros K 17925T).
An immediate monster on promo white label, the sharply smacking simple semi-instrumental 116bpm synth swayer (with just the vocodered title line repeated to occasionally answering chix) is now rush released on 3-track 12in with the vigorously enunciated vocal version and dead slow lovely old 36bpm ‘One In A Million You’ smoocher (these last two alone on 7in). Likely to be vying with Odyssey at the top soon.
RICK JAMES: ‘Dance Wit’ Me’ (Motown TMG 1266).
Promoed on 3-track 12in (with short versions of ‘Give It To Me Baby’ and ‘Super Freak’) but so far commercially only on 7in, this typical though superior smacking 123-124-123bpm hunk of funk drives along with bags of bounce to reach (Pt.2 on 7in) a Roy Ayers vibes break and some searing sax. Try mixing ‘Standing On The Top’, his LP’s ‘Monkey Talks’, then this!
HEATWAVE: ‘Lettin’ It Loose’ (Epic EPC A13-24143).
Barry Blue / Johnnie Wilder-produced Rod Temperton-penned full bodied uncomplicated heavily thudding 109bpm 12in jolting thumper with raunchy rhythm and sleazy Bob James-ian touches, quite incredibly good before BLT’s ‘Tighten It Up’, flipped by the slow rolling 0-93/46bpm ‘Mind What You Find’. Continue reading “June 12, 1982: Larry Graham, Rick James, Heatwave, Shep Pettibone’s Mastermixes, Billy Griffin”