ODDS ‘N’ BODS
‘E.T. Boogie‘ can hardly be in short supply now — according to one sales chart it is suddenly the nation’s top disco seller, and certainly such as London’s Oxford Street Virgin Megastore have plenty left in stock (the Ex Tras are apparently London’s current best seller) . . . Jonny Chingas ‘Phone Home‘ has taken off like a rocket — try it synched out of Tyrone Brunson . . . Britain’s funk fans really do seem to be splitting, if not segregating, black kids getting heavily into electrophonic phunk while for many the white taste is pure soul music . . . TMT release a Toney Lee remix this week, I Level’s UK newie next week couples ‘Teacher‘ / ‘Number 4’ / ‘Give Me (US Remix)’, Goodie will have a 4-track 12in when he visits with the Gap Band and Yarbrough & Peoples for February dates at Hammersmith (5) and Birmingham (7) Odeons . . . EWF’s LP is not due here until next month, along with a new War set . . . Kabbala’s labels were reversed on many copies, mine included, the faster more immediate dance track indeed being ‘Ashewo Ara’ . . . Sharon Redd, at her much enjoyed reception last week, confirmed that veteran record producer/arranger Gene Redd Jr is her brother — obviously a lot older than her! . . . Greg Wilson (Wigan Pier) won the Imagination medley-mix contest, Alan Coulthard coming second out of 105 entries, some of which were “awful” (to quote a Red Bus spokesman) . . . Greg Edwards is planning to give up his Capital Radio-broadcast ‘Best Disco In Town’, and all other gigs bar Tuesdays at the Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow, in an effort to mellow out in his old age — and hopefully return to acting, maybe . . . Philadelphia International has evidently folded quietly in the States . . . Ensign is moving from RCA to Island for distribution . . . Phyllis Hyman was stunning on Sunday night’s ‘Live From Her Majesty’s’ ITV show, in an abruptly curtailed excerpt from the Broadway smash ‘Sophisticated Ladies’ Duke Ellington musical — which’ll be coming here in May . . . Channel 4’s ‘The Tube’ is filming this Saturday (22) at Canvey Island’s Goldmine (part 1 / part 2 / part 3), where Miles Davis ‘Milestones‘ is Chris Hill’s current rave revival . . . Goldmine owning Stan & Jayne Barrett’s new venue, The Music Room at the Sheffield Arms, Sheffield Park (off the A275 near Uckfield, East Sussex), officially opens on 4th February with Tongy, Youngy & Jonesy operating a rota every Friday and Hilly starting Sundays later that month . . . Jon Williams’s Merseyside fanzine ‘Soulblowin’ (inc. Jay D’s Boogie)’ even in its “test pressing” stage is full of surprisingly up-front news and, dare I say, makes a meatier read than the more ambitious ‘TCOB NOW’ . . . Ric-Tic label legends from the ’60s Edwin Starr, JJ Barnes, Laura Lee, Al Kent, Pat Lewis & Lou Ragland all appear (on stage 5-7pm) this Sunday (23) at Manchester’s Ritz Ballroom alldayer — worth seeing by all old soul freaks . . . Gregg Parker, the London visiting musician currently happy to be thought of as either brother or cousin of Ray Parker Jr, turns out to be neither — he was conclusively caught out by Eyes & Ears Karen Spreadbury when he failed to recognise a photo of Ray (which doesn’t detract from any musical ability he may have) . . . Walt Disney Productions deny signing Steve Walsh to be their latest cartoon character! . . . Martin Prescott (Chelsea Click) has just opened his own Martin Sound & Light equipment shop at 70a Blackstock Road, London N4 . . . Al Dupres, who does a weekly soul show on Hospital Radio Glamorgan, recommends the three Cardiff branches of Odyssey Records for their DJ discounts . . . Andy, Mel, Julian & Sarah at Pitts in Exeter High Street are keen for the locals to know they now stock ‘Soul On Sound’, my preview mix on issue 11 featuring Galaxy-TU Orch/Gap Band/Mahogany/NYC Peech Boys/Dwayne Omarr/Funkacise Gang/Sweet Ecstacy/Charades/Rockers Revenge/Man Parrish/Fresh Face/Trammps/Sunfire ‘Step’/Harry Ray ‘Love’/Mezzoforte/EWF/Futura/Jonny Chingas/C-Bank/Cori Josias/Spencer Jones/Angela Bofill ‘Tough’/Kabbala/Boy Katindig ‘Midnight Lady’, all crammed into 20:58 while this time it was SOS’s engineering adviser Richard Facey who was snoring on the floor! . . . Melba Moore was so pleased with her earlier experience of co-hosting an issue of SOS that she has particularly stipulated she’d like to do another on her latest UK visit, while all the Soul On Sound team (including Tony Jenkins, Graham Gold, Kev Edwards, Ralph Tee and myself) will be doing an alldayer at Epping Forest Country Club on Sunday 6th March — by coincidence just about my 20th anniversary as a DJ . . . Froggy marries glamorous Sue next Wednesday . . . Tony Jenkins, the only DJ to get divorced before he’s even been married?! . . . Nicky Peck, pounding out a different beat? . . . Alan ‘Gibbo’ Gibson (021-472 4670) reckons he’s taken his successful formula of new music as far as he can at Edgbaston’s Faces French and is now looking for fresh venues to conquer . . . Andy Baker (0745-591 135) similarly fancies the fresh challenge of, preferably, a soul/funk venue in London/Manchester/Birmingham but will settle for playing anything, anywhere (just so long as it’s not North Wales, huh?) . . . Watford New Penny’s Mr Harris (Watford 22003 after 9pm Wed-Sun) is yet again looking for DJs — can’t he keep them? . . . Steve Glover is delighted to have left Faradays completely for Bournemouth’s Club Enfer, where everyone boogies down . . . Gary Allan still does the gay nights at McMillan’s but has moved over to Liverpool’s The Warehouse for Fri/Saturdays . . . Dave Thomas jazz-funks Shrewsbury Tiffanys Crystal Goblet every Wednesday, Wayne Everett (better known to the Chingford Funkaholics as ‘Tackleman’) jazz-funks Edmonton Angel’s The Globe every Sat/Sunday pub hours . . . Sean French & George Alexander jazz-soul Harrow Leisure Centre this Saturday (22), Morrissey Mullen play Catford Saxon Tavern Panthers the same night and West Kensington Sunset Club on Sunday (23) . . . Nicky Holloway, whose Monday jazz-soul guests at the Swan & Sugarloaf in Dockhead (near London’s Tower Bridge) are Sean French (24) and Jeff Young (31), is looking for Loleatta Holloway ‘Hit ‘N’ Run‘ and Sonny Stitt ‘Slick Eddie‘ (offers on 01-458 1551) . . . Larry Foster (Flat 4, 216 Romford Road, London E7 9HY) wants a replacement Banbarra ‘Shack Up‘ . . . London Piccadilly’s plush Xenon amongst its stage side shows includes the eccentric spectacle of two Russian dwarfs fighting, but after five minutes “they” suddenly straighten up in the amazing revelation that it’s just been one man, bent double! . . . Ian Levine (Charing Cross Heaven) has Bobby Nunn ‘Never Seen Anything Like You‘ (Motown 12in promo flip) as his gay chart-topper, Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) is into Key Of Dreams ‘Africa (Dub Mix)‘ (Italian Key Of Dreams 12in) . . . Lindsay Wesker seems surprised Bunny Mack ‘Let Me Love You‘ still gets rave reaction, when it’s a true black classic (in London at least) . . . Christmas did not for once see a new Whispers set on Solar import . . . George Clinton ‘Atomic Dog’ is on US Capitol 12in now . . . Trevor John Hughes (Telford 592648) will provide bona fide DJs with tape demos and PAs by new new synth ‘n’ sax electro group Cadre Cadance . . . Rob Harknett (027-979 2329) once again has a pile of ’81/’82 Music Week trade papers free for the collection from Harlow . . . DJ/entertainer Geoff D has left his third season in Jersey to try working in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates — evidently the first to do so . . . Alan Donald (Rothesay) sensibly revives Umberto Tozzi ‘Gloria‘ (CBS 12in) . . . Ned Fincham (Edinburgh Madhatters Speakeasy — not to be confused with Steve Martin upstairs at Madhatters) has split from long time partner Colin Cordrey . . . I only just saw the Hammy Awards issue of RM and should clarify the ”Runners Up (Poodle Cut And Brush Up)” related to “Haircut Of The Year”! . . . Gordy Gordy Hallelujah? . . . Paul Savory (Oxford Coven Club) wants BPMs incorporated into the disco charts — this would be cumbersome and space wasting, but why don’t you copy so many RM-reading DJs and make a file of these pages, referring back to the BPM in the review when you eventually get a record, writing the BPM on it or its sleeve and then boxing the records you use in rough BPM order? . . . Billy Griffin took his time but finally justified our faith, thanks though to radio . . . Gallup are getting it right . . . THERE’S NOTHING SILLY ABOUT THAT!
BLACKPOOL SOUL DJ team, Pete Haigh & Frenchie kindly sent me a digital watch-cum-ballpoint pen for Christmas, which shouldn’t be thought of as a bribe for listing the guys current gigs. Frenchie (real name Chris Tittley) has just started souling Thursdays with Kev Edwards at the Sandpiper in Whalley (how’s that pronounced?!) near Blackburn, and alone still souls Wednesdays at Oscars in Bamber Bridge’s Pear Tree Hotel near Preston, while Pete Haigh on his own has returned to soul Sundays at Caton’s Scarthwaite Hall near Lancaster, and the two of them will begin souling Fridays at Blackpool Central Promenade’s Barons on February 4.
PAPA SIMEON was the youthful and previously unheard of winner from Gloucester of the recent reggae toasting DJ/MC contest at Bristol’s Spencers, hosted by Superfly, David Rodigan and Papa Face, which turned out to be a huge success with people hanging from the rafters but not a glass broken or bag stolen. Second came sly-eyed Striker, who is now already recording radio jingles for all the reggae/soul shows in the South-West.
INDEEP: ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ (Sound Of New York SNYL 1, via PRT).
Fantastic compulsive simple chick-sung chugger with ringing phone, skidding tyres and flushing loo effects, culminating in a rapping DJ who “can do it in the mix”, on multi-banded 12in with various dub versions and the sound effects usefully on their own. If this doesn’t go to the Top 20 I’ll be very surprised.
ROCKERS REVENGE featuring DONNIE CALVIN: ‘The Harder They Come’ (London LONX 18).
Relying more on the strength of the song (which actually cuts through extremely catchily) this immediately familiar 0-114bpm 12in Jimmy Cliff update could just as a result become an even bigger pop hit than their very similar though more gimmicky ‘Walking On Sunshine’, of which the much imported 114½bpm ‘Sunshine Partytime (Rap)‘ version (here possibly retitled ‘Rapping In Sunshine’?) makes a 2-track flip alongside the new song’s short 114½bpm instrumental.
MICHAEL JACKSON: ‘Billie Jean’ (Epic A13-3084).
Nothing to do with tennis this sparsely thrumming purposeful precise 116bpm 12in tripper does in its remixed form now make excellent sense as the album’s first single, his het-up jerky vocalese counterpointing the groove beautifully, with an instrumental version and the old spurting 53/105bpm ‘It’s The Falling In Love’ as flip. Continue reading “January 22, 1983: Indeep, Rockers Revenge, Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), Kadenza, Jerry Knight”