What makes northern soul so collectable? Words: Katrlna Dlxon
orthern soul might be on to its latest revival but that doesn’t mean it ever went away. Not for nothing is it so often called ‘the most enduring youth cult ever’.
One reason is a love for soul that goes deeper than any mere affection for music and lasts long after the sweat-drenched, buzzing atmosphere of a nighter has faded into warm, blurry memory. And this drives many fans to the other factor that has remained constant throughout the clips and swells of a determinedly underground scene devoted to obscure American black music: the records. And the driving force behind finding the records and turning them into dancefloor favourites for thousands? The collectors.
Some are DJs, some are record sellers, all started out as ordinary fans. Many are pioneers in rescuing forgotten gems on Brunswick, Revilot, Vee-Jay, President, Minit or hundreds of other labels long- gone but now revered.
In the 605 it was Kent-native Dave Godin who led the way, pushing US soul sounds via his Soul City record shop and eventual label of the same name in London as well as his legendary groundbreaking columns in Blues & Soul magazine. Ian Levine would become the next best-known collector. A Motown-obsessed teenager from Blackpool, Levine’s father owned a casino, which funded the ﬁrst of many regular record-buying tn'ps abroad from the late 60s on. Levine, who would eventually move on to producing boy bands such as Take That, became famous and infamous as the main DJ in the Highland Room at Blackpool’s Mecca, the
Scotland. Sunday Soulvllle Fresh www.caledonlaeoul. Air 87.7FM. broadcasting com for info about the on Edinburgh's airwaves forthcoming Woodside
in October Social Club night. i www.3oul-eource.net www.ueers.globalnet for news. reviews.
.co.ukl~abdnpaul for sounds and articles.
12 THI LIST 23 Aug—6 Sept 2001
information about soul in
rival weekly several-thousand body-packer venue to Wigan Casino. His introduction of 705 sounds — an attempt to modernise the scene — split it into 605 versus modern, a move for which many have never forgiven him. Meanwhile, over at Wigan Casino, Richard Searling — still big on the scene and involved with the successful Togetherness events of fellow ex-Wiganite DJ Kev Roberts — was breaking new sounds, many courtesy of Glasgow record collector and seller John Anderson. Anderson became renowned on the scene for sourcing rare soul sounds and eventually set up Soul Bowl Records. Many other collectors have come since: Adey Croasdell,
,. g Tim Brown, Andy Rix to name
but a very few, but Anderson’s far from the only Scottish name in the collector hall of fame. especially nowadays with names such as Kenny Burrell, Keith Money and Richie Conn flying the flag north of the border. The money involved, however, is far bigger.
Bumell,s £15,000 Frank \Mlson 45 is only the most extreme example. Records that were once picked up by Levine, Searling, Anderson or others for 10p back in early 705 and sold for £5 can now go for hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.
There are those who even say that the golden age for collectors. as for northern soul, is over, but with tracks continuing to be unearthed and cheap finds from £1 being continually rediscovered, few can resist holding on to the dream of finding another Frank Wilson or some other undiscovered treasure. No matter how long it takes.
www.nlghtowlclub. 222 Clyde Street.
com for masses of Glasgow.
information. midnight-3am, no entry
www.coul-a-go- after 12.30am, £5.
go.demon.co.uk for Caledonia Soul The Woodside Club. 329
Goodfoot First Fri every month, Riverside Club.
ﬁrst night, Fri 21 Sep. with Keith Money.
Nonh Woodside Road.
' A northern _ soul top ten
1 Frank Wilson: Do I Love You The $315,000 record. a spine-tingling piano opening bursting into an impassioned dancefloor stormer. 500 DJ copies were originally pressed up then destroyed. leaving only two copies. That‘s why it's so expensive.
2 Little Richard: I Don’t Want To Discuss |t Insistent R&B soul with a throbbing bass on Chicago‘s famed Okeh label from 1967 as Mr Tutti Frutti tells his girl how it is. A classic from the Twisted Wheel. Manchester. the club that launched the northern soul scene.
3 Melba Moore: The Magic Touch (unissued) Magic indeed in a perfect slab of grooving 1966 lemme soul issued on Adey Croasdell's phenomenally successful soul reissue label. Kent Records in a compilation of the same
4 Darrell Banks: Open The Door To Your Heart/x1”. ii' i l:; : l '. ""-f' '-‘ "' 'nl '
4' l‘ '- lr: 'rrl' «r': 5 The Flirtations: Nothing But A Heartache Check out that bold James Bond opening, which leads into a tight. brass-driven. tambouririe-accompanied paean to unrequited love from 1969. the only hit for these South Carolina girls. Heart-tugging all the way.
6 Chuck Wood: Seven Days Too Long Back to the Twisted Wheel for a three minute soaring floorshakmg epic on Roulette from 1967 — ideal for the soulful strutter or acrobatic athlete.
7 Stolen Hours: Patrice Holloway Soul and real-life sister to Brenda Holloway. Patrice poured her soulful heart into this 1966 linger- clicking. soul-clapping brassy stormer on Capitol.
8 Etta James: Seven Day Fool Billed as the 'Queen of Soul“ by her label. Chess, half- ltalian. half-black Etta James was in fact, in her element giving vent to her tough. powerhouse voice on gritty R88 numbers like this one on Argo.
9 Dean Parrish: I’m On My Way The garage fuzz opening and pop feel of Parrish's 1968 outing on Laurie records hasn‘t stopped it becoming both a northern soul and mod favourite. Must be the shiver that comes each times it builds up to the chorus.
10 Timi Yuro: It’ll Never Be Over For Me Parrish and Yuro were two out of the “three before eight', the last records played at every Wigan all-nighter. Yuro's 1968, Imperial track nails the feeling of being dedicated to soul. and nails your heart at the same time.
Club Spider's Web. Edinburgh, first Sat of
Michael Collins from Friday Street. Lenny H and Scotch Martin, £23. every month, 8pm—1am. Aberdeen Northern membership on the Soul Club Belmont door.
Social Club, Hardgate. Gennaa Gellatly St Aberdeen, 8pm—1 am. (above Chambers). next night 5 Oct. Dundee. 8pm—1am, first Groove City Soul night 28 Sep.