When did you start Djing?
I Started in the mid 1970s just messing around on the decks in mid-week at a Sheffield nightclub called Samantha’s playing records purchased from Wigan Casino / Blackpool Mecca & Samantha’s, but due to life decisions I went away from the “Scene” for around 40 odd years,
I received an invite to a Soul reunion a couple of years ago and realised the love of Northern Soul and long forgotten friends had never gone away.
I received an invite from the 601 club to play a set and the rest they say is history.
I first started DJing in 1973 in church halls and birthday parties playing soul & Motown a year earlier I stumbled into the Northern Soul scene and fell in love with the music.
Marriage and family curtailed my record spending and traveling to different venues.
Fast forward to 2013 were I was fortunate to be invited to DJ for the 601 club, this reignited my enthusiasm and passion for the music.
First started in 1974 but recently picked it up again with the 601 Club five years ago.
What is it about thing the makes it interesting for you?
Because the sounds still being played then and now, are mostly from a bygone era, it still invokes such strong feelings and memories that I thought had long been forgotten. Also seeing a new younger generation having the same feelings for the music that captivated us all those years ago makes me proud to be apart of it.
Each record in my collection is like a glimpse into history.
7” diameter time capsule from up to 60 years ago mainly recording in smokey whiskey fueled studios in far away places like Detroit, Memphis, New York, Atlanta and even London.
I feel privileged to be able to play these discs and experience a little of the hopes and aspirations of the artists involved.
I find each record of great interest and hope that others share my feelings.
Putting sets together to cater for the people who you play to. Playing a different set every time, the 601 Club have a gig.
What makes you decide to play a certain track during your set
I love all the tracks that I play and know that the audience your playing too will as well.
Northern Soul has got many different variations, I personally like the stompers others prefer a more R & B style, or a classic oldies sound but it all makes for a great sound.
Many a time I have cued a track and changed my mind at the last minute, I suppose its just a feeling you get when you know somethings right.
Whenever I am behind the decks my aim is to entertain whoever has taken the time and effort to attend the venue.
No track is ever guaranteed to gain a positive reaction from a crowd but as the set progresses it becomes easier to predict which records will work and get the flared skirts and oxford bags spinning in a cloud of talcum powder.
Usually because it fits the set I have chosen but there’s something special about a live gig when you play a request for someone and the set goes off in a different direction as you know that the next record fits with the one just requested. And we have a unique no set in concrete plan whenever we play, so guests may be invited up behind the decks or we double or triple deck sets.
What’s your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting traditions and sources?
Northern soul is defined by the dancers, the beat, melody, emotion and feelings these are traditions that have never gone away.
One of the many beauties of northern soul is its sheer unknowability. It’s a scene that has always thrived on the rare, the obscure and the undiscovered.
So for me let the new enhance on the old traditions and make the scene as strong today as it was for us
The roots of the music I love are of paramount importance and should never be forgotten.
Blues and R & B are art forms that are the cornerstones of all that followed and every musician and DJ owes those pioneers a huge dept of gratitude.
I hate plagiarism or any form and loathe anyone, with a vengeance, who steals ideas, lyrics or music without crediting the original artists.
As our soul scene is based on the tradition of the 60’s soul we grew up listening to there are certain traditional tunes that people expect. Whilst, on the other hand, there are so many tunes that haven’t been heard for a long time and need playing to an audience that is ever growing to include the new younger generation of young DJ’s on our scene. Coupled with this because of the easy online exchange of information there are many new opportunities to listen to rare and new forms of the music we love.