It’s been a while since the blog was up due to the fact that we have given our website a complete overhaul, both at the front end and the back end but it’s finally up and running once again. Lots to catch up with regarding both SSW and MFSB, as well as the records of interest to folk that attend all the SSW/MFSB events, or other clubs that play quality House, rare Soul, Boogie and Disco, Funk and Jazz. Although the SSW website has been down whilst we have worked on it, the work for the SSW event itself has been relentless. We have already announced some of the artistes for SSW8 but we have many more to filter out into the public domain but don’t wait until you see the line up if you require one of the smaller, limited four berth units….Trust me, get your groups organised and get booking as they will sell out fast.
One bit of brilliant news to announce before we get onto the music side of things is that Carlisle airport, just 25 minutes from the SSW venue, is finally ready to start passenger flights. June 4th is when the passenger flights will begin with London, Dublin and Belfast being the three cities that you can fly direct from, as well as being able to get connections from other major airports that fly into London, Dublin and Belfast. It jus’ got a whole lot easier to get to SSW https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/carlisle-airport-reopens-flights-lake-district-stobart-group-london-dublin-belfast-southend-a8173441.html There are several buses coming to SSW8, contact details of organisers will be going on our travel page this week we hope AND if you wanna run a mini bus and get yourself a free pass, or a organise a larger bus and get a couple of passes, e mail us at email@example.com right away and we’ll add your info too. Join that SSW mailing list and you will be notified of all the bus details.
Record dealers at SSW8
Those of you that attended SSW7 will recall that there were some great records for sale at the event, Gavin Page’s stall did a very brisk trade selling some great rare Soul and House tunes and Soul Sam had his box of rarities out now and again, when he wasn’t DJing of course. This year we are well stoked that Liverpool’s finest record store 3b Records will have a stall at SSW, selling both classic and new House music, Disco edits and they stock some great re issue shiz too. If you would like to run a stall at SSW selling vinyl, art, clothing etc, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Incidentally, Gavin Page might be running a stall at SSW8 but with the new flights from London to Carlisle, he still has not decided on whether he will drive (with vinyl) or fly….Watch this space.
Jocelyn Brown at SSW8
SSW is the premier weekender for the real House and Soul heads. Past guests have included M.A.N.D.Y, Darrow Fletcher (Live) Todd Terry, Honky, Faze Action (Live) Ivan Smagghe, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Soul Sam, DJ Spinna, Ann Sexton (Live) Horse Meat Disco, Pig And Dan, Garfield Fleming (Live) Mood II Swing, Joe Bataan (Live) Tony Humphries, Kerri Chandler, A Guy Called Gerald (Live) Rahaan, John Morales, the list simply goes on and on and on. As the promotion for SSW8 gets under way proper, SSW are pleased to announce that the undisputed Queen of Disco and all things soulful, JOCELYN BROWN, will be celebrating her birthday with us at SSW8 (one of her favourite gigs) and performing for us also. It’s been three years since Jocelyn smashed the disco ball outta the park at SSW3, so we are well stoked to have this genuine, real deal legend returning to our stage over November 23/24/25th 2018
Playing catch up a little bit with the promo reviews and by the time this blog goes up, some of these records will be available on general release. However, from May, the tunes reviewed will be 90% un released tracks but I did promise some guys mentions on the blog a couple of months ago, so here goes with the latest Cordial and Waxnerds outings.
The Tolbert Family Singers ‘Ride The Gospel Train/Give It To Glory’ Cordial Recordings
So, the first of many test pressings Cordial Recordings from outta the Love Vinyl camp sent me a few weeks ago is this MTF in-demander ‘Ride The Gospel Train’. Partly penned by the legendary Dave Hamilton, this heavy gospel, funky dancer invites OC Tolbert centre stage on vocals and to take a hand in the production of the track also. Tolbert’s vocal performance is about as far removed from “sweet Soul” as a vocal can be, no, this is a gritty, dirty, grimy performance that stinks to high heaven of earthy Soul. The flip is a bumpier bassline ride, a more traditional Modern Soul sound but again Tolbert’s Soul drips all over the vinyl and the melodic, guitar laden backing track is dancefloor heaven.
Pooky ‘Flippin’ The Disco/Tux Redux’ Waxnerds
Liverpool la’ Pooky brings us two contrasting efforts for the bubbling Waxnerds stable. Waxnerds was started by a bunch of serious music fans in 2014. Mark-One, Jamez Gant, Matt Love and Fatwax 45, who joined a little later, got the label up and running and with a bit of input from Darlington’s Ian Shields, who is part promoter of the Crate Diggers night in Darlington, the label has been firing on all cylinders since its inception. There is a never ending conveyer belt of Disco edits but not too many of them are splattered with a huge rap that takes control and dominates a wee seven inch edit. Lovers of Motown Disco stuff, Philly international, Solar and Salsoul especially, will love this tempting dancer. Flip it and check out the Funk/Rap rub, laced with a phat bassline and some familiar spittin’ from one of the great Hip Hop outfits of recent decades.
Ruby And The Mudflaps ‘Is That Enough/Country Girl’ Cordial Recordings
Two previously unreleased cuts lifted from the same session as the wonderful ‘Breezy’, a title which in itself should be a litmus test as to what to expect within the Cordial grooves. ‘Is That Enough?’ is built on the back of one of those lovely swaying conga rides that Modern Soul fans seem to relish. Add to this a feast of horns, funky wah wah pedal, a fantastic vocal performance and the Soul hungry dancefloors will be more than satisfied with this outing. When you first clap eyes on an image of Rudy And The Mudlaps, your rock guitadar starts to flash brightly and beep loudly, it’s a natural reaction when you see a bunch of long-haired hippies in a line-up of a multi-racial band. Surely after the soulful side of ‘Is That Enough’, this can’t be anything but another dose of solid Soul? Well, it’s every bit as soulful in the main as the A side but as we enter the home straight, the electric guitar is let loose and you ponder, surely this must be one of the hippies the day after the night before on a bad trip? You can either put that solo behind you on this infectious dancer, or you can’t and God knows I’ve struggled with numerous ‘leccy guitar solos on Soul records over the years. Overall though, a quality outing!
Kat Roberts ‘Stand Up For What You Want/Version’ Cordial Recordings
When Willie Clarke, one half of the production duo comprising of Clarke and partner Robert ‘Rocky’ Mizell confirmed that there was a previously unreleased version of this irresistible Miami recording, featuring a standalone vocal from Ms Roberts, Cordial were all over it and rightly so. The rap from Les Brown is featured momentarily on the flipside of the seven but the previously unreleased Roberts vocal version on the A side really does take on a whole new lease of life without Brown’s input. This is sheer quality, I love the positive message shouted by the backing vocals, they really swing up the already motoring timbale and percussive driven track filled with universally understood lyrics. I suppose being a Miami outing, the Latin instrumentation was always going to feature heavily and it certainly adds a lovely, summery twist to this stunning dancer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wBEEcYhI48 (With rap)
Basement Jazz Ensemble ‘Free Form/You Gotta Know’ Nite Grooves
A lovely squelchy bass is punctuated with gentle piano stabs and warm soaring, sizzling chords on ‘Free Form’. Marimba, relentless claps and jazzy guitars lick the bars, which are awash in atmospheric echo on this super chilled Jazz excursion. ‘You Gotta Know’ is mo’ upbeat, crunchier percussive wise and built around a slippery, ballsy bassline. Claire Simone leans into the vocal that is underpinned by a constant, haunting “ooooooo” backing vocal. The backing vocals climb and dive deep all over this upbeat, funk fuelled dancer. The jazzy keyboard solo is dynamic; it’s ingrained into the groove and takes us up to yet even more fancy, delicate jazzy guitar lix.
Mark IV ‘Signs Of A Dying Love’ Cordial Recordings
Mark IV is an outfit that have enjoyed a long standing relationship with the dancefloors and the obsessive fans of the Modern Soul scene. This collection on Cordial’s first album release will perpetuate that love affair between the dancers and Mark IV long into 2018 and beyond I suspect. Recorded between 1975 and 1978, this collection of tunes had been gathering dust on reel to reel tape for many years after a deal with Epic Records for Mark IV had fallen through. You might be familiar with the title track from its initial release on Otis ‘T’ Brown’s OTB Records but as is often the case with previously unreleased tracks, there is a very long tale of mishaps, bad luck and a shortage of cash that hindered this materials journey to the dancefloor…Until Cordial stepped in and put things right several decades later that is. This is a collection of blinding unreleased tunes and versions, at the recent Kilt reunion in Scotland I road tested some of the cuts on the album and truth be known, had I had two copies, I could of played one track after another, such is the choice of cuts available to play. There are many stand out tracks, in particular ‘Hang Ups’, the sweet down tempo ‘I Got Everything’ and my particular favourite cut, the shuffly ‘I knew It Wouldn’t Last’, a tune I will be revisiting for many months to come at the Soul gigs I play at. A handful of the test pressings have been available to purchase at Love Vinyl in London but an album of this quality doesn’t stay on the shelves too long, so pre order your finished copy now!
Please e mail me if you would like your UPFRONT promo/test pressing reviewed in one of our updates, which is e mailed to 4,000 people and seen on our website and other social media pages. email@example.com