Monday, May 15, 2006
I Get the Sweetest, Sweetest Feeling!
Those of us lucky enough to be hooked on soul music will get pretty excited when there's a good opportunity to spin our tunes! I spin a wide variety of music on the radio and in the clubs and even though hip-hop and soul are probably my speciality, I rarely play long sets dedicated to one genre anymore. My All Day Sunday in the Woodford this Sunday was the perfect opportunity to do a soul special, and who better to call than my man Phil, who was the main man involved in setting up Cork's Chapter 5 soul club a few years ago.
Phil has since moved out to Mitchelstown and set up a record shop, so it was a rare chance to hear his music in a nice laidback setting with no time restictions. Like all of my guests in the Woodford, I choose Phil mainly because I wanted to hear him spin for a few hours! I'm also aware that almost everyone to hears this music loves it and appreciates it, so it was set up perfectly for a long and lazy summers Sunday evening. I was pretty wrecked as I had been in both the Savoy and RedFM the previous night before playing footy on Sunday, but as soon as I put a copy of "Jimmy Mack" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas on my turntable at home, I knew I was in the mood! I dragged as much old 7"s and albums as I could, and off I went!
It was pretty quiet in there at around 4PM when I started, and I immediately put on an epic 12 minute personal fav my Rick Holmes, calld 'Remember to Remember" This slow and mellow Roy Ayers produced cut sums up my life philosophy as Rick namechecks a list of influential historical and musical figures such as Martin Luther King, Aretha Franklin and John Coltrane. He roll-calls a number of their famous lines and is backed by a chorus of "Pass the information, extend the knowledge" by some rare groove backing singers. This sums up exactly what I believe music should be about, and as Phil joined me a few minutes later, I knew we were in for a serious musical lesson for the afternoon. Once he started with Curtis Mayfield, I was hooked!
The best thing I can say about Phil though is that, even though he is a serious soul record collecter with one of the rarest collections in the country, like myself he believes that music should be shared with everyone and not just the purists. Many in the northern soul and rare soul scene that he grew up in would frown on such beliefs, but thankfully Phil has seen that music is a gift that we should be sharing and not hiding, and thankfully for me and those lucky enough to have been in the Woodford, he delivered hours of musical joy with record after record of killer tunes last Sunday! I love the laidback nature of these gigs and as we chatted between tunes Phil offered a facinating insight into the heyday of Nortern Soul that he grew up in. His baby daughter Martha Etta (dig the name!) briefly joined us with his missus and nearly junped out of her buggy at the music that she evidently is already in love with!
We were also joined by Shane Johnson for a drink, and the three of us were laughing at the similarities between the legendary soul Meccas such as Wigan, and the club which myself and Shane played at for years, Sir Henrys. While many refuse to let go of those amazing days, I'm glad that we all appreciate that we were lucky to have experienced such nights over a long period of time, and have moved on to other things with similar enthusiam and passion. The spirit of great music and great nights is always alive and as Phil dug out another rare 45 that Shane and myself didn't know, I felt grateful for all the DJ's (including both of those next to me) who have shaped my own musical education through the years.
Even though the bar never got to busy all day there was always a respectable crowd and enough music fans to get us both well in the mood. Phil was buzzing over someone asking him what a certain tune was and we both agreed that the simple things like that mean so much. I've never lost the sight of the fact that when I got a new record when I was about 11 or 12 I wanted to share it with people and often my friends or whoever might just shrug their shoulders. Even having one person come up and acknowledge a good tune years later is something to be treasured and that's why DJing is the best job in the world! I even managed to play one or two that Phil didn't know and he enjoyed a re-issue I got of a La Shawn Collins number, but I have to say, as someone with a pretty good knowledge of soul and r&b, I only knew about 25% of the tunes Phil played all day and was overwhelmed with the quality on display. Regular All Day Sunday heads like Ronan Hat and Scottish Steve were also very impressed, and I was went home that night with the melodies and words of a thousand forgotten singers and musicians spinnning around my head! I took a few photos's of our records, check the rare Jimmy Bo one worth over 4 figures! And the Dusty Springfield promo on Atlantic (gasps!) Incidentally, there's also a pic of a young Dj named Joe, who joined me on Teenage Thursdays , by the way! But check out Phil's pristine collection of 7"s, a bunch of tunes that are worth a good few grand alone! But really, on days like this money ain't a thing, it's music and life that brings the sweetest feelings of them all!
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- I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays http://www.pavilioncork.com also you can catch me at http://djstevieg.podomatic.com