Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Paddy Grady - The Voice Of Northern Soul (September)

Paddy Grady - The Voice of Northern Soul
Paddy Grady - The Voice of Northern Soul Soulboy: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Universal)



You know me I can get pissed off quite easily at times, now, one of the things that annoys me most is that when you say to people you are going to see, say the Four Tops or fairly recently in my case promoting a show with The Three Degrees, the first thing people say to you, often with a sneer, is ‘oh they only have one original member left don’t they?”. Why do they do that? So then you go through the whole pointless exercise of telling them that yes there is only one original member left but in the case of the Four Tops, the rest have died so what do you expect them to do, pack up? It is the way they earn their wages for heavens sake!

What is it about people that look down their nose at old soul groups and why can’t they celebrate the fact that for the majority of soul groups from the 60’s & 70’s in terms of age then most are well past their retirement, more now nearing their 70’s, so why can’t they be pleased that these groups that have at least one original member and after performing for nigh on 40 years they are still doing it for us fans!

You see I don’t give a monkeys if the group I am going to see has one or 51 original members still in it, as long as they still sound good and can put on a great show, which they consistently do, in fact I would go so far as to say that where there is only one original still in the group, then that is more a reason for celebration, not for sneering, after all this one original guy is keeping the music & the memories of the group alive.

If people do not want to see the act or don’t like them, then why can’t they just say so, no one cares, don’t go through this stupid nonsense of blaming it on there being ‘only one original!’


I have just stumbled over a new saying that made me giggle as I completely understand what the meaning is all about. That saying is “Wigan Envy”. What is that I hear you ask, and may you well. It is a term used to describe the way that certain elements of the scene are trying their very best to eradicate the memory of Wigan Casino and anything to do with it, those with Wigan Envy are the ones most vocal about the Soulboy movie, they make fun of former Wigan Casino DJ’s, slag off any CD with Wigan tracks on it or in its title along with books and plays, … literally anything to do with Wigan Casino should not or must not be ever mentioned again … that is the gospel according to these people with Wigan Envy.

Now, one of the main symptoms of those suffering from Wigan Envy, is it only seems affect people who never went to Wigan, mostly these people came to northern soul in the mid to late 80’s, years after Wigan had closed its doors for ever, so in their mind, they never went to Wigan Casino, so no-one else should be allowed to remember those great days.

What I love most though, is, with the new added interest in the scene that will be generated from the Soulboy movie, Wigan Casino will be at the forefront of the scene once again, which will really annoy the Wigan Envy crowd more & more, you know what, if it winds them up, then that makes me pretty chuffed!


I recently wrote about the new Soulboy movie and how some of the more nasty elements of the scene that reside on internet soul forums, slagged it off so badly, well they are at it again, this time with a play The Last Train To Wigan, where details have been posted on one of the largest forums and the Neanderthals who participate duly responded with the obligatory bad mouthing, again as in the case of Soulboy, not even having seen it.

What I don’t get is why anyone connected with the play would want to post details on a forum like this, as I said last time, these forums are not for the weak hearted, these are places where it is the norm to be spiteful about anything good or new that people try to bring to the scene. My advice to anyone thinking of producing a film, a play or even a writing a book, don’t, under any circumstances, try to use internet soul forums for publicity, it will only backfire on you in a blaze of negative comments, keep well away.


Someone said to me recently do northern soulies take themselves too seriously? Oh flipping ‘eck where do I start!!!

The comment came from a guy who had been to the Vintage Festival at Goodwood just the other month, and was saying that in the Soul Casino venue where DJ’s were playing classic soul & northern soul records well into the night and how so many people were enjoying themselves, people of all ages young and old alike were dancing to the sounds. There were kids on the dancefloor, with some punters in crazy fancy dress, and shock horror, most were drinking on the dancefloor! My god, has the world come to end?

The guy went on to say everyone was having a great time, it was probably the best atmosphere he had encountered since Wigan Casino was open.

Compare this to a ‘traditional’ northern soul night, where young people are looked on and frowned on as some sort of devil incarnates as soon as they arrive at the venue, guaranteeing they never return or anyone having the audacity to venture onto a dancefloor with a drink in their hand, a mass murderer would not get the same filthy looks, this despite the fact that those so called northern soulies dishing out the filthy looks have turned the dancefloor into something close to a dangerous ice rink by sprinkling talcum powder everywhere, oh .. but that is ok I take it?

So was the guy right to ask if northern soulies take themselves too seriously, does a bear crap in the woods?


I was sad to hear that one of the best northern soul venues of the past 10 years or so is to close, that being Lowton Civic Hall. For a while it was considered to be one of the UK’s top venues, I recall running a poll on my old northern soul radio site, and Lowton came second in the ‘best venue category’ behind Prestwich. I wish all concerned the best for the future.




I have not only been looking forward to the movie coming out, but also to see what will be on the movie soundtrack CD, well we now know so here we are, 50 stomping northern soul tracks on 2 CD’s all from the early days of the scene, the tracks played at Wigan Casino around 1974, just how I like them, happily there are none of those slow, plodding tracks that are considered an essential part of today’s scene, thank god for that!

The tracks that stand out for me amongst many, are those all time Wigan classics, such as the classy 60’s classic The In Crowd Dobie Gray, along with the 100mph stompers The Joker The Mylestones, So Is The Sun World Column, Soul Galore Jackie Wilson and a track that was voted some years ago as the best northern soul record of all time You Didn’t Say A Word by Yvonne Baker.

Other tracks that are well worth mentioning include the ever popular greats such as Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy The Tams; Just A Little Misunderstanding The Contours; I’ll Turn To Stone Four Tops; Happy William Bell; I Got A Feeling Barbara Randolph; Heaven Must Have Sent You The Elgins plus the obligatory Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) Frank Wilson. The double CD does not include all of the Three Before Eight but it does include two of them, those being I’m On My Way Dean Parish and Long After Tonight Is All Over Jimmy Ratcliffe.

If I had to pick my two favourites, then I would go for Philadelphia recorded Gotta Have Your Love The Sapphires, a record I still play a lot even today together with Ain’t That A Lot Of Love by Homer Banks.

One other track I will make a special mention of, is a new reworking of the old Kiki Dee record Magic Carpet Ride, this new version that the one that is playing as the closing titles roll at the end of the movie is by Gabriella Cilmi, and I have to say it is a cracking version, very similar to Kiki’s original, but new enough to appeal to a younger audience, in fact it could well be a new single release for the singer.

All in all, I would thoroughly recommend this set to anyone who likes 60’s soul music, it will not disappoint you one little bit.

Paddy Grady

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