Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Soul Village Weekender, July 4th – 6th


I’ve just got back from SWV number 7 and am exhausted. Let’s face it: there are just too many weekenders happening now – certainly Soul-based ones, but this one is different.

Almost all of the current weekenders are all after the same market, but people only have so much money and holiday time a year and eventually the Soul Weekender boom will crash. Why is this any different than the others? Well, as it is a majority Black crowd and mainly a 30-something age group the music policy is very different and has a different atmosphere.

You can expect three rooms: the main room being more commercial club classics from the 70’s to Y2K plus some surprisingly edgy music, there is the Soulful House/Garage room and the smaller Sound System room and they all worked well. The music in the latter was amazing, where you would hear Boogie, Reggae Revival, Lovers Rock, Disco, Bashment and old school Jungle delivered by celebrity dj’s such as Mistri, Gordon Mac and the legendary Mastermind.

My highlights were George Power’s Saturday night ‘Crackers’ reunion, which, although not to the ladies choice, brought out all the heavyweight dancers dancing to the most severe Jazz Funk and Disco Jazz (what Crackers was known for, of course); Gordon Mac’s Reggae Revival – which, although not packed as usual (due to the beautiful weather), his taste was impeccable and he had everyone singing along, and lastly, a dj called ‘Northern Mick’ who just played a startling danceable Soul set to an almost empty late Saturday afternoon main room. My friends and I just sat and listened to the best music played all weekend. Unlike most Soul dj’s he didn’t play obvious crowd-pleasers but instead had us wishing we had a pen and paper handy to remember all these potential future winners. The barrier-breaking dj Dr Bob Jones and I were there for our Jazz services too, and we’re hoping that Soul Village will eventually become a focal point for the jazz dancers, as it’s not played at hardly any weekender now. We gave the attendant dancers a run for their money! One criticism I had was that Mr Jones scandalously didn’t play a set or two in the Soulful House room and yet Bob is perhaps the most furthest ahead and noted UK dj in that scene. I imagine that will be rectified next time.

The weekender has had a run of bad luck going from one holiday camp or caravan park to another and, despite this being the seventh one, it is still yet to lay down it’s roots and have a consistent line-up. This time it was at Seawick Caravan Park in the beautiful Essex village of St Osyth and is the ideal site for this weekender. Although the weather went from glorious summer sunshine to torrential rain they still had the Saturday football match and the carribean barbeque running throughout from lunchtimes to the early mornings.

All the accommodation was sold-out, which is good sign for the future because this event is at grass-roots level and there is nothing else like it. You will have to wait until July 2009 for the next one so make sure you put it on your calender!

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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