ssc in dortmund ST.NEOTS SOUL CLUB ssc in dortmund
THE ACCIDENTAL SOUL CLUB
KEEPS ON KEEPING ON!
Although St.Neots Soul Club celebrates its 3rd anniversary in July(2001) it was actually formed some 23 years ago!
At the time the local working mens club were looking for something to get a few people through its doors on a Sunday night. They struck on the idea of holding a disco every Sunday night(with night fever big at the time it was the obvious choice).They approached a local guy called MICK CLARKE, who at that moment had a lack of bookings for the mobile disco he ran. He readily agreed to take a block booking and after bartering over the price the princely sum of £15 per night was agreed upon. An ad was placed in the local paper stating that the SOUL CONNECTION ROADSHOW would be appearing at the club and everything was set for an evening of disco dross!!
BAZ REDMAN who had just stopped going to allniters (because his wife was pregnant) was doing the odd bit of djing for Mick and agreed to give him a hand with the Sunday nights-Well, even disco sounded better than SONGS OF PRAISE !! On the Sunday afternoon Baz was chatting with a 15 year old SHAUN GUINEE and Shaun persuaded Baz to take along some northern and spin a few tracks. So, on the first Sunday(25TH MAY 1978) BARBARA MILLS,GENE CHANDLER and BILL BLACKS COMBO (later to become a St.Neots anthem) were played alongside DISCO TEX, HERBIE HANCOCK and ELVIS COSTELLO!!!
By about the 3rd or 4th Sunday, word had spread that some long haired 19 year old was playing northern on a Sunday night in St,Neots and the northern crowd had started to turn up en, mass, the disco music had been forgotten and St.Neots had turned into 100% northern all evening. Other local jocks had also turned up and were persuaded (not that they needed to be) to do a stint behind the decks. Overnight, the regular Sunday night crew of BAZ REDMAN,HAMMY,TONY WAROT,KEV DRAPER and JOHN PORTEOUS had been formed. It`s worth pointing out that none of the dj, s just mentioned ever got paid for appearing at St.Neots and without them it would not of happened!!
Two months down the line, St.Neots was regulary pulling in over 2oo people (not bad for a Sunday night 7-11 Sunday night bash!) and everybody seemed to be talking about it!
At the time, with no kids, Baz and Mags used to have a bit of an open house with people like SHAUN,GLYNN MORGAN, and PETE BUTLER, to name just a few, regularly popping in for the odd tea, coffee or beer or, just to listen to a few sounds and have a chat. One such evening Baz, Shaun and Glynn decided that what was needed was a “logo” to place in front of the decks. After looking at various record labels for inspiration it was decided to use the MGM lion. Between then and the following Sunday Glynn found himself a large piece of hardboard and some old tins of paint and began to create a replica of the lion onto a white background. After finishing he noticed that he had rather a lot of space left, rather than cutting the board down or starting again he decided to fill in the space with the words
ST.NEOTS SOUL CLUB
When Sunday finally arrived Glynn and Shaun turned up with their newly painted sign and promptly placed it in front of the decks. That was it! St.Neots Soul Club had suddenly been born! With only word of mouth for advertising, no proper membership and no one actually running it St.Neots Soul Club had been formed by the regulars who where turning up week in week out, it was their club!! At 7pm on a Sunday everybody would turn up, muck in and away it would go, it would just happen! With Mick still taking his £15 and the Working Men’s Club keeping all the door money, the newly formed club never had any money but, nobody cared, nobody was in it for the money any way!!!
The Sunday nights went from strength to strength and with people leaving alldayers at the Palais and the Ritz early so as to get back to St.Neots, and with attendances sometimes hitting the 300 mark everyone involved agreed that the time was right to try a niter. The Working Men’s Club were, for financial reasons, easily persuaded (after all, they would get to keep the door money) and all the regular jocks agreed to work for nothing as usual, but, where was the money going to come from to pay for some top line djs?
In those days John Porteous had a little bit a wedge due to a payout from a bad industrial accident (hence the name JOHNNY FINGERS) and he agreed to pay for (nobody asked him to, its just the way things happened at St.Neots) a couple of top jocks. With a date set and a dj line up of NEV WHERRY, BRIAN RAE, THE VICAR, HAMMY, TONY WAROT, KEV DRAPER, JOHN PORTEOUS and BAZ REDMAN agreed upon and confirmed the local lads chipped in and paid for an advert in BLACK ECHOES. The stage was set for the first ever niter in St.Neots.Its worth mentioning at this point that at the time young Hammy was under contract to KEN COXs EAST ANGLIAN SOUL CLUB and had been told that he couldn’t dj at St.Neots hence his name hardly ever appeared on any adverts even though he performed every time St.Neots ran, from almost the very beginning till the very end!
At 12.01 on 18TH NOVEMBER 1978 Baz Redman nervously cued up the first record and cranked up the volume. By 0800 the next morning everyone involved that the night had been a success and that more niters should follow.
With Sunday nights still going strong two more niters and an alldayer were scheduled. Once again John Porteous paid for the imported djs, things were defiantly going in the right direction. This was more than brought home to everybody when DAVE GODIN turned up at the second niter to do a revue for BLUES and SOUL. After huge success with the niters and alldayer more were planned but, as quickly as things started so they finished. With St.Neots Soul Club just beginning to gain national recognition, the Working Mens was promptly closed, sold, revamped and turned into a pub!
Johnny Porteous briefly tried to carry the torch by forming the BRITTANIA SOUL CLUB and basing it at ST. NEOTS PUBLIC HALL but after limited success was finally forced to call it a day after what can only be described as a mini riot caused by some local pissheads. Northern in St.Neots had finally gone.
Over the years there were one or two events in the town but nothing on a regular basis until, after 20years, two kids, a dog, a mortgage and a hair cut later Baz bumped into Shaun Whilst having the odd beer in the OLD SUN, EATON SOCON. (The old sun now has a regular Northern night on the last Sunday of every month). Having caught up on all the gossip about old friends and the Northern scene in general, an alcohol induced plan was hatched to try and restart St. Neots Soul Club.
The very next weekend was spent making phone calls, calling in favours and looking at suitable venues. The football club was decided upon, a date was set and the DJ’s booked (all with the same promise – “you might not get paid” – some things never change!)
On Friday 24th September 1998 at 8pm BARBARA MILLS once more belted out of a set of borrowed decks and St.Neots Soul Club breathed life once again.With many faces from the past regularly attending or djing at St.Neots, with a 3rd anniversary coming up, with everyone (well nearly everyone, sometimes Shaun and Baz don’t) getting paid and with GINGER TAYLOR, SOUL SAM, KENNY BURRELL, DEREK ALLEN and JOHN VINCENT all pencilled in for future dates St.Neots Soul Club just
KEEPS ON KEEPING ON!
Email from Paul Donnely
you pass our thanks to the blokes who organise the St Neots Soul
Night.....me and Adi (Bully) Bull turned up last night Good Friday
superb night of wonderful sounds, record sales and banter with other
Cambs/Beds/Nthants soul fraternity.
|Below is a Flyer for the all-nighter Baz Redman is Dj'ing at in November|
Here are a few good recent pictures taken at St Neots forwarded from Baz via Nogsy.
click here for: