Friday, 31 July 2015
Thursday, 30 July 2015
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Monday, 27 July 2015
Sean Chapman launched a weekly night this week, 23rd July, at the Night Owl in Digbeth, Birmingham. So a great opportunity to warm up for the Manchester weekender by popping over for some of Sean’s vinyl charms.
The Night Owl has been set up recently to play Northern Soul/Motown based music and Sean’s Club-A-Go-Go night fits in nicely to the Night Owls retro décor and music policy. We found the Night Owl easy to find and with ample parking opposite. Opening at 8pm, we arrived near to 9pm to find a number already on the dance-floor.
£3 on the door and a decent sized dance-floor with upstairs seating overlooking the dance-floor and a welcome outdoor area with tables directly off the bar area. Nice neat fresh club, well laid out, bright environment, good decor and a reasonable compact size for a Thursday night out.
Sean knows how to play for the crowd, looking as sharp as ever mixing up a range of Mod classics, Latin, Ska, a sprinkling of Northern and Reggae and some of the latest R'n'B tunes.
A mix of people there covering the spectrum of the scene, many taking to the dance-floor as the night went on and we had worked up a dance-floor sweat before bidding farewell to Sean at about 11.45pm (be warned car park shuts at midnight!)
Overall a great midweek night out, laid back enough to enjoy the classics and latest tunes but sharp enough that a suit doesn't look out of place. Nice to meet Chris Leslie in his suit!
Great night Sean and I hope it goes from strength to strength.
Getting to Manchester during the daytime is no pleasure, especially when you get log jammed in traffic due to Stockport Carnival! But a trip that had to be done. The final Hideaway Club session just could not be missed. Having admired the club from afar for so long and the club having helped direct and shape some of the core Mod music played around the country for the last 15 plus years this was a definite 'Not to be missed' occasion.
Arrived in time to catch the last couple of hours of the free afternoon at the Old Nags head pub in centre of Manchester, home of the legendary Hideaway Club. Greeted by the sight of several scooters parked outside on the walk down Lloyd Street and soon you could hear the sweet R'n'B sounds drifting out of the open upstairs windows.
Once in side and upstairs, a mixed relaxed crowd were enjoying the free afternoon, a few great vintage stalls (some gorgeous John Smedleys for sale) in the back room and some great tunes being spun. In fact at some points the dance floor was pretty full. With the likes of Tarheel Slim - Wildcat Tamer and Jimmy McCracklin - Get Tough being played there were plenty of happy faces and tapping feet as well as dancers.
The evening started about 9pm and on arrival at about 9.30 people were just arriving in numbers. Again a fairly mixed crowd into the music but plenty of sharp suits and classy ladies.
The next 5 and a half hours were magical. The music played by Neil Henderson, Mike Warburton, Bill Kealy, John Godden and others was outstanding, obviously those that enjoy their New Breed R&B and original mod era club sounds (like me!) were in heaven. John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Slim Harpo etc, etc... This was pure unwatered down 'get up and go' gritty R'n'B from start to almost finish.
People (Rachelle Piper et al) were still arriving at 11pm and by midnight the upstairs front room was a cauldron of people, dancing and steaming hot tunes.
By 1.30am the crowd was beginning to thin. Which just left more room on the dance floor for everyone else! At 2.30am a few hideaway favourites were spun and as they are all now Mod classics the dance floor was heaving right up to the end at 3am. Hot, sweaty, exhausted goodbyes were said as the final track 'It Keeps Rainin' Apt words.. It keeps rainin.. since you gone all I do is cry.. Left me reeling and rocking..
I sincerely hope this IS NOT the last we hear of the Hideaway Club and the wonderful people behind it. But if it is the final, final Hideaway Club night.. this weekend was a most suitable send off.
Thank you for a night never to be forgotten.
Friday, 17 July 2015
Whilst Northern Soul is not everyone’s ideal taste in music, a visit to Quorn Soul Club is well worth making. The soul club is run by Kevin Meek and is named after the village in which is takes place. The drive into the village of Quorn, Loughborough is a very relaxing one as the surroundings are very picturesque and there is a very relaxed feeling throughout this lovely little village.
The venue for the do itself is the Con Club, Station Road and ideally has a large car park opposite, a very friendly pub named the White Horse across the road for a few pre-do drinks and various eateries nearby if required.
The club is popular and has an old school soul club vibe. The venue is quite small it does get very busy so arriving early is recommended. The outstanding feel you get when walking into the venue is one of welcome as although it is frequented by many “local” people they go out of their way to make newcomers feel very welcome.
After paying and chatting with the very friendly door staff you enter the venue itself which is quite deceptive from the outside. There is a seating area and bar as you walk in but as you venture further into the building you will find the dance floor and DJ box. We have been several times now and never once seen the dance floor empty, quite the contrary, it is often hard to find a spot!
The club has its resident DJs such as Julian Clapton, Kev, Twinny, Aga Steans as well has playing host to several guest DJs each month such as Alessandro D’Alessio, Rob Glover, Glyn Preece and Soup and Bread. We have always found that there are plenty of dance-floor fillers and classics played, so great for a good night of dancing.
The club has also a very nice beer garden at the back which is very useful to cool off after you have worked up a sweat on the dance-floor.
The club runs the 2nd Friday of every month, 8pm to late and is £3 otd – Con Club, Station Road, Quorn.