Saturday, 25 July 2009

Heart Full Of Soul

Last night i was playing records for a friends birthday and was asked to run a soul night in Brixton, in a pub that's being taken over by the same group of people who run the Amersham arms in New Cross and the lock in Camden. I hadn't gone through any of my soul records for a long time, not since my dad and I did a night called 'Die Nacht Network' which should of really been a stomping electronic night but ended up a father and sons rock n soul catch up!


...But i have been thinking recently about soul clubs and how in England through what i know from going to soul clubs around London and seeing events posted on Facebook from around Britain, the audiences seem to be predominantly white. Which i don't think is weird at all but i do wonder if the black youth of England feel the same affinity with black American soul music of the sixties like the Motown sound in the same way. I understand the way in which rhythm and blues and soul music has evolved and the culture of mainstream black music has changed so people are engrossed in it's modern manifestation understandably but i just wonder whether they feel the same. But I recently came across this band on some recent live coverage of Glastonbury and was awestruck.. This is the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

I've heard they've been around for a while but it was the first i'd heard of them and think they are fucking brilliant.
At my school towards the end of my final year in uniform, a young black gospel choir performed a few songs with a brilliant soulful swing and it sent shivers down my spine. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of working with gospel choirs in Southwark and i had the idea of introducing them to a few songs and request they try a rendition of something like a Sam and Dave belter and book them to perform at the night. Because essentially Sam and Dave's music was so passionate and electrifying because of their connection with our lord and savior that if a young gospel group followed in similar footsteps, in a generation with a keen eye on the past we'd have the best group in town. I'm not suggesting that music needs this, i just feel it would be an exciting way of making use of real talent. And also a soul night with a doo wop/soul/gospel quintet heading the night instead of back to back soul spinners (which is in no way a bad thing) would be really entertaining and a brilliant change (if done well of course).

One woman who should drop the baggage is Noisettes lead singer 'Shingai Shoniwa.' This should of been released, hands down the best pop song that never was...

full of soul and catchy as hell, she looks so fucking cool in the video it's unreal. The first time i heard that was on Jools Holland, it was such a great surprise, it became my favorite new track overnight.


Moving on, when me and a friend of mine in secondary school discovered soul music, it was a revelation, Howard Tate was his thing and Gil Scott Heron mine. On one of our many trips to Intoxica i bought a new copy of Gil Scott Heron - Small talk at 125th and Lennox and listened to it religiously and fell in love with this track in particular just because of the lyrical content and the way he uses his voice and the piano just makes for one of the most soulful, heart felt, heartbreaking records...

The first time i played this record to my friend it was a sunny day and we'd avoided school to listen to it which i reluctantly did (my mum's reading). As i played it to him i noticed a book on his table which he'd been reading, a paperback book beautifully scarred through it being read in class under the 'Schwarz, Rot, Gold text book' and beaten about in rumbles during P.E. It was called the Vulture and it was by Gil Scott Heron! (It has one of the best book covers ever! I can't find a single picture of it on the internet but i will try and upload it in the near future). What a revelation! The way the record sounded with it's raw nightclub recording, the way the tracks roll off of the last and the knife the words are delivered with is sharper than any. A new black poet indeed! but to discover he released a book of poetry and a novel fucking hell, i could take the week off. I don't have the mp3's of this, so i won't be able to share it with you but the record is definitely worth having.

If you've got the album, or just listened to a few of the tracks and feel like you need some revolution or something to rally against in your own bedroom then i would suggest you bought 'Punishment Park', it's been properly released on dvd now and you can get it at the Bfi on the south bank or you could just watch it like i did on youtube. It really makes your blood boil and it is one of my favourite films. A couple of quotes for you to give you an idea...

"Charles Robbins: Would you like for me to define what a politician is? A politician is nothing but a debater. All that you do is debate issues, you fat pig, you meathead. That's all that you are, because you are lying, sucker, you're lying to the camera, you're lying to your mama, you're lying to everybody, but every time I hear you open up your mouth, all I hear is oink, you pig. That's all I hear, oink. 'Cause you ain't got no humanity in you, 'cause you're a pig, you lying punk."

"Desert Pacifist: At another time, the honorable thing or the right thing to do might be to be a policeman or to be President. Right now, I think the honorable thing to do is to be a criminal."

Really fascinating way of film making too, read up on it on wikipedia it genuinely will provoke a strong reaction.


The Larks

Just imagine if this is what became of my idea!!


Some Top Soul Spins!

Elbie Parker!

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