Did you miss me?
I think that a classy bit of soul is the best way to ease me back to "pit boots and purridge" as my mother used to say. I posted a version of today's tune way back in 2010, sung by Tommy Ridgley. today's version is from Gloria Edwards and was never released on 7" single until the beginning of this year. Not quite as good as the Ridgley version but brilliant none the less.
Talking of all things northern, on holiday I read Stuart Cosgrove's excellent book on the subject coming quickly on the heels of his previous tome Detroit 67 which I thoroughly enjoyed I was looking forward to this and it didn't disappoint. Cosgrove knows his shit on the subject and his passion is also very evident however as with the previous book there are quite a few things repeated and I found myself saying, "you've told us this already" more than once. Also he does seem to go off on tangents which I actually quite liked but could get frustrating. Overall it is well worth reading for anyone with any interest in the northern scene. There is quite an extensive section on the all-nighters at Allanton Miner's Welfare that I frequented a few times and transported me back to my angsty youth and had me smiling remembering the exploits of some scooterist mates the first time we went there.
There has always been one thing that has enraged me about the northern scene and that is the OVO (original vinyl only) stance. I can understand it in the early days and through the heyday when there weren't that many clubs and few djs all trying to make a name for themselves and needing something to give them that edge over others to get the bookings but when I got into the music I always thought straight from the start quite a bit of hypocrisy with this elitist attitude that you can't play the record out unless it is an original and has cost you an arm and a leg. Yes I know, that some people went to great lengths to unearth these records by going to the States and searching through warehouses and bringing back their finds. I appreciate all that and I realise that there wouldn't be a scene at all if this weren't the case. The inconsistancy with this stance for me comes when these people start going on about the bootleggers who inevitable got in on the act, reproducing loads of copies of in demand records, The argument is that they were all just vultures descending on the scene and making money out of records they had no publishing rights to or involvement in, exploiting the northern fans with poor quality copies and also the artists who would not see a bean from these releases. I hope that someone will prove me wrong but every time that a dealer, collector or dj sold on a copy of an in demand tune did they then send a percentage of the profit they made to the artist, I suspect not. Or when the crate diggers found copies of singles they knew they could get a kings ransom for back home did they inform the seller of the value in the UK and reimburse them accordingly? Again I rather suspect they kept that knowledge to themselves and paid what ever the asking price was or tried to haggle. As someone with children and other priorities I am in no position to pay 500 quid for a copy of Say Something Nice To Me by Bobby Kline on MB Records but I would still like to be able to put it on a turntable as opposed to putting it on a drawer to disappear into the player or worse still only be able to hear it the once every year or so I got to go to a soul night. I know that some could argue that I am just envious of those who do own the records and wish that I was in that position but is that an argument that really should be pursued, "the politics of envy" one? I just know that if it hadn't for legal, semi legal and downright shady re-presses of classic northern tunes that I heard at scooterist do's back in the mid 80s this glorious form of music would have passed me by and I would have been a worse person for it but not only that, at least a couple of dozen other people would never have heard of artists such as Willie Hutch, Otis Smith. Melba Moore and the rest that I ranted on to them about until they either got it or ignored me..
Just so as you know, if I didn't have kids, a mortgage and a need for too many jackets and Adidas trainers then I probably would spend a lot more cash on northern soul singles, however I still think that I would be of the opinion that OVO is elitist wank.
Gloria Edwards - My Love Is Getting Stronger