Richard Searling’s Northern Soul Column in “Blue & Soul”



Extremely sad news with the recent passing of the incomparable Marvin Jnr. of The Dells…It has just been confirmed that selected DJ’s from the famed “6ts / 100 Club” All-Nighters in London will be appearing at the Prestatyn Soul Weekender. Ady Croasdell, Keith Money and Joel Maslin will be presenting a matinee showcase of all that good and great about the club….other soul clubs will also be there and given exclusive sessions, watch out for a dynamite amalgamation from “Soul in the Sun” and “So Soulful 70s”


Tim Brown’s excellent “Wigan Years, 1973-1981” book is being updated and re-promoted in line with the Casino All-Nighters 40th anniversary celebrations, highly recommended to all if you haven’t read it yet…as is Betty Lavette’s revealing tome which was published in the last few months..


Huge turnout recently in both Todmorden and Brighouse for top DJ Ginger Taylor’s 60th birthday…Blackpool’s Winter Gardens venue will host a very special Soul and Motown New Year’s Eve party this year, more details in the next issue….rave reviews coming in about Bettye Swann’s debut appearance in the UK after all these years, with her set at the recent 6ts Cleethorpes Weekender being rated as one of the most accomplished everâ�¦


Now in the stores via Go Ahead Records is the fine 1974 Johnny Bristol-produced double header, “Got to find Ms. Right” backed with that perennial dance floor favourite, “I’m Just A Kiss Away” (Tick 013)…next up from the label, another gem in the shape of “Anyone Can Tell (we’re in love)” coupled with the Northern classic “Please Give Me One More Chance” both from the seminal soul and R&B hero, Clyde McPhatterâ�¦other new music recommended by myself includes The Romark Records collection on Kent CDKEND397, The Phillip Mitchell Songbook on Kent CDKEND394 and the latest series of the Backbeats series, 6 great titles covering Jazz Funk, Rare Groove and Deep and Modern Soul all put together by experts in each field…..

My “Wigan 40 at 40” Universal Music Group 2-CD collection looking good for a September release, hopefully accompanied by a limited edition Motown double header 45 from Frank Wilson and The Originals to be launched at the Blackpool Tower All-Nighter on Saturday September 21st…

Going Out…

As always, plenty to tell you about as 2013 continues to be an extremely vibrant year for events, artists appearing and great music being released and discovered…


On Saturday September 28th, the very special “one-off” Blackpool Tower Ballroom All-Nighter celebrates Wigan Casino’s 40th anniversary with a line-up of DJ’s whom played an important part in the development of arguably the most famous Northern Soul venue ever, and just announced is the hot news that a Northern Soul legend, vocalist Ila Vann will be appearing on the night with her two huge dancefloor packers, “Can’t help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “You Made Me This Way”. It’s the lady’s first visit to these shores and will be an exclusive show. DJ’s appearing on the night include myself, Dave Evison, Kev Roberts, Soul Sam, Chris King, Mark Freeman, Ginger Taylor and The Wigan Young Souls. You can pay on the door on the night, but advance tickets are advised as this is going to be busy.


The new-look Prestatyn weekender takes place on Friday-Sunday March 7-9th 2014 at the Pontins Holiday Park in North Wales. Now added to the line-up is Detroit legend Spyder Turner who will be live on stage at midnight on Friday accompanied by Snake Davis and The Suspicions. Spyder will be performing 8 of his classics including “I Can’t Make It Anymore” and ” I’ve Got To Get Myself Together” plus a couple of surprises. Spyder is then followed on the Saturday night by the iconic group The Impressions, who will be performing an exclusive 60’s and 70’s show which will contain many songs that they have never performed live before.

In addition to the exclusive acts, the weekender hosts 5 separate venues that feature classic Northern Soul and Motown, Soulful Dance, rare grooves, crossover Modern Soul, super rare and cutting edge Northern and top quality rare funk and 60s R&B! Over 50 top DJs are set to appear with several new names added from last year when the Prestatyn event attracted over 3,000 attendees. Full details about the event are available on the regularly updated website : or you can book self-catering accommodation from as little as £39 per person by calling 0844 576 5949.


The 6th Northern, Motown and Modern Soul All-Nighter takes place in the splendid surroundings of The Winter Gardens, Blackpool on Saturday September 7th.

Running from 9pm to 6am (no admittance after 1am please unless you have bought a ticket in advance) the All-Nighter has 3 rooms of top soul action: in the main Spanish Hall there’s classic Northern Soul with DJs including Sean Chapman, Ginger Taylor, Glenn Foster and Nige Brown. Room two is The Baronial which hosts a 60’s Mod & Motown extravaganza with DJ’s Jem Booth, Rod Allsworth, Keith Fletcher and from Manchester’s “Twisted Wheel”, Pete Roberts. In the Windsor it’s Modern and 70’s soul with Kev Roberts, Jim Hargreaves, Bob Hinsley and John Kane. Admission on the night is £15 pay on the door, or you can get advance tickets at £12.50 by calling 0844 856 1111 or online at


Chris Burton’s Torch promotions present an evening and All Night Bank Holiday special at Keele University Students Union in Staffordshire on Sunday August 25th starting at 6pm and running through until 6am. With 4 rooms of Northern monster sounds, cutting edge Northern, top quality Modern and Soulful Dance plus a collectors choice session in the cafe and an outdoor barbecue, the event looks set to pull over 1,000 soul lovers following on from the first relaunch All-nighter back in early April this year. With the usual top line-up of DJs and with a huge free car park and stunning facilities, the venue is situated between junctions 15 & 16 of the M6 (ST5 5BG). Coach parties are being catered for at the August event and for discount details please call : 07583 431924


On August 3rd, following on from an 800 + attendance at the inaugural event back in April, Paul Conroy’s Tyneside Soul promotions are holding their second All-Dayer of the year at the impressive Lancastrian Suite, Lancaster Road, Dunston, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE11 9JR. Now added is a third room featuring 60’s R&B and underplayed rarities with DJs including Hoss, and Roger Banks. In the Modern Room there’s Bob Jeffries, Terry Jones, John Kane, Andrea Robertsonwith Tizer and Tony Hargan, while in the main room the line-up is enriched with the debut of Sean Chapman, who is joined by myself, Ginger, John Poole, Nige Brown, Harry Crosby, Bob Hinsley, Davey and Toma and Tonge. Advance tickets are priced at £7 each and are available by phoning 07812 803410, or you can pay £10 on the door on the day. The event starts at 2pm and runs through until 2am.


August 10th welcome’s the second anniversary of this bi-annual event, seeing the superb Sheffield City Hall play host to another 3-roomer with the best in Motown, 60’s Soul, Northern and Modern in a 9pm – 2.30am session. In the main room joining myself will be Snowy, Ginger and Steve White while in the Modern room it’s Sean Hampsey, David Needham and Tony B. The Northern line-up this time is enriched by the presence of Nige Brown. Tickets priced at £10 each are available now on 0114 278 9789 or you can turn-up and pay on the door on the night….

Until next time, 

Richard Searling





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