Revues by members of the site always appreciated
Horncastle no longer running
OK - this is Nick's venue , but i'll tell it how i find it. Arrived on my own at 08.45 (the winter gardens- Cleethorpes was on too!! ), Was greeted by Nicks lad on the door , he made me part with my money (again), I looked inside must have been 60/70 folk in already, far more than i imagined there would be,a few on the floor and some erstwhile travellers amongst them. I never thought I would see Carl of Rainworth here !!!. The only things i can say about this venue is - All hail to Nick for his music policy (I have the sign above the entrance door pinned on my office wall) It has the most friendly crowd I know - The most approachable dj's anywhere (no ego's here - although they are easily good enough to have one) Comfort wise - those huge sofas are just the job for tired feet. This venue is worth a visit and it has a huge campsite for tents and caravans.
After being held hostage by the Cleethorpes crowd,i was dragged kicking and screaming to Horncastle.The venue was awesome with plenty of comfy areas to chat and enjoy the night.I had been pre-warned about the dancefloor but to my joy i found it was perfect for me. Musically it was fine with a wide variation across the board. Keep up the good work..... Kim (Selby)
Horncastle 17th April Have given a review about this venue , but the music this night was overall the best i've ever heard over a full night - all the dj's were superb - bar none -wonderful stuff .....Dave
Casablanca Club - Cleethorpes no longer running
This was a really good night in a venue that creates a good atmosphere, when I walked in or to be more precise 30 minutes trying to get past the friendly reception committee.
A good barometer of the night is when Carl Turner is there at the end apparently (sorry Carl but Sonia said it not me) an he is a modern man I thought but this night was all about local anthems and oldies, Dave Smith you would have loved it and 'the true faith' was kept in spades, I did miss the first 2 hours but what I heard in the last 4 hours was a pleasure and a great mix.
Coops and Smucker seemed to be on all night with a 2 set double decking spot and a good job too as they were so entertaining to watch, Coops is one of the few dj's I know who dances (and not behind the decks either) while he is playing a record, takes good timing that and I thought Smucker at one stage was doing backdrops behind the decks. Between them they bounced off each other a treat.
I missed Nick Borst and Pete Stone sadly but heard they did their usual good spots.
Rob Smith arrived and even won a big teddy in the raffle or his travelling partner did, it was bigger than him almost. He went on to do what he does best and quickly slotted into the theme of the night, never heard him do a bad set yet and think the bloke is a really good reader of the floor...WELL DONE.
Dave Raistrick was the other guest DJ and it was good to hear him joining in with the theme of the night, not sure 'the theme' was intended but it sort of had to happen as everyone was up for hearing the old Pier and Gardens sounds.
As good a night as I have had at a night while sober due to driving and the above photo was of the organisers handing me £105 raised from the raffle in aid of our Cancer Research charity fund.
Staythorpe Sports Club Newark
Have just returned from an excellent night here at Newark, I have been a number of times and never had a bad night, it is now entering it's 10th year and still has a full house on the 2nd Friday in the month, finishes at midnight and the bar shuts at 11, the floor is good but small, gets a lot of enthusiastic locals, they have their fair share of good dancers here too and it is a site to behold if you can find space on the floor.
Soul Sam was there on this occasion and I have to admit I have seen him so many times over the years and never really watched him in action, he is the most enthusiastic DJ I have ever seen, just watch him behind the decks if you get the chance he is still dancing away after all these years, if only the other DJ's actually loved the music as much as the money they earn. He played his usual excellent set which was a mixed bag played to the crowd, including King Tutt and Margaret Little + a new track to me Belita Woods - Foolish Gold, probably a cover up but a track with a lot of potential and it was plain to see Sam loved it.
Get along to this one if you are anywhere near, you will enjoy it..... Nick
Soul in the Sun - Tenerife April 2005
We all had a belly good time as you will see.
I have just been to this event for the first time after being told not to bother as I would not like it (clicky they termed it), I found most to be very friendly when approached and all were out for a good time.
If you are not familiar with this event it is a twice yearly bash in beautiful Tenerife, the Soul Seller is the place to be for 7 nights of pure northern soul.
You basically book a pass for the week as it is a private function taking over the whole of the open air bar, the floor was a pretty big tiled affair and was good for the dancers, you make your own arrangements regarding hotels, do your own thing and go when you feel like it. SIMPLE.
One thing I will say is that all the tosh about must play vinyl, every single track as far as I know was from cd due to the logistical problems taking out records, nobody said it spoilt their enjoyment of the week, nobody cares except the dealers and vinyl snobs, I enjoyed them and the mix was just right most of the time, it is an anything goes across the board music policy but very little R&B I noticed.
I even met 2 people there with grown up kids who were now into the music and we we were with a big crowd from Cleethorpes so how could it not be a good time with these characters, goes on till 2 most nights and then take over a little bar up the road if you are up for it.
I even put some faces to names I have been e-mailing for years and had a real good time. Nice to meet you all and see you here again no doubt.
Soul in the Sun - Tenerife March 2006
I arrived this year wondering what the new venue would be like, it was a mock fortress with an open air eating area, not the best place to play loud music in a residential area in upmarket Tenerife and the local police were soon round to tell us to turn down the music which was a bit of a blow. The bar was a one till affair for 220 thirsty people, the decks were a set of multiplay things where you could not easily choose your track so all in all not a good start.
Night two was much better, with our hearing aids up to max we started to get tracks which were intended via a new set of decks, the bar staff were right on the ball and the dance floor was superb, this venue was starting to kick in big time, still a long way to go to be perfect but we were on holiday so we are going to enjoy it or else.
So was it any good, yes and all the miserable moaning gits should give it a chance Eddie puts a lot of hard work into organising this. I know how hard it is promoting a night 1 mile away let alone thousands of miles away, I will go again and I hope the crowd we were with (all 20) will be back as it is a good time and a fantastic area for a holiday with the bonus of some decent music thrown in. Drinks are a bit steep but food is cheap, an all day breakfast everywhere is £2 and all you can eat chinese is £4, quality is ok at most of them and there are some superb places if you want to pay around £20 including wine for two people and get some real posh nosh.
Next one is in November when 600 are expected over a two week period and I believe it is almost booked up already so if you fancy it get booking your accomodation and order your passes. YOU WILL ENJOY IT.
Soul in the Sun - Tenerife April 2007
After a lot of hype and rumour this turned out to be one of the best Tenerife soul weeks ever. I know the Soul Seller will never be matched but this came close.
Venue The Jungle Bar in Porto Colon and within 200 yds from our hotel which was even better. This went on from 8 until 4am most nights so it was a much longer session than usual due to the location and sound proofing, the dancefloor was fine despite being tiled, the seating areas were ample for the 270 who attended but was almost at it's maximum when all were in attendance.
The Owner Willie, what can you say about a larger than life character who pours spirits into the mouths of all stood at the bar like seals clapping for fish, then he falls asleep on the pool table at 3am. He just added that something extra and all the rumours of an ogre were dispelled.
The Staff all did a great job and you were never waiting long for a drink, they were well into the music by the end.
The Sound System Most clubs in the UK would envy it and the computerised links meant it could be driven direct from a laptop as was demonstrated by Biff.
The DJ's All those I heard which would be most did a superb job and mixed it up pretty well, even had a Al Capone played to keep the 15 travelling skinheads happy (including 4 from Italy)
All in all a fantastic time was had by all and I met a lot of great people who were very happy, there were also a few newcomers to the music which was good to see and this type of event will bring them into the scene I hope.
Watch a Video of Soul In The Sun 2010
Soul in Tenerife 2011
Ok I am sure you have noticed the subtle change in title for 2011, this is due to the fact that there are now 2 (yes two) soul venues on the island at the same time. Soul in the Sun has now changed it's location to a nightclub called Vivo because it has grown to such an extent, there have been lots of comments that the atmosphere has been lost in this sterile disco environment which I am sure is up for debate but there is a pleasant outside seating area with a small dance floor on the way in, the DJ's are high up in the middle with another dance floor inside. To the rear is an outside area that is little used but good to get away from it for a chat. It has to be said a big downside is the guy in the toilets who has disabled all the towel dispensers and practically forces you to use his towel and of course wants paying each time. Beer 2.50 euros
The other event is held in a bar close to the Jungle with a nice outside seating area on a balcony overlooking the bay. It was noticable that many were wearing Soul in the Sun wrist bands but there were also a lot who came especially for this event. The Old Lodge became The Old 'Soul' Lodge for 2 weeks and was a back to basics northern night with guest DJ's spinning the MP3's, it has to be this way who would take vinyl on holiday !! The floor was tiled but great for dancing and the bar staff friendly as were the hosts Stef & Simonne Beer 1.50 euros They also went to the extent of laying on a barbeque at another larger venue and presented a very credible Motown tribute act, the 2 girls put on a great show and were very professional indeed.
Manhattan's Bar - Puerto Colon/Tenerife NOW CLOSED
This was a place you should have visited as it will go down in history as one of the better holiday bars to hear Motown and Northern Soul, it was run by Steve and Cath along with some great staff who were all well into the music, there was a small stage with decks and Steve needed little encouragement to do a set and we had some superb night in here from 1am - 5am after others had closed their doors, we had our own DJ's in tow Nick Borst & Pete Stone so around 50 of us took over the place and it was soon hopping to some of the best current sound being played in the UK, R&B went down very well and the place really lent itself to this kind of music and created an atmophere I have not experienced for a very long time in England.
Clarendon Club Hinckley
7.30pm - 12.45 Jan 24th 2004
Having heard good things about here (and it being Mort's birthday) , I decided to take the plunge.After a 2 and a quarter hour drive I arrived,stressed out from the drive down,and feeling just a little drained,paid my money and POW , the entrance hall/bar was total mayhem, folks everywhere (and it was only 8.45), drinks were purchased and into the main hall, I was greeted by one heaving mass of bodies on the dance floor,all the tables taken, folk standing 2/3 deep round the dance floor, a super atmosphere,and hot as hell (which fool left the heating on !!!!). True to form , as advertised , and as i had been told , it was oldies all the way all night.The crowd certainly played it's part (I've never heard such a mix of accents at do),the floor was very busy all night,only downside was 5/6 handbaggers who thought it was funny to dance with bottles/glasses and fags in their hands. Special mention here to Gra Weaver - He played the best set I've heard in a long time - well deserved accolade, you even out did the Maestro Promoters - Take a bow , this was awesome , I'll certainly make the long trek down for the next one - Dave Raistrick and this crowd - I'm drooling already.
Butlins W/ender Feb 6th - 8th 2004
Butlins Weekender - Friday Night Following much discussion,and winding up of the dragon , I met up with Nick outside the main gate at butlins for the soul weekender. I didn't have much info on this , apart from the fact there were 17 acts on over the weekend, and a northern room , with some well respected northern jocks on. We met up at 8.30 , went inside , to be told the northern room didn't open till 10.00, so we went into one of the club rooms and had a beer whilst watching a soul group going thro a set of classics (not brilliant - but very watchable),amazing crowd of folk inside , hen and stag parties all dressed up , couples, groups all set on having one hell of a weekend. 10.00 we left for the northern room,en route we met up with the Grimsby crew who had been on camp since 11.00 ,and had been giving the beer some ever since.On entering the room ,there must have been about 50 folk inside,and already a fair few on the floor. I certainly wasn't ready for what was about to happen, 5 hours of storming oldies , a very good dance floor,a small sprinkling of handbaggers who really got into the spirit of the thing and like most of the soulers in the place , had a good drink and danced me ass off till the room closed at 4.00. All the dj's did superb spots, couldn't fault any of them,requests were played all night,and everybody had one hell of a night,only downside was it took me nearly an hour to find my chalet in the freezing wind and rain dressed only in a polo shirt and trousers. I had breakfast with Rupe from Boston who had jocked the previous night and Dave from Grimsby , and both said what a good night it had been.
After having to travel back to Grimsby sat , i decided to go back on the sunday night just to see if it was the beer or i really did have such a good night on the friday night.Just to get another opinion i took Little Jo down with me, she knows a good do when she sees one (although she had work on monday morning) We arrived at 6.30 , the northern room didn't open 'till 9.00 , and the bars didnt open till 7.30, we had a coffee , the place seemed very quiet and subdued to friday night , very few folk about, anyway we went into one of the bars , had a beer and watched a George Benson Tribute group- very very watchable and at 9.00 headed for the northern room.(these bars make a good chill out zone before the do's later on) On entering the room - oh dear - problems , about 20 people in, Rupe on the decks struggling to get any interest,a very empty floor and zero atmosphere.After 10 mins or so one or two folk starting to trickle in , Jo got up to dance (rather reluctantly),then hardly left the floor all night.Gradually the place filled up , the floor filled, the atmosphere returned,and yet again we had a storming set of oldies (including a fair few youth club tracks), once again all the jocks played their part.It was very amusing at the end , when the handbaggers were smooching to Jimmy Radcliffe, and the soulers were having a good sing. Little Jo was told whenever she wanted to leave - it was not a problem - we stayed untill the end at 3.00 , she got home at 3.50 , and had to be up at 6.30, never ever have i seen her dance so much. Her comments in the car just echoed my own feelings , it has been suggested that a good group of us would have one hell of a weekend here, can see a dozen of us doing it next year for the full weekend. Eric and crew from Manchester had a thoroughly good weekend too, but they were that tired they departed the northern room at 12.00 , too tired to do any more, the same as one or two of the soulers. At £41.00 for the weekend , accomodation included,all acts etc free , this has to be one hell of a good value weekend (the acts included Tommy Hunt, The Foundations, and Jimmy James and the Vagabonds) Many Many thanks to all who made this one hell of a weekender , the dj's , the staff at butlins, and last but not least Dave Raistrick who organised the northern side of it.I strongly suggest if you enjoy your oldies , give this one a try next year Marks as per friday night , and very very contented souler went to his bed at 4.30 , absolutley shattered.
Butlins Weekender 2005
I went on the Saturday night this year and it was just as good, packed to the rafters at times and a few on the dance floor who were downright idiots but you have to expect this here as it is an open house to thousand out for a good weekend, music was good though with various combinations of dj's doubling up including Nick Borst, Chris Forrest & Rob Thomas doing excellent spots, Pete Taylor as usual was brilliant but the real floorfiller was a guy called Steve (yes I forgot his last name)played a few great tracks and struggled then he played Epitome Of Sound and it was like opening a flood gate and he never looked back when he got on their wavelength.
Pity there was a spell where they pandered to the masses and played some common or garden stuff but it all adds to the atmosphere I guess and was only for an hour or so. Finished at 4am and there were still a few die hards on the floor, a good event this.
Butlins Weekender 2008
Thought it was time to let you know this is still going strong and one of the best weekends on the calendar, I missed this last year due to it clashing with the last ever Cleethorpes Winter Gardens and the year before for work commitments. Now we only go on the Saturday night as a rule and we arrived at 9-30pm but it was already packed and the floor was full, really great sets by Pete Taylor, Steve Austin, Chris Forrest (inc Tats) and Nick Borst, just looked back and looks like the same DJ line up as last year almost and is mainly an oldies theme and does normally attract a few who are not strictly into northern as the event is part of a themed weekend and other halls are disco's and groups so something for everyone, now this year we did not see as many peopel in fancy dress who had wandered in and it was 95% soulies so the atmosphere was the best I have experienced here, if you fancy a good value weekend this has got to be on the list.
Butlins Weekender 2009 and 2010 and 2011
To be honest this event has not changed at all still a great format which is why it is packed every time, good mix of DJ's and music laning towards oldies it is a known quantity and a reliably good weekend.
Skeggy W/ender March 28th 2004
This being the 6th Skeggy Weekender i've attended on the trot, and having enjoyed each one better than the last,I departed Grimsby with ineager anticipation,quite a crowd of us meeting there from all parts of the north and midlands, and all damn good folk to boot too. I walked through the doors at about 8.30 to be hit by the unique Skegness atmosphere and I just knew I would enjoy the whole weekend - and I certainly did.The mix of different styles of music being played upstairs and downstairs certainly works,the dj's again played to orders,oldies upstairs, other stuff downstairs means everybody is kept happy most of the time. The atmosphere at times seemed a little lacking to other weekenders , but is still very very special (some of this may be down to a lot of first timers),only downside was it was very hot upstairs on Saturday night (maybe due to a little overcrowding)
overall 4 absolute storming sessions as always here. Highlites - the whole weekend really, but the forgotten oldies set played early saturday night was the best set i've heard in a long long time - well done that jock, and the last hour and a half on saturday night was the best atmosphere i've felt anywhere, everybody singing, clapping and dancing (never seen them dancing on the tables before here), a memory that will never ever go away, also a big thankyou to all the friends old and new I met, the people here are really friendly and most certainly up for it and along with the dj's and organisation make it such a good weekend.
Wigan 30th Anniversary - Kings Hall Stoke
I fail to see how it can be a Wigan Anniversary when Wigan is closed, not even in Wigan for goodness sake.
After yet another bad journey to this part of the world, arrived just after 10.00 , and the place was heaving. Many, many folk from my regular haunts were there, all enjoying what was one superb nighter. All the dj's stuck basically to sounds that were played at the casino, the packed crowd responded superbly all through the night,the drinks bars were very busy whilst they were open, the food sellers were busy, a large amount of vinyl was purchased from the stalls, but the modern room was quiet each time I had a nosey through there(quite rightly so on a night like this).
Having attended a couple of the nighters here before , I must say this seemed to be the best one i've been to, everybody enjoying themselves, heaving dance floor,superb music and damned good company,and most importantly no egos from the dj's,so the floor remained full all night creating one superb atmosphere.
Driving home the next day , I wished every do was as good as this, but then the thought struck me,I would soon get bored with the scene if they were , nothing to look forward to. This was a superb do , the best of the year so far.
Kingsway - Forest Town
Arrived later than i wanted to (the directions are a bit misleading on the flyers),was more than a bit fed up when we arrived 1 3/4 hours to get there,walked in received a warm welcome from Carl + crew,then heard the dj say are you ready for three hours of in your face northern soul. By heck Ian Gee and the rest of the jocks did us proud.3 1/2 hours of the oldies,the crowd were really up for it,and the place was buzzing,if you like your northern soul as it was in the golden days,this is the place to go,nothing too rare played,and every track a superb dancer.It is maybe the best regular event for atmosphere I've been to.If you like oldies this is definatly one to go to.Couple of little footnotes here,If a dj strays from what he is asked to play ,he is paid off - wish this happened more often - more power to your elbow Carl.Secondly at April's do none other than Kenny Burrell was on , I don't think he played a record worth over £25 and he looked to be really enjoying himself,the crowd certainly did.Magnificent friendly crowd here,superb dancers,wonderful atmosphere,great music,all in all maybe the best regular oldies do on the go at the minute , certainly a must to go to.
Monaco Club - Hindley (Wigan)
I'd heard a lot of good reports about this place and was looking forward to a good night out.Walked into the superb venue, it's huge and was very well attended maybe 400 in.Saw quite a few travellers from this side of the pennines which surprised me a little.First dj I heard played a good set of northern,which got the floor very busy , then sadly for the next two hours heard a very strange mix of music,the place went very flat..The last hour the dj played a lot of good northern stuff but sadly a lot of people were already leaving.On the upside the female dancers were on the whole the best I've seen at a do (Should have expected that with it being so near Wigan).I Left 10 mins before the end,feeling rather disappointed and not looking forward to the very long drive home.
Footnotes - Don't let me put you off, having spoken to regulars at the venue, I picked the wrong night to go - the worst night they had had for ages,and it's normally buzzing Buy your beer early here, the price rockets up later in the night.
An annual event in June and one not to be missed. You will need to book accomodation well in advance though as despite thousands of beds in this resort they get booked from year to year. The local area is maybe not so appealing but the Spa itself has undergone a major refurbishment recently and now boasts one of the most impressive dance floors around. You will find at least 5 rooms with themed music to suit all tastes + a balcony with many vendors selling almost everything that you could think of just add a black fist and it becomes northern memorabilia.
Any pictures from these venues would be much appreciated