How long have you been collecting?I have been collecting since 2011. In the beginning, I bought anything and everything within my grasp. I was delving headfirst into the world of collecting with no sort of guidance. Looking back, those were the golden days on the soul scene, being naive and getting genuinely excited about records, no matter what the label – I was purely interested in the sound. My collecting adventure kicked off with a somewhat unusual source of funding – my school lunch money. Each day, I’d save it up, and at the end of the month, armed with a pocketful of £1 coins, I’d head over to Monaco Ballroom in Hindley (near Wigan). There, I’d sift through the ‘cheapies’ box, hunting for records in the £10-20 range. Gradually, I worked my way up to wanting the pricier 45s. DJ’ing was never on my radar initially. I simply wanted a stash of records to enjoy at home or play at my friend’s Ben flat. It was a few years later that I found being asked to DJ at local events, and that’s when I started collecting more seriously and started venturing further afield to all-nighters.
Do you remember your first buy?It was The Poppies – Pain In My Heart, It wasn’t an original pressing; it was one of those later CSP releases. I played that record over and over; and I still cherish it. While it may not have much monetary value – it holds a wealth of memories and is one of the few records I still own from when I started collecting.
As my passion for wanting rarer sounds grew. This, in turn, led to me parting with many of the records that initially kickstarted my collection, in favour of acquiring first-issue, original 45s.
One amusing story from that time…. I distinctly recall saving up to purchase Fluffy Falana – My Little Cottage on Alpha I had saved the money on my own and asked my dad to transfer it to Sean Chapman. My dad was quite taken aback when he learned that I was willing to pay £150 for a single 45. A few days later, the record arrived, and my dad asked me, “So, what’s it called, and is it any good?” I looked at him and replied, “It’s called ‘Fluffy Falana, My Little Cottage.’” He was astounded and said, “£150 for a record called ‘My Little Cottage’ by an artist named Fluffy!” It’s a memory that still makes me smile to this day
What’s your favourite record in your box?Picking a favourite record from my collection is always a tough decision, but if I had to choose, I’d likely go with something from my Detroit collection. One that really stands out for me is Cody Black – Mr. Blue released on D-Town. However, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to acquire a copy of The Fourth Level – Deep South on U-Larc, a record I never thought I’d have in my possession. Right now, I’m also thoroughly enjoying playing Blue Steam – Where Is She on Catamount in my sets.
Which record do you regret selling the most?My biggest regret is undoubtedly selling my copy of Johnnie Mae Matthews – I Have No Choice on Big Hit Records. Looking back, I wonder, what on earth was I thinking! At that time, I was actively DJ’ing most weekends and the opportunity to acquire a copy of The Just Brothers – Carlena on Garrison came up and regrettably, I made the decision to sell Johnnie Mae Matthews and invest in Carlena, It remains one of my big regrets… although I still enjoy playing The Just Brothers’ track, I find myself wishing I had held onto Johnnie Mae Matthews.
There’s another instance that nags at me. I once had a one off Norma Jenkins acetate, which I also regret selling. I sold it to someone on the scene who promptly sent it to John Manship for auction, making quite a profit – why didn’t I think of doing that! Haha.
What’s your fave all time soul club?Without a doubt, my all-time favorite soul club has to be the 100 Club in London. While I don’t have the opportunity to visit as often as I’d like, the sheer excitement that surrounds the club is unmatched. I love the whole experience, from meeting up in the Blue Posts pub to heading around the corner and seeing the crowd gathering to descend into that legendary basement. The dimly lit atmosphere, the unique sound of unreleased tracks, and the rarest of the rare, all mixed in with classics like The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving spun by Ady!
I used to love The Lifeline All-Nighters in Stoke; they were simply superb. It was there that I first heard gems like The Devotions – Do Do De Dop and Patrinell Staten – Little Love Affair.
Another favourite all-nighter is Rugby Soul Club. It’s always an honour and a joy to DJ there, as the crowd is fantastic and allows you to play whatever you like. Plus, that record bar is pretty good, even though it tends to leave me a bit skint by the end of the night!
What’s your all time want?The list is endless…. One of my absolute favourite ‘oldies’ has to be Cecil Washington – I Don’t Like To Lose. I’ve come close to owning it on two separate occasions but missed out both times. Unfortunately, the price of that record has skyrocketed over the last five years, making it out of my price range now.
Another track I’ve always loved is Tommy & The Derby’s – Don’t Play The Role, which always reminds me of Butch playing it at the 100 Club. Then there’s The Volumes – I’ve Never Been So In Love, what a tune! Maybe a lottery win is in order to make these cherished wants a reality – Haha!
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