How long have you been collecting?Since I can remember! There were always records in our house growing up, my mum played Jackie Wilson records and all my brothers had their own individual collections which I was exposed too, they all had good taste thankfully!
I got really heavy into collecting in my late teens (and I became eternally skint), then in my early 20’s it got serious when I entered the realms of the Northern Soul Scene. So I been collecting for over two decades and the friends I’ve made and places it has taken me too, have been such invaluable life experiences. I wouldn’t change for the world.
Do you remember your first buy?My first Rare soul purchase was a soul pack I bought from an online dealer who used to send me a monthly booklet with a CD that had clips of all the records. I really miss those days of receiving that booklet and listening to the sound clips on the way to work when I lived in Belfast. I ordered this soul pack which consisted of ten 45s, I was insanely excited to receive them. I can still remember some of the records in there. Dobie Gray – Out on the Floor on Charger , Joe Hicks – Don’t it make you feel funky on AGC, Five Stairsteps and Cubie – Stay Close to Me on Curtom, Detroit Spinners – I’ll Always Love You – Tamla Motown to name a few. Looking back it was a perfect introduction and I had certainly caught the collecting bug. I was just mesmerised by all those labels I didn’t know, producers and writers I’d never heard of, It was insanely exciting and I wanted more.
What’s your favourite record in your box?Hands down, right now it’s James Wayne and the Soul Soothers – I Found Someone on Key-Lan Records. A Double sider, with a beautiful ballad on the flip called My Last Letter. These are two tunes that really get me, and remind me of attending some of my favourite clubs around the UK over the last 20 years.
Which record do you regret selling the most?Elois Scott – Broadway Love on G Carol, I got this before it went really big and was obsessed with it as it had everything, that sultry brass section, a gritty heartbroken female vocal with lyrics that hit hard. It’s one to lose yourself to on the dancefloor.
So remember folks, even if you need to raise funds do not, I repeat do not sell your prized records. I’ve sold two copies of Felix Harris – Walkin’ (in The Night) on Counterpart which I could have chosen for my answer but really, when I think about it, I don’t have any regrets in all honesty as I’m just happy to have had the privilege of owning them and enjoying them in my life, other people will never get that opportunity so I’m grateful for it all!
What’s your fave all time soul club?Can I say the Belfast Soul Club? I started and ran the club with the legend that is Phil Shields. The nights we had there at that club (even when only 20 people turned up) were so special to me. When I look back at the guests and the records that were played, it’s mind blowing to me now. Without realising it, we were very forward thinking in our ethos and the euphoria I felt on those nights, to them sounds with my Irish soul brothers and sisters were unbeatable.
Over the water, it can only be The Greatstone Soul Club in Manchester. If you attended back then, you know why. I loved the smaller clubs like that who were playing more progressive sounds and that place was like a small family… I still miss it
What’s your all time want?Changes daily I guess, I could list a lot of records which I’ve always wished to have owned. Ernie Johnson – I Can’t Stop The Pain on Artco has always been a massive want. One that is not crazy money and very attainable would be a copy of The Gilmore Brothers – I feel a Song on Bantu, I love this record, it really does things to me! And if anyones got a spare 5k and wants to pick up a copy of The Dynamics – I’m a Lonely Man on DYNA and send it my way, it would be much obliged 🙂
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