Monday, 27 December 2010

Teena Marie, Christmas & Me

Well, I got in last night, went on facebook, and the first message I saw was from Keni Burke, saying that Teena Marie had passed away. I have to say I was shocked. 54 years old is no age. I remember hearing her back in the late 70s and wondering who this new talent Motown had unearthed was.

She was slightly different to everyone else at the time and stood above all the newer artists of the time. 'I'm Just A Sucker For Your Love' was the first song I remember hearing and she went on to produce some awesome songs, including, 'Behind The Groove', 'Square Biz' and 'I Need Your Lovin'. However, I must the only person in the world who doesn't get 'Portugese Love'. It's not that I don't like it, I just could never really decide whether I got it or not.

Those that saw Teena Marie at the O2 last year, all reported that she was in fine form. My thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Since I blogged last, I've DJ'ed twice. First was Shaun Owen & my 'Unwarpped' night at Nusha on Christmas Eve. The turnout wasn't marvelous, but it was pleasing that people made the effort to come from as far as Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill. It's a shame Cambridge people didn't come, but understandable as Christmas is a family time, and Christmas Eve can be a busy time at home.

Myself and Shaun played across the board with Shaun playing newer tunes and me playing those older songs. As Shaun played CDs and records, I wasn't able to get his playlist, but here's what I played. We both did 3 short sets each so I've separated mine into those sets.

Set 1
1 Mystic Merlin - Just Can't Give You Up
2 Keni Burke - Let Somebody Love You
3 Khemistry - I Can't Lose With The Stuff I Use
4 Kleeer - Keep Your Body Workin'
5 Trussel - Love Injection
6 Manu Dibango - Big Blow
7 Teddy Pendergrass - Only You
8 Rick James - Big Time
9 Melba Moore - Love's Comin' At Ya
10 Bobby Thurston - Checkout The Groove
11 A Taste Of Honey - Boogie Oogie Oogie
12 Stylistics - Rockin' Roll Baby
13 Trammps - Hold Back The Night
14 Natalie Cole - This Will Be
15 Martha Reeves & the Vandellas - Jimmy Mack
16 Supremes - There's No Stopping Us Now
17 Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything's Alright)
18 Bob & Marcia - Young Gifted & Black
19 Pioneers - Let Your Yeah Be Yeah
20 Dave & Ansil Collins - Double Barrel
21 George Benson - Give Me The Night
22 Crusaders - Streetlife
23 Odyssey - Inside Out

Set 2
24 Shannon - Let The Music Play
25 Terence Trent D'arby - Dance Little Sister
26 Edwin Starr - Contact
27 Karen Young - Hot Shot
28 Jackson Sisters - I Believe In Miracles
29 Thelma Houston - Saturday Night Sunday Morning
30 Cool Million ft Eugene Wilde - Back For More
31 Soul II Soul ft Rose Windross - Fairplay
32 Sharon Redd - Can You Handle It
33 Cheryl Lynn - Got To Be Real
34 Billy Paul - Bring The Family Back

Set 3
35 Fat Larry's Band - Lookin' For Love Tonight
36 Herbie Hancock - I Thought It Was You
37 Billy Paul - Bring The Family Back
38 Terry Callier - Ordinary Joe
39 Eugene Record - Overdose Of Joy
40 Bobby Thurston - Very Last Drop

All in all, it was an enjoyable night, and great to meet a few of my facebook friends for the first time and meet up with other friends I've met since I've been in Cambridge.

Christmas Day was much like anyone else's, food, sweets, drink and excess. Although to be fair I never had a great deal to drink.

Boxing Day was all about playing at the Med. Once again turnout could have been better, however, those that were there had a great time, and it was quite funny watching them staggering home along the road as I was driving home at the end.

The set was a bit across the board, but it was a fun set to play - you will notice the 80s pop in there - I had a request to play 'some naff 80s jumpin' up and down and singing tunes' - and I have to admit to having a mad 5 minutes and playing 2 novelty songs from the 70s that I don't think I've ever played before at a disco!

That said though, there were a couple of sublime moments for me last night when the music was just perfect for the moment when I played them. The songs I'm talking about were Kim Weston's 'Another Train Coming' and the last song of the night which was just lovely.

Here's the playlist:
1 Jim Gilstrap - Swing Your Daddy
2 Kandidate - Girls Girls Girls
3 Lou Rawls - Sit Down & Talk To Me
4 James Ingram - One More Rhythm
5 Carl Anderson - Buttercup
6 Beverley Skeete - If The Feeling Is Right
7 Black Box - Fall Into My Love
8 Keni Burke - Hang Tight
9 Lisa Stansfield - I Will Be Waiting
10 Mary Mary - In The Morning
11 Omarion - Entourage
12 Linda K - Clubsong
13 Paul McInnes & TBOI - Sunshine
14 Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life (Morales Mix)
15 Mary J Blige - Just Fine
16 Usher - Pop Ya Collar
17 St Germain - So Flute
18 Jazzelicious - Fantastico
19 Bashiyra - Mistified
20 Cool Notes - Make This A Special Night
21 Heavy D & The Boyz - Somebody For Me
22 Keith Sweat - I Want Her
23 Black Science Orchestra - Sunshine (Soul Weekender Mix)
24 Patrice Rushen - Forget Me Nots
25 Chi-Lites - Hot On A Thing
26 Barry White - I'm Qualified To Satisfy You
27 New York City - I'm Doing Fine Now
28 Chairman Of The Board - Everything's Tuesday
29 Willie Hutch - Lucky To Be Loved
30 Sam Fletcher - I'd Think It Over Twice
31 Trini Lopez - Sinner Not A Saint
32 Eddie Kendricks - Goin' Up In Smoke
33 Stevie Wonder - You Haven't Done Nothin'
34 Rose Royce - Is It Love You're After
35 Evelyn 'Champagne' King - Shame
36 Shalamar - Take That To The Bank
37 Drifters - Come On Over To My Place
38 Georgie Fame - Yeh Yeh
39 Jimmy Soul - If You Want To Be Happy
40 Jackie Wilson - I Get The Sweetest Feeling
41 Tams - Hey Girl Don't Bother Me
42 Al Green - Full Of Fire
43 Luther Vandross - You're The Sweetest One
44 Manhattans - Crazy
45 Lainer & Co - Dancing In The Night
46 George Benson - Turn Your Love Around
47 Temptations - My Baby
48 Chiffons - One Fine Day
49 Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Two Can Have A Party
50 Roy Orbison - Uptown
51 Sam Cooke - Having A Party
52 Millie - My Boy Lollipop
53 Desmond Dekkar - It Miek
54 Jimmy Cliff - Hurricane Hatty
55 Delroy Wilson - I'm In A Dancing Mood
56 Barbara Lewis - Pushin' A Good Thing Too Far
57 Kim Weston - Another Train Coming
58 Aretha Franklin - One Step Ahead (Featurecast Re-Edit)
59 Donna Summer - Down Deep Inside
60 Haircut 100 - Love Plus One
61 Thompson Twins - Love On Your Side
62 Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Round
63 Human League - Fascination (Keep Feeling)
64 Blondie - Sunday Girl
65 Meri Wilson - Telephone Man
66 Guy Marks - Loving You Has Made Me Bananas
67 Spandau Ballet - Gold
68 Sister Sledge - Reach Your Peak
69 Chic - Sometimes You Win
70 Billy Ocean - Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)
71 Gladys Knight & The Pips - Baby Baby Don't Waste My Time
72 Drifters - You're More Than A Number In My Little Red Book
73 Leroy Hutson - They Got Love
So that just about brings me up to date. I'll speak again soon!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Requestfest and the past few days.

As we wind up towards Christmas, it's all about getting in front, and that's what I've been doing for the past few days. Yesterday I recorded this week's Pure Grooves and Sunday Shake Up shows, as I'm tight for time to do them now. I also put up the Flashback show yesterday. With requestfest being tonight and the Unwrapped night tomorrow, it means that I needed to be on the ball getting things done, but all is done and I was ready to go to Requestfest knowing I don't have any more shows to record this side of Christmas.

As for Requestfest, it started out all 80s tonight as as the night wore on, I ended getting a load of wide ranging requests. No two Requestfests are ever the same and this one was no different. So, what did I play tonight?

1 Prince - 1999
2 Whitney Houston - How Will I Know
3 Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
4 Spandau Ballet - Gold
5 A-Ha - Take On Me
6 Housemartins - Happy Hour
7 Madness - Shut Up
8 Eighth Wonder - I'm Not Scared
9 Madonna - Papa Don't Preach
10 INXS - Need You Tonight
11 Landscape - Einstein A Go Go
12 Billy Ocean - Are You Ready
13 Chaka Khan - Eye To Eye
14 Earth Wind & Fire - I've Had Enough
15 Coldcut - People Hold On
16 David Bowie - Let's Dance
17 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
18 Europe - Final Countdown
19 Joan Jett - I Love Rock 'n' Roll
20 Culture Club - Church Of The Poisoned Mind
21 Hall & Oates - I Can't Go For That
22 Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom
23 Deacon Blue - Real Gone Kid
24 Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok
25 Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer
26 Clash - Rock The Casbah
27 Paul Young - I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down
28 Booker T & The MGs - Green Onions
29 Bar-Kays - Soul Finger
30 Mar-Keys - Last Night
31 Jnr Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun
32 Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
33 David Bowie - China Girl
34 David Bowie & Mick Jagger - Dancing In The Street
35 Nickelback - How You Remind Me
36 Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
37 Red Sovine - Teddy Bear
38 Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies
39 Go West - We Close Our Eyes
40 Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers
41 DJ Luck & MC Neat - Little Bit Of Luck
42 Warren G ft Nate Dogg - Regulate
43 Eminem - When I'm Gone
44 Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong
45 Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love
46 Eurythmics - Here Comes The Rain Again
47 Mr Mister - Broken Wings
48 Puff Daddy & Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
49 REM ft Kate Pearson - Shiny Happy People
50 Take That - The Flood
51 Artful Dodger ft Craig David - Re-Rewind
52 Phats & Small - Turn Around
53 Shanks & Bigfoot - Sweet Like Chocolate
54 Gusto - Disco's Revenge
55 N-Dubz Ft Mr Hudson - Playing With Fire
56 Celine Dion - I´m Alive
Had a request tonight for a song I don't think I've played in over 25 years. Red Sovine's 'Teddy Bear' has to go down as one of the worst records I've ever played and I'm hoping its 25 years before I hear it again! I thought the guy was kidding when he asked for it, but it's one of those songs that reminds him of when he was a kid. You should have seen the looks on the faces of everyone in the room when it came on.

It was the first time I've had David Bowie and Mick Jagger's 'Dancing in the street' requested in a while also.

It's funny the variety of songs that get requested on a Requestfest. At one stage, I thought I was only going to get 80s songs requested all night.

Well tomorrow night sees Christmas Eve and myself and Shaun Owen's Unwrapped night. We're going to be playing right across the soul, jazz funk board so it should be a good night. I've worked Christmas Eve's before and they are generally good natured nights. Let's hope tomorrow is as well. I'm looking forward to playing a bit of Jazz Funk as I seem to have mostly been playing Motown & Northern Soul lately, so it will make a nice change to play something different.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Relaxation - is it over-rated?

Well as we come toward Christmas, many of us look toward taking a break. I understand that we all need time to wind down, but I don't think I'm genetically engineered to do that.

Last night was a case in point. After finishing this week's Pure Grooves magazine and getting it online, I decided that I was going to have a night laying up the settee watching a film. Did that happen? Nope.

Here's how it panned out. I went to Tescos and did a bit of shopping, like you do. Came home and put the kettle on, full of good intentions. While I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I started to think about this week's Flashback show and what was going to be in it. So I walked to my computer table flipped on the computer and went back to finish making a cuppa.

Once that was done, I came back and decided to sort the play list out. I figured if I did that then I'd be in front for doing the show. An hour later the play list was sorted. Then I got it into my head to do the show as the computer was all lined up and ready to go, and so was I.

I started recording the show, and while I was doing the show I was hunting the net for details on each song for the 'Going Back In Time' part of the magazine.

An hour later the show was done and so was what I needed for the magazine. However, we're taking a break from the magazine until January, so there was no rush to do it. But, the first magazine of the New Year is going to need to accommodate 6 shows instead of 3, so I'll need to re-jig that and add extra pages.

If I did that last night, that's another job done, that would save time once I've had a break and am back to start again.

An hour later, I had re-jigged the magazine so that the next issue will incorporate the extra shows, and while I was at it, I added the information about the songs in the show. "While I'm at it", I thought, "I'll put the play list in and sort the 'Birthday Files' and that will be finished". That took another hour.

Next, I thought to myself perhaps it would be a good idea to have something to eat. 40 minutes later that was sorted.

Washing up done, it was now time for me to pour myself a drink and put my feet up and watch that film. The time? 10.25pm

The annoying thing is that while I was watching the film, I found myself drifting from the film and thinking about what I need to do today. I'm not sure if I was thinking about what I need to do as much as what I wanted to do. You see, I love what I'm doing. Is what I do my relaxation? Or am I just driven and don't know how to relax?

You tell me.

By the way while I'm writing this I've been playing tunes that I may well play at the Nusha Bar on Christmas Eve. Oh yeah, I've got a Requestfest to do before that. And then I'm working on Boxing Day and again on New Year's Eve. I can't wait!!!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Saturday night, Sunday morning...

Well the weather certainly changed last night! It's a 10 mile trip form where I live to the city centre, and yesterday was the worst trip I'd had since I've been here.

I left to go to the Cambridge Soul Collective Christmas Party at around 5.15pm and it had just started snowing. As I headed toward town the snow got worse and worse and traffic was moving at around 15mph. I left plenty of room in front of me in case I needed to stop quickly and I skidded into the motor in front of me. It's just as well I did, because each time I used the brakes my van just slid forward. It was easier to slow down by going down through the gears and anticipating when I'd need to be stopped by.

That wasn't too bad though. I discovered then, that it was almost impossible to turn left or right from a standing start. When I was actually moving slowly it was possible to steer and follow the road round.
However. From a standing start, as I was trying to pull away and turn left or right, I had basically no control over the steering! I had a couple of scary moments, but it was OK in the end.

I got to the venue, and was able to get inside to set my computer up and get ready to play. I was going to be playing after Max Rees, in the same way I did last week. Max was going to use my computer once again, so it was possible for me to get his playlist as well as my own.

Anyway, the evening started and it was great to see so many people turn out on such a poor evening. There were people turning up from miles away. These 'Soulies' don't let a bit of snow stop them!

I have to say it was, once again, a great night. Lots of great music played, loads of dancing, and a great time was had by all. It's so good to see people having such a great time.

I was happy with my set and I had people up and dancing. That's all I want to see as a DJ. There is nothing that beats the buzz I feel when I see people having a good time to the music I've chosen. I'm sure all DJs feel the same. It was good to catch up with some people I'd not seen for a while and have a chat.

Here are mine and Max's playlists from last night:
Max Rees set
1 Tammi Terrell - All I Do Is Think About You
2 Darrell Banks - Open The Door To Your Heart
3 O'Jays - Lipstick Traces
4 Mary Wells - What's Easy For Two Is Hard For One
5 Little Richard - Little Bit of Something (Beats A Whole Lot Of Nothing)
6 Coasters - Crazy Baby
7 Nomads - Somethin's Bad
8 Herbert Hunter - I Was Born To Love You
9 Lynne Randell - Stranger In My Arms
10 Ann Sexton - You've Been Gone Too Long
11 Voices Of East Harlem - Cashing In
12 Don Thomas - Come On Train
13 World Column - So Is The Sun
14 Frankie 'Love Man' Crocker - Ton Of Dynamite
15 Nancy Wilson - End Of Our Love
16 Nolan Porter - If I Could Only Be Sure
17 Originals - Don't Stop Now
18 Temptations - Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)

James Murphy's Set
19 Billy Eckstine - I Wonder Why (Nobody Loves Me)
20 Mel Hayes & The Boogie Man Orchestra - Lady Lady Lady
21 Brenda Holloway - When I'm Gone
22 Eddie Holland - Candy To Me (1964) (2:21)
23 Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - In My Lonely Room
24 Tommy Neal - Going To A Happening
25 Platters - With This Ring
26 Bob Brady & The Concords - Everybody's Going To A Love-In
27 Epitome Of Sound - You Don't Love Me
28 Jay D Martin - By Yourself
29 Billy Arnell & The Sparkles - Tough Girl
30 Bobby Hebb - Love Love Love
31 Willie Tee - Walking Up A One Way Street
32 Seven Souls - I Still Love You
33 Timi Yuro - It'll Never Be Over For Me
34 Kurt Harris - Emperor Of My Baby's Heart
35 Trini Lopez - Sinner Not A Saint
36 Inex & Charlie Foxx - Mockingbird

I'm pleased to say, the roads were a bit better on the way home, but I still had to drive carefully as they were still a bit slippery.

This morning, it's been all about getting the Sunday Shake Up done and sorted.  It's now online at all the normal places you'd find it posted to listen again. Here's the link anyway

So what's on for today? I'm pleased to say, absolutely nothing!
Speak soon!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The weekend's here

Well, it's really cold out there today, and even though I only went out for a short while, I'm glad to be back in the warm.

Tonight's another big Cambridge night what with the Cambridge Soul Collective Christmas Party. I'm looking forward to playing in front of this crowd tonight. I've been to a few of their events since I moved here, and they're usually well attended with people who are really knowledgeable about their music.

However, before that I've got to record tomorrow's Sunday Shake Up show. In fact I'm doing that while I'm writing this blog.

There's some really nice tunes in this week's show, and as it's the last one before Christmas, I'm even playing a Christmas song. Anyone that knows me, will know how much i dislike Christmas songs, so it has to be fairly special for me to even contemplate playing one. This year however there have been two Christmas songs that I haven't felt uncomfortable playing. The first being Eugene Wilde's "I Love Christmas" which I played in yesterday's Pure Grooves Show, and the one I'm playing in tomorrow's show. I won't tell you what it is yet. You can hear it tomorrow.

Lots of great songs are in tomorrow's show including a great new cover version of Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" and I'm even going to play a bit of reggae as well.

After I've done the show, I'm going to go through some tunes to play tonight. It's always harder to work out what you're going to play when you're sharing the stage with other DJs as you may know what you want to play, but the others that are playing before you may have already played some of them, and so you always need to have some songs in reserve.

I don't generally like to go with playing those classic songs that everyone expects to hear. I'm a great believer that with so many songs available to us, there's no real need to be predictable and go with what I think are safe songs. Sure they always work, but I also think there are so many really class songs that never get played.

I always like to see people's faces when I play something that over the years, theye have forgotten. Don't get me wrong I do play the ones people expect. I just like to put something a little different into the mix.
Tonight though, is slightly different. I'm still a newbie to the Northern and Modern Soul Scene, and I'm in the position where a lot of the attendees know more about the music than I do, so it's important that I get it right. As a DJ trying to find my way in a new area, I have to prove I'm up to the standard that's already here. Possibly I have to be better in order to be accepted. But hey, I do love a challenge! I have to say I am looking forward to it.

I am looking for people to send me their "Tracks Of My Years" - a list of ten songs that mean a lot to them, from which I'll choose five. Now if you're new to the blog and haven't really heard my shows, you need to know that my Sunday Shake Up show is based around Soul and its associated genres, so the songs have to fit the format. If you feel you'd like me to play yours, please feel free to email me at or contact  me via one of the facebook pages.

I've also got to do a bit more to the web mag today. Just a reminder, that after next week's issue, we're going to be taking a short break and the next issue will be out on the 10th January. I'm going to be adding more stock to the Pure Grooves store over the next week or so. As you may know, we've linked up with Amazon to provide you with quality products, that are backed up with all the guarantees you would expect from a company such as Amazon. The payments we get from Amazon help contribute to the time and expense in producing the web magazine and also the radio shows, so if you use Amazon anyway, I'd be really grateful if you could use our store. If we don't have what you're after, get in  touch and we can easily add it. One quick thing, the price you pay is exactly the same as you would pay on their web site.

That's about it for now - see you next time!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Welcome to my new blogspace

Hiya, and welcome to my new blog home. I decided to come here as it will give me a greater freedom to do more with the blog.

To catch up with what's gone before, go to the old blog That will bring you up to today.

I've been trying to work on the magazine today, but without much success, so I thought I may as well just take a short break and have a play with this blog.

As you can see from my new blog name, I think this is more apt, don't you agree?

Well tomorrow night, I'm playing at Cambridge Soul Collective's Christmas Party at the Cherry Cons Club, Cherry Hinton Road in Cambridge and it should be a lot of fun.

Not much else to speak about right now. I really need to get back to the magazine.

Catch you later!