T.S.O.P – Longfield Suite, Prestwich Manchester Friday 2nd February 2008

Soul Control - T.S.O.P

Elegance @ Moso Moso Thai Restaurant, Oxford Road, Manchester. Saturday 29th September 2007
Review - T2 Bad

The Sounds of Prestwich (T.S.O.P) has suffered from an alarming dip in attendances in recent times. Gone are the days where if you weren’t in before 9pm, you were locked out for the evening; those were certainly heady days indeed. The Longfield Suite could easily accommodate 800+ spread over 2 rooms, but from a loose head-count, I would say that there were only 90 people maximum in attendance.

I suppose you could put this down to a post-festive season dip, but this downward trend in attendances has been edging its way into TSOP over the last 12 month or so like a relentless tide.The main room is a classic Northern Soul affair, but even the die-hard steppers were finding it hard to get their groove on in such a vacuous space.

Soul Control - T.S.O.P

The room echoed with the already tinny sounds of Philly and Motown and at times it was reminiscent of a night at The Phoenix minus the Bingo!! Take my word for it, there was more tumbleweed blowing across the dance-floor than platform shoes and tank tops!!!

But do not despair too much as there was a ray of light which shone brightly from the Soul Arena in the form of Miranda B (again) and the unmistakeable Mike Stephens. Miranda B kicked the proceedings off with yet another exemplary Soul set which went so deep in parts, it made the hair (Well the little I’ve got left) stand up on the back of my considerable neck!!!

I spoke to Miranda last November regarding her display at Seductive Soul and after congratulating her on probably the best Soul set I’ve heard in the last 10 years, she modestly replied “I’m glad someone understands me”. Miranda obviously lacks confidence or needs glasses!! All you have to do girl is look at the smiling faces on the dance-floor in front of you to see if I’m the only one who understands you!!! Although she was only entertaining 40-50 people or so she stuck doggedly to her Soul doctrine and delivered a faultless performance.

As for Mike “The Red” Stephens, he took over from Miranda and kept this seriously good Soul session on another level!! Mike trawled though his record collection and kept the Soul room rocking right the way through his set. What Mike did was brilliant in the fact that Miranda’s set was purely specialist, where as he didn’t go as deep but the scene for soul had been set and he kept the Soulful ambience flowing until the end of his masterful performance.  

I Dunno about the last geezer who played in the Soul room as everyone seemed to lose concentration after Mike Stephens had finished and I like most others was turning my thoughts to braving the Artic conditions outside and to my bed. When I saw it had been snowing earlier, I nearly didn’t come out, but for the 2 hours of Soul that I experienced, it was worth it. As I said the atmosphere seriously dipped after this Mike’s set so I bid my farewells and departed.

Soul Control Verdict:
If the promoters have any sense, they will keep Mike Stephens and Miranda B as residents for the next few months and try to turn the event around using these two as the foundations. I don’t know what they can do with the Northern Soul room as it can only be described as woeful!! I don’t think this night can take too many more low attendances like this one as the venue is just too big. I wish TSOP good luck for the future, as it’s going to need it!!

Soul Control Rating:

Soul Control - 2 Star Review