Unique Soul Vibes @ Britannia Hotel, Standish 7th June 2008
Review - T2 Bad
Boyeeee…….What a trek I made on Saturday night to Piniche Promotions’ Unique Soul Vibes!!! When I checked out the location of this lush sounding event, it said near Wigan, so I thought, ah well, Wigan’s just around the corner so no sweat. Bloody hell I didn’t realise that Wigan was that big because Standish which is apparently just outside Wigan clocked up 30 miles in distance from Manchester City Centre on my Sat-Nav!!!
Anyway armed with my trusty mate Fuji Finepix, I headed off into the night eager to see how this event panned out. Steve Owen, the main man at Piniche promoted this event using a CD flyer which promised to deliver something different to the usual anthems that have become synonymous within the Manchester Quality Soul scene. Having been to almost every worthwhile event in the last 6 months, I was hoping that he’d be true to his claims and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!!
Amazingly my Sat-Nav didn’t fail me by sending me down disused roads, or saying that I’d arrived at my destination when all I was looking at was a field full of bemused cows!!! It took me 30 minutes to get to The Britannia Hotel, but at least I got there at the first time of asking. The Britannia Hotel is set in a rural part of Lancashire that was very picturesque and on arrival I was greeted by a nearly full car park which bode well. I was guided around to the side of the building by the concierge and was pleased to bump into two Manchester based door men who I know well and was warmly greeted as I was shown the doorway to the main arena.
On entering, I was shocked to see how sparsely populated the plush hotel function suite was!!! It was one of those situations where I walked through the doorway and felt that everyone’s eyes were upon me and it was a long walk to get to the main body of people!!! I composed myself and strode purposefully toward the bar area where the majority of the people were and quickly melted into their midst. Ha, I thought when I got to the bar, now it’s my turn to look at other people who come through the door, which was hard not to do because of how big and empty the place was!!!
The suite that we were in was big, but it was also very warm and inviting. I quickly settled and greeted my friends Mel, Chris Priestly (Seductive Soul) and H who had also made the pilgrimage to pay homage to the latest Manchester based Quality Soul offering. It was also good to bump into Patrick, Joy and a few others who made the effort to come to this inaugural event. It was just after 12am, and to be honest, we were all worried that the few of us who were there, were all that were going to turn up for the night!! Anyway as the minutes progressed, more and more people came through the doors and luckily for them they were spared the walk of death that I had to endure!!!
As mentioned before the music was as promised, there were very few of the usual anthems played and this ingratiated the crowd enough to get them on the dance floor. Steve was playing at this point and the small but intimate crowd were thoroughly enjoying themselves. The music ranged from new Quality Soul to 80’s and 90’s classics, but not the usual fare that we have come to expect on this scene, so much so that I found myself unconsciously humming along to many of the tracks played.
Many tracks later I looked over toward the DJ booth and was surprised to see DJ Alex Badass on the turntables!! He had slipped in practically unnoticed and continued in the same vein as Steve and kept the dance floor moving with a similar mix of 80’s, 90’s and new Quality Soul. The night continued to flow and around 2am a steady trickle of people started to make their way home as did I not too long after. It was along long drive to get to Standish and back to Manchester, but I’m glad I made the effort as I thought the night was worth it.
Soul Control Verdict:
On speaking to many of the attendees during the night, they were all in agreement that the venue was class and the music was refreshingly good, but on the downside, Standish was a bit far away for a night out and Unique Soul Vibes needed a hell of lot more people to fill the venue. Hopefully if word of this new and refreshing event gets around, many more people will attend in the future because apart from a lack of clubbers, this night was very promising.
Soul Control Rating: