Seductive Soul @ Cheshire Lounge 20th September 2008
Review - Neil
"For me Seductive Soul has set the benchmark this year"!!
It had been a strange week for me. I got back from my hols the week before last and straight away I picked up a cold which is just my luck. This zonked me out for rest of the week, but by Saturday I was feeling ok and decided I needed a pick me up, so I called my mate Scot and decided to hit Seductive Soul.
I’ve been meaning to go to this event all year but just haven’t managed to get round to it. By all accounts this has been the best and most consistent night on the Soul circuit in Manchester so I went to the Cheshire Lounge eager with anticipation.
It was a dry and mild Saturday evening and we set off with the sat-nav programmed. Once we were nearby we thought the woman in the sat-nav was having a laugh, as she directed to us into a dark country lane. I thought is this Benny’s revisited? After a mile or so of cross country rallying we found the Cheshire lounge. It was the sat-nav taking us the most stupid route.
Cheshire Lounge is basically a very large pub/restaurant set in the Cheshire countryside. It’s very impressive from the outside with good car parking facilities. As we entered, all we could see was room after room and we were a bit baffled as to where the main action was. Chris Priestley the organiser saw us and gave us a warm welcome and told us where everything was which was a nice touch.
Cheshire Lounge has a classy feel to it with nice oaky features and furniture. It’s most impressive feature is its outdoor beer garden which was very warm with its outdoor fire. The dance floor and club area were on the lower level. There was a decent sized dance floor with a bar area just off to the right of it and the DJ’s were situated in a small booth next to the dance floor. One nice touch was that the same music was being piped all around the big complex (even outside) so you never felt you were missing a beat.
There were three main DJ’s for the night but I must apologise because I didn’t quite catch their names. There must have been 60 or so people spread around at about 10.30-ish and the smallest DJ in height started off the proceedings. As we listened to the first set we realised that we hardly knew any the tracks he was playing. The set consisted of Neo-Soul and new Quality Soul tracks. I have to admit I am no connoisseur of new Soul music, but I do know a lot of tracks, but Seductive Soul just proved to me that I didn’t know my Soul music as well as I thought. What I particularly buzz off in any Soul/R&B club, is hearing a new track which I think are hot. On Saturday it seemed every record was amazing. It was a brilliant mid-tempo to fast set and was never boring. If there was a track I recognized it would soon turn out to be a different version or remix.
I think the first set lasted until midnight and by this time the dance floor was in full flow. There were people everywhere; at the bar, outside, upstairs and downstairs. The Cheshire Lounge was heaving with an attendance probably pushing 300 people in all. The crowd I must say were looking very slick and sexy and were mainly in the 40+ age group. I did recognise quite a few TSOP-ers and Manchester Soul heads there which is what I was told to expect.
The next DJ on rotation carried on in much the same vein as first DJ. He played a mainly 80’s rare grove set mixed with some 90’s. Again it was another flawless set which never lost the dance floor. By now the dance floor was heaving and Seductive was getting really hot and sweaty.
The next DJ, the tallest dude played a more Funk style, Rare Groove and 80’s set which was again very good. Most people were enjoying the night and many seemed to be waiting to get on the dance floor. If a group of people left the floor it would quickly fill up with new people. There was one point when a lot of the crowd were swaying which was good to see.
Soul Control Verdict:
For me Seductive Soul has set the benchmark this year; a quality night of the best Soul music with a friendly atmosphere and definitely the best track selection of 2008 for me!! The 3 DJ’s have no pedigree as yet, but they complemented each other very well and did an amazing job!!! They had no fear of playing a different selection of music which unfortunately in my opinion other DJ’s on the circuit do have. The DJ’s nowadays definitely need to raise their game and stop living off their 90’s reputation!!!
With the thousands of Soul songs out there, there’s no need at all to repeat the same tracks in a night or play the same set every month!!! This night pleasantly shocked me on a musical level as it made me realise that there’s a lot more going on Soul music-wise than I thought!!!! This is my first Seductive Soul and I’ll definitely be going to future events..... I just hope September 2008 wasn’t a fluke.
The only criticism I would have of Seductive Soul is that the mixing was generally awful and different songs would vary in their loudness/quality. But to be honest I didn’t give a fuck, it was just a pleasure listening to the good new music and rarely played classics all night long.
Soul Control Rating: