TSOP – Longfield Suite Prestwich, Friday 3rd October 2008
Review - T2 Bad
I think we can safely say that winter has begun to set in. Friday was absolutely freezing and most people who I spoke to that day only expressed a desire to have an early night and wrap up warm, so I wondered what this would mean for TSOP later on that evening!!
It came as no surprise to me that the attendance was slightly down on recent TSOP events; all the same there were enough hardy souls who braved the chilly conditions to make a night of it.
DJ Baz Maleady was taking care of business in the Soul room when I first arrived and he was busy entertaining his attentive audience with a mellow Soul ensemble of new and past Quality Soul tracks.
After 30 minutes or so I ventured into the Northern Soul arena which was quite lively, although again not as full as in September. Following on from my comments of last month, the DJ who was playing seemed to be communicating well the crowd who in return responded with their usual vociferous dance moves!! There were some seriously fit people in there!!!!
Some time later, I returned to the Soul arena just as DJ Mike Stephens was about to take to the turntables. The tempo was raised immediately as Mike started his set and the room seemed to fill a little more.
Mike played a more upfront set than I would have expected at TSOP and this was appreciated by the crowd, but having spoken to quite a few people throughout the night, there seemed to be an underlying question on most people’s lips; ‘Where does TSOP go from here’?
To be honest I feel this can be said for the Mancunian Soul scene as a whole! A lot of things seem to be up in the air at the moment and there seems to be a level of uncertainty as to where our scene is going which in my experience comes around every 5-6 years or so and I think this can be put down to a generational thing. There are many events that have traditionally commanded big regular followings without having to put much effort in, but that has now changed and many of these events have been struggling for some time recapture their former glories. The times are a-changing but are we changing with them?
Father time catches up with all of us at some point and thinking about it, my clubbing habits have mellowed as time has moved on.
Many years ago, I stopped going to the popular R&B nights simply because I no longer felt that I fitted in. I recall being in a club one night where I was surrounded by two of my nieces and their friends, but when I looked around I couldn’t spot anyone from my generation with the same experiences as me who I could call MY friend. Don’t get me wrong, my mates younger brothers and sisters and a couple of my younger cousins were in there too, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know anyone, but looking at the younger generation around me, I had to think to myself ‘who’s invading who’s space here? When my nieces were leaving and bid me goodnight by balling out ‘Right, see you Uncle T’, I felt like a right burke and it was this that lead me to think that, actually I hadn’t even enjoyed the night anyway, and I couldn’t say the last time I had enjoyed an R&B night, so what the hell was I doing there!!!! Father time had finally caught up with me in the world of R&B so I went in search of my own generation!!!
There was certainly a plethora of events for people of my age-group, but finding out where and when they were was a different matter!!! After years of it being an idea in our heads, Soul Control set out to unearth all of these events that catered for our generation and to provide a platform on the web that we can call home and gather the necessary information of what, where, when and how much; hence the Soul Control website was born. TSOP was one of these events and one which generally caters for a 40+ audience. But as with all Soul events, have any of the grandees and movers and shakers of our scene actually considered where the younger fresh blood that is needed to replenish our Soul world is going to come from?
Now I’m no Northern Soul aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, but do they actually make new Northern Soul Music anymore? And if they don’t, when did they stop making it? I seriously don’t know the answer to this and out of genuine interest I would love anyone who knows the answer to enlighten me. Perhaps this is why that in most places I go, the Northern Soul room is generally the biggest in size, but increasingly they are becoming the least populated!!!! As the older generation fades away, is there anyone on the horizon to replace them? Do regular Northern Soul events make sense anymore? These are the questions that are increasingly being asked and for all our sakes, the answers need to be addressed!!!
The point I’m trying to make is this, and this applies to all current Soul nights and promotions; ‘Where is the next logical progression for our generation after the likes of TSOP?’ I don’t actually know where the generations that have gone before me go after they’ve been through the Quality Soul phase of their lives, perhaps it’s to that big discothèque in the sky!!! I still see quite a lot of that generation from time to time at different events, but there are a hell of a lot more that I only ever see at weddings and funerals!!!!
Soul Control Verdict:
TSOP was an intimate affair, where friends met and enjoyed a good bop to some decent Soul Music albeit in lesser numbers than of late which I believe was down to the onset of winter. There isn’t a lot more to be said about Prestwich because it is what it is. But for our scene to flourish, some difficult questions need to be urgently addressed:
1. Is there going to be another generational influx of fresh blood into the Soul scene after the last wave 5 or 6 years ago, or does it die out with us?
2. Is 90’s R&B going to become the new Quality Soul as their generation becomes older?
3. Is Jungle/Drum & Bass music going to be the new Northern Soul in the future?
4. Where does adult Quality Soul music go from here?
Let’s start the debate!!!
Soul Control Rating: