Love 90’s R&B - Label Friday 25th October 2008
Review - Neil
I had not purposefully been out on the Soul scene for a month because I felt I was getting too stale and critical and I wanted a fresh mind-set. I had never been to the Love 90’s R&B night at Label before and within 5 minutes on entering the club the fire alarm went off and we had to go back outside. What a load of crap!! Fuck my new approach!! Ha-ha
Anyway Label is located at the beginning of the once trendy Deansgate bar strip. I had only been to Label once before and that was ages ago and to be honest I found it a bit too poncey for my liking. I never knew they had a club area downstairs, so I was looking forward to going especially as the recent reviews of this night had been so good. My girlfriend was looking forward to going as well because she’s not as into the 80’s Soul scene as I am.
We hit Deansgate just after 11pm and it was unusually quiet for a Friday night. On entering Label we there were quite a few people already in, I’d estimate about 50 or so. The club is mainly set in black and dark brown. There was one main bar to the left and a smallish dance-floor area directly opposite with funky mood lights and mirrors. The DJ booth was quite small and discreet. There was also a small seated area which was already full by this time. The whole area was very open and had a nice feel.
The night was billed as 90’s revival with SWV, Biggie and 702 and the night didn’t disappoint in this category. The music was good early on but the sound system was not the best and to be fair the DJ’s did apologise for this, but after a while it got really annoying!!! I think if you’re paying £8 on the door, the minimum requirement that clubbers should expect in this day and age is a half decent sound system!!! Some of the speakers even stopped working especially on the dance-floor which seriously upset the flow of the night!!!
By 1am Label was quite full (200) with a totally different crowd to the 80’s Soul revival scene. It was a younger generation from 20-35 and 90% women and the fashion dress sense was noticeably different!!! The main diet of music was 90’s American based Street Soul with 702, Total and SWV being the order of the day. There were a lot of Soul Nation radio classics played too, and all the girls were singing along to their anthems. I got excited when I heard Bobby Brown and thought we would get a small Swing Beat set but alas, it wasn’t to be!! Never mind.
The only other night I could compare with this night was the Lloyds & Carrie’s reunion night at Jabez Clegg last August Bank Holiday. I thought the music was better there, but crowd definitely liked Label more. Neither night played any early 90's music and I'm lost as to why this was the case? For me Label was OK, but it just didn’t light my fire. I couldn’t help but think back to the Club Havana days when you were physically shattered from dancing all night, but for me there was no danger of this happening at Label although my girlfriend loved night!!!
OK, now I would like to hear something from Soul Control the DJ’s!!! We know all about the website and the role Soul Control Admin and Marketing are playing in promoting the Manchester Soul scene at the moment, but what about Soul Control the DJ’s and where do they stand regarding future events? I’ve heard rumblings about a forthcoming gig on the grapevine, so what can we expect? Will Soul Control go down the Quality Soul route, 90’s Revival, or New/Neo Soul, R&B or a mixture of all of these? Soul Control, it’s time to put your cards on the table and reveal your hand, everyone including me are anxious to know where you stand!!!!
Soul Control Verdict:
I would say this night was for the ladies…..A ladies anthem night!!! Is this what influenced the DJ’s to play these kind of tracks? If so, the night will become stale and it might not last because how long can you continue to do an event that plays such a narrow genre of music. The mixing was pretty average and they did a lot of rewinds which I did like.
They did however repeat a few tracks which I'm not a fan of and which highlights the point of the music genre of Love 90’s R&B being too narrow in terms of style and that specific period of the 90’s. I also think Love 90’s R&B is too pricey for just a one room event with a poor sound-system. Also, there was no sign of Alex Badass who was supposed to be on the bill. On the plus side; Label is easily accessible as it’s in Central Manchester and there were no knob-heads that I could see.
Soul Control Rating: