Soul Night – King Georges Hall Blackburn, 29th November 2008
Review - T2 Bad
Being used to warmer climes, my body tends to go into hibernation mode at the mere mention of winter. This weekend however was by far the coldest I can remember in 2008 so far, so much so that on Friday night when I was watching the news at 10.30pm before getting ready to travel to Quincey’s Revisited at Truth Nightclub in Preston, I must have slipped into hibernation mode because before I knew it, I awoke at 2am with a cricked necked and missed the blood night altogether!!! Bummer….I was so looking forward to this night especially after the last one.
All the same on Saturday night with the Soul Night at Blackburn looming, I was determined not to make the same mistake again, so with my eyelids firmly stuck back with gaffer tape I managed to get out of the door ready for my sojourn to the Mecca of Quality Soul!!
As I sparked up my engine, I checked the outside temperature gauge which was showing zero degrees!! Trust me if I didn’t have to go to Blackburn, I would have done the sensible thing and turned-tail back inside my house and gone straight to bed, but being the trooper and glutton for punishment that I am, I soldiered on!!! As I hit the M60 the temperature gauge dropped to minus one degrees and as the freezing fog descended and the further away I got from Manchester, my reasons for going to Blackburn in these weather conditions was seeming a more and more foolhardy by the mile!!!!
I’ve only spoken about my journey to Blackburn so far, but bear with me as the reasons for this will become clearly apparent!!! I took the M61 route instead of my usual M66 thinking that the fog would be less dense this way, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!! As the temperature plummeted to minus three and as I was passing Horwich which is just outside Bolton, I lost all visibility and virtually had to slow down to a standstill!!!! It was like something out of a horror film, I started to think to myself ‘Stay out of the fog, Stay out of the fog’!!! The fog was that dense, it was as if someone had thrown a blanket over my car!!!!! I was scared that when/if the fog ever lifted that I would have gone back in time and emerged in the days of Jack-The-Ripper it was that bad!!!
The fog eventually lifted enough so that I could see the cats eyes on the motorway again, but to be honest if I wasn’t already half way to Blackburn, I would have done the sensible thing and turned back. DJ Case, Dale & Def D of Soul Control were also on their way to Blackburn, so I pulled over and called to alert them as to how bad the weather was. Case drives like a garden slug on dope anyway, so I couldn’t see how the bad weather would affect his speed or driving style!!! A case in point was when he and I recently went to Sheffield and took the Snake’s Pass route. There were articulated lorry’s, old women and people on pedal bikes who passed us he was driving that slow!!!! There were even hikers with full industrial sized rucksacks on their backs who were walking faster than we were driving!!! It was flippin’ embarrassing!!! The few people who managed to overtake us were gesticulating at him to shove something up his posterior!!! And some even showed us two fingers which I suppose was a suggestion that he should shove TWO things up his posterior simultaneously!!!! I could see no traffic in front of us for miles ahead, but when I looked through the rear window, I could see the traffic snaking all the way back to Manchester and we were just outside Sheffield!!!! But Case didn’t give a hoot, he just kept nervously looking over at the shear drop on Snake’s Pass and you could see he was thinking to himself, 20 miles an hour was the only way he was going to survive going over the edge!!!! I’m no grass but he even murdered a poor defenceless bird during that journey, but that and the painful return journey are stories for another day!!!
Anyway back to Blackburn; as I continued on the M61, the motorway signs were warning me of an accident up ahead which came as little surprise. I eventually got to Blackburn an hour an ten minutes after my journey began, a journey which would normally have taken me 25 minutes!!! As I stepped out of my motor the temperature gauge had dropped to minus six degrees!!! The main thought in my mind turned to the Soul Night at King George’s Hall and the hope that the treacherous journey was worth it!!!!
On getting into King Georges Hall I headed straight downstairs to into the main Soul Arena which was pretty full. The atmosphere wasn’t electric or anything and most of the people were just shuffling about to the deep, deep Quality Soul that was on offer!! The pace was a bit too pedestrian for me so I headed off to Blakey’s bar where the Old Skool Master, Colin Curtis was playing a selection of 80’s up-tempo Funk Classics. This arena was a little more like it, although there were no surprises in what was being played.
The crowd sang along in unison to the many timeless classics which were predictably rolling one after the other. I bumped into my old friend Floyd from Bradford who commented that the attendance was well down on the usual, but to be honest the last time I attended Blackburn I would say it was about the same or just very slightly less. I also spoke to Mark Paige who’s a very good friend of Colin Curtis and we were reminiscing together about the old days when Colin and Soul Control regularly met on the Northwest Soul Scene and the escapades we used to get up to!!!
I went back down to the main Soul room where Mike Stephens had now taken over from Baz Maleady. Mike played a safe Blackburn set which may or may not have been a good idea depending on which way you looked at it. Playing safe would keep Blackburn rolling on until the next time Richard Searling’s disciples met. Alternatively, if Mike had decided to be more adventurous, I believe it would have been warmly received because it’s not like anyone would be going anywhere in a hurry especially with Blackburn being so out of the way and considering the weather!!!
To sum up: Quite full, most people dancing, quite a few not, Wifey, Ideal, Jaheim……..you know the deal, nuff said!!!!
Soul Control Verdict:
Now back to why I spoke at length about my journey to Blackburn. I thought it was by far the most interesting part of my evening!!! This isn’t to say King George’s Hall was bad in any way as there were lots of people there who were enjoying themselves as usual; it’s just that when I got finally there, apart from a large friendly crowd, the night personally didn’t inspire me in any way, shape or form.
If I was to be honest, this might have been down to the fact that I would rather have stayed in because of the weather and the impending journey ahead of me. On Saturday night, my mind really wasn’t on it no matter where I would have been going out! The last Soul Night at Blackburn of 2008 is on Saturday 27th December, I just hope the weather is a damn sight better than it was last night!!!
Soul Control Rating: