Last year was a pearler so it was with eager
anticipating that our band of brothers ascended on the land of sticky rock, sea
side donkeys and roller coasters, none of us where here for this……. Well perhaps
Lisa Botham? But the rest where well and truly up for one of the best
Northernsoul experiences on the planet The Blackpool Northernsoul Weekender.
The ticket price was £35 for a warm up session on the Friday then entrance to the main ball rooms at the Blackpool Tower, Saturday Alldayer Saturday Allnighter then a survivors Dayer on the Sunday, superb value for any one considering the sheer quality and quantity of DJ’s on the bill.
Carol, myself and sister in law Jayne arrived nineish at the Lawton hotel meeting up with Ian and Lisa, Derek and Jenny, Gaz and Helen, Dave and Mandy, Craig and Kathleen, Neil “Damage” and Martin, Dia and Elian would be joining us late Saturday. The usual hugs n stuff then off to the Tower.
The first thing that hits you is the music, the sound system used was absolutely spot on converting those little black discs into atmospheric honey that stuck to you like a warm soul mist getting into your hair and under your skin. It would be all too easy to write the music off as ultra play safe, but its not as if pearls where being cast before swine, its more like taking time out to appreciate good friends and family and the music, remember, is the quality sound that sent most of us on musical journeys where pathways some times narrowed.
For those who did want to broaden their pseudo horizons there was always the “Modern” alternative room upstairs, but I kinda guess that this in its self was some what of a paradox? I mean this weekender was never sold as a mind expanding venue, yet I suspect that there where the usual trendy bendys who spent the whole weekend upstairs whilst frowning on the baggy trouser boys down stairs while clutching their Alcoh pops or cider with ice as they hoped from side to side trying not to spill red stuff on the latest ripped jeans and fake crocodile shoes, but this may be me being over cynical? Or have the modern crew now become the Nuevo Divvies? Some times you need to get back to basics.
I just wanted to hear some sweet soul music, not bothered if I heard it before or even if its available CD at TESCO’s. I did hear some of the best music ever to grace the earth and I danced like a man possessed all night. All on a natural high, as the song goes.
We did not find a table, don’t really think we where that interested in sitting down if the truth be known and we settled quite well into the same corner as commandeered last year. Like last year we bought The AFSC Banner with us and it was with the kind permission of Richard Serling that we flew our colours proudly. It was a satisfying sight to see the splendour of The Tower Ballrooms with the beautiful gold leaf and sweeping balconies punctuated by The AFSC Banner for all to see, made me swannicles revolve it did! This in turn saw a steady stream of fellow Soulies who just wanted to acknowledge the troops and the hard and dangerous work they all do, this was after all the time for remembrance and it humbled me at the amount of people who just said hello or wanted to tell of friends and family members who are serving or who have served, fantastic and a privilege to get and see so many hands shook, I love Soulies!
Meeting old friends and making new ones is one of the Northernsoul Scene’s by products that warms your heart and restores your faith in the human condition. Lord knows how many “Soul Sourcers’” where present at Blackpool? but I heard “Oi…. Imberboy” six times from fellow keyboard addicts. It’s a great time for Northernsoul; we are so blessed in the UK at the quality of our scene, both Scootering and Soul. As we all spin towards older age it inspires me that we still have so much to look forward to, maybe without the backdrops, but the camaraderie will always lift us higher then any Derby and Joan Club!
For the AFSC Members who went, well we all know and appreciate how good a time we have getting together, and if the truth be know we would have the same fun trapped in a lift!! Blackpool was, yet again, a successful outing for us and it was a blast partying with some of my oldest and dearest friends. Thank you and I look forward to thrashing hard at The Whitby Scooter Rally in 2008.
Yours Simon Cuerden The AFSC President