Sunday, 6 August 2017

COLIN CURTIS presents THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW SUMMER SOUL AUGUST SPECIAL NEW INDEPENDENT SUL & GOSPEL 4 AUGUST 2017




COLIN CURTIS presents THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW SUMMER SOUL AUGUST SPECIAL NEW INDEPENDENT SUL & GOSPEL 4 AUGUST 2017 PLAYLIST Faith (feat. Blanche Mcallister Dykes) Kenny Smith The Prize (Victory Is Coming) Gene Moore Never Be The Same Pierre Brookins Coming Home Gene Moore Everything Will Be Alright Dexter Moore Love 'n' Musics Karla Pace Free Krystle Grinston Next to You Dan Wyler Harmless (Two Moons Remix) Darien Dean Unpredictable Ms. Irene Renee Is It The Way (Feat. Eric Roberson) Najee No Worries Mamie Tumbling Down It's Jubilee Move Over Gene Moore Every Side Of You JazzyD Feat. Deli Rowe Soul Food Pat Soul Tonight (feat. Stephstaa) DJ I.N.C Doublin' Down The Jack Moves I Think I Love You Soul T The Way I See You Nooky Jones One of Those Days Dimitris & Sulene In the Morning Kanopy It Gets Better James Fortune & Fiya Hangin' Erin Stevenson It Never Rains Terry Harris Too Blessed It's Jubilee Loves Coming Blossom & HOT16 Left Back La-Nai and the Free People Blue Magic (Waikiki) Son Little FeelingThe Love Will Downing (Feat. Avery*Sunshine) Don't Stop This Vibe Cale Brock Your Love's Gotta Hold on Me Uvee Hayes Summer Breeze T-Groove Remix Soul Fusion Seven Happily Ever After Robert H. Fowler & Tanya Holt I Can't Wait Lalah Hathaway If You Can't Dance Michelyn Cierra So Cool Blossom & HOT16 Back To Us Sam Tanner Matter of the Heart Tanya Holt One For The Money (Gold DiggerMix) The Groove Association ft. Georgie B, WeZ & Everis Long Distance feat. Frank McComb (Piers 'curious' Remode) Radio Edit Sir Piers Get Away (feat. Chelle Lynae) Free Soul Effect Summer Soft (Live) Gene Moore My Heart is Yours Thami Something About You Dee Robinson Talk To Me Bass Dee Robinson Heavenly (feat. Love Lashea) Munchoo Night and Day Thami Feel It Sunnie Lyrics Of Pleasure (feat. Will Downing) Eric Roberson ftg Will Downing Locked on 7 Eva! BitterSuite Yr Luv Is Amazing Atlantic Starr Social Addiction Votte Hall Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW 27TH JULY 2017




COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW 26TH JULY 2017




COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS SOUL FROM THE SHELVES ON STARPOINT RADIO JULY 2017




COLIN CURTIS SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENT SOUL AND GOSPEL 20 JUNE 2017



COLIN CURTIS SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENT SOUL AND GOSPEL 20 JUNE 2017 PLAYLIST Diamond in the Back Votte Hall Social Addiction Votte Hall You're Not The Same Cale Brock Coming Home Gene Moore Everything Will Be Alright Dexter Moore A Thing for You Jay Renee You and You Tyra Levone Get'n over You (Live) [feat. Kenya C.]. Ahyonz Summertime Pleasure Summer Breeze SoulFusionSeven Unpredictable Ms. Irene Renee Jonzing Cale Brock I Still Miss You (feat. Melodik) Paul Laurence Slow Down Shaila Prospere 7 Days Janice C Silver Crowns Erikka J feat. Tese Fever feat. Noah-O Risin' To The Top Tristan Featuring Heston It Gets Better James Fortune & Fiya IT'S ALL DIVINE (Boogie Back Mix) James Day & Trina Broussard Breathless Dimitris & Sulene Play (feat. Wendell Higgs) Khalilah E Mitchell Here with Me Khalilah E Mitchell Your Love's Gotta Hold on Me Uvee Hayes Give You the Love Steve Stone Huff So Cool Blossom & HOT16 Throwback Steve Stone Huff What I'd Do Ourra WhenEva (feat. Miss Lady Blues) Columbus Toy Long Distance feat. Frank McComb (Piers 'curious' Remode) Sir Piers Break The Chain Shaila Prospere Loving You Master Brian Power Say You Love Me (feat. Kenya C.) Ahyonz Runnin' Ms. Irene Renee Lyrics Of Pleasure (feat. Will Downing) Eric Roberson ftg Will Downing Cant Love You More Tyra Levone What Do You Want Tyra Levone Shine Your Light (feat. DJ Dummy) Maimouna Youssef I Can't Ever Stop Loving You (feat. Maya Azucena) Quentin Moore IM RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU[ Del Afrique Situation Andre Delano The Green Talking Book Featuring Michael Anthony I'd Rather Ms. Irene Renee Higher feat Chante Moore SIMON LAW Every Time Dee Robinson Redemption Tyra Levone You Babe Zalon It never rains Terry Harris Freedom Galatia Rose Don't Stop This Vibe Cale Brock Love Comes Back To You feat Nadine Sutherland Simon Law

Thursday, 13 July 2017

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW 12TH JULY 2017





COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW 2ND JULY 2017






COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE FREESTYLIN' JAZZ SHOW 30 JUNE 2017





COLIN CURTIS presents THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENT SOUL & GOSPEL MUSIC SUMMER SHOWCASE SPECIAL VOLUME ONE 30 JUNE 2017





COLIN CURTIS presents THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENT SOUL & GOSPEL MUSIC SUMMER SHOWCASE SPECIAL VOLUME ONE 30 JUNE 2017 PLAYLIST Positive Forces Leroy Hutson Family (Soul Syndicate Mix Shaila Prospere Her Alan Leatherman Give You the Love Steve Stone Huff Old Skool Dayz (North Street_Remix) Chidi Tom Glide History (Vocal Version)-Radio Edit Los Charly's Orchestra Feat. Omar Someone Is You (Shawn's Revenge) Darien Dean Party Drugs Quentin Moore Crying For Love Paul Tillman Smith In the Mood Jeff Bernat So Cool Blossom & HOT16 Keepin' Love New Wez Amy put me down Atlantic Starr Throwback Steve Stone Huff Thats What Love Can do Boogie Back Mix Chris Jasper Enough Is Enough Quentin Moore Nothing Without You (Me - U = 0) Anita Wilson Sweet and Wonderful Paul Tillman Smith Hold My Breath Stokeley Let Love Grow BB Boogie feat. Rasiyah Thankful(Radio Edit) Soulutions Here Together Mike City feat. Terri Walker Break The Chain Shaila Prospere MESSAGE OF LOVE feat Lain Gray SIMON LAW Patiently Paul Tillman Smith Summer Skye Paul Tillman Smith I Can't Ever Stop Loving You (feat. Maya Azucena) Quentin Moore Thru with Love Redio Thinking Of You Shaila Prospere Blame Game Alan Leatherman I'd Rather Ms. Irene Renee HIGHER feat Chante Moore SIMON LAW Peter_Norman Quentin Moore Summer Breeze SoulFusionSeven Unpredictable Ms. Irene Renee I Still Miss You (feat. Melodik) Paul Laurence This Is My Life Atlantic Starr Sexafide Miel Miel Slow Down Shaila Prospere Runnin (Boogie Back Extended Version) Jay King Gone Alan Leatherman It Gets Better James Fortune & Fiya Risin' To The Top (Radio edit) Tristan Featuring Heston Love Like This Shaila Prospere It never rains Terry Harris Reassurance Jeff Bernat So in Love Gwen Yvette Court Of Love Ms. Irene Renee IT'S ALL DIVINE (Boogie Back Mix) James Day & Trina Broussard Shinin' Bright Ms. Irene Renee Another Love Gone Wrong Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Y.O.G.O. (You Only Get One) Keith Johnson U & I feat. Estelle.wav Stokeley Suddenly Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Splashing Paul Tillman Smith No Better Love Shaila Prospere Magic Stefon Simmons Love Comes Back To You Simon Law Nadine Sutherland Pull up a Chair Sis Vic Summer Sky Paul Tillman Smith Love Her Erro No One but You Felicia Temple Runnin' Ms. Irene Renee Sometimes Rosa Come and be with me Atlantic Starr My love is real Atlantic Starr Organic Stokeley Be With You Coriology Smile Ms. Irene Renee Gimme That Love Shaila Prospere Think About U Stokeley Last Night Karen Loveslove Better Man George Pettus Wonders Darien Dean Yr Luv Is Amazing Atlantic Starr Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW 15TH JUNE 2017 BLACKPOOL FESTIVAL SPECIAL





Tuesday, 6 June 2017

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW NEW VOCAL SOULFUL JAZZY AFRO HOUSE 06 JUNE 2017







COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL SUMMER SPECIAL PART TWO 03 JUNE 2017






COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL SUMMER SPECIAL PART TWO 03 JUNE 2017 Ray of Sunshine Nia Simmons Gwendolyn Collins Take Me Gwen Yvette You Will Know (feat. Donald Hurdle) Myra Smith Walk N Hold Hands Gwen Yvette Stay DaiN & Rozzi Daime Unexpected Love (feat. Vanjess) D Mills I'll Show You Eric Golden HOT16 Another Love Gone Wrong Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Get It Together Lacee I'm Who I Am Angel Sessions Suddenly Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Out Of The Dark Mandisa Love Comes Back To You Simon Law Nadine Sutherland What If I Told You (feat. Mathias Heise) Djeff Joah (Uncomplicated) Tresa Jerell Family (Soul Syndicate Mix ) Shaila Prospere Will I Ever AudioSource Sunshine feat Victor Haynes & Tony Remy Elliott McCauley What Was Mine (feat. Frank MC Comb) May Rose Breaking the Silence Myra Smith Destiny (feat. Wendell Higgs) Khalilah E Mitchell Good To Love You (feat. Dave Hollister) Leela James Watching You Cornell C.C. Carter Thankful(Extended Version) Soulutions Let Love Grow BB Boogie feat. Rasiyah Inside Out Maysa You Know Impact Dance Erica Falls Prove That You're Feeling Me feat. Diane Charlemagne (Radio Edit) Joey Negro It's Love Josh Milan Worth The Wait (Mark De Clive-Lowe Remix) Nils Wulker, Jill Scott, Mark De Clive-Lowe Love On Hold (feat. Tawatha Agee) [Dimitri From Paris DJ Friendly Re-Touch] Aeroplane Sweating And Shaking (On The Dancefoor) BB Boogie feat. Monica Blaire Fly Free (Josh Emman Remix) Tonight We're Gonna (BB Boogie Remix) BB Boogie feat. Leroy Burgess When I Luv Mike City Faith Evans In The Middle BB Boogie feat. Joy Jones The Lesson Josh Milan It's So (Classic Vocal Mix) Los Charly's Orchestra Feat. Omar Loves Timing John Sullivan Thank You Myra Smith Winter smell Seol.A Because It's Really Love Maysa Be With You Coriology Naturally (feat. Shonie Cooper & Theresa Grayson) Preston Smith Alright Craig T. Dobson One Of A Kind Tomi Jenkins Mr. Dream Merchant Maysa The Things We Do For Love Maysa For The Love Of You (feat. Christal Garrick) Stephen Richard I Too Dream Of Things Beautiful (Jazz Version) feat. Allyn Johnson Navasha Daya I Love You R'mone Entonio & Lesha Where u are Tom Glide & Candace Woodson Never Gonna Leave Me GWYN FOXX Wonders Darien Dean Mission_Incompatible (Leah Zaahn) Tresa Jerell All the Way Around Cornell C.C. Carter Speak Love James Day, Glenn Jones, Tony Terry, Tim Owens, Lin Rountree, U-Nam Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL SUMMER SPECIAL PART ONE 03 JUNE 2017






COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL SUMMER SPECIAL PART ONE 03 JUNE 2017 PLAYLIST Playa Elliott Macauley It Never Rains Terry Harris It's All Divine (Boogie Back Mix) James Day & Trina Broussard It's Gonna Be Ok Wanda Rodgers To Be Happy Ene Happy Teresa Cason Someone Is You (Shawn's Revenge) Darien Dean History (Vocal Version) Los Charly's Orchestra Feat. Omar So Cool Blossom & HOT16 Give Me All Your Love, Pt. 1 (feat. Kiland) Stephen Richard Love Never Hurt Me Rebekah Withakay In the Mood Jeff Bernat Keepin' Love New Wez Wanna Be With You BB Boogie feat. Maleke O'Ney The Sweetest Pain Hil St Soul No Broke Man Lacee Never Gonna Be Ne'tra Once Upon a Time Jeff Bernat Lovin' the Feelin' Erica Falls Its ya birthday Don-E Special Time (feat. Saunders Sermons II) Emanuel Harrold Stepper Delight Tomi Jenkins Can We Talk Maysa Brighter side of Love Nyree Rather Be Lonely Llorca & Laetitia Dana Stay Up Byron Gold Alright Dave Tony I CANTan't Help But Love You Frederick Be You Aliya Hall Luh Ya Marsha Ambrosius The One Tai Malone Get Ready Impact Next to You Cornell C.C. Carter Don't Let the Clean up Woman Lacee Ooh Michon Young F.L.Y. Dyna Edyne Runnin (Boogie Back Extended Version) Jay King You Got Me Wyann Vaughn Makings of Love Erica Falls Find A Way Darien Dean Because You Love Me (feat. E-40) Otis Cooper Reassurance Jeff Bernat Old Skool dayz Tom glide feat Chidi Your Love Victoria Brown Butterfly Aliya Hall Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE FREESTYLIN' JAZZ SHOW 23 MAY 2017





COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW NEW VOCAL SOULFUL JAZZY AFRO HOUSE 20 MAY 2017










COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS HOUSE OF SOUL SHOW NEW VOCAL SOULFUL JAZZY AFRO HOUSE 16 MAY 2017





Monday, 5 June 2017

COLIN CURTIS INTERVIEW BY JOSH RAY AT THE EXCHANGE HANLEY FOLLOWING 50TH ANNIVERSARY NIGHT MAY 2017




COLIN CURTIS INTERVIEW
BY JOSH RAY
AT THE EXCHANGE HANLEY
FOLLOWING 50TH ANNIVERSARY NIGHT

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD THE MOTOWN SOUND?

Well I was probably ten years old. A friend of mines sister used to play Motown records while we were playing Subbuteo. That just led to the radio really, looking round for radio shows. There was obviously no Internet back in the ‘60s so I just couldn’t believe there was music that wasn’t in the charts, as well as what was in the charts - to hear the Four Tops, The Temptations and then find out all the derivatives of that. 

Luckily back in those days, shops like Woolworths – because it was an American company – used to send excess imported black music over and stick them in the cheap rack so we used to buy a lot of stuff out of there.

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK PIRATE RADIO WAS IN INSPIRING THE EMERGENCE OF A CLUB SCENE IN THE UK?

I think two or three times over the decades. I mean, for me, back in the days of Radio Caroline, Radio Essex; because of the nature of pirate radio, they were able to play a lot more music that wasn’t in the charts, a lot more American music. DJs like Dave "Baby" Cortez and even people like Emperor Rosko took the opportunity: he signed a deal with Atlantic/Stax, he did compilations for Atlantic Records. 

It was a powerful force back then and obviously spawned a lot of DJs that went to Radio 1. A lot of DJs also would stick their neck out and play American black music that wouldn’t get played in the mainstream. 

Then it had another surface in London/Birmingham in the ‘80s and ‘90s with Kiss FM and all those kind of stations, some of which went legal. They were just spreading black music 24/7 in the UK.

SO IT’S THERE AT THE ROOTS OF ABOUT THREE DIFFERENT SCENES?

Yeah definitely, I think all club culture is affected by the radio and I think once shows started to become specialist shows, breakaway music would then get into the clubs as well. So the clubs would feed off the radio and the radio would feed off the clubs. I think it was the illicitness of it, the underground side of it CURTIS INTERVIEWthat was the attraction. It wasn’t your local club where you’d just get drunk and smash someone’s head in…

THE FOCUS HAD TURNED TO MUSIC?

Yeah, people were making a choice to come for the music first and that was exciting.

WHEN YOU STARTED OUT DJING IN CLUBS IN ’67 YOU WERE REALLY QUICK TO CATCH UP WITH THE OTHER DJS BECAUSE OF YOUR FANATIC RECORD COLLECTING. DO YOU THINK IT’S FAIR TO SAY YOUR APPETITE FOR NEW MUSIC GOES A LOT DEEPER THAN MOST OF YOUR CONTEMPORARIES?

I think the fact that I’m still here after 50 years proves that. People who know me, they know I go so far. If you listen to my current podcast; house music, jazz, soul – I’m going through 2-300 tracks a week looking for stuff to play. That takes hours of searching on the Internet. Back in the day, of course, it was record shops and now it’s the Internet: going through different sites and I’m obviously getting a lot of promotional stuff sent to me.

IT’S GREAT THAT YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO EVOLVE OVER THE YEARS BECAUSE A LOT OF DJS SEEM TO FALL INTO A KIND OF NOSTALGIC TRAP.

Well I think there are two sides to that. One is the DJs who fell in love with the ‘60’s soul and stayed with the Northern scene and still play Northern today. I think Northern is going through a bit of a good period at the moment – a lot of collectors have become DJs, a lot of heavyweight collectors and a lot of tunes that weren’t played in my era – I kind of came away from Northern in about ’77. Since then it’s had its moments but right now I think there is a big drive and obviously worldwide interest in ’60’s soul. If you’d have invested in sixties’ soul back then, you’d have made a fortune!

DO YOU THINK THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BRITISH MENTALITY THAT DRIVES THIS KIND OF MUSICAL OBSESSION?

I think it’s unique to Britain but I don’t know why that would be. Like me, why is a working class lad from Stoke-On-Trent so obsessed with black music, to the nth level? I mean, I really do go to great lengths to hear music in all genres; Afro-house, soul music, jazz – why is that? I don’t know…

I grew up in a place where you were working in a factory all week, so you lived for the weekends, but I also got that thing of wanting to share that music with people so I signed for Mecca when I was 14, which would have been about ‘67.

THE PLACES IN THE NORTH AND MIDLANDS WHERE THIS MUSIC RESONATED WERE PREDOMINANTLY WORKING CLASS. DO YOU THINK IT’S THE SENSE OF STRUGGLE IN THE MUSIC THAT PEOPLE IDENTIFIED WITH?

I think it was the social camaraderie you got from being in a place where you belong - everybody likes to belong to something – and that was a big aspect of ‘60’s soul. Great Britain in the early ‘70s was depressed; not easy to get jobs, the wages weren’t great and the stuff that we take for granted now - no Internet, no mobile phone - no shit like that. So to be able to go to a place where everybody was loving the same music, the camaraderie that came with that has kept Northern soul going for 50 years, absolutely.

YOU’VE MOVED WITH NEW MUSIC AS IT EVOLVED OVER TIME BUT IT’S NOT ALWAYS BEEN EASY, YOU KIND OF GOT SOME STICK FOR IT.

I think anybody who gets at the front-end of something is going to be challenged sometimes in your own belief. I mean the fact that you’ve been “successful” with ‘60’s soul and then you hear ‘70’s soul and you think blimey! I need to share this! Then ‘80’s soul and house music and the whole electro thing with Bambaataa – I find there’s something good in everything, which then adds to the next genre. 

House music is what, 30 years old now and still going strong: some great stuff, some great new stuff. With a lot of the house music, the artists have got a lot of the same social attitudes that were there in the ‘60s. It is a struggle; it’s a struggle for the artists so there’s passion in the music, passion in the lyrics and people want to dance. 

I think again, house music has created a camaraderie and I think that’s something that’s a bit British – I don’t think you see that in America. You do see big events in America but if you look at all the top house DJs like Vega, Dope, all those guys, you know they’re working all around the world, not so much in America. 

There’s a connection here. I think Japan’s a bit like this country and I think Europe is a bit like this country - yeah it sticks. I mean the biggest soul/house weekender is still Southport - some dodgy town in the North West!

IF I WERE TO NAME FOUR GAME-CHANGING RECORDS, COULD YOU TELL ME WHICH CAUSED THE MOST CONTROVERSY WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED PLAYING THEM OUT;GIL SCOTT HERON THE BOTTLE THE CARSTAIRS ‘IT REALLY HURTS ME GIRL’, ‘PLANET ROCK’ BY AFRIKA BAMBAATAA AND HARLEQUIN FOURS ‘SET IT OFF’?

It was probably The Carstairs because of the tempo, it was a different approach – there was another record like that on the same label [Red Coach Records] by Universal Mind called ‘Something Fishy Going On’ and then there was a lot of music Ian Levine, who I was working with, he’d been on a couple of good trips to Miami – a lot of new releases, which unearthed a lot of ‘70’s soul. 

Again, if you want to get anywhere with it, sometimes you’ve just got to stand up and we were in a position to stand up; we were in a position to stand up and get knocked down. People say it split the scene but I think people just made their own choices. I think time has told that the music we were playing has proved hugely popular since, everybody relates to that particular period. House music on the soul scene, that was a tough gig, “what’s all this? It sounds like a train coming down the track – every record sounds the same!” No it doesn’t – it’s getting that point over. 

Bambaataa, yeah the whole sort of ‘Planet Rock’ thing, for me that was very much a part of the young kids, the urban black kids in the cities – Greg Wilson a big part of that in Manchester. I took that to Nottingham, to Birmingham, you know with bands like Warp 9. All that sort of electro thing really opened up the electro house thing with Nitro Deluxe and there were some unbelievable records, ‘No Way Back’. It was exciting music; it was driving music - if you go back to the Golden Torch all-nighters that was a period when the music was fast, rapid and in your face. I think that house music and electro music had that extra excitement that younger people cottoned on to.Gil Scott Heron was and still is one of the most astute social commentary pieces of music just as relevant today as it was in the 70’s.

IN TERMS OF YOUR CAREER, WAS THE MOST EXCITING TIME WHEN YOU WERE FIRST GETTING THE JAZZ DANCERS IN YOUR CLUBS, WHILST ALL THESE AMAZING NEW RECORDS COMING OVER FROM AMERICA?

When we got numbers of 1,000+ coming into clubs and all-dayers were attracting anything up to 2,000, we realised we’d got different levels of potential by opening up different rooms in the venue. The jazz-funk thing had started but we realised that some of the serious dancers could take it further by digging deeper on the jazz; playing bebop, playing vocal jazz, a lot of heavy Brazilian and percussion music - again it’s the excitement in that.

There was the Manchester jazz-dance style, which was more foot shuffling style used by guys wearing spatz, there was a huge jazz-dance scene that came out  we used to bring up to Birmingham – the whole thing was very exciting. That was just one aspect of a major all-dayer; you’d have soul in one room, maybe the big jazz-funk or the big-hitters; Salsoul or the early house or electro in the main room and another sideshow was the jazz.

Jazz is very voyeuristic, people would stand and watch, and when it happened in a big room, you’d maybe do what we used to call ‘the jazz break’ for 20 minutes and you’d have two or three massive circles in amongst over a 1,000 people with battles going on, with people getting involved from a voyeuristic point of view.

DO YOU THINK THE ALL-DAYER SCENE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN PUSHING NEW SOUNDS FORWARD? 

Yeah, I think because all the people were under one roof, the social drive of it, the social climate, was bringing those people together and different sections of them were experimenting in different genres. So yeah, very much so – it was tough to do a stand-alone jazz night. We did some in Manchester, it happened in Birmingham, it happened in London but I think the essence of it came from the huge all-dayer scene, which of course now doesn’t exist.

IN TERMS OF SHEER DEVOTION, I SEE QUITE A LOT OF COMPARISONS BETWEEN THE JAZZ AND ELECTRO DANCERS AND THE NORTHERN SOUL RECORD COLLECTORS. DO YOU THINK THERE’S ANYTHING COMPARABLE THESE DAYS?

I think the devotion to jazz, like with ‘60’s soul, is because it’s a hugely collectable commodity. As people have stuck with it themselves, even when jazz clubs may have gone away and even when Northern soul in the early ‘80s went away, collectors were still collecting music. Lovers of those styles were still collecting and I think that comes through. I do an appearance in London at Shiftless Shuffle jazz session every year and there are guys there who’ve been dancing for 40-45 years and still dance in those styles and it’s just fantastic. 

For me it’s just a great place to be, and to play for two hours there is magic for me - I just switch off from everything. I predetermine the set but I just play exactly what I want to and get a fantastic response. That whole jazz thing is kept alive by people like Perry Louis, who live it still, day-to-day and I think Northern soul has been passed down to younger people in the same way. Unfortunately with Northern soul, and with jazz, it’s an expensive hobby. Northern soul is very expensive, to buy originals these days…

I’VE ACTUALLY HEARD NORTHERN SOUL RECORD DEALERS COMPARED TO DRUG DEALERS BEFORE. DO YOU THINK THAT’S A FAIR ANALOGY?

Haha! I think when people see the prices, it’s difficult to believe – I’m not sure. It is an addiction though so I suppose there is some connection.

YOU WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ONE FOOT IN THE MIDLANDS AND ONE FOOT IN THE NORTH OVER YOUR CAREER. DO YOU THINK THAT GIFTED YOU THE SPACE TO DEVELOP OVER THE YEARS?

I was one of the luckiest DJs because a lot of the people I worked with were in Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham - which were the three main cities, I spun off to Leeds and Huddersfield as well as a little bit in Bradford and I got a great following back then in Scotland.

If I were to put my finger on it I would probably say I just had the edge when it came to adapting and I used to put the time in to go to these different areas and listen to what the clubs were playing. I’d go to Chaplains in Birmingham, I’d go to the Rum Runner in Birmingham, I’d go to the Palais all-dayers in Nottingham, I’d go to any of the major cities where there’s something worth listening to and almost do a little bespoke version of me, so each gig would be different in some way, unique, which allowed me to make that connection. As you’ve seen tonight [at the Exchange in Stoke] I was playing to an audience from 18 to bloody 60-odd so with the tunes I thought I’d try and envelop everybody and I think that worked reasonably well.

OVER YOUR CAREER DO YOU THINK YOU BEGIN TO GET RESTLESS AS SOON AS YOU START TO BECOME PIGEONHOLED IN A CERTAIN AREA?

I think that was my problem years ago, you see Northern soul, the term jazz-funk, the term house music, which was garage or whatever – nobody knew what to call it – the labels sort of came after. I was enjoying the music and trying to spread it so I don’t think I got pigeonholed too badly. I’ve always moved on but I will do retro gigs, if somebody wants a specific period of time I’ll do that but I don’t feel I’ve ever been held back by that.

AS WELL AS DJING, YOU’VE ALSO BROUGHT ACTS OVER TO THE UK LIKE ROY AYERS, JUNIOR WALKER, AL HUDSON AND SYLVESTER. DO YOU HAVE ANY STORIES FROM THOSE DAYS?

I worked a lot with Junior Walker; he was like a back-end of the Northern soul act. He was into cars, he didn’t want to talk about music but he’d tell us about 20 or 30 wrecked cars that he was working on back at home.

Roy Ayers - I took about 15 of his albums to be signed by him and he went through them and said, “Colin, if you didn’t buy so many records, you could buy a yacht.” And I was thinking, “I live in Stoke-On-Trent, I don’t want a fucking yacht!” Roy Ayers, I had a lot in common with the guy, in the sense that he was a guy we’d put on the stage and he wouldn’t get off, we’d have to put a hook round his neck and drag him off. 

His passion for it is still there today, he’s 70-odd and he’s still out there doing it. I still work with him whenever I get the opportunity. His music was a huge turning point because he’d done so many albums with so many people and then he hooked up with people like Fela Kuti, you know he just brings something amazing. 

Sylvester and Two Tons of Fun - that was a good all-dayer. Two Tons Of Fun of course became The Weather Girls and we had some good fun with them. They were big girls, I went and fetched three chairs for two of them to sit on, and we had a real good laugh about that backstage.

I mean, you can’t imagine what it was like to be able to introduce acts like Brass Construction, when their album was probably the biggest album in the black music world and they were onstage with us in Blackpool - super times. Without record companies with bands that big and investment that big, it just doesn’t happen any more. All the big bands in the ‘80s, Mandrill, top bands: you don’t get them like that anymore. War were a huge band – you don’t see that anymore. Independent music tends to be two or three people or one person and not so many of the big groups get the opportunity because record company money is simply unavailable.

DID YOU EVER GET A SENSE THAT THE ACTS FELT THEY WERE MORE APPRECIATED OVER HERE THAN THEY WERE BACK HOME?

I think a lot of the time. I think some are just genuinely surprised how much interest there is in them. Particularly in the rare soul scene when someone gets told a record they made 40 years ago is a hugely popular record, and you see them with tears in their eyes. You know, Jesse James, Moses Smith - all these people that have been brought over at different times. It’s fantastic to see, Ronnie Walker, the late-great Edwin Starr. He couldn’t believe that a lot of his lesser-known records were just as popular as things like ‘War’ and now of course ‘Time’ is a huge record. That was a huge pop record when it came out, it wasn’t an underground soul record but now it’s all part of its fantastic legacy. 

YOUR NIGHTS AT RAFTERS, SMARTIES, BERLIN AND THE PLAYPEN WERE A SIGNIFICANT PART OF MANCHESTER’S NIGHTLIFE AT A VERY FORMATIVE TIME.

When the Mecca was coming to an end and musically we were changing, I made a b-line for Manchester. I was buying a lot of records in Manchester at Spin Inn records and I got a lot of contacts there. I was put in touch with John Grant and we formed a partnership and opened a club that was a rock club: I think it was called Fagins Jillys. I hated it when I first went there but within six weeks we were on lockout, we got 500 people in there every week and it was a lockout. New releases; new albums, new 12”s were coming out prolifically – it was a fantastic time for music and it just exploded.

The Playpen was significant because that’s where I started playing house music; Trax, DJ International, Precision – all that early stuff that was spawned by records like Strafe and Harlequin Fours. When that was happening, of course you got bemusement from soul fans who didn’t quite get what was going on. There was a group of dancers in Manchester, a group of girls who loved the house music, they used to put on some real spectacular dancing – that was a spin-off from the jazz. Initially it was very voyeuristic as well but it was just electric because it was dance music with fantastic vocals. Unlike the Americans who were playing a lot of dubs, we played a lot of the vocal stuff. It was a very exciting time for music.

Berlin, probably the first time was ‘84/’85 and we got punters like Mick Hucknall and The Thompson Twins and when they had bands live at The Apollo they would come back there after. That was a mix of soul, jazz, Brazilian, Afrika Bambaataa – everything was thrown into the mix and I would play for maybe 5/6 hours: it was just incredible. You could go right down to slow beat ballads and people were still with you. It’s about trust, it’s about trusting the DJ.

I think nowadays things are split into single genres and I grew up in a world where you could play anything. At that time in Berlin, the intelligence was high. Guys who were into reggae were coming and asking me for jazz tapes, there was a social change and people were more open to what was going on.

HAVING EXPERIENCED THE EVOLUTION OF DANCE CULTURE IN MANCHESTER FIRST-HAND, HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN THE IBIZA NARRATIVE ROSE TO PROMINENCE AND OBSCURED THE TRUE LINEAGE?

I was working in ’86, the only time I worked with Showstopper organisation, clear with a live band on, I worked with Gilles Peterson on the radio that weekend and in the bars I did a couple of jazz sets as well that weekend. I was playing the beginning of house with Chris Hill stood at the side of the stage watching my whole set. “What’s going on here?” He knew something was going on…

It was a significant weekend - Bognor Regis. In the bars were the beginnings of the trips to Ibiza, which were thrown at me but I’d poo-pooed them because we’d failed to pull off a weekender up here at all. So the thought of people travelling from the North and going abroad just wasn’t on the agenda. People took that chance though, they took that risk.

Also at that weekend, Alex Lowe said he’d start doing his own weekender. All of those things happened at the same time, the evolution of Southport, the evolution of Ibiza all happened at that weekend, which was ’86 in Bognor Regis.

YOU’VE SAID THAT YOU STILL GET AS EXCITED WHEN NEW MUSIC COMES THROUGH. IT’S A LOT EASIER TO GET IT WITH THE INTERNET BUT WHAT WE SEEM TO BE LACKING NOW IS A CENTRAL FOCUS POINT, LIKE WHAT SPIN INN WAS IN MANCHESTER. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HOW IT IS TODAY?

Again the benefits would be that everyone would hone in on that one shop. Everyone had a shop, Jumbo in Leeds, Graham Warr in Birmingham: so that would create interest, amongst DJs, amongst dancers - you don’t get that with the Internet. A lot of people say to me, “where do you find these tunes?” Well they’re all there but you’ve got to work harder to find them.

IT’S A BIT OF A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK KIND OF SITUATION.

Yeah people think it’s going to be easy but it’s not easy if you want to find a niche for yourself.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO THINK MUSIC HAS ALREADY SEEN ITS HEYDAY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

Bollocks! That’s what I’d say. Music is part of life, end of. Music is life, to me.

HOW MUCH HAS THE ROLE OF THE DJ CHANGED OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS? IS IT THE SAME IN ESSENCE OR ARE WE IN A DIFFERENT PLACE NOW?

I think the role of the DJ when I was coming up was that you were a resident DJ, you were in one club and people came to that club. You’ve got a framework of music that you built on and built on, like with Body and SOUL in New York, with The Paradise Garage: it was a body of music, so there’d be a set of records that applied to each club and then you’d build on that.

It’s much more difficult to do that now, most of my sets are guest DJ sets and also there isn’t the week-to-week continuity for me. I might be playing house music today, Northern soul next week. I need that continuity so I do it through the Podcasts, which go out to over 100 countries – I couldn’t get to those people without the Internet http://colincurtis.podomatic.com/

NOW YOU’VE JUST CELEBRATED 50 YEARS IN THE GAME, WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEPS AS A DJ? 

Probably death! Haha… I think death is next, yeah definitely. I’ll die playing records; it’s what I do. I’m not going to go into retirement. Will there be another 50 years? I doubt it very much but I’ll try !!!







Friday, 12 May 2017

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL 09 MAY 2017





COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL 09 MAY 2017 Someone Is You (Shawn's Revenge) Darien Dean Felicity Walter Christopher We're Ready AFrish Jubilation Vince Broomfield You Know Impact This Time Around Mayfield Rather Be Lonely Llorca & Laetitia Dana Stay Up Byron Gold I Can't Help But Love You Frederick Get Ready Impact Unexpected Love (feat. Vanjess) D Mills Don't Let the Clean up Woman Lacee Find A Way Darien Dean Your Love Victoria Brown Family Shaila Prospere Marry Me Lacee & Calvin Richardson Another Love Gone Wrong Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Gave My Heart (Rob Hardt Remix) Omar Feat. Leon ware Everything I've Got Huggy and the Feel Goodz Love Joy Peace & Harmony (feat. J.) Antonia Wilson Four Seasons Impact Be with you Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Its ya birthday Don-E Pieces Darien Dean This Moment Impact It's Gotta Be Love Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al I've Given You My Best Robert Gee I Want You (feat. Dwele) Impact Create In Me Victoria Brown Strong Feelings Tom Glide & Tracy Hamlin Old School days Tom Glide & Chidi Suddenly Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al One Way Ticket To Love Keni Stevens True Fantasy Tom Glide & Kenya In The Game Dara Tucker Radio Dara Tucker Soul Train Tom Glide & Hil St Soul Light Up The Sky Tom Glide & Stephanie Cooke Spell on Me Tom Glide & Terisa Griffin He Won't Let You Down Victoria Brown I Fall Dara Tucker Twenty Sixty Four Avery Sunshine For the Rest of My Life Just Right Band Feat. Ve'Al Harmless Darien Dean All My Love (feat. Eric Reed) Jonathan Reed Back 2 Life Shaila Where u are Tom Glide & Candace Woodson Wonders Darien Dean Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis




COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL 03 MAY 2017




COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL 03 MAY 2017 PLAYLIST
Family Shaila Prospere Strong Feelings Tom Glide & Tracy Hamlin One Way Ticket To Love Keni Stevens Will I Ever AudioSource Felicity Walter Christopher Old Skool dayz Tom glide feat Chidi Supposed to Be (feat. Eric Zayne) D Mills Come On With The Good Thing MF Robots Come Do Nothing Avery Sunshine Ain't No Woman L.V. Only You (feat. Kathy Horry) Derrick Doc Pearson What You Won't Do For Love Fabian Soul Its ya birthday Don-E Wonderful thing Don-E Good Vibes Minni Manchester For Kim Tibbs Sky High Minni Manchester It's Not over 'til It's Over Ty Causey Reaching Out To You Coco Rouzier Kiss and Make It Better Avery Sunshine I Want You (feat. Dwele) Impact Rather Be Lonely Llorca & Laetitia Dana Marry Me Lacee & Calvin Richardson Old-School-Quality-Time Tom Glide Ftg Chidi Keeps Getting Better John Weaver True Love Joey Oscar Be You Aliya Hall Do What You Love Jahah Unexpected Love (feat. Vanjess) D Mills Don't Let the Clean up Woman Lacee Ooh Michon Young Who U R. Shelby J Butterfly Aliya Hall Hot Tonight Medley Rocket II the Moon Hot Tonight I Miss You Ty Causey Hello Father Mary J. Blige Right Back Atcha' Pieces of a Dream Made For Us (feat. W.E.S.) Darryl Perry Good To Love You (feat. Dave Hollister) Leela James All or Nothing George Anderson When Luther Sings Alfa Anderson Alfa Anderson Over You Keni Stevens Sunshine Mayfield State of Mind Nigel Lowis Grand Master Mix Pt 3 Peter Symphorien This Time Around Mayfield Move Your Body (Radio Edit) EP T-Groove feat. B. Thompson Gracious (feat. Mycah Chevalier) [T-Groove Remix] Richard Bailey Stay With Me (LTJ Xperience remix ) Mario Biondi I Wonder L.V. How Do You Feel Tanya Holt Feel Somethin' MJbaker Finally Me Lori El U + Me (Love Lesson) Mary J. Blige Back 2 Life Shaila Twenty Sixty Four Avery Sunshine Stay Parris Bowens Angel.mp3 Don-E So Good (feat. Viktoria Vennice) Marq Lamont Mellisonant Too Walter Christopher Everyday Michon Young Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis

COLIN CURTIS SOUL MIXTAPE VOL 2 APRIL 22nd 2017







COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL 18 APRIL 2017 2017





COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE SOUL CONNECTION SHOW NEW INDEPENDENTS SOUL & GOSPEL 18 APRIL 2017 2017 PLAYLIST Ain't No Woman L.V. Only You (feat. Kathy Horry) Derrick Doc Pearson FOR Kim Tibbs What You Won't Do For Love Fabian Soul Wonder Jazzy D Feat Kenya HOW-DO-YOU-DO Will Weaton & Bridgett Bryant Want Me (Need Me) Flamingosis That's cold Flamingosis It's Not over 'til It's Over Ty Causey Reaching Out To You Coco Rouzier Don't Go. Kevin Ross Smile Boogie Back Remix Will Downing Rather Be Lonely Llorca & Laetitia Dana Marry Me Lacee & Calvin Richardson One Two Step Tomppabeats Black Girl Magic Blez Coe Keeps Getting Better John Weaver Rhymes and Rhythms Joey Oscar True Love Joey Oscar Be You Aliya Hall Do What You Love Jahah Hope You Don't Mind Jahah Don't Let the Clean up Woman Lacee OOH Michon Young Won't You Be My Lady Ty Causey For The L.U.V. Jahah Let Me Ride (feat. Matt Cashdollar) Ty Causey Drifting Kim Tibbs Give Love (feat. Anthony Saunders) Marcus Anderson featuring Anthony Saunders In God's Hand (feat. Stephan Terry & Amy Tucker) Derrick Doc Pearson Butterfly Aliya Hall Old Skool dayz Tom glide feat Chidi Hot Tonight Medley Rocket II the Moon Hot Tonight I Miss You Ty Causey Better Way Sulpacio Jones Shine Tuxedo One Shot to Love October London Rock with Me Ty Causey Gentle with My Love Lakai All Up In This Place Gina Carey Will I Ever AudioSource Come On With The Good Thing (Radio Edit ) MF Robots Good To Love You (feat. Dave Hollister) Leela James Faking It ft. Vanessa White Chloe Martini feat. Vanessa White We're Ready (Radio Tings edit) AFRish Can't Stand the Heat Preston Gray Mind Gone Lacee Starz in Your Eyez (feat. Lauren Faith) B. Bravo Jubilation Vince Broomfield Flowers Tears Michele Chiavarini & DJ Spen Soul Flower Radio Edit S.E.L Thank God 4 U (feat. Stephan Terry) Derrick Doc Pearson Inseparable Maysa Confident Angel Robbins Can't Keep My Hands off of You (feat. Reva DeVito) B. Bravo I Can't Wait Children of Zeus Feel Somethin' MJbaker Sail Away October London Back 2 Life Shaila Finally Me Lori El A Beautiful Forever Kia Bennett Raymond Barton Bliss Angelia Williams Home Inside Pjay Three Way Love Affair Lacee & Willie Clayton So Good (feat. Viktoria Vennice) Marq Lamont Everyday (Bonus Track) Michon Young So Glad Michon Young Count It A Lesson Michon Young Holding You feat. Chanté Moore Norman Brown Don't Come for Me Lacee Through Jesus Christ (feat. Darrin Carter & Kathy Horry) Derrick Doc Pearson Music Available @ www.cdbaby.com www.amazon.co.uk www.amazon.com www.bandcamp.com ITunes Stay Blessed Colin Curtis

COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS THE FREESTYLIN' JAZZ SHOW 14 APRIL 2017





Friday, 5 May 2017

Golden Years: Colin Curtis celebrates 50 years as a DJ

https://www.skiddle.com/news/all/Golden-Years-Colin-Curtis-celebrates-50-years-as-a-DJ/31463/




Golden Years: Colin Curtis celebrates 50 years as a DJ

Prior to an event at The Exchange, Stoke-on-Trent on 13th May which celebrates Colin Curtis's 50 years spinning, Marko Kutlesa caught up with him for a chat about his career in music.
Skiddle Staff
Last updated: 5th May 2017.
Originally published: 4th May 2017
Colin Curtis is arguably the single most important club DJ to have ever played in the north of England, if not the UK. He's also one of clubland's longest-serving with 2017 seeing him celebrate 50 years as a DJ.
Fascinated by watching his grandfather playing 78 records, Colin's first signs of music fanaticism came in his early teens. It was at this time he was also first exposed to soul music, via the hits of Motown. He began collecting records and was particularly inspired by the playlist at The Golden Torch soul night in Stoke, one of the north's most celebrated soul dens. 
At The Torch he helped shape the scene that became known as Northern Soul. By 1967 he had started DJing and before too long had built up a collection that could stand up against those owned by the DJs at The Torch and he became a resident there alongside Tony Jebb, Ian Levine and Keith Minshull.
Further residencies followed at Blackpool's huge Mecca venue, across Manchester and the rest of the North, and throughout the late 70s and early to mid 80s he was a hugely popular guest DJ all over the UK. His presence was instrumental in setting up a dance music scene which paved the way for clubland in the UK as we know it.
Taking some time off from DJing in 1986/1987 due to ill health and scaling back some of his travelling thereafter, Colin nevertheless remained passionate about music and continued to DJ, reappearing with a new found vigour and enthusiasm in the 90s as a guest at soul nights, weekenders and even house music nights playing music, as requested, from every era of the time he's spent as a DJ.
He continues to be a fanatical music collector and issues several hours worth of new music on podcasts from his website each week, and will be celebrating his half century of DJing at a very special party at The Exchange in Stoke on Saturday 13th May. Ahead of that we caught up with him to discuss some of that legendary career.
One of your first encounters with soul music came through hearing Motown records. Was there a particular group on the label who really grabbed your attention?
The Temptations. They opened the door to that Detroit sound, the Motown sound. It was particularly the groups, The Temptations, the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the group sound grabbed me. At first it wasn't particularly about them being dancefloor records, although they did have them. It was the lyrics.
Lyrics to songs like 'Ain't Too Proud To Beg' have just stood the test of time. 'Reach Out, I'll Be There', I remember jumping out of the bread van I was working on to buy it with money I grabbed out of the bread van. I'm not sure I ever gave it back.
When you started DJing the northern scene and allnighters were already a big thing. How difficult was it to catch up with the existing DJs in terms of building a collection that could put you on an equal footing as them at, say, an allnighter?
It would difficult to compare myself with any of the DJs at the Twisted Wheel because I never actually went there. I tried a few times but got knocked back because I looked too young. Obviously I still look young today. 
I was getting feedback about what they were playing there from friends who went, people like Keith Minshull. When I first went to The Torch, which was before allnighters, probably 68 or 69, I heard what the DJs were playing and it was like travelling inside my own head. I couldn't believe they were playing music I was already collecting. To be going out and listening to it in a club situation was unique. 
One of the early DJs at The Torch was Peter Stringfellow's brother, Doug. Peter worked there himself, but it was Doug's music that fascinated me. That gave me a target, try to find out some of the records he was playing, things like 'Billy's Bag' by Billy Preston, Wynder K Frog's 'Green Door', instrumentals like that. I was just feeling my way round.
I think I was surprised by how quickly I caught up, but I have a fanatical brain. I was always looking for sources of inspiration. I think I've proved this tenacity over the 50 years I've been doing this. I put a podcasts up every week with new music on them, three or four hours of new soul, house music. There's a computer in there and an insatiable desire to keep on learning new music. That's been there since the start, so it didn't take me long to realise I could go past these people.  
What were the soundsystems like at places like that in comparison to what you hear in clubs today?
There is no comparison, the soundsystems were poor, but the venues were sometimes excellent. There was something very special about The Golden Torch. It was built essentially for ballroom dancing and live music so the acoustics were very good. Records could sound different, better there than they would in other venues. 
A lot of northern soul records share a similar rhythm, speed and sense of urgency as Motown records. With Motown, Berry Gordy knew what he wanted, and what he wanted was radio play, so a huge part of their catalogue, particularly the earlier stuff, is mixed with a lot of concentration on the high end, where it would have most impact when heard over a transistor radio. Were all the other records that were made in the Motown template, the northern soul records, similarly tinny sounding? 
Well, I think that was also to do with the equipment that they were recorded on at the time. I'm not sure it was as intentional as you're suggesting. Maybe it was. I'm not as sure as you there that there was a concentration on the top end for audiences listening on transistor radios, but if there was that's really bloody clever. Some of those 7”s are still played on dancefloors today, 50 years later. 
You started your Mecca residency in 1973 and that residency is remembered by many for you and Ian playing radically different kinds of soul based music to the faster stuff with the Motown-esque rhythms that were popular on the northern soul scene. But in 1973 things like disco and Philly soul hadn't yet started, so what were you playing?
If you go back and research the music coming out between 1969 and 1973, just as Berry Gordy was targetting an audience, the American radio of the day was playing a lot of James Brown and also a lot of ballads. There wasn't this plethora of dance music that we'd seen in the 60s. 73/74 there were labels like Spring, Event and then major labels like RCA and Epic caught on and the dance group was back in vogue. 
That was pre disco. From 74 to 76 we were playing things like Voices Of East Harlem, some of the Curtom stuff because of the changes in production that Curtis Mayfield was introducing, some of the Norman Whitfield Motown stuff like Undisputed Truth, but there were also masses of exciting releases on independent labels. That was one of my favourite times. I don't think any clubs went through the amount of music that we went through in those few years. 
I know it's a frustration of some DJs today that sometimes drug use, in particular the widespread use of amphetamines in some places, pushes DJs into playing a certain sound and tempo. Do you think drug use played any part in some people's resistance to the newer musics you and Ian were bringing in at The Mecca?
It may have played a part. Blackpool Mecca was a 7.30pm to 2am club. People who wanted to stay up all night used drugs. The coaches that the Mecca brought in to fill the main room downstairs was what made The Highland Rooms a success because the soul boys and girls obviously cottoned on to these free coaches to get you to Blackpool. 
Those coaches would leave again at 1am, so if you were going to go to the all-nighter at Wigan Casino you would leave at that time. That helped me develop the infamous last hour where I was able to change tempos dramatically and play right down below 100 bpm, stuff like Ann Sexton album tracks, Donald Byrd 'Think Twice', developing what would become the jazz funk soundtrack.
We were the first people in the country to play Gil Scott Heron. The Carstairs' 'It Really Hurts Me Girl' was the record that really changed northern soul, a Bovril record, still is. The records that went with that, 'Shake and Bump' by Snoopy Dean, Bobby Franklin's 'The Ladies Choice', 'Come On Train' by Don Thomas. They were heavily criticised at the time and, for a while, banned at Wigan Casino. For the people who took drugs, that change in tempo probably affected them more than it did others.
If drug use played a part though I would only say that about 30% at most would have been using them, not like the 80% and upwards of what happened at house clubs from the late 80s. For me drugs have never played a part because I've never taken them. I just look this ill naturally! 
In hindsight, it's kinda funny for us to view people trying to campaign for Ian Levine to leave the residency, but how did you both view that as individuals at the time?
Well Ian took that very personally. At the time this was taking place we were both phasing what you'd call traditional northern soul out of it. One of the last northern soul records that I continued to champion was Herbert Hunter. My view on it was that any publicity was good publicity. People would come just to find out what was going on. The notoriety, I felt, worked in our favour. Some of the attack was personal. Why didn't they attack me in the same way?
The difference was that as Ian was going more towards disco, I was going more towards jazz funk and jazz. I was playing stuff like Lee Ritenour, Parliament/Funkadelic. Ian was probably easier to attack than me. I was surrounded by a set of people who probably would have dealt with this situation very differently had I been the one who was being attacked. 
Which records in particular got up the nose of the more traditionally minded northern fan?
I don't think I could name any in particular. I presume things like Alec Costandinos. I think a lot of it was personal. I think a lot of people saw, and still see, Ian Levine as an easy target.
For what reason? 
Well, there's his belligerent school kid personality, people perceive that he's from this hugely wealthy background and that he comes in and throws his toys out of the cot if things don't go his way. I suppose that childlike exterior draws criticism. 
So, there wasn't a homophobic element to it?
No, that wasn't part of the reason at all. There was an underground gay thing going on at Blackpool. Some of those people went on to become huge characters on that side of things as that scene developed. But it was very much underground back then and, no, I don't think it played a part. 
Can you tell me a bit about the early mixing techniques you were trying out there? Were you cutting records on the beat or were you doing what Americans call blending?
We were using Garrard SP25 Mk 2 record players, so we weren't really cutting anything apart from our fingers! It was just a blend with the basic equipment that we'd got. Playing two copies, going a beat behind with one, those ideas only came as the equipment got more sophisticated, so by the time records like “Dancing In Outer Space” came out, yes, you'd be buying two copies. 
For me it's always been about blending, but I also like the tragic drop-off-the-end-of-a-cliff mixes, so cutting was also huge for me. Just short of 20 years ago when the jazz funk revival was in full swing, when I used to play at Blackburn, I had this following of house kids who thought I was the Antichrist. They'd all learned beatmatching in their bedrooms and then here was this old bloke that was just cutting from one record to another, but cutting in a way, because I knew the records so well, that it just worked. They loved it.
Where did the idea come from to develop these early blends? I don't think there would have been anyone in the UK at the time that you would have been hearing do this.
It just came from the kinds of records that were coming out. Records started to come out on 12”. I can't say the inspiration was New York or America, because it wasn't. What was going on in American clubs was still very poorly reported. We'd see charts, so we could see what they were playing, but you wouldn't get any information from that about the way they were playing the records.
We might have heard about people like Levan or Jim Burgess, about people playing two copies and maybe also a reel to reel, but there wasn't a club in the UK that had that kind of equipment. Nobody could've emulated it. If there was one person who influenced me in the UK to blend things that would probably have been Graham Warr from Birmingham.  
Why did you quit the Mecca?
It had run its course. The rift in the soul scene between northern and the emerging jazz funk and disco sounds had affected attendance levels. I just felt it was time to move on and try something else. At that point you're like jumping off the edge of a cliff. I'd built up my reputation through The Torch and The Mecca, there was no guarantee anybody was coming with me.
Ian went to London and ended up DJing at Heaven, which was very much a gay club. I went to Manchester and started doing Rafters, playing jazz funk. It was a dump when I first saw it, but we did some work to it and we were on lock out after 4 weeks. The jazz funk scene lasted probably until about 84. From 83 you started seeing the beginnings of electro, then from 85 house.
Can you tell me about any differences in the audiences you were playing to when you started at Rafters compared to the audience you'd been laying to at the Mecca?
The Mecca I was playing to an audience of white people still connected to the northern soul scene. When I first went to Manchester it was probably 70% white and 30% black, but as it progressed it ended up being 70% black and 30% white. At that point the traditional soul scene was on its knees. Top DJs were selling their entire collections. Musically, culturally and socially things were changing. At the alldayer parties that were still thriving, the jazz funk rooms were more popular than the northern rooms. 
Blackpool Mecca alldayers went from having soul stars like Junior Walker and The Allstars, JJ Barnes and Edwin Starr as guests to having Crown Heights Affair, The Miracles, Brass Construction, Players Association, Sylvester and The Two Tons Of Fun and Roy Ayers. Of a 2000 to 3000 alldayer event, the jazz funk room would hold 80% of the crowd.
And the records coming out in that period were absolutely fantastic. From 1978 to about 1985 it was incredible. Major record companies were really investing in groups at that point, so you had the emergence of groups that had been around for a while, people like Brass Construction, Breakwater, Lonnie Liston Smith. On the same night you'd be playing Jean Carne, Dexter Wansel, Keni Burke, the array was amazing.
You took some time away from DJing in the late 80s/early 90s. What records released in the time you were away do you wish you'd been around to help break to UK audiences?
I didn't miss anything really Marko. I was in hospital for 7 or 8 months in 86/87, but I was still buying records over the phone. It took me a while to re-emerge as a DJ but I never really lost touch with it. There are no records that stick in my mind that I didn't get the opportunity to play.
Since the time you started DJing you've seen musical styles change, people have changed what they wear and how they dance. What's the most stylish period you witnessed in club culture and which do you think was the most impassioned?
If you look at the early styles that were at The Twisted Wheel and The Torch, it was a very smart look, the back end of the Mod thing really. Brogues, braided blazers, people having suits made with huge pockets on them. That period in particular brought out the fashion. 
At The Ritz alldayers, which really became the battleground between the northern scene and the emerging jazz funk scene, you could see it clearly because of what each scene was wearing. The traditional soul fans had the wide trousers, bowling shirts and tank tops, the others would be in plastic sandals, chinos, Hawaiian shirts and accessories. It changed again when hip hop came in. I remember a big influence on fashion was Malcolm McLaren's 'Buffalo Girls' video. Things seemed to change overnight.
The most passionate? Probably the huge all dayer scene that developed. People were building pyramids with bodies on the dancefloor. There were whole different cultures of dancing happening. Dancing had become very important to people. Those individual styles, people battling in circles, the jazz dance scene, next to something you might see now, people just bouncing up and down or just nodding their heads, taking videos on their phones, it's incomparable. 
Northern soul has retained its individuality in dancing. I play a lot these days on the more soulful side of house music and with the audiences I get there are people who dance individually, for who dancing with style is still important. They're not stood there taking pictures of me. Which would probably be rather distressing for them if they did, ha!
Tickets for 50 years of DJing with Colin Curtis at The Exchange are available below. 
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