From its opening in 1963 until its final emotive all-nighter, starring US soul legend Edwin Starr in January 1971, the Twisted Wheel played host to almost every major British R&B act & the very best that the USA had to offer. Steeped in black American music it is no surprise that it became the crucible of NORTHERN SOUL setting the template for all-night gatherings across the north of England. Pictured to the left of our cover – sporting his trademark turban – is Screaming Jay Hawkins arriving at London airport with his wife Ginny for his debut visit to the UK on 26th January, 1965. There to meet & greet Hawkins was resident Twisted Wheel DJ Roger Eagle, a huge fan of the charismatic performer. Hawkins’ million-selling, “I Put A Spell On You”, had been recorded almost a decade earlier and released on the iconic Chicago based OKeh Records, a label very much on Eagle’s radar for its slue of cult Blues & R&B artists.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Welcome to the third volume in our Wigan Casino mini-series exporing the diverse playlist of the world’s No. 1 Northern Soul venue.The 23rd September 2018, marked the 45th Anniversary of the super club and we have selected 18 tracks that we hope capture the unique atmosphere of the huge ballroom and the mesmerizing dance moves that held us spellbound all those years ago.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

The Rude Boy moniker has its roots firmly set in the downtown districts of Kingston, Jamaica. Alongside the regular Ska/ Rocksteady sounds coming out of the sound systems, there was an undercurrent theme to some songs that spoke of the struggles of the youth, of their confrontation, arrests and run-ins with the establishment. Some of these songs praised the Rude Boys for their stance and style while other songs were more in contempt with the rude boy’s attitudes, comings, goings and violent behaviour. Some of the runnings that did not help their standing with their elders’ was that not only did they get employed by sound system operators to help keep their dance safe but also to disrupt competitors dances, a job that also gave them the name dancehall crasher. Where music leads fashion is never far behind and the rude boys were no exception. The look favoured, sharp suits, thin ties, pork pie or Trilby hats and stylish shoes.

The British not only took on the music, but also the look of the rude boy as the styles moved … More

Paul Weller was barely 22 when he started recording Sound Affects, his fifth album in just over 3 years. He was reading histories of Camelot alongside the romanticism of Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake, obsessing over The Beatles’ Revolver, and delving further into his disillusionment with the political and social climate that had prevailed in England at the end of the 1970s. During the same time, Weller apparently had a ‘thing’ for electricity pylons.

So, in short, the writer’s perceived influences on The Jam’s 1980 album included Arthur and Guinevere, the Mask of Anarchy, … More

Since the Yardbirds’ birth from 1963 to 1968, and then its 2003 reformation, the group has been known for its incredible guitarists. In addition to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, plus rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja have contributed to the band’s history. Jim McCarty continues to lead this innovative British rock band that provides the crucial link between British R&B, Psychedelic Rock, and Heavy Metal, while pioneering the use of innovations like fuzztone, feedback and distortion.

1966 was an exciting year for The Yardbirds, when the group was pulsing with ideas and energy. With singer and … More

The boogaloo is an infectious and little-defined dance that dominated American dance records in the mid-60s. It was the joyous place where young black and Latin youths met and made sweet music. All previous Boogaloo compilations have focused on the Latin aspect, “Let’s Do The Boogaloo” looks at how the music crossed over between the two. The boogaloo craze started in Chicago with a record by Tom & Jerryo, but it proved to have an enduring legacy with its hit-making potential running from 1965 through to 1968 – much longer than any other comparable dance. Our earliest records – The infectious ‘Ready Steady Go’ by Prince & Princess, produced by Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller – kicks us off with a frenetic beat and some Latin horns. It is the perfect boogaloo crossover.

Elsewhere we feature big sounds from both the soul and Latin side of the music. Club classics by the likes … More

Combined here are the explosive talents of R&B & Soul music history featuring such legends as Joe Simon, Nina Simone, Bobby Adams, Grover Mitchell & Eddie Banks with his Five Dreamers. Back To The Beat bursts into action with a mighty fine slice of Tennessee soul courtesy of happy-go-lucky Herbert Hunter, a top-off that defines THE BEAT & is the first of two sides from Ted Jarrett’s Poncello imprint, the second being Ricky Rezell’s storming ‘What You Bet’. The pace is relentless, as the heavyweights of rhythm & soul power through the set that pairs Northern Soul favourites Dean Barlow & the Profiles alongside the ferocious Bertha Tillman, Big Boy Myles and Mary Johnson. Dale Cunningham closes proceedings with the rarest of the original 45s, the big-money ‘Too Young’. The Legend of Northern Soul Continues.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Outta Sight pay homage to the original R&B maverick, and British music industry innovator, Guy Stevens with 16 original tracks culled from the DJs ‘Scene Club’ playlist. When R&B fanatic Guy Stevens was given the Monday night dead spot at the tiny basement club in Ham Yard, R&B and the embryonic Mod scene, came of age. The former city insurance broker had acquired a formidable black American record collection and he was intent on spreading his R&B gospel to the ‘in’ crowd.

The Scene Club quickly established itself as the place to be seen and the place to see the coolest ‘faces’ … More

‘You leave your mother and your brother too, You leave the pretty wife you’re never faithful to, You cross the sea to find those streets that’s paved with gold, And all you find is Brixton cell that’s oh! so cold.’ London, 1957. Victoria Station is awash with boat trains discharging hopeful black immigrants into a cold and alien land. Liberal England is about to discover the legacy of Empire.

And when Montgomery Pew, a newly appointed assistant welfare officer in the Colonial Department, meets Johnny Fortune, recently arrived from … More