Postscript: The Casino comes to Middlesbrough

Posted on September 11, 2010


Two weeks ago I had the good fortune to see Russ Winstanley [] DJ at Revival – the Purple Onion – in Middlesbrough. Winstanley was the resident DJ at Wigan Casino, and ran a record shop on Wigan Market, on both counts bringing new sounds to the northern scene.

Admittedly, the proper northern types didn’t quite come out of the woodwork, unlike some of the soul nights at nearby Empire, where the dancing is usually of the classical school, and the balconies are decked with banners of soul and scooter clubs from across the North of England. Nevertheless, there was a decent showing and plenty of “young ‘uns” (our age, younger) which is usually hailed as a good thing amongst the older contingent. The tunes were certainly of the classic order too; Frank Wilson’s ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’, The MVPS’ ‘Turnin’ My Heart Beat Up’, Bobby Parris’ ‘Night Owl’, Judy Street’s ‘What’, etc. Even more classic, Winstanley ended with ‘The 3 Before 8’ – Tobi Legend’s ‘Time Will Pass You By’, Jimmy Radcliffe’s ‘Long After Tonight is Over’, and Dean Parrish’s ‘I’m On My Way’ – the three songs that traditionally ended every Casino all-nighter. All good stuff, but a shame considering the record collection Winstanley famously accumulated over the years, and the broad eclecticism that supposedly characterised the Casino scene. (One example, in Cider with Roadies, Stuart Maconie – who was a regular at the Casino – sublimely remembers a figure emerging onto the dancefloor to have it out to The Love Sitars’ exhilarating ‘Paint It Black’ [HYPERLINK:], a San Franciscan hippie band “with the lifespan of a mayfly”.)

Still, three pints each, a free barbeque upstairs and probably the most famous soul DJ in the world. The night was proof that the northern soul scene is ever alive and attracting younger audiences to its blessed fold.

Some bagheads we met

Posted in: Music