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CLEM CURTIS DIES....

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 14:02 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altCLEM CURTIS sometime lead singer in British multi-racial group, THE FOUNDATIONS died on Monday 27th March at Olney in Buckinghamshire. He was aged 76 and it's known that he had been suffering from cancer.

Born in Trinidad in 1940, Clem came to the UK when he was 15 and began a career as a painter and decorator. He also fought professionally but in 1967 he joined his uncle's band The Ramong Sound who later morphed into the Foundations and later that year young Clem found himself in the lead singer's role.

More a pop band than soul group, the Foundations' music did have a soul undertow and their big hits; 'Baby Now That I've Found You' and 'Build Me Up Buttercup' are right on the cusp of the genres. In '68 Curtis quit the band and relocated to the States to pursue a solo career but by 1970 he was back in the UK.

He then went on to work with Donnie Elbert and Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon and later created a new version The Foundations. Indeed over the years Clem was to work with various incarnations of the group as they plied the oldies circuit.

In the late 1980s, Curtis joined a band called The Corporation, often also referred to as "the Travelling Wrinklies" ... a parody of the Travelling Wilburys. They released a cover of 'Ain't Nothing But A House Party' on the Corporation label in 1988.

Clem Curtis also worked occasionally in musical theatre and even appeared in the TV series 'The Bill'. Until recently He worked regularly, playing the oldies circuit both under his own name and with different "Foundations".

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 14:06

 

WHERE’S THE PARTY?

Monday, 27 March 2017 16:00 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMR BIRD (Steve Bird) is a DJ and multi-instrumentalist who now works out of Lisbon and he's already released a number of albums under a number of monikers and with a number of collaborators. The UK soul community first got to know him, though, via his 2014 long player 'Lo Fi Classics'. The set's highlight was always the infectious 'Over Again' which won the affections of the savvy modern soul community in its original and Ashley Beedle and Tom Moulton mixes.

Another of that album's highlights was the infectious rumble that was 'Where Did The Party Go?'. Like 'Over Again' Mr B choose the wonderful GREG BLACKMAN to provide the vocals and as ever Greg nailed it, channelling the very best of the best Southern soul men.

Demand for the tune has encouraged the label, Ramrock Records, to commission new remixes and two great new tweaks will soon be out there on the 12" sales racks. First up there's' the "Ashley Beedle North Street" mix. Assisted by label boss, Jo Wallace and keyboardist Darren Morris, Ashley drops the beats a tad to create a sort of 90's steppers vibe. Little wonder that this re-tooling of 'Where Did the Party Go?' is climbing all the credible UK soul charts! The second new mix – again from Ashley Beedle is the "stripped back" version where you can fully enjoy the great vocal from Greg Blackman.

Check out Where Did the Party Go?' @ www.soundcloud.com/ramrockrecords/mr-bird-ft-greg-blackman-where-did-the-party-go-ashley-beedles-north-street-remix128

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 14:26

 

KEEP ON MOVIN’....

Monday, 27 March 2017 15:58 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Innermotion' is the latest single from Los Charly's JUAN LAYA and JORGE MONTIEL. Those clever purveyors of retro-flavoured, quality dance and disco grooves return with a new jam that channels the spirit of outfits like Kool and the Gang, EWF and the Crown Heights Affair. There's a touch of the cosmic about matters too and as ever the pair have recruited their go-to vocalist Andre Espeut to pop the cherry on proceedings. In fairness, the vocal (as befits all the best disco anthems) is limited to Andre's exhortations to "boogie down" and for those who prefer the tune with even less vocal there's a "Balearic Boogie" mix.... just as infectious!

INNERMOTION..... JUAN LAYA and JORGE MONTIEL – is released 7th April 2016

Last Updated on Monday, 27 March 2017 16:08

 

MORNING HAS BROKEN…

Monday, 27 March 2017 15:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUK soul label, DOME RECORDS is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.... and to commemorate the auspicious occasion they issued a wonderful 50 track compilation. Naturally the album focused on some of the label's big moments and memorable cuts; there was, though, one brand new recording.... 'MORNING LOVE' from SIMON LAW and CARON WHEELER.

Soul anoraks will know that both Simon and Caron are Soul II Soul alumni. Simon was a key member of the collective, co-writing their two Grammy-winning songs 'Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)' and 'African Dance'. He worked on all their albums except one, producing and co-writing many of their UK hit singles and he still performs regularly with the band. Vocalist, Caron, is of course a pioneer of the British soul scene. She worked with Brown Sugar and Afrodiziak before contributing to Soul II Soul's greatest achievements.

The catchy 'Morning Love' – a wonderful, spring vibe- has now been released as a single and we're told that it's one of the focus cuts on Simon's upcoming album, 'Look To The Sky' which is set for a June release. Caron is one of the album's guests alongside people like Jazzie B, Maxi Priest and Chante Moore,

Last Updated on Monday, 27 March 2017 16:09

 

SOUL IN THE CITY...

Friday, 24 March 2017 16:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSax man JIMMY GALLAGHER is something of a legend in his native Glasgow. He started playing when he was just 10 – fronting wedding bands in his dad's pub! A period as a busker followed before young James joined a band called Moroccan Coco (honest) and then gigging with Wet Wet Wet.

Soon down in London, he played in bands Siren and Big Blue Sea; session work with people like Bros, Dina Carroll, Tom Jones, Eternal, Holly Johnson and more quickly followed. Live work for Jimmy  included gigs at the capital's main jazz venues. Next came a stint in Germany but now Mallorca is home to Jimmy where he gigs regularly in the island's bars, clubs and theatres.

However, his old session pal, Nigel Lowis recently brought Jimmy back to the UK to front a new soul instrumental credited to THE SOUL CITY ORCHESTRA. Lowis knew that Gallagher's soulful sax sound was perfect for the ambience he was trying to create... part MFSB, part Love Unlimited, part Salsoul Orchestra!

Clearly the trick has worked, 'cos with just a few promo copies out there 'Soul City Theme' has cooked up a right old storm on UK soul radio! The rotation of the cut has created such a demand that the tune will become officially available on DSG records in April and like all those great soul instrumentals of yesteryear, it comes in part 1 and part 2!

JIMMY GALLAGHER ft Soul City Orchestra - SOUL CITY THEME PARTS 1 & 2 DSG released Friday April 7th with 'Philly Nights' as the B side

Last Updated on Friday, 24 March 2017 16:50

 

    

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