I saw Slade once at The Hammersmith Odeon in London back in 1974 with my parents when I was 3 years old. There was always music on in my house growing up in Dundee in the 70s, mostly rock variety; Pink Floyd, The Stones etc., like many kids I went in an opposite musical route to my parents.
I discovered punk reading the graffiti on the walls of the housing estate where I grew up, I can vividly remember ‘The Jam’, ‘All Mod Cons’ and ‘The Sex Pistols’ sprayed in huge letters on the wall around the corner from where I lived. For the first time I was finding music that I could identify with, I got into Punk which evolved to 2-Tone then mod. The latter would become foundations to a life time’s obsession with black music.
Northern Soul was the real life changer, it was deeper, more mysterious, and for me pure escapism.
I had a wee Northern Soul collection when I was 14, I spent many a day during my teenage years bunking off school and buying second-hand records, building up a small Northern Soul and R&B collection.
Not long after leaving school Northern Soul became my main passion, Shotts Allniter in particular introduced me to the real deal soul devotees – I was highly inspired by DJs like Keb Darge and Guy Hennigan, those nights were electric.
In 1987 I got my first regular gig at 16 at a club called ‘The Good Foot’ which played funk, acid, house, rap. I took down a box of funk 45s and said “hi, I’ve got these can I play?” so the good fellows (Nik and Ally) who ran this night gave me my first break and I got paid too!
I became obsessed with DJ culture, I was hearing old jazz and soul samples in the rap at the Good Foot I got into it all, tunes like “Talking all that Jazz” by Stetsasonic, with its Lonnie Liston Smith sample had a profound effect.
I was hearing Meter’s licks ‘n’ beats, Dyke and the Blazer Breaks in a new context.
House music too was rooted in soul and Philly, to me it was purely contemporary soul music, tracks like Ce Ce Rogers ‘Someday’ or Jay Williams ‘Sweat’ indicated soul was alive and well in the late 80s and never died really.
I played out almost every week in the 1990s spinning tunes, working with some quality DJs over the years and meeting tons of great people in the process.
Club nights like Beat Quest, Kofi, Soulstice, Klik, Club La La, Sometin’ Kookie, Crisp, Fresh Jive are all part of Dundee’s underground musical folklore now.
I love music, I need my fix of the stuff daily like bread.