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Fagin's
1985
Just to show an example of what was happening on “the other side” of the tracks at places like Fagins, Rotters, The Snooty Fox (formerly The Merseyside Hotel), Valley Lodge,Talk of the Town, Golden Garter and many other such pubs/clubs of which we infrequently attended and usually under duress, (18ths, 21sts and the like).I do think these clubs ( which after all were patronised by the silent and vast majority of town folk including mates, family and old fogies over 25!) were formative and inversely effected the tastes and fashions of many a so- called “alternative” yoof , as they clearly defined the parameters of the “other”, of which you were nominally diametrically opposed and supposedly “rebelling” against; a sort of "hipper than thou" inverted snobbery (or maybe just a touch "pseud" in old hippy-speak). I think Armed Force In their singalonga ditty "Attack", pretty much summed it up. For us waif, strays, misfits and sensitive little sods who felt compelled to dance to a different drummer,it felt like a safe and re-affirming headspace to be in; music being a point of unity, identity, a shared passion and at times a source of solace, among many other things. Funny how when you're young affiliations like that seem more important than life and death, to paraphrase Mr. Shankley's oft quoted line. Of course, life being how it be, it's never quite as clear-cut as that.
So we would happily boogie on down, albeit in a dickin' about sort of way, to “Born to be Alive”, Sheila B Devotion, Ottowan, Baccara and other such Eurotrash offerings,( not forgetting Manchester's very own Dooleys "The Chosen Few"; another lost classic...);and when Liquid Gold urged us to “Dance Yourselves Dizzy” we most certainly did ,and were only too happy to oblige . It was Morder on the Dancefloor but we never did kill the groove. And when the slow smooch dance invariably came on at the end of the night we’d try our bestest to do the “cop off” thing but, alas and alack, it was invariably to no avail. I don’t know exactly when lads and lasses, in general stopped dancing together but it seems rare, and few and far between to see young ‘uns boogieing together one on one , with a possible slow smooch dance thrown in. Not that I go round clocking this sort of thing, honest! It just seems like a seismic shift in behavior and an interesting social phenomenon in the context of youthlike mores of yesteryear; your mam ‘n dad’ll tell ya.......Then there were the “Grab a Granny” nights on a Thursday down at The Ritz, of which we best not speak.....
Staying slightly on the daggy tip I heard the little fella from Boney M died a week or so ago; bless. I saw Boney M support Gilbert O’Sullivan at Belle View King’s Hall round ’75. A bloke who lived over the road from us worked at Granada and gave us some tickets for the show which was part of a series of concerts Granada were promoting and filming; can’t remember who was on any of the other shows but I don’t think they were particularly memorable or ground breaking. The same bloke also used to pop over occasionally with pies that had come “live and direct”, straight outta The Rover’s Return bar grill. Not sure why he chose us to be beneficiaries of such munificence; maybe he thought we were pieless or didn’t like waste, when there was a perfectly good gang of straggly, growing kids over the way.. Anyway it was round the same time one of the story lines in Corrie was about Stan getting food poisoning from something he ate in the Rover’s ,and I and my siblings can vouch safely there was nowt wrong with those pies. I think he was just scamming, like the time he tried to sue the council after he said he’d tripped on the pavement and ole Eddie Yates was in cahoots,(self-reminder again, Eddie, Stan and Hilda are not, and never have been real people!). Ah the golden days of Corrie....
Well the Boney M fella probably had more of an influence on me than I care to admit; particularly in the dance department. His take on The Motown spin was something to behold and his warm mellifluous tones something to be heard, ("Oh those Russians...."). Over time I tried to perfect that spin, along with my poor layman’s attempt at Footsie. His hairstyle gave a tangle- haired ragamuffin like me hope too; that one day, someday (sans the gold lame' jacket), I might look “cool” like him (still waiting...). Also ‘Rivers of Babylon” was a bona fide Rocksteady/ Reggae spiritual song from the early ‘60’s and so opened the doors, even if only ever so slightly , to the possibilities of another world of music for those who wished to venture through it.(Oh yeah, and I saw a recent documentary called “Rocksteady; The Roots of Reggae Music” the other day; very heartwarming even if you don’t care for the music; in a similar vein to “The Buena Vista Social Club”). Everyone’s got naff bands they’re secretly fond of in their closet, be it Gaz Glitter, Darts, Mud, Showaddywaddy, or whoever. Every generation’s got its own take on the same theme. It just goes to make the stuff you truly love sound all the better. Well that was a bit of an unnecessary ramble; better get back on the right track baby...
That’s the last of these music papery things (fingers crossed!). Been a bit of a chore, mostly because it’s not personal; nevertheless I hope there’s some worthwhile things in there. There’s reviews of Revolution Studios in Cheadle Hulme where the likes of Clapton and duran duran had just recorded, Spirit Studios in Chorlton, Yellow 2 in Stockport, Mike Harding’s Moonraker Studios in Mike Harding World, Johnny Thunders at The Hac, Peter and The Test tube Babies at The Gallery and a myriad of other scintillating titbits for your delectation. If someone down the track wants to see more of the stuff I’ve mentioned but not uploaded, particularly pertaining to local bands, why then, I’m only too happy to oblige.You might want to show your grand kids ;- ) .
Was at the Eastwood & Saint gig at The University with Benjamin Zephania in support. Also tried to sneak into the Wythenshawe Forum one time in the late 70's during the second half of Equus cos we heard the leading lady stripped bollock naked, to coin a phrase; but after having got moved on several times from occupied seats we were spotted and told to sling our hooks.....
Just did a quick retread back through these musings and although it certainly meanders a bit aimlessly I think what I've been trying to do is fashion a mental picture so that maybe in some distant future, or parallel universe, some little kiddie, perhaps by the name of Android Lloyd Webber (that's terrible Muriel!), might get an inkling of what it was like, from a certain perspective, to be a young 'un in the North of England in the latter days of the 20th century, or maybe it's just bollocks....still liked the Boney M fella though!
It's Saturday evening, so as Jazzy B and his pals used to extoll so sweetly over The Russell Club P.A., "back to life, back to reality....".Thanks Jazz 'n Caz for the sage advise; it dun....
Artefact added : 22nd January 2011
by dubwise-er
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