Welcome me ode fruit gums to the first edition of this fine publication this year, released for your reading pleasure sealed with love, kisses and a pinch of craziness (that’s just Beeston Beats!!!)
By the time the ink has set on this shiny magazine of awesomeness, the dreary clutches of winter are disappearing with each passing day, I write this article on the midpoint between winter and spring solstices, the Imbolc, each day is a little more lighter than the last, leaving a clear path for the New Year’s adventures.
My rite of passage between the seasons involves purchasing a diary for the year and marvelling at what possible adventures lie before me. It is my beacon of excitement and a glimmer of hope in the ridiculously long cold winter months. I always excitedly scan the entertainment pages and social media for events that will soon be added in delicious blue ink, on fresh new diary pages, there is so much that is yet to be added from gigs that have yet to be announced. The random days which rapidly turn into adventures that will not even have the time to grace its pages which show up unannounced and can rapidly snowball from a text, or the random chance encounters which start off as one event then another presents itself! Its all very exciting!!
This year’s diary already has in it, scrawled on the page of Friday 31st March an entry that reads Edwin Starr Remembrance Event, the info is as follows. It is due to take place at the Beeston Youth and Community Centre or as it is also known ‘The Shed’ from 7pm, door tax is £8 before 8pm and £10 after. Four DJs pay homage to the late Starr, Sam Moore, Nev Shooter, John Poole and Glyn Sisson.
For those unaware, Charles Edwin Hatcher, better known as Edwin Starr, is an American Singer songwriter. Although he started life over in Nashville Tennessee U.S. he ended up settling locally in our neck of the woods in Bramcote, after coming to the U.K. in 1983.
His biggest chart topping hit was the number one smash ‘War’, (come on sing with me, What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, sing it again!!) written as an anti Vietnam war protest song.
The catchy number sold three million copies with covers over the years by artists such as Frankie goes to Hollywood, Black Stone Cherry, Bone Thugs and Harmony and Bruce Springsteen, yea it also graced the film Rush Hour way back in 98, was admired by John Lennon, earned a Grammy and was admitted to the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame. The Man did exceptionally good!
It still amazes me this living Motown legend traded being part of doo-wop groups nestled in Detroit to the humble streets of Nottingham. The Northern Soul star must have had a culture shock with our accents and greeting of ‘Ayup me duck’ while chugging (consuming) pots of mint mushy peas and hearing tales of the ultimate outlaw Robin Hood. Back to the job at hand before I head off rambling about just how good Nottnum’ is!
The E.S event marks the anniversary of twenty years since the great man’s passing and for those still unsure who he is there Is a small painting of him by French street artist Zabou alongside fellow Beeston icons Richard Beckinsale and fashion designer Paul Smith, if you take a seat on a bench outside Tesco Beeston you might just make it out. The last Northern Soul event I attended was the Daft Lads Sunday Soul Spin at the Greyhound which hosted the DJs set to perform on the tribute gig, John Poole, and Glyn Sisson.
Back in 2015 the Greyhound was taken over with fabulous dancers and was packed solid, being my first ever Northern Soul event I did wonder why there seemed to be a talc spillage on the dance floor. I bumped into a lady I knew there that said Northern Soul was a movement that broke down social barriers and became events were everyone was included, you just had to love the music. The Greyhound has long since left our music scene in Beeston however the event at The Shed looks to bring something a bit different to the place loved by a late Motown legend, on the last note and for those in attendance, ‘No Talc Allowed’ see ya on the dance floor!
This column is dedicated to John Cross