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BBC Bristol: The website that loves Bristol: Clubbing

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Story last updated: 19 Mar 2004 1704 GMT Printable version of this page
Singapore Sling and some soul please barman
Soul Train logo
The legendary cocktails at Henry Africas are mixing it with some smooth jazz and groovy funk from the Soul Train geezers for what's bound to be a great mid-week night out.
The pedigree of the DJs goes back to the 70s and the famous jazz funk room

Does "I Love the Music" by the OJs do it for you? Would you simply have to get up and groove if "Love Roller Coaster" by the Ohio Players came on the sound system?

Then get yourself to the Hot House on Wednesdays and climb on board the Soul Train.

You'll be in the company of DJs who effortlessly keep the dancefloor jumping all night.

Soul Train came into being in 1990 when DJ Paul Alexander got together with brothers Steve and Adryian Ashby who, during the 70s, were importing all the latest soul and jazz funk from America at pre-club The Guildhall, and decided to put on a one-off 70s soul reunion at Chasers with other DJs from the era.

Top tunes

By 11pm the venue was sold out and jumping and the rest is history.

"What's pleasing to me is that 10 years on the same folk are still attending Soul Train and others who were prominent in the 70s are still around," Paul Alexander told the clubbing pages.

Soul Train found a more permenant home at McClusky's having previously moved from Chasers to The Parkside where the famous jazz funk room came into being.

But it was back in the 70s when funk and soul ruled the dancefloors and the soul boys and girls in their cutting edge fashions packed The Guildhall Tavern and The Assize Courts that the Soul Train DJs were perfecting their art.

"I remember at the time how big Brass Construction were and what a big impact they were on the jazz funk scene," recalls Paul.

"My favourite tune though was always Donald Byrd Change Makes You Wanna Hustle, but for me the highlight of the 70s was DJ Seymour who was the main man on the local club scene.

"Wherever Seymour was playing (usually The Blue Lagoon) it was always busy and boy did Seymour have top tunes."

Phoenix-like

A move from The Assize Courts to take up residency at the Top Cat brought the opportunity for Paul to host George McCrae, other soul artists and reggae bands such as Steel Pulse.

Tiffany's at Durdham Down was a regular mid-week slot where Paul worked with Edwin Starr then Barges Cellar Club at Keynsham and The Carousel at Newton St Loe - both niche early soul venues.

Tiffany's in Bath and The Monaco Rooms were the end of the line for the soul scene leaving Paul with bits of work at Rockwoods, Vadims, Maxims, Curves, LeMans and Platform One where Keith Valle was the man.

In 1977 Punk battered its way into the collective consciousness - people, fashions and music changed, morphing into the big club scene of the 80s and forcing the soul scene to take a popularity nose dive.

Now, phoenix-like, the soul scene has risen from its ashes in Bristol introducing a new generation of funksters to the honeyed sounds of George Benson, James Brown, McFadden & Whitehead , Loose Ends, Gwen McCrae, Jocelyn Brown, Alexander O Neil or Luther Vandross.

Henry Africas Hothouse
65 Whiteladies Road
7 pm - 11 pm
Free admission
Happy Hour all night - yipee
Soul Train DJs on rotation playing some fine jazz, funk and soul are
Steve Phillips , John Stallard , Steve Ashby & Paul Alexander.

Remember the motto "The music lives on with Soul Train", yeah man.

 

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RELATED LINKS
 

Soul Train website

Henry Africas Hothouse

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