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Introducing Deptford Northern Soul Club Records, in association with [PIAS]. A modern reissue label, enabling Northern Soul lovers, young and old, to experience the music as it was meant to be heard.
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“After scouring record shops, markets and the internet for the best music for our sets we became increasingly frustrated at the cost and poor quality of the records that we wanted to play out. Whilst being happy to use digital alternatives in their place, good quality WAVs for some of the more obscure tracks became near impossible to find. So from day one we began to make a list of all the tracks we played out that were unobtainable on vinyl and those we could only have dreamt of playing that it seemed were lost to time. This list became the bedrock for Deptford Northern Soul Club Records, and with the help of Northern fans up and down the UK it grew to the point where we began searching for the rights and the highest quality audio to reissue. We are so excited to begin sharing releases soon. KTF!” Will and Lewis, 2019

   



DNSCR003 - The Delreys Incorporated - Destination Unknown / Oscar Wright - Fell In Love

Two super rare sides both remastered for added dancefloor punch. The Delreys Incorporated on original Tampete goes for close to £1.5k and is often a bootlegged copy. This release is from the original master, licensed from source, a huge Blackpool Mecca sound.

“It's the best record I ever played at Blackpool Mecca! I mean, how an artist like that can make one record and then nothing?” Colin Curtis 2019

Backed with Oscar Wright’s 1966 Hemisphere flipside, a “notoriously rare and, when found, in poor condition 45”

Taken from the original sound source, it goes for anywhere between £150 and £300
A funky northern gem with a Hendrix break and one of the great brass-led soul tearjerkers.





Deptford Northern Soul Club say; "Since Colin Curtis turned us on to the record, we’ve been completely obsessed with Destination Unknown. It’s an incredible late Northern Soul track that we always try and work into our sets. On the flip side; Fell In Love is the epitome of what Northern Soul is to us; big horns, heart-wrenching vocals and a beat you can’t help dancing to.”


The third Deptford Northern Soul Club Records single DNSCR003, which is limited to 1000 copies of the first pressing, is available to pre-order now.
£10 via Bandcamp
 

BANDCAMP ︎


     


 




The Delreys Incorporated

Interview with Colin Curtis the DJ who broke Destination Unknown in the UK:

DNSC: You were interested in how we found the license holder for The Delreys Incorporated single, it's via Henry Stone from TK in Florida.

CC: “Well, back in the Blackpool Mecca days, Henry Stone had the first big warehouse that Ian Levine actually went to and came out with about 4,000 records.”

DNSC: Yeah. And more kind funky dancey stuff as well I’d expect? Did it signal a change in what you were playing at the Mecca?

CC: “‘Destination Unknown’ for me was part of that change, that Willie Clark sound that came out of Miami. So you've got the Dade label; Jackie Beavers’ ‘Trying To Get Back To You’, you have Cat; Little Beaver’s ‘Listen To My Heartbeat’ was another huge Blackpool Mecca record. There was JP Robinson on Blue Candle and Snoopy Dean’s ‘Shake And Bump’ which was a real funky track that was banned at Wigan Casino. All these records fitted that remit, that more funky sound; that’s what made the Mecca audience different - they appreciated something new. A lot of the Miami sound was tied up at the time and this record ‘Destination Unknown’ was originally sold to me by John Anderson from Soul Bowl.”

DNSC: Oh, okay. The urban myth, and maybe you can clarify this, is that you broke the record here  in the UK?

CC: “Yes.”

DNSC: So you were, you were the first person to play it. I don't know if you want to talk about it, but was it an expensive record?

CC: “The record costs four pounds and to put that into context Bernie Williams’ ‘Ever Again’, a huge Northern Soul record, also cost four pounds. So when I went to John Anderson's, there would be piles of records waiting for me to listen to in piles costing two, four, six, eight, or ten pounds. Those were the denominations at that time. Ten pounds would be the most expensive record I would buy off him.”

DNSC: How did you come to meet John Anderson?

CC: “He was the biggest influence on Northern Soul music. I went to his funeral a few weeks back. He was a huge, huge influence on everybody. He was the ‘go to’ man. And, if you think about the Blackpool Mecca we had John Anderson and Ian Levine who were doing regular trips to the States. I’d tied up just about every individual seller, the early individual sellers were guys that weren't going to the States, but they were writing to the record labels, writing to the addresses on the record labels and finding music that way. That's how people like Oscar Perry came to my attention. Someone brought me an Oscar Perry record to a gig and said; ‘You know, I'm talking to this guy’, and then I had every Oscar Perry record and that was huge for me.”

“The Delrays Incorporated kind of transcended everything else. I mean, if you look at the title, ‘Destination Unknown’ and you listen to the lyrics, it's pretty much where we all were at that time. It marked a change in the Northern Soul sound, although this was before it was called Northern Soul or Jazz Funk or House, but you could feel it start to change in late ‘73.”

DNSC: It's quite interesting because even now you hear ‘Destination Unknown’ being played out, but there's such a limited amount of copies of the original record - I think there was actually a bootleg that was released, um, maybe it came out in the ‘80s or ‘90s, I don’t know...

CC:  “No, no, no. It was much earlier than that. This would be the order of events back in those days; by ‘75/’76 your record shops like Selectadisc in Nottingham, and one or two other people up and down the country, had wised up to what was the burgeoning new release scene.”


Selectadisc, Nottingham

“The records that were new on major labels there was obviously no need to bootleg but smaller labels’ records may be around for a week or two weeks so if you didn't grab them in that time, then they wouldn't come back through American distribution. Particularly with the small labels if the records weren't successful in the States, then nothing else happened with them. So, you had this situation that a record like ‘Destination Unknown’, which was played originally at Blackpool Mecca and I think it got some spins or Cleethorpes as well, then record shops would get the demand for the records but it would be too late. Kids would be coming in and asking for the records but the shops couldn't get them. They’d do some research or talk to DJs, and I would say that the bootleg pressing was done within 12 months of the original release. So, probably still in 1975 and it's never been bootlegged since.”

DNSC: So, yeah, it was actually kind of like quite difficult for us to track down the right holders. Um, obviously because Henry Stone passed away in 2014 but his son, is now running his whole catalogue now.

CC: “So, the producer on the record, Willie Clark, who was very much involved in that Miami sound; Betty Wright, Snoopy Dean, etc was an associate of Henry Stone who was the kingpin of that Florida scene, he has a huge amount of labels and was involved in the sheer volume of music that came out of Florida. Ian Levine's parents have property in Florida. So that was the go to place for holidays, that was where we found thousands and thousands of records.”

DNSC: I mean, it sounds amazing. Ned Stax interviewed Keb Darge and he's got a good anecdote about going out to Miami to buy records. It must be quite an exotic thing to come from the North of England and end up in Miami!


Ian Levine and Colin Curtis, Blackpool Mecca

CC: “You also have to bear in mind this was the ‘70s, this was at the time when foreign holidays were just about taking off. Most people went on holiday to Blackpool or Llandudno from the North of England. Not very exotic, but, yeah, Ian’s parents were wealthy, they had property in Blackpool, they had property in Miami, Florida. So, you know, for him it was probably just a normal holiday. But I remember when he found the 4,000 records and they had to get a small airplane back to another part of Florida and his father was going to throw the records off because the pilots said the plane wouldn't take off with the records on it!”

“He would write to me and send me a cassette of what he heard on the local radio station. So I would get four or five, even six pages of all the records he found when he went out to America. Things like The Carstairs, which Ian had heard the day he was leaving on that particular trip and then tried every record shop on the way to the airport, stopping the taxi all the way.”

“At that time it was colossal. John Anderson was a Scottish guy who started off in Scotland, went to King's Lynn and ran the biggest import company in the UK. At one point they imported one million American records. And the funny thing was a few years ago, somebody was interviewing one of the guys in America, one of the distributors, and they said to him, have you got this record? Have you got that record? He said, no. He said a long time ago, a guy from Scotland came and bought all the American records.”

“‘Destination Unknown’ was very much a Colin Curtis record and the message that it sent for me was parallel with where we were at the time. It was ‘Destination Unknown’ with the music, with life; don't forget in the ‘70s we had we had the three day week, we had candles... it the classy ‘70s.”

DNSC: I've read on a Soul Source that people are still talking about when you played it for the first time. It must have made an impact if they can still remember all these years on.


Colin Curtis

CC: “Yeah. These were small label funky records but they still had that grit of Northern Soul. If you take a record like the The Del-Larks who were screaming about job openings, this (‘Destination Unknown’) is screaming about the fact that there isn't any bloody jobs. You know, they are asking, ‘where are all these people going to go’? How can you get out of this situation? Mothers and fathers kinda just accepted that this was where they were in their lives and you know, how do you get out of this downtrodden situation?”

“I mean, the record was four pounds and probably sold by the dealers, particularly when the bootleg came around for about four or five pounds. Now, the record today goes for anywhere between 800 and 1500 pounds. So you tell me the impact of this scene, the impact of Northern Soul, which is probably the biggest underground music in the world now. The impact of modern soul, the impact of what Keb Darge brought later with his view of funk. All these things now are all around the world and they've been put there by a crazy guy from Scotland, a crazy guy from the Northwest of England and many other participants as well. These records have stood the test of time and left indelible memories in people's minds. I love it. It's amazing.

DNSC: I've been put into contact with someone who had designed some of a Wigan patches and they're living in China now, so it's so bizarre.”

CC: “It's, it's a cult cultural phenomenon, I guess. Why are you not listening to house music or rap or whatever? What's new in Northern soul?”

DNSC: I don't know. I am too. I feel it's music of oppressed people rising up. And I think, you know, I think I quite like that.
CC: “People used to say to me that I used to play what they call message records; Bobby Womack, Kenny Smith’s ‘Lord, What's Happening To Your People’ and one of our biggest records ever at the Mecca, Lou Edwards’ ‘Talkin’ ‘bout The Poor Folks, Thinkin’ ‘bout My Folks’. I could relate to all that shit. I knew what these people were talking about. And so ‘Destination Unknown’ falls bang into that category. So when I heard it at John Anderson's the first time, when I put the needle on, I knew I had to have it and that very weekend it would've got two or three spins just to make sure people knew where I was going.”