I don’t know much about Dee Edwards, who sang this Northern Soul gem. It’s a B-side but I prefer it to the A-side, Tired Of Staying Home.

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Here’s another rare groove, this time by The Constellations, released in 1968. Despite their starry name, they never hit the heights but they left their mark with this Northern Soul classic.

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PragVEC – Existential

4th October 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

Looking back from more than half a century later, it’s astonishing how rapidly the primitive pounding of punk evolved into the questing experimentalism of postpunk. PragVEC were one of the first to embrace the avant-garde.

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Of all the great female-fronted bands that punk produced – Siouxsie, Slits, Raincoats, Delta 5, Kleenex – the most confrontational were the Au Pairs. They were also my favourites.

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This Northern Soul classic came out in 19675, two years before The Invitations came to the UK to perform. It didn’t go quite as they expected.

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Spizzoil – 6,000 Crazy

1st October 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

Of all the oddballs produced by punk (and there were many), one of the oddest was Kenneth Spiers – universally known as Spizz. He’s best known (if at all) for his habit of constantly changing the name of his band – always using ‘Spizz’ somewhere – over the course of his long career.

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Like so many Sixties soul singers, Northern soul favourite Jackie Ross started singing in church, though her first performance was at the age of three, on the radio show of her preacher parents.

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The Mekons – Where Were You?

29th September 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

The Mekons were one of the quintessential punk groups, coming out of art school in Leeds in 1976 – the same scene that spawned Gang Of Four and Delta 5. Where Were You? – a minimalist masterpiece of bare-bones punk rock – remains one of the defining songs of the era. (more…)

The more I delve into the vaults of vintage soul, the more previously unheard gems I unearth. I guess that goes without saying. Like this classic example, a tune that’s better than many of the similar soul singles that packed the charts in the Sixties and Seventies.

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Pere Ubu came out of Cleveland in the mid-Seventies with an abrasive avant-garde sound unlike anyone before or since. This was their remarkable debut.

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