Wrighty (Soul Buggin')

Diggin’ Deep | Wrighty (Soul Buggin’)

Wrighty (Soul Buggin')

Steve Wright, or Wrighty to the masses has been DJing for over 30 years and collecting records for even longer. As such, it seemed only right that he might have a tale or two to tell about the black stuff and so here he is in our second Diggin’ Deep feature.

A staunch Londoner who has been buying wax since he was a mere 14 years old, the young Wrighty would make regular pilgrimages to the brilliant, but sadly now defunct, Sellanby Discs & Tapes in South Harrow to pick up his weekly dose of vinyl. As his shop purchases increased, he caught the DJ bug while at school and eventually started doing parties alongside a friend. A move beyond the Watford Gap to Nottingham in 1993 followed, where his attention was drawn to the city’s former record havens Arcade and Funky Monkey, and he soon found himself documenting the local club scene for the Midlands section of Clubhoppin’ in Blues & Soul.

Over the years, he’s run a number of successful nights, one of the most notable being Hot Butter, a funk and jazz night where the soundtrack would range from Pucho to Roni Size, ATCQ to Idris Muhammad, and guest DJs included the mighty Keb Darge, Straight No Chaser’s Paul Bradshaw, Snowboy and everybody’s favourite tea fanatic, Mr Scruff. His current long-standing monthly residency is Soul Buggin’, which started back in September 2004 alongside friends and fellow DJs Beane the Noodler and Mark A. Now in its tenth year, which is no mean feat considering the ever-changing musical climate, the open-minded club night boasts a booking policy that has drawn some of the world’s best underground DJ talent to the city, a fact that has helped it remain a firm favourite in Nottingham’s nightlife.

Wrighty still goes out on the odd local digging expedition when family time allows, although the field of discovery has reduced dramatically over the last decade. The trusty Rob’s Records still exists however, squirrelled away off the Market Square, down an alley and stacked rather chaotically with second hand LPs, twelves and sevens all ripe for an extensive search and rescue. “I can’t help it, it’s in my make up” Wrighty finishes “there’s something about finding that there treasure”. Amen to that and below you will find three of those very gems plucked from his collection!

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#1: Love Unlimited “I’m So Glad That I’m A Woman”

I first heard the track ‘I’m So Glad that I’m A Woman’ on the final day of broadcast by Solar Radio back in 1985 as they were applying for a legal broadcast licence. I’d recorded a lot of the last day and this was one of the tracks that had stuck with me. After years of searching stalls and second hand shops I’d not found it anywhere when one Friday night out a mate of mine at the time was DJing and pulled out the said album – I went beserk demanding he sell it to me, he of course refused as it was full of other blinding tracks. He did tell me he had bought in a shop on Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush, there had been a warehouse discovery and they had nine in when he left. Anyway I was working at TV Centre the next day so was going to head down in my lunch break, but about 10.30 I just couldn’t wait and got the OK from my boss to head down there. I must have run the whole way and picked up my copy, the last one they had left.

It’s not a particularly hard LP to get, especially nowadays, nor is it worth a lot but it is massive to me as it took me four years to come across a copy.

#2: Leroy Hutson “Get To This (You’ll Get To Me)”

I’d been about 19 when I picked this up, I was still massively unschooled in music at the time despite what I thought. I was at my first Boscombe Weekender and thought I’d have a look through the record stall as I’ve never been able to resist (I think looking back it might have been run by Mark Lessener, who I spent fortunes with in the 80s). So I’m ploughing through not really recognising much of the stuff while in the background this killer track is playing that I’d never heard before, the song finished and Bob Masters announced that was Leroy Hutson ‘Get To This’. Hang on I thought, I’ve just seen that name, so backed up through the rack to discover the ‘Closer To The Source’ album with that same track on.

I bought the album there and then and was told by the dealer, Mark, that it was a brilliant album. He wasn’t wrong.

#3: The Four Tops “I Just Can’t Get You Out of My Mind”

This tune was a firm favourite with a group of mates that I used to go to football and clubbing with, especially Ralph who discovered it for us and used to sing it to us at any available opportunity.

Fast forward a few years and I was now living in Nottingham and was convinced to get up one Saturday morning, despite a hangover and about four hours sleep, to go to a record fair at Trent Bridge Inn by my girlfriend, now my wife. To be honest I really wasn’t in the mood and walking into a pub smelling of fags and stale beer, whilst several stalls played bloody awful music too loud and way too tinny. I’d looked through a few racks and at a few stalls but there was nothing singing out when I quickly flipped through a rack labelled ‘Motown’. I’d expected it to be full of Chartbuster albums so was flying through only half paying attention, when I came across a plastic sleeve with a paper inner, it took me a few seconds to register that the inner had a cover printed on it, and a few seconds to think ‘hang on, Japanese import alert’. I went back to it and lo and behold it was a Japanese import of the ‘Main Street People’ album. I asked the dealer how much and he told me as there was no cover I could have it for £3. My hangover lifted there and then!

Jake Holloway

Diggin’ Deep | Jake Holloway (BBE)

Jake Holloway

Every record collector loves a good story and of course we also love a good tune (or two). With this in mind we thought we’d ask some of our favorite vinyl lovers to share some of their quirky tales on how they first got their hands on some of their favourite records. In the first in a new occasional series, we asked record collector, dealer, DJ and graphic designer Jake Holloway about some of his fabled finds…

As a man who regularly designs record covers for some of London’s finest labels, Jake is never too far away from the stream of knowledge that can be gleaned from today’s burgeoning compilation and reissue market. Not that he needs it mind as Jake has acquired quite a useful talent in picking up those rare finds before they inevitably get licensed for a second time. As a proprieter of the the oft-overlooked Village Vinyl shop situated in the heart of Walthamstow’s Wood Street Market, he can be found serving up second-hand treats (and the odd new sealed copy) to his local clientele on a weekly basis.

A local lad, Jake got into collecting, and ultimately, DJing back in the early 1990s when he offered up his services to play records at college parties in and around the East London and Essex areas. A move to Brighton to attend the city’s university led him to promoting club nights at weekends, and after a successful sojourn into Brazilian music, he set up the ‘Mouseorgan’ event alongside his friend (and DJ) Dom Servini. This particular party would eventually run for six years at various venues, including The Clinic and Herbal, and would also help them secure guest spots at the big London clubs Heaven and Fabric.

With a taste for rare jazz, soul, funk, disco and global sounds amongst other things, Jake currently fronts a fortnightly radio show on one of the capital’s existing pirates, and when he’s not at the shop, sells records on Discogs under the name Twelve_Inch (as well as occasionally popping into our very own record fair down in E7). As a record dealer, he’s always on the look out for records to sell (and keep!), so we thought he might have a few interesting tidbits to share. Here’s what he had to say…

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#1: Christy Essien “Take Life Easy”

I had a call from an elderly guy about some LPs that he had for sale. I asked him to pick one at random so that I could see what kind of stuff he had… “Pharoah Saunders” said the soft African voice. I was round there within the hour!

It was the end of a very hot August day, one of the year’s hottest, but the nice man answered the door in a scarf! I immediately got good vibes about the collection as I saw it presented to me in very neat genre racks; soul/funk, reggae, rock and after about an hour I’d pulled out around 200 excellent LPs, most of which were in great condition.

After I had finished looking I asked him if he had anything else. He said he had some African records in the other room but he was embarrassed about them as they were sub standard copies of popular Western artists such as James Brown, Sly Stone etc. I ran my finger along the spines to see what we had here. All the Blo LPs, about ten Fela LPs, five Christy Essien LPs, loads of random independent bits with awesome covers that just had to be good! In and around 100 African LPs in total. Without even checking the condition of any of them I just said “I’ll take the lot”.

What made things better was the fact that most of the stuff was near mint condition, unheard of for African records as most of the time you find them they are battered.

#2: Ray Barretto – “Right On”

It was my 2nd time in NYC, 1996 I think. Des Morgan from Yam Who and I went on a week-long digging trip, and after some excellent days in the city’s record shops, Saturday morning came and we hit the famous flea market at 06:00 hours!

After about half an hour of looking through various crates, I reconvened with Des under a table. He took the left box, me the right. There was some gold in these boxes, Fania, Vaya, Tico and other glorious Latin delights!

On perusal of a Ray Barretto LP, whilst pulling out the record for a closer inspection a bunch of Polaroids fell out of the sleeve and landed face up on the floor. Mine and Des’ heads met under the table, gogle eyed at what we both saw on these Polaroid images! The stallholder had obviously forgotten about these as they were images of said man in some very precarious positions with no clothes on!

We continued to dig thru the boxes whilst giggling like a couple of school kids!

#3: Sly & The Family Stone “Trip To Your Heart”

Fast foward a couple of days and we find ourselves at the world famous Gramercy Hotel record show, and as you can imagine we are like a couple of kids in a sweet shop!

After a few hours of digging, we had acquired some great albums, (Leroy) Hutson, (Eddie) Kendricks, (James) Brown and (Roy) Ayers, it was all there!

Just as we are about to leave I spot an LP that I think has the break to LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” on it. I wasn’t sure if the LP was the right one, it was tough going as the stall holder and his chums were continuously dropping the needle on break after break, high fiving each other with what they had found that day. As said LP was only 5 bucks, I decided to take a chance and have a punt on it.

After the money changed hands I asked the stall holder to play the track in question. Bingo… It dropped like a bomb! I left the stall with a massive grin on my face, leaving the proprietor and his ‘break’ chums opened mouthed in disbelief!