Ginger links up with Farlowe for a storming soul spectacular

THESE days, it is a given that Ginger Taylor will be in demand behind his record decks.

The Todmorden-based but internationally known northern soul DJ was busy throughout 2011 and 2012 doesn’t find his diary any less busy.

Ginger says the music’s popularity is almost as great as northern’s heyday in the early and mid 1970s, when soul fans would travel from all over the country to venueslike Wigan Casino or Blackpool Mecca, in search of exclusives sounds.

The next date on Ginger’s horizon finds him linking up with one of the best blue-eyed soul singers of the 60s, Chris Farlowe, backed by the mercurial eight-piece Norman Beaker Band.

Farlowe hit the top of the charts in 1966 with the throaty-voiced Out Of Time and had built a reputation as a musician’s musician, blending soul, jazz and blues over a string of equally high quality singles - though few of them troubled the chart compilers - and albums.

He appeared in Todmorden, headlining the 2001 Todmorden Music Festival with a sweaty show at the then Blue Note club, a highlight of his set being his version - still the best, many reckon - of Handbags and Gladrags, which was written for him.

Beaker’s band backed him that night and they are a gutsy, exciting partnership.

Farlowe and Taylor team up at the Brighouse Ritz, Bradford Road, Brighouse, on Friday, March 2, with tickets pegged at £12 on what is something of a Twisted Wheel reunion night, with Ginger joined at the decks by Peter Roberts from the Manchester club’s 60s heyday - Taylor himself went there as a young fan before it closed.

The Brighouse Ritz has regular, often sold-out soul nights. Ginger says: “Certain venues have stood the test of time and the packed dates in November, December and January were like the days of old.”

Earlier this year he started off another new northern soul venue at Halifax’s Bar 11, a Sunday Special event, an event he squeezed in to help promote another Calder Valley event.

There is also some footage on You Tube, initially filmed for ITV’s Calendar news magazine programme around 15 years ago.

Tickets for the Ritz Farlowe gig are likely to sell fast, so check availability with the venue first - telephone 01484 720658.

Farlowe often cooks up a superb version of Stormy Monday Blues in his set - and this lookes set to be a stormy Friday!