Ahead of their first monthly show with us here on Melodic Distraction Radio, Tuff Love Soul Club put it all down into words: Where they’re from, what they’re about and what they’ve set out to achieve – all rounded up with a taster mix from head honcho, Liam Flanders…
Liam: “No-holds-barred-soul-music is our ethos. Don’t get me wrong, we do have boundaries, but we’re trying to make them as fluid as possible. So let’s just say we’ll play anything – as long as it’s good! I’m a second generation record collector. My old man, Flanny has been on the UK soul scene since he was sneaking to Wigan Casino at age 16 during the halcyon days of Northern Soul. Now a resident at Tuff Love – he has a serious record collection of soulful sounds from across the board. He is able to dip into his record collection and pull out a Bloodstone LP, flick through virtually the entire Barbara Mason discography or even show you a rare groove banger like Terry Callier’s ‘I Don’t Wanna See Myself.’ I was lucky to have been around all of this as a child and without realising it at the time, I absorbed the various styles and nuances of the genre.
I’ve always gravitated around soul music and have had a carnivorous appetite for finding new records from different genres; beginning with a fundamental love for hip-hop and spanning several arms of electronic music, the tributaries of my taste seem to have meandered back to the great river of soul music over the last few years.
My partner in crime at Tuff Love and best mate is Ryan Wilson. He has a similar musical upbringing to me and is just as hellbent on digging for music. We decided to start Tuff Love through a mutual enamour of digging for vinyl, discovering new music and a realisation of the breadth and depth of the genre. What we’re aiming for with Tuff Love Soul Club is to aid in the longevity of the music. The UK soul scene is an ageing one, (no offence meant), we want to learn from a really knowledgeable group of folk whilst opening up the sound to as many new people as possible. Secondly, we want to bring these audiences together in a place where they can enjoy listening to records they know and discover records that they don’t. For us, it’s all about inclusivity. That’s what we look for when we go out ourselves and it’s what we want from Tuff Love Soul Club.
Previously, we’ve covered the slower, mid-tempo side of the spectrum at our events from down in the Buyers Club bar. On Saturday, 18th February (10pm – 3am) we’ll be in the club upstairs at Buyers. This time, the sound is going to be geared more towards the dance but keeping with that “no-holds-barred” ethos; we’ll still be aiming to tick as many boxes as possible. Head over to Facebook for more details of our events, radio shows and to join in the record digging chat on our Facebook group.
I’ve tried to cater this mix towards Melodic Distraction readers and listeners. This mix will give a little taste of what’s to come on our radio show on Sunday, 19th February – hopefully it hits the right spots. I’ve kept this edition quite “70’s and 80’s”, with a lot of synth-lead sweet soul. Cuts include some 70’s slow grooves like Sharron Paige – ‘New to You’, some spaced-out steppers and a bit of a boogie flourish from the likes of Winfield Parker, and a Debra Laws anthem to seal the deal. Hope you feel like I feel…”
Patience – More Than I Can Say
Ci Ci – You Got Me Hypnotized
Seven Sounds Ltd. – (Waiting for) Sweet Harmony
Grand Theft – How Could You Be So Cold
Quadraphonics – Prove My Love To You
Sharon Paige – New To you
Barbara Mason – Give Me Your Love
J.R. Bailey – After Hours
A J Brown – Making Love together
Dionne Warwick – You’re Gonna Need Me
Al Johnson – I’ve got my second wind
Brainstorm – You Put A Charge In My Life
Bloodstone – Never Let You Go
Natural Four – Try Love Again
Joshie Jo Armstead – I Got The Vibes
Water & Power – Mr Weatherman
Sun – Just A Minute Of Your Time
Winfield Parker – I Wanna Be With You
Debra Laws – Very Special