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Stafford,

Top Of The World.

The Pat Brady Interview, conducted by John Pugh

JP;       When did you start DJing at Stafford ?

PB;    I wasn't on the first few, I'd guess it was from about the second or third niter onwards, and I was there until the last one at TOTW.  

JP;      You didn't DJ at the South End club when Alan Johnson tried to keep it going ?  

PB;     I didn't know him and wasn't asked.  

JP;      Where else were you playing around that period ?  

PB;     There was the Beirkeller and Bensons in Bradford and Loughborough I did some in Hinckley but I don"t think that Chris King was running them ? I don't remember which was when.  

JP,      I'm hopeless with dates when I'm trying to remember things back then, I'm nearly as bad with record titles and labels, but that's something I want to ask you about later. At Stafford were there other DJs who you particularly enjoyed listening to, or admired, envied ?  

PB;     Stafford always had a strong DJ line up, both the regulars and the guests. It's not really fair to single out certain DJs especially as quite often in those days I couldn't stop right to the end because of family commitments, but you're twisting my arm so I'll say Dave Thorley and Keb & Guy in the big room, and Butch in the so called oldies room. I remember Butch playing some great things like Walter & Admiration's.  

JP;     Yeah I know what you mean I remember when the oldies room was upstairs George Sharp playing some mega rarity's that you'd hardly call run of the mill oldies, like 'Aeroplane Song' and the Groovettes, and when it was downstairs I remember Chris Plant playing huge Detroit powerplays like the Magnetics 'Lady In Green'. We always called it the Jackie Wilson room, 'cause every DJ seemed to play at least one Jackie Wilson record in his spot.  

(In the early days, when you got in it was through the club next door, which if memory serves was called Cinderella Rockerfella's, I guess from about 12.30, then by about 2. 15 when that room was bursting at the seam with Soulies the main club would have been cleared of Joe public, and they'd loose you into the niter proper. For some reason this charged and instead of going into the little club you'd get in through the main TOTW door and be ushered straight upstairs into the room known locally as " the grot " - I think it was supposed to be the grotto - I'm not sure if they stamped your hand but I do remember some dickhead bouncer on the stairs saying " it's only northern soul up here mate " - like as though I wasn't going with a record box and a big bag ! ! ! )  

JP;       Okay you've explained why you chose Butch but why did you pick Dave Thorley and Keb & Guy ?  

PB;     Dave Thorley created some classic Stafford sounds during his hour, and was one of the few that could successfully mix '60s through to '70s & '80s..  

JP;      If I had to Pick one, the one that always sticks in my mind is Bobby Sheen's 'Something New To Do' on Warner Brothers, the magic of that record has endured and still fills floors to this day, thanks Dave !  

PB;    Keb & Guy on the other hand I chose because of their enthusiasm for their music shone through they were a breath of fresh air, totally committed to the cause. That and the sheer weight of great "new" records they spun.  

JP;      Yeah sometimes it was a case of blink and you'd miss it. I understand when you're DJing one of the hardest things to resist is constantly playing unheard records, especially when the crowd is baying for more  

PB;     I admired them because they had a different philosophy to me, personally I preferred to build a set of records so the crowd got to know them really well whereas Keb & Guy turned over so many great tunes in such a short space of time, sometimes you only got to hear something a few times before it was dropped from the playlist. My difficulty was quite often before I'd even got behind the decks more than half of my spot was already taken up with requests.      

JP: A bit Mecca-ish, three spin wonder type of thing, but a was a venue with a reputation for constantly breaking new records. I'd guess the most commonly spoken intro by DJs at TOTW. was '"it's the first spin for this one.... which whilst wonderful in many respects, created it's own monster that constantly needed feeding

PB:  I think between us all we got the balance about right.  

JP:  Are there any records spun by them that you'd wished you'd got your hands on first ?  

PB:  Many. but if your looking for examples how about one of the biggest Stafford monsters - Big Frank & The Essences 'I Won't Let Her See Me Cry', or Ray Pollard or the Cairo's on Shrine.  

JP: Got one, still want the other two. You had many records that were, if not one-offs, mega rarities. After this amount of time would you care to share your source ?

PB:  Okay, credit where credits due. Although some were things I found myself, a good many were from John Anderson at Soul Bowl. previously Richard Searling had managed to pull most of John's great discoveries out of the bag and turn them into monsters, but I'd always bought a great many records off ‘the Bowl' and when Richard became more interested in '70s I managed to get John to part with a more than a few that turned into huge sounds.  

JP:  Are there any in particular that you remember how much you paid for them ?   At this point Isuggest anyone with a weak heart sits down, or turns to the next page  

PB:  It's funny how they stick in your mind I remember paying 30 for Danny Moore 'Somebody New' on Allrite (625), Johnny Rogers 'Make A Change' on Amen (4619) was 25, The Brooks Brothers 'Looking For A Woman' on Tay (501) was 30, Esther Grant cost me 20, Jimmy & Entertainers 'New Girl Across The Street' 20 well spent and the slightly dearer ones, The Hy-tones 'Don't Even Know Her Name' was 50, and Junior McCants cost 40 for a King acetate.  

JP:  It's difficult to compare prices between then and now, but it's fair to say the~ve all gone up a bit since then !  

PB:  I know it's a bone of contention but I honestly believe that the first record to sell for a thousand pounds pins was Junior McCants, reputedly there's only the acetate plus another vinyl copy which turned up, Tim Brown would probably be able to set the record straight on that.  

JP:  While we're on the subject of money, how does your current DJing fee compare these days to the Stafford era  

PB:  Without actually going into figures, I think it's fair to say that whether we're talking beer, Mars bars or records, you would have got a lot more with the fee in those days, than you would now. In truth the fee has never covered the cost of buying the records, but the gap these days is astronomical in comparison.  

JP:  Back to the tunes, are there any others that you’re particularly glad you managed to spin, which went on to become anthems, I'm thinking about one I always had to come and ask for 'cause it was my wife's favourite at the time, The Chandlers cover up ?  

PB:  Which one, Johnny Rogers ?  

JP:  No, the one on Modern  

PB;    Oh yeah, how could I have forgotten the Brilliant Korners 'Three Lonely Guys' on Modern, another I'm pleased to say I spun was Danny Woods 'You Had Me Fooled' on Correc-tone 1055 which although it'd been played before at Wigan and other venues, I think it really made the big time when I hammered it at Stafford   (Whilst I think it's fair to say Pat made it into a monster, I think I first heard spun by Blue Max at the Catacombs a long time before Wigan had even opened but as I might be wrong, I kept my mouth shut ! )  

PB;     Also I especially enjoyed the left field things which I managed to play like the Out-A-Sights 'My Woman's Love' on Saru covered up as Clyde McPhatter 'Tried So Hard', James Carr 'Only Fools Run Away'.  

JP;       As well as DJing at Stafford you also sold a fair few, are there any which stick in your mind as good sellers ?

PB,     There's lots, but one example, - 'Almost Persuaded' June Conquest, I must have sold loads of them, well it went very popular when it was being spun (by Guy?)  

JP;     Probably a good way to tell if someone went to Stafford, took in their record collection end if June Conquest's there, so were they ?

PB;     The collectors who were around then, and buying the right records really did well when you think about the prices things fetch these days  

JP;       So what made Stafford special ?  

PB;     Many reasons, the characters, Lawson, Molloy, there were loads of them, the passion of the Sixties boys, but I suppose it was the quantity of new quality records that the people on the dancefloor accepted so readily. As I said my only real regret was that they were played too fast.  

JP;       If I could wave a magic wand and give you one record from Stafford what would it he ?  

PB:     Only one ? Very difficult but if I can only have one I'd settle for Esther Grant 'Let's Make The Most Out Of Love' on Winstone 001.

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