Festival is good for the soul

Organisers of the festival Tim Curry, Sean O'Connor from the Seaside Soul Club, Jason Mills, Tony Wilson, Mick Duffy and Smokey O'Connor's boss Sean O'Connor.
Organisers of the festival Tim Curry, Sean O'Connor from the Seaside Soul Club, Jason Mills, Tony Wilson, Mick Duffy and Smokey O'Connor's boss Sean O'Connor.

THIS year Morecambe’s free festival of soul music will include brand new venues and a game of 10-pin “soul bowling”, making it the biggest and most diverse gathering in its six-year history.

Hundreds of soul enthusiasts will descend on the town this weekend to enjoy the most delicious soul flavours of the cool 60s to the hot modern soul vibes of the current day and beyond.

The North Lancs Soul Festival runs from May 25 to 27, and centres around Smokey O’Connor’s pub on Morecambe Street, renamed for the weekend “The Temple of Soul”.

Expect three floors of the finest cuts of soul, featuring Northern and rare soul from the 60s to 90s right through to the current modern monsters of this year, all brought to you by a passionate collective of more than 40 collectors and UK club and radio DJs, who give their time and energies to make this happen.

The fun at Smokey’s begins with a welcome party at noon this Friday (May 25), and then soul music runs right the way through until 2am. There will also be soul from 7pm to 3am on Saturday and 3pm to 1am on Sunday.

Leading London-based soul music station Solar Radio will broadcast three live shows from the festival across the weekend, broadcasting on both the web and Sky TV Digital channel 0129.

Other events include Morecambe Superbowl’s inaugural 10-pin Soul Bowl on Saturday afternoon, where teams will do battle against a backdrop of soul cuts by UK soul radio DJs. A few lanes are still available at reduced rates, call 400974.

The Platform will also host a four-hour soul show on Saturday afternoon from the outdoor arena, followed by Clem Curtis and The Foundations live on stage from 7.30pm.

The Apollo Cinema will also be joining the festival on Saturday with a 4pm showing of a must-see soul film: Standing in the Shadows of Motown – The Funk Brothers.

The film recognises the people behind the hit records produced by the Motown label of the 1960s, captured through live performances and interviews. The film won Best Non-Fiction Film Winner 2002 at the New York Film Critics Circle and was also Grammy award winner.

The Midland Hotel will then host a two-hour soul show from noon until 2pm this Sunday from the Rotunda Bar, and on the outdoor terrace at the iconic hotel. Part of the show will be live on Solar Radio.