Paying homage to the soul of Southgate

John Stevenson on how an ‘all dayer’ at Broomfield Park this month takes inspiration from a legendary 1980s music scene in Southgate

Local entrepreneur and DJ Brian Lewis was a regular at The Royalty back in the day
Local entrepreneur and DJ Brian Lewis was a regular at The Royalty back in the day

Lovers of vintage 1980s American and Brit funk and funk jazz will be in for a special treat this month.

On Saturday, 22nd June, visitors to the Saturday Love All Dayer festival at Broomfield Park will be entertained by Brit funk royalty, the Brit Funk Association, legends Atmosfear, and the amazing City Funk Orchestra. It will also feature food stalls, a bar, vintage vinyl purveyors RetroSistaz, and much more.

Partly organised by veteran funk and jazz DJ and local My Time Café proprietor, Brian Lewis, the event will take enthusiasts attending the event back in time to the superb groups and grooves of the late 1970s to the mid 1980s.

The constellation of star DJs manning the decks on the day include Richie Tee (Diverse Radio), Keith Robles (Crackers Radio), Richard Marzetti (Solar Radio), Peter Maynard (Soulbeat Radio), and Mr Jones (Café 432/Mi-Soul Radio).

The artistically creative music scene of the early 80s proved to be a strong influence on young Brian, who says: “As an aspiring DJ, I loved spending hours in record shops getting the latest imported records. Alongside leaders in Brit funk such as Light of the World, Beggar & Co, Central Line, Freez, Atmosfear, Loose Ends, Lynx, High Tension and Imagination, I also listened to a lot of the American bands which influenced us.

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“Among them were people like Roy Ayers, Grover Washington Jr, Ramsey Lewis, Parliament-Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Genson, Bobby Womack, Maze, Rick James, SOS Band and Wilbert Longmuir.

“Of course, who could possibly forget the whole ‘Philly sound’ – MFSB, Dexter Wansel and McFadden & Whitehead.”

Several North London venues were central to “spreading the good vibes” of jazz, soul and funk in the early 1980s, says Brian. Clubs like The Royalty in Southgate “were the catalyst for us being able to engage with this music”.

He adds: “The likes of DJ Froggy, Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards and even Pete Tong were very active at The Royalty. This gave birth to very entertaining ‘all dayers’ and ‘soul weekenders’ which we absolutely loved and made it possible to get together with liked-minded funksters.”

Brian hopes the event this month will reach across several generations, bringing along not only those who experienced the music four decades ago, but giving younger music lovers the chance to take in and enjoy the sounds of American and Brit funk.

The Saturday Love All Dayer takes place at Broomfield Bowl (the old bowling green in Broomfield Park) on Saturday 22nd June from 1pm-9pm. For more information and to buy tickets:

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