by Reg Stickings
“What was it like in the Wigan Casino?”
“Wigan was open every Saturday night. It was like you were dancing in a red-hot furnace. The place stank of sweat and stale Brut aftershave. It was a scruffy place with bits of plaster and nicotine droplets falling from the ceiling. If you sat and watched the feet of the dancers moving, you would see small clouds of talcum powder bouncing off the sprung-loaded floor.”
In the early seventies, Reg Stickings and his mates immersed themselves in a phenomenon epitomised by clubs like the Blackpool Mecca, The Wigan Casino, The Cali and the Bali Hi that inspired a whole generation who worshipped the Soul music of the era. “Soulies” travelled the country to weekenders and all-nighters in search of the perfect Soul experience. In the mid-seventies Reg began to frequent clubs in the south of England, like The Goldmine in Canvey Island, discovering Jazz Funk on the way, adding a different type of Soul to his record collection. Reg’s quest for perfect Soul continues to this day...
Highly personal, often touching, Searching for Soul is a tale of the records, the fashion, football, travel, hardship, sacrifice and above all – the people.
• The author is a respected member of the UK soul scene – he organises and DJs at Soul events all over the UK.