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'WIGAN CASINO' Once voted 'The Best Disco In The World' (in a Blues & Soul Poll, ahead of infamous clubs like New Yorks' Studio 54) in reality it was never a flash place where celebrities came to preen and be seen, at it's best (probably 1974 to 1978, my opinion) it was a seething mass of fanatical like-minded devotees of ,predominantly, Black American Music...who would move as one to the sublime beats and the pulsating rhythm of ,largeley unheard, sixties dance-sides....many of which we're failures on their original release Stateside ,or minor local hits at best !

I think it's fair to say that Wigan Casino and the Underground Soul Scene (born out of the earlier Mod Scene) reached it's apogee in Clubs like The Casino and The Blackpool Mecca. Every City and Town all over the U.K would have it's small cotterie of die-hard soul-fanatics who were easily identifieable by their mode of dress and who's soul raison d'etre was to celebrate the music which brought them together..(.through dance mainly) yet it went deeper than that, friendships forged locally and at The Casino we're to be life-long, it very much felt like an us against the world situation. It was something we had ,like a secret society, and we coveted it to the point of it becoming a quasi-religious experience and our place of worship where we came together to commune was the 'All-Nighter'.

THe All-Nighter was indeed an otherworldy place , many of us were fuelled by uppers to allow us to dance the night away, while the normal folks (we called them divvies) were asleep( bellies full of beer..).we were wheeling and spinning to impossibly fast Detrot tracks or slipping and sliding to the more New York Uptown beats( including all points in between.).we were ,and are, the original 'Children Of The Night'

I was fifteen years old when I first negotiated the scrum at the door and mounted the stairs to the main floor at The Casino...I can vividly remember the strains of 'Percy Wiggins'.. 'It Didn't Take Much'.. pounding out and the excitement i felt at going through those doors and witnessing an already packed floor of dancers, Then later sitting up in the balcony totally transfixed as the whole floor seemed to spin and clap as one at the break in 'Like Adam & EVe' by 'The Reflections' and thinking this is it......I'm Home........up untill that night I'd considered myself a a lover of soul-music after that night I became A Fanatic......

.' what's that thing that makes you wanna tap your feet...it's the beat.....and what's that thing that makes the music sound so sweet ...it's the beat.....well it's the same thing that makes you move and groove when you get out on the floor.....it's the same thing that makes you holler for more ...it's the beat...talkin bout the beat !!!!!!!!!!!!! ('The Beat' Major Lance.Okeh Records)

Copyright 'Chris Morgan Bearsoul 'A Soul Odyssey' 2006