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the family album





(click on the covers)






What on Earth does all of the above mean? A rear and front cover of a book nearly a quarter of a century old and four rollover buttons indicating North, South, East and West?


O.K., here goes.


Chris Brown


chris brown


The Family album was the brainchild of a U.K. deejay called Chris Brown. Chris is a real nice guy and has been on the scene for years now. I used to frequent his club called Frenchies in Surrey, England during the late Seventies. 'The Family Album' saw the light of day back in 1980. It was the culmination of several years club experiences on the soul scene in the U.K. Club goers gave Chris photographs of various establishments that he, and others, had deejayed at at the time. The pile of pictures grew to a point that Chris felt there ought to be a collation of all of these images that portrayed a, kind of, 'snapshot in time'. The book has since become sought after, especially by those who look to illustrate that period in club history in the U.K.


I, by accident, came into the picture a couple of years ago (recently documented on the Opinion page at the site). The producers of a television series entitled 'Soul Nation' contacted me and 'picked my brains' regarding the period. The programme covered three periods in time and I became involved in the same timeline that covered the 'Family Album' period. I was asked questions regarding sexism and race, which, I guess would have made the shows more interesting, but for the fact that the issues were largely irrelevant, as you will see by the images shown below.


It struck me that, these televisual biographers might need a little help!


The Family album book images above have now been covered, so what is all of this North, South, East, West stuff all about? Well, after communicating with several club goers on the excellent Modern Soul Group postings, it struck me that it might be useful for there to be a point of reference for any future documentary makers. The thing is, my experiences are just one small pixel in a much larger picture. Never being one for the North / South divide bias, I figured that, if we could look at the scene with more of an overall take on things it would be far more CONstructive, and less DEstructive.


Look at the club scene in the way you would, geographically, as a compass point and timeline. Where you were, what you were doing and in what era. I would love your contributions from wherever you are. I will post them on the relevant pages. I will add my experiences to begin with on the 'South' version of the four zones. It will give you an idea of the type of thing I am looking for. If you want to contribute, that would be fantastic. As I mentioned, check out the South link to see my recollections and then please feel free to send me yours. Don't forget an image. Make any sense? You are a better person than I! LOL.


Onto those Family album images:


Oh yes, by the way, if you want to check the full texts from the Family album, check this excellent website:




Many thanks to Bangsy for the use of this image:



Prestatyn 1988


Standing l to r: Gilles Peterson, Johnnie Walker, Martin Collins, Archbishop who?, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, Sean French, Eddie Gordon and Chris Brown


Crouched l to r: Ian Reading, Froggy, Chris Hill, Jeff Young, Nicky Holloway, Kev Hill.



By the way, all inclusions are protected by copyright and have been used with the permission of the author, Chris Brown. Thanks Chris. Really appreciate it.



Caister 1 Flyer Caister 2 Flyer


...both of the first caister flyers...


Badges Chris Brown


...all-dayer badges and chris brown in 1979...


Chris, Robin, Linda & Fred


...chris brown, robin nash, linda clifford and fred dove...


Chris Hill Chris Hill


...chris hill at the goldmine in 1975, and the lacy lady in 1976...


Chris Hill At Purley


...chris hill at the purley all-dayer in 1978...just as I recall things...I was there...hardly a hotbed of discrimination, as alleged in some and white brothers and sisters having a great time...I certainly did!...


Froggy Greg Edwards


...froggy in 1969 and greg edwards on his soul spectrum show...


Jeff Young And Ramsey Lewis Pete Tong


...jeff young with ramsey lewis and (right) pete tong...


Purley 1978 Robbie Vincent


...purley all-dayer in 1978 and an early robbie vincent flyer...


Robbie Vincent


...robbie vincent on his radio london saturday soul show...


Sean French


...sean french publicity photo, good grief!...


Tommy Mac and Friends


...tommy macdonald and friends...


Robbie With Johnnie Wilder


...robbie vincent with johnnie wilder from heatwave...


The Mafia


...adrian webb, robbie vincent, chris hill, james hamilton, froggy, ian levine and greg lynn...


Tony Monson


...tony monson in 1978...


Robbie Vincent & Chris Hill


...robbie vincent and chris hill...they still wear the same garb today...of course they will deny it!!



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