Lifeline is now recognised as arguably the leading upfront allnighter in the UK. The 6th Anniversary certainly promised to deliver with a sterling line-up of the best rare soul jocks in the business, and it certainly managed to on all counts.

It’s current venue is The Stables just off the M6, which i’d visited before when the NCS ran its allnighters there a few years back, and what a venue it is. Fantastic, roomy dancefloor with lots of space, and an excellent mezzanine record bar, which was busy all night long as people mingled, stood chatting watching the action down below, and enjoyed the atmosphere as the floor started to fill with dancers.

There were a few sound issues in the first part of the night, but certainly nothing so severe that it distracted from the overall enjoyment, and Mick and the boys soon had them sorted. All of the DJs on the night played some superb 45s as you would expect from the calibre of the residents and guests, Tony Foster and Dave Welding. Highlights overall for me included Cliff Steele spinning King George’s ‘I Need You’ on Audio Arts, amazing considering the rarity of this 45 that they were two copies in the house, being a regular spin for Mick as well. Butch kept the floor busy throughout his set in his own inimitable style, the Hopkins Bros. ‘Shake Cheri’ on Magnetik being a personal favourite recent play of his, it’s rousing male harmony backing vocals echoing around the room to excellent effect. 

Sam’s spot was also one of the highpoints of the night, and after airing some big 60’s cuts like Margaret Little, he went on to ram the floor with a superb mix of danceable 70’s funk 45s, (Wally Coco on Florentine really hitting the spot with the crowd) and funk tinged crossover, The Hard Road’s ‘Dedicated To You’ on Kanwic being a notable example. Mick tidied up nicely beginning with some old gold standards like Al Williams, and carried on into the super rare and super soulful sounds of Billy Byrd on Scream, The Dynamics on Dyna (this really is some 45) and the Foreign Blue Renaissance on Kaloutech, for me one the best of his current plays. It was great to see so many people staying on the floor for the new discoveries and rarities, which incorporated a number of tempos and styles…there are thankfully plenty of people on the scene who crave new soul 45s and its encouraging to see a venue full of dancers embracing new sounds.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable night that delivered on all counts, Lifeline’s dedication to the punters and to the ethic of providing the scene with the very latest discoveries, and best rare soul 45s shows no sign of waning. Big thanks to Mick, Andy & Chalky.

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