The Fidels: Try A Little Harder


DJM Records 1963.  DJS 10689

Not listed on Discogs.

This is one of the first records I ever bought.  I reckon I was about 7 at the time, and according to the cover it cost 15p.  I’d like to pretend that I was really into obscure northern soul at that age, but I actually bought this record because it was cheap and because I liked the idea of having an instrumental version on the b side.  Fortunately it’s a really good single – a slice of classic northern soul goodness.  There seems to be no information at all out there about the Fidels, other than an alternative spelling, The Fi-Dels, and they released only a handful of tracks.  They certainly know how to play, so I guess they were session musicians.  It would be nice if this was also valuable, but it seems the 15p I paid is probably about what it’s worth.  It does however crop up occasionally on northern soul compilations.

Bill Withers: Live At The BBC 1973


This blog isn’t really about bootlegs, but I grabbed this from a BBC TV broadcast (sound only) a while ago and it’s so great I thought I’d post it. Bill Withers was a big name in soul in the 70s with a string of great albums and singles. There was something about soul in the 70s which really works for me in a way that current stuff rarely does. There was a blandness which infected soul in the 80s and there hasn’t been much to float my boat since then. Withers wasn’t much into fame and disappeared many years ago, although there has been a flurry of interest in him recently – hence this broadcast.

If you like this, any of his classic 70s albums are worth a punt. I like Menagerie.

Set List:

1 Ain’t No Sunshine
2 Lonely Town, Lonely Street
3 Grandma’s Hands
4 Use Me
5 Let Me In Your Life
6 Lean On Me
7 Harlem