At this time of writing (16 January), we are in the third Monday of January. A Monday that is commonly referred to as Blue Monday. Instead of being synonymous with New Order’s classic 12” single, it is reputed to be the most unhappiest day of the year. Some think this year’s Blue Monday is the most miserable one yet (as the late great Marvin would say, “What’s Going On?”).
To fill the otherwise miserable void, there is no better antidote to the gloom that good music. Soul music. Uplifting soul songs guaranteed to put a smile on the most sullen of faces.
In a nutshell, Blue Eyed Soul is described as Rhythm and Blues and soul music performed by white artistes. It is also known as White Soul with the phrase thought to have been coined by an American DJ in 1964. Georgie Woods, who is said to have coined the phrase, used it to refer to The Righteous Brothers. Also known as “my blue eyed soul brothers” by the disc jockey, Bill Medley’s group struck gold with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.
Madison Heights Soul are a live band which is perfect for weddings, private functions and corporate events. We play live gigs all over the Hampshire area, see the images below for some of our previous performances in the vicinity. As you can see from these images below, we ensure that the night is packed with lots of dancing and popular motown and soul music.
Having been together for nearly 15 years the band have great chemistry when performing live, our goal is to get as many people up dancing which is what we are all about especially on your wedding day. Be sure to view our videos so you can experience us live and see just how much passion and energy we put into all of our performances.
If you are a big soul/motown fan then Madison Soul are just what you need, we provide classic cover songs by artists such as, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and of course Tina Turner.
If you are based in the Hampshire area and are interested in what we have to offer then please contact us or see our up and coming gigs we have lined up and join in the party!
“275, 285, and stereo VHF...” who remembers the good old days when taping the charts used to mean trying to cut out the dulcet tones of Tony Blackburn, Simon Bates or Bruno Brookes? Who remembers watching the special edition of Top of the Pops waiting for the Christmas Number One? They were every part of a 1970s or 1980s Christmas. Happy times, great tunes, but nothing on the joys of a soul Christmas song.
Soul music is a genre of music made popular in the 1950s and 1960s in the USA. It is thought to have originated in and around Memphis.
It has combined elements of African-American Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, and often Jazz music.
The Civil Rights Movement influenced record labels like Atlantic, Stax and Motown.
The name 'Motown' is an abbreviated form of 'Motor Town'. It refers to Detroit, Michigan, which in the 1950s was noted for car production and the label's home city. Motown Record Corporation was founded on the 12 January 1959 by Berry Gordy as Tamla Records, before adopting the present name in September that year.
Motown Record Corporation had a host of imprints. As well as the original Tamla label, there was Tamla Motown for UK and European releases. Another one, Gordy Records, focused on mainstream Rhythm and Blues and soul music.
Motown left Detroit for Los Angeles in 1972. Today, after a stint in New York, the label returned to LA as a subsidiary of Capitol Music Group. It remains a much revered label to this day with a staggering back catalogue.
Stax Records was formed in 1957 as Satellite Records. In 1960, its name was changed to Stax Records with the name taking the first two letters of its co-founders' surnames (Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton). Based in Memphis, Tennessee, their studio was a former cinema. Behind the unique Stax sound was the studio's sloping floor and uneven reverberation.
Stax's most celebrated artistes were Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett and Booker T and the MGs. The original label filed for bankruptcy in December 1975, closing on the 12 January 1976. Their studios were taken over by the Southside Church of God in Christ for $10.
The label was revived in 2003, with the opening of the Stax Museum. A replica of the original studios and a visitor centre was built on the site of the former cinema. First to sign to the new label was Isaac Hayes, who had previously been a session musician for the original Stax.
The oldest soul label was formed in 1947. Originally noted for Rhythm and Blues and Jazz music, then Rock 'n' Roll, it became known as a Soul Music label for most of the 1960s. During this decade, a distribution deal brought Stax Records' releases to a wider audience.
Whereas Stax and Motown remained loyal to soul music, Atlantic gained a reputation for its rock music. As well as bringing Otis Redding and The Drifters to a wider audience, it would later be known for Led Zeppelin, Yes and Coldplay. The label was taken over by Warner Brothers in 1967 along with Elektra. The merged label became known as WEA Records and has a most eclectic roster of artistes.
In the 1960s and 1970s, soul music dominated both the black music charts and mainstream singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Following soul music's rise in popularity, it has spawn many sub-genres including:
• New Orleans Soul;
• Deep and Southern Soul;
• Detroit Soul;
• British Soul;
• Blue-eyed Soul;
• Memphis Soul;
• Chicago Soul;
• Nu-Jazz and Soul-influenced Electronica;
• Northern Soul;
• Modern Soul;
• Psychedelic Soul;
• Philadelphia Soul.
Stevie Wonder has sold over 100 million records making him one of the Top 60 best-selling musical artistes of all time. Then known as 'Little Stevie Wonder', his first hit was Fingertips in 1963. Recorded live at the Regal Theater, Chicago, he was just twelve years old. His breakthrough record was Uptight (Everything's Alright), released in 1965.
Around 0.2% of all recording artistes are superstars.
Also known as 'The Queen of Soul', Aretha Franklin is one of the world's best-selling female artistes. She has sold over 75 million records worldwide.
In 1987, Aretha was also the first female performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That year, she duetted with George Michael and got to Number One in the UK singles chart with I Knew You Were Waiting.
Marvin Gaye's best known for his recording of I've Heard It Through The Grapevine which sold 4 million copies worldwide. Following a memorable Levis jeans commercial, it returned to the UK singles chart in April 1986 peaking at Number 8 the following month. However, the song played the most at his concerts was What's Going On?
Both the album as a whole and the title track of What's Going On? broke new ground for Motown. Firstly, the album was recorded with all tracks seamlessly following one another. Secondly, Motown's artistes seldom did political or social commentary. In their music.
Otis also sold around 4 million copies of his most famous song (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay. As well as the 4 million sold, it received over 8 million airplays. His musical influences included Sam Cooke and Little Richard, with his vocal style exemplifying the Stax Sound. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Commonly known as 'The King of Soul', Sam Cooke was a singer-songwriter who focused on singles and by the end of his career, had 29 Top 40 hit singles in the Billboard Charts. In the UK, he had nine Top 30 singles, though his biggest hit came 22 years after his death. As with Marvin Gaye, a Levis advert in 1986 helped; Wonderful World got to Number 2 in the UK singles chart in April that year.
Born and raised in Detroit, Diana Ross joined The Primettes, whom after joining Motown changed their name to The Supremes in 1961. Under Berry Gordy's watch, success was hard to come by till 1964 when Where Did Our Love Go? and Baby Love got to Number One in the Billboard charts. With Diana Ross on lead vocals, The Supremes became America's biggest selling female group.
By 1970, Diana Ross became a successful solo artiste enjoying international chart success. As a solo artiste her most famous songs include I'm Still Waiting, Upside Down and Chain Reaction. She has also duetted with Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye.
Soul Music Dynasties:
• King of Soul: Sam Cooke or Otis Redding;
• Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin;
• Godfather of Soul: James Brown;
• Prince of Soul/Prince of Motown: Marvin Gaye;
• The First Family of Soul: The Jackson 5;
• King of Pop: Michael Jackson;
• Five Mighty Pop Divas of the Sixties: Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Martha Reeves.
Finding a suitable wedding band can be a thankless task. You wonder if they are suitable enough for your guests, as well as the happy couple. Some of your relatives’ music tastes may be incompatible with the mother-in-law’s or the father of the bride’s. In many cases, a compromise is met, so you plump for a DJ and/or a wedding band that aims to please all the guests.
Arguably, the greatest soul record ever made, What's Going On by Marvin Gaye, which was only reluctantly released by the Motown label. This recording marked a departure from the label's usual method of a tightly controlled collection of singles. Instead, inspired by the return of his brother from Vietnam, Marvin Gaye created a 35 minute suite of lushly detailed pieces that blended social commentary and spirituality.
One of the best things about soul music is how broad a musical genre it is. Whether toe tapping or tear jerking, nothing marks the occasion better than the dulcet tones of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, or Marvin Gaye. Soul music at its best is performed live. A live band captures the emotion of your special day better than recorded music. If you’re planning a wedding this year or next, what about a wedding band instead of a DJ?
It's amazing how many classic soul tunes have been used in TV advertising to help endorse a product. It just goes to demonstrate the power and timelessness of soul music!
Back by popular demand, we will be performing at Summer Soul, an open-air concert which will be located in the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0QA
The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens are a large area of parkland which is home to a wide range of plant life. The land was given to Hampshire county council in 1977 by Sir Harold Hillier, who'd previously owned the land.
It is now open to the public and is home to many different events, including us. The venue is 3 miles (~5km) away from Romsey, and 7.5 miles (~12km) away from Winchester. There's limited parking, so it is advised you travel using public transport. You can use the 66 bus which runs between Winchester and Romsey. It runs right past the venue's main access road, with stops right outside. If you're travelling by bus, make sure you leave plenty of time, as the buses may be busier than they might otherwise be. You can find directions from wherever you are here. The event is being held on Saturday the 9th July, doors open at 6:15pm, and the concert will start at 7:30pm, lasting until around 10:00pm. We recommend checking the last bus times to ensure you are able to get home after the event if you're not planning on driving. Make sure you arrive early to secure a parking space, and more importantly a decent spot! You could even come earlier in the day and have a picnic and spend the day here.
We'll be performing a selection of songs from our repertoire, songs which we have a particular fondness of, many of which are timeless hits from the 1960s. Tickets sold out very quickly last year so you need to grab your while you still can! Priced at £14 for Adults and £10 for Children. You can buy them from Hiller Gardens' website, whom you can contact for more information.
Hot summer nights, barbeques, wedding cakes a marquee and a generous helping of sweet soul music; these are the main ingredients for our summer gigging season! We tend to play a lot of weddings and private parties which are usually great fun but marquee's can be an unbelievably steamy, tropical environment, especially when the band loosens up into overdrive!
Madison Heights Soul Band will be playing at the Rifle Club in Portsmouth. The venue is situated in the Fratton area and is conveniently located within 5 minutes (walking) of Fratton Railway Station. You'll find us around the corner to Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth FC. The venue's name originates from the rifle range on the land which the club is built on.
We'd highly recommend using public transport or a taxi to get to the venue, as there are limited parking facilities which can be used for the venue. If you have no other option but to bring your vehicle, the car park for the Pompey Centre, behind Fratton Railway depot, is the probably the best place.
The doors open at 8:00pm this Saturday, the 21st of May, and tickets will cost you £5.00, available from the staff at the venue. Online tickets have sold out, so you'll have to pay a visit to the venue to buy them, which you can do so between 5pm and 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. We'll be supported by DJ Rob Moore.
It's a question that's been asked many many times, so here goes... We wanted a name that reflected our style of music and the way we perform it! - big, bold, brassy, American and soulful.
- Ian Levine , Northern Soul DJ and Producer.
2. 'Northern Soul' referred to the kind of soul music which northern football fans asked for in London's Soul City record shop.
3. The clenched raised fist symbol is inspired by the Black Power Movement.
4. The rarest Northern Soul record is “Open the Door To Your Heart” by Darrell Banks which sold for over £11,000 in December 2014.
5. The term 'white label' has its traditions with DJ rivalry. To ensure exclusivity, the original label was covered with a blank white one, which would be unveiled in the soul club.
6. What?, a Northern Soul classic covered by Soft Cell in 1982 was originally sung by Melinda Marx, the daughter of Groucho Marx.
7. As Lenny Gamble, BBC Radio Two presenter Tony Blackburn released a Northern Soul record entitled I'll Do Anything (Anything She Wants Me To Do).
8. Northern Soul DJ Ian Levine, after becoming a producer, kick started the HiNRG musical genre and produced Evelyn Thomas' UK Top Ten Hit, High Energy (1984).
9. The 23 September 1973 saw the UK's first all-nighter, which took place at the Wigan Casino club. DJing that night was Russ Winstanley.
10. The crowd noises in Wigan's Chosen Few's Footsie wasn't the legendary Wigan Casino club. They came from the 1966 F.A. Cup Final between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday. Chants of 'Wednesday' can be heard in the background.
This album was constructed with the help of some of the best musicians in Memphis and with the use of superb material written by, among others, Jerry Goffin & Carol King, Randy Newman, and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil.
Ever wondered what happened to Kiss' lead singer Paul Stanley? His latest musical move may surprise a few people used to seeing him and his fellows decked in make up.
We at Madison Heights are amazed and equally pleased to find out about Mr Stanley's conversion to the Soul Brethren. This autumn will see the Kiss singer play a mix of 1960s and 1970s soul classics. Known as Soul Station, his new group will make their début at the Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, on the 11 September 2015.
The rest of his band have played with the likes of Bobby Brown and Christina Aguilera. Soul Station aims to eschew backing tracks in favour of proper instruments. A bit like us, only 12 hours away from Heathrow.
If Mr. Stanley fancies seeing us in concert he is more than welcome to join us, visit our website or like our Facebook page. Who knows, he could be a guest vocalist at one of our future gigs?
Good music is good music in my opinion, I don't look at black and white when it comes to soul music, and even the most die hard Northern Soul Fan would lend ear space to the likes of Steve Winwood or Dusty Springfield.
No celebration of soul music is complete without reference to Stevie Wonder, one of the most precocious soul musicians and singer-songwriters of all time. Since the release of Fingertips (Part One) and Uptight (Everything's Alright) in 1963 and 1964, he cemented his reputation as one of Motown's best known acts. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, continued success on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean saw him become part of soul music's royalty along with Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding.
Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on the 13 May 1950, he was born six weeks premature and was blind from birth. At the age of eleven he was signed to the Tamla label, after playing piano, harmonica and drums on street corners and parties. His own composition Lonely Boy attracted the attention of Ronnie White, of The Miracles.
The name Stevie Wonder – which at the start of his career was Little Stevie Wonder – was adopted by producer Clarence Paul. At the age of thirteen, his first smash in the US was Fingertips (Part One), a track from his début album entitled Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. In the UK, his breakthrough chart single was Uptight (Everything's Alright).
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Stevie Wonder became a huge success with hits like For Once In My Life, Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday and My Cherie Amour popular worldwide. The 1970s also saw a transitional period where the artiste was given extra creative freedom. The result of a new contract with Motown Records would usher in the much appreciated Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life albums.
Towards the 1980s his popularity rose with Master Blaster, Lately and Happy Birthday being Top Five singles. In September 1984, he got his first and (to date) only UK Number One single as a solo artiste. I Just Called to Say I Love You was a UK Number One for six weeks. From the soundtrack album of The Woman in Red (also written by Stevie himself), it went platinum in UK singles charts.
After The Woman in Red soundtrack, he continued to release singles and albums though at a slower rate. These would include Part Time Lover and Overjoyed. His last album was A Time to Love, released in 2005. As well as being one of the world's most influential soul musicians and songwriters, he has been recognised for his work in the Civil Rights Movement. He has gained a lifetime achievement award from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Stevie Wonder has recorded more than 30 Top Ten hits in the US Billboard Charts with 18 Top Ten hits in the UK singles charts. He has also duetted with Paul McCartney (on his first UK Number One single Ebony and Ivory) and with Michael Jackson (in their 1988 single Get It). He has also guested on Jermaine Jackson's 1980 hit Let's Get Serious and provided backing vocals on The Crown, Gary Byrd and the GB Experience's only UK Top Ten hit in 1983.
We at Madison Heights think you should have at least one of the albums in your collection below. If you see Songs in the Key of Life for less than a fiver, we urge you to snap it up right now. Before we do (though we may already have a copy somewhere).
The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie (1962);
Songs in the Key of Life (1976);
Hotter Than July (1980);
The Woman in Red (1984).
There is loads to choose from, but here is some of our favourites:
Fingertips (Part 1 and 2) (1963);
Uptight (Everything's Alright) (1966);
I Was Made to Love Her (1967);
My Cherie Amour (1969);
I Just Called to Say I Love You (1984).
What we love about Stevie Wonder is his strength in depth. His ballads as well as his more energetic numbers. His works have an innate ability to move audiences whatever the mood.
Though good with the speakers and great with a set of headphones, it is even better performed live. This is where Madison Heights come to the fore. If you've previously been uptight about booking a suitable wedding band, or a band for corporate events, don't panic. We can get the party started.
Good question! Personally, I blame Otis Redding! The first time that I heard Dock Of The Bay, Hard to Handle, Respect and Love Man I was hooked, line and sinker. It was that voice. I'd never heard anything quite like it before. I was totally blown away. It was a definite life changing experience, nothing was ever the same again.
Philadelphia Soul is a more slickly produced offshoot of modern soul music. It is characterised by lush production values featuring brass and string instruments and its relaxed tempo. This makes for a sub-genre of soul music which feels at home on Hi-Fi systems as well as dance floors. Though radio-friendly due to production quality, the traditional themes of soul music is covered in its lyrical content.
Philadelphia Soul first hit the dance floors in the late 1960s and rose in popularity during the early to mid 1970s. In some quarters, it arguably inspired disco music. Key to its success was Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. As songwriters for the Philadelphia International label, they would pen a number of classic tunes like If You Don't Know Me By Now for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. For The O'Jays, Love Train and Back Stabbers charted on both sides of the Atlantic.
As well as Gamble and Huff's song writing talents, MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother, to use the family-friendly version of their acronym) – their house band – was the special sauce in the burger bun. The O'Jays' Love Train saw their thirty strong musicians used for the first time. They would also have chart singles of their own, with TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) a big hit in the UK and the USA.
In the UK, Philadelphia Soul music fared well in the singles charts and in the cabaret scene. The Three Degrees for a time was Prince Charles' favourite group; Laurie Cunningham, Brendan Batson and Cyrille Regis were bestowed that name whilst playing for West Bromwich Albion in 1977. In 1974, a Manchester group with Philly style leanings, Sweet Sensation, won a heat in ATV's New Faces (which for our younger readers was a 1970s version of Britain's Got Talent), and hit the top spot with Sad Sweet Dreamer.
Even today, Philadelphia Soul music continues to fill many dance floors. It is also the music of choice for smooching along, as epitomised by Barry White's back catalogue. It owes a debt to modern day acts like Boyz II Men and Jill Scott.
Also Known As: Philly Soul, The Sound of Philadelphia, T.S.O.P;
Associated Acts: Barry White, The Three Degrees, The Stylistics, The Love Unlimited Orchestra;
Notable chart singles: Love'sTheme, The Love Unlimited Orchestra; When Will I See You Again?, The Three Degrees; Hold Back the Night, The Trammps; Sad Sweet Dreamer, Sweet Sensation.
Popular in: the mid 1970s.
Whenever anyone thinks of a Hampshire wedding band the same old pictures spring to mind; three or four aspiring musicians banging away at their instruments playing the music they like the best irrespective of what anyone else wants or likes, and begrudgingly stopping for a speech or announcement if they have to. This is hardly likely to make any party go with a swing let alone make one of the biggest days of your life extra special. You shouldn't have to settle on your big day, which is why you need to search for a special wedding band Hampshire wide, but what should you look for when looking for a wedding band?
Madison Soul are pleased to announce that we will be playing along 2 other live bands at the Boogie Music Inferno hosted at the South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell on Friday 17th July. As always we can promise the night to be energetic and non stop dancing. We will be playing some of the classic soul and funk songs from the legends of the genre including the one and only Witney Houston!
South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, RG12 7PA
By car – Based in Birch Hill, Bracknell (7 minute drive from the town centre), just off the A322 Bagshot road near the Hilton Bracknell Hotel. Accessible from the M3 junction 3 and the M4 Junction 10 – 20 minutes from Reading Town Centre. Free parking is available at the venue. If the car park is full, the nearest alternative is Birch Hill Shopping Centre.
By Train – Trains available from London Waterloo, Reading and surrounding towns. Taxi rank available outside the train station.
By Bus – Buses available from surrounding areas, alight at Birch Hill, Sainsburys stop.
8:00pm – 10:00pm
Pricing at £12 and available to buy here; https://uk.patronbase.com/_SouthHillPark/Productions/P499/Performances
We look forward to seeing you on the night!
Every wedding is a totally individual event, and unique to each person within the marriage. Despite what some tv shows and magazines would have you believe, a wedding is not all about the bride and a groom should enjoy the big day as much as the bride and the family. It is for this reason that every decision about the wedding should be made by both parties, so the first tip to hiring a wedding band in Hampshire is to choose and hire a Hampshire wedding band together.
On the 2015-04-18, Madison Soul Band are pleased to announce that we will be playing at the famous Rifle Club in Portsmouth alongside DJ Rob Moore. The night is going to be as always energetic and full of fun, with covers of legendary soul artists including Tina Turner, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder.
We love playing at the rifle club and we hope to see a big audience on the 18th April dancing away to our performance.
£5.00 a ticket – available to buy from www.wegottickets.com
Doors open at 19:30 pm
Please see the map below for the location of The Rifle Club:
205 Goldsmith Avenue
Hampshire is a beautiful county and there are a number of lovely locations that people flock to host their wedding, to make sure that they have their big day in a special place. These can range from city centre locations in urban areas such as Reading, Southampton and Portsmouth, to some of the picturesque countryside surrounding these towns and cities, famous for being where Jane Austen grew up.
In just a couple of weeks Madison Heights Soul Band will be playing at the Concorde Club in Eastleigh, Hampshire. We will be playing a soul reggae party alongside UB40 tribute band RU40. We are really excited about playing this gig and hope to see a large audience to join in with the fun.
If you are a big soul and reggae fan then this night is perfect, we can promise it will be a night to remember!
Member ticket only - £5
Non-members ticket only– £10
Members dining + ticket– £30
Non-members dining + ticket– £35
Tickets available from the concorde club website.
Over 18s Only
Doors Open at 7.30pm with the first set at 9.30pm and the second set will be at 11pm
Then the party doesn't stop there as there will be a DJ until 2am.
Please see the map below with the location of the event:
We're pleased to announce that we’ve added two new amazing vocalists, Clare Guille and Megan Batchelor, to our line-up! Go girls!!
On Saturday 9th May, Madison Heights Soul Band will be playing a gig at the jazz cafe in Reading. The night will be a fun filled event with classic covers from legendary soul artists including Otis Redding, James Brown and not forgetting of course Tina Turner.
As we do in everyone of our gigs we give 100% and deliver great energy on stage. But what we do best is get people up dancing and having a great time. So if your a big motown and soul fan then this gig is definitely for you!
Dinner including entry: £34.50
Entry Only Ticket: £8.00
Book online via The Jazz Cafe Website
From the North - Join M4 or A34 from Oxford and follow directions from Junction 11. Alternatively come through Reading town Centre, follow A33 to Basingstoke & signs for the Madejski Stadium home of Reading Football Club.
From South, East and West - from the M4 motorway junction 11, along the A33 towards Reading, the Stadium is straight ahead and on the left at the second roundabout.
The Jazz Cafe