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Feature: Eddie Piller on Vintage

Vintage at Goodwood
Vintage at Goodwood
Note that I independently write and research everything in this article. But it may contain affiliate links.

The DJ and record label boss talks about the upcoming Vintage event.

I’ve spun records at all of the major festivals in the UK and over the last few years have noticed that they are becoming increasingly homogenous – and boring. When Wayne Hemingway asked me to get involved with a ‘new concept’ festival I was initially skeptical but decided to hear him out. Wayne had been a regular listener when I presented the BBC Funk and Soul show and I’d even had him on spinning a couple of occasions. He’s an old school Blackpool Mecca and Wiganite dancer who kept his love of northern soul close to him in the heady days of the ’80s when, along with his wife Gerardine, they set up the Red Or Dead fashion company.

It took no more than two minutes for me to be sold on his idea. Goodwood has an excellent reputation for hosting specialist festivals on the estate. They have the Festival of Speed (a vintage hill-climb up the drive of Goodwood House), Glorious Goodwood (a legendary horse racing week) and the most pertinent, Revival. I DJ’d at Revival last year so I could get a handle on the whole concept. There were hoards of scooters and I had a particularly nice time. Vintage was to be different…

Wayne’s concept was simple…what if all the punters who came to Goodwood through the year had their own music festival? Somewhere that mods could rub shoulders with rockabillies or even new romantics? Somewhere fashion was as important as the music?

That’s how Vintage at Goodwood came about – a style weekender that mixed music, fashion, film and design. Needless to say that when I was offered the chance to curate a soul venue which was loosely based on the Wigan Casino, I jumped at the chance. He also asked me to put together a live stage too. With the loose brief of ‘music of black origin and influence from the 60s to now’ I jumped in head first.

I booked some of my favourite artists – Friday is a reggae day with the Wailers and Pama Inernational. The Beat are playing and as well as the Trojan Sound System, we’ve got original mod DJ Dr Bob Jones playing a ’65 ska set. Saturday is funk and I’ve persuaded the legendary chicano artist Joe Bataan to play, supported by the British/Guyanese funk band Cymande. Sunday is soul day and we have my favourite singer Leroy Hutson and Anne Sexton – there are loads of other mod-friendly artist performing over the weekend and that doesn’t include the Soul Casino tent. Built for 600 in the style of a late 60s Mecca ballroom, the place even has a sprung dancefloor! Over the weekend we have about 40 DJs including David Holmes, Paul Hallam, Ian Curtis, Henry Storch, Dave Edwards, Don Letts…literally dozens of the best black music DJs of the last 30 years.

And that’s just my stage – there’s also a 40s area (curated by Snowboy). 50s (put together by Luke from the Highliners), 60s from Mike Flowers (and he has booked loads of great things including Sandie Shaw and the Karminskis as well as Johnny Trunk!

Although films are curated by Steven Wolley (who directed Scandal), I am hoping to show the new northern soul film Soulboy!, which is released in the summer. I realise that this sounds like an advert but I have waited for something like this for a very long time. In short, there’s something for everyone and I strongly advise you to give it a try!

Vintage at Goodwood takes place across the 13th, 14th and 15th August 2010. For more information, check out the Vintage at Goodwood website.

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