And so the beat goes on. We have waved farewell to 2013 and have embraced 2014 with vigor, even though we are all a little damp from the continuous rain.
January for some normally feels somewhat like an anti climax after all the festivities. So I’ve got back on the case with another interview that will warm your cockles and soothe your soul in more ways than one.
Now if you live in the South West and are a committed soul fan, the chances are that at some point over the last 20 years you have found yourself at one of Bristol’s much loved and respected Soul Train events. For two decades Paul Alexander, John Stallard, Steve and Adryan Ashby of Soultrain have kept the fires burning and have bought legendary acts such as: Alexander O Neal, The Fat Back Band, Roy Ayers, Omar, Loose Ends, much to the delight of soul lovers.
Ladies and gentlemen get your groove on and do the electric slide, introducing one of Soul Train founding members Paul Alexander.
Can you tell me how Soul Train first came about?
Soul Train started as a one off reunion for 70s clubbers in December 1992. Our origins go back to early 70s importing US funk, we had our own charts which is well documented in Chris Browns book ‘Bovver’ and is also quoted by massive attack as early influences to Bristol Sound Take a look on www.soultrainuk.com bio.
• Which 3 records would you say sum up the sound track to your life?
That’s a hard one so many to choose from: I love William Devaughan, be thankful / Creme de la creme, Ain’t no stopping us now by McFadden & Whitehead was a big Soultrain anthem as was legends Maze with Joy & Pain.
• You’ve enjoyed a long career, what have been the highlights of your career so far?
Playing Glastonbury and Love Saves the Day. Hosting a 5 hour radio show on Star Radio every Sunday and being voted as the Top Soul Club Night outside of London ( past & present ) by Soul Survivor Magazine.
• You have worked with many legendary artists such as Omar, Loose Ends, The Fat Back Band, Soul 2 Soul, to name but a few. What does it feel like to work with your musical heroes?
It’s through our love of the music that we brought the fatback band to Bristol twice ! The first ever Fatback Band appearance in over 25 years lives long in the memory. Alexander O Neal was a soul legend in the 80’s, I think to be on stage with both these soul legends as a soul fan was awesome. If we never work with another artist, to look back in years to come on these nights both will live long in the memory. Omar and Nile Rodgers were by far the most professional.
• The scene has changed over the years how do you see it developing in the future?
Much to our surprise, what started off as a one off has just kept running and running. We introduced reggae train 5 years ago which has been a great success. We get new people discovering Soultrain all the time. What they want is the retro soul sound so we will keep playing for as long as people keep turning out to our events . For the future we are eye-ing more festivals
• What exciting projects do you have in the pipeline?
Roy Ayers next up , then potentially Bootsie Collins , and maybe major US soul legend in May so watch this space.
Kindest Regards Yours soulfully Paul Alexander
Big love and thanks going out to all the Soul Train family.
For more tales and the history of Soul Train check out: