Uptown Record - London, England surprises the whole lot of us - what a surprise!
I used to be a regular record buyer at these two London vinyl records stores each month (Uptown Records and Black market records ). Both have now gone I am been told, but both of them will leave never in my heart.
The same goes for others I think that were vinyl record buyers at the time. The Record stores that I am talking are Black market records and UPTOWN RECORDS. Both of the record stores were at the time splendid record stores. If you wanted Usa House and Garage music or other genders of House music in general here was the place.
I used to check out Black market records for the styles of Deep House, whilst I used to check out Uptown Records for the more Soulful and Vocal styles of House and Garage music.
However, on one occasion I was left spell bound. Dj Superstar Roger Sanchez in regards to the music of House and Garage took us all by surprise by being behind the counter of Uptown records playing the hot records of the time, and also a few that he made himself. When did this all happen?
Well it happen at the beginning of the year of 1998. I took the train down from Ipswich Town to London, and eventually made my way to Oxford Circus (London) via the London Underground tube system. It was from there that I made my way on this occasion to Uptown records this time via the street known as D'Arblay Street, within the Soho area of London.
Instead of trying out Black market records this time. I don't why, but I decided to go to Uptown records first. As I approached the store, it seemed much more busier then normal. It was always a popular store in its time. But something didn't seem right as I approached the store. Both of the records stores mentioned attracted people from all over the world who were into House and Garage music, Uk Garage music or Deep House.
But to get to it you need to go down to the spiral stair case of Uptown records to get to the Basement of the House and Garage part of the store. As Upstairs you had the finest Rnb and Hip Records that was being looked after by Ronnie Herrel who was Rnb Dj/presenter on 1 X XTRA (BBC off shoot station) and now working at MI-SOUL.COM (RADIO) here in London, England. Eventually, after making my way down the spiral stairs you could see that it was packed. The reason why? Well at first I couldn't believe my eyes.
The distance between myself and the counter was about 8ft away. And there behind the counter - standing in front of 2 turntables was the one and only Roger Sanchez.
"Oh my goodness" I said. As I tried to make my way forward to the front of the crowd and in the front of the counter to see about some tracks that I come all the way from Ipswich town from to buy. But no one was budging they couldn't believe it as well. Here in front of us all was the one and only Roger Sanchez.
Right in front of or eyes. To be honest we would normally we would be paying £20 to £30 pounds to see him live at the time at a nightclub within London (or even more!) . And he was performing on the decks for free for us! As he played a few still asked for records; others (I don't know how to be honest) were still listening to limited edition House or Garage tracks amid the commotion of what was going on around them via the head phones that were supplied as standard by the store.
Many were trying to get a hand shake from their idle Roger Sanchez as he was djing. Paul Farris, the Store manager (DOWNSTAIRS - FOR HOUSE AND GARAGE MUSIC) was taking it all in; and at the same time was smiling from ear to ear with the response of what he witnessing in front of him. HOWEVER - THE OVERALL DIRECTOR OF THE WHOLE OPERATION THAT WAS – IZZY - THE DIRECTOR AND OVERALL OWNER OF UPTOWN RECORDS, SOHO, LONDON, EMGLAND; WAS NO WHERE TO BE SEEN FROM WHERE I WAS STANDING.......
People were cheering, pumping their hands in the air and general expression great appreciation on such a track being played live in front of them by the producer who helped to make the track himself. Eventually Roger Sanchezz finished his set, to a round of applause.
Withing the set that he did for us he dropped one of his biggest records of his career upto to this day. The record is - Roger Sanchez - "I need you" As soon as the opening bars/chords of the songs pumped the speakers and area that we wre jostle together in.
There was an almightly cheer. Roger Sanchez just looked and a smiled beemed from ear to ear on his face. In my opinion Roger Sanchez still has not made a better record then this. It is one one the best House records ever made. Have a listen yourselves and then make up your own minds Just click on the You Tube video yourself to hear it below:
Paul Farris made a speech thanking everyone that came down today to Rogar; and also thanked Roger for coming down to the store and playing the way he did.
It was impossible to be able to shake the hand of Roger Sanchez that day as the queue, and time it took to get to the front of the queue would have taken up vital "Record buying" Time.
I got speaking to a few people who were thinking like me, and were interested in getting to the vinyl records that had come into the store that day. I had about 30 records staked by my side of me that I needed that I needed to listen to that day. However, through my time of listening to these records.
I managed to get into talking to few other dedicated records buyers that all loved House music (In all its formats); and Usa Garage music at the time. Most of them were searching for records by Labels.
You had one guy to the right of me that was searching all the Strictly Rhythm records releases for instance that day. You had another guy to the left of me that was searching through all the Eightball records that were released at the time.
From time to time, all 3 of us would stop listening to the vinyl single on the decks in front of us and motion to the other two that the single that they were listening to at the moment was "Hot", and if they have the time you should have a listen to it.
Roger Sanchez eventually left to a hail of cheers through the back entrance of the store. But before he left he managed to interrupt that cheering by adding a little speech on how he had enjoyed himself. I looked forward to doing this again some time. And would you believe it that he did just that.
As during the year of 2001, he came back to the same store and did it all again. Please read this link below that will tell you a little bit more about his second visit to England, and to the vinyl record store known as "Uptown Records" - 3 D'Arblay Street, Soho, London
If you were there in 1998 at Uptown records and saw Roger Sanchez performing please let us know.
Did you see him instead during the year of 2001 where he appeared at the same record store again?
Are you an ex employee of Uptown records - - 3 D'Arblay Street, Soho, London - and you have a great insight to this then myself. If so please do let us know.
Well that all folks for me now anyway.
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com