Neil Gits Behind The Hammer

Neil MatthewCool SoulLeave a Comment

My official job title is still, after all these years, “Disc Jockey” but over the last 40 years or so of doing that “job” I have explored a number of alternative paths off the straight and narrow of getting behind the decks and filling the dancefloors of pubs, nighclubs, bars and man, many village halls ! One of those avenues, as you have probably noticed, is as a “Radio Presenter” possibly the closest I get to being a “DJ” in the traditional sense, although I still keep my hand in from time to time …

I have presented karaoke nights, hosted promotional events in shopping centres, worked alongside comedians and live bands / singers, helped out with race nights and in recent years made my main living from running my numerous “Retro Quiz Nights”, but one thing I hadn’t done until last week was oversee an auction ! I was running a quiz night with a soul disco afterwards at Langdon Hills Golf Club for an old school chum and they had “four ball” to auction off to help raise funds for Alzheimer’s and I am pleased to say that despite being a complete novice, we raised a very handsome sum over the night including from my bumbling efforts at auctioneer. In actual fact, I wasn’t qualified enough to have one of those little silver hammers you see the chaps use on TV, but I’ll still be adding the experience to my CV for future reference !!

The “Soul Night” side of the evening was brilliant and you might have heard me play some of the best requests again on the show last week – the playlist is posted below along with the gigs update. Your first chance to hear this week’s new show is LIVE at 7pm tonight on Gateway – clear your schedule to enjoy two hours of the good stuff !

The Tunes – 2nd March

People’s Choice – Jam Jam Jam

Roberta Flack & Donnie Hathaway – Back Together Again

Kenny Thomas – Back On Broadway

Detroit Spinners – Working My Way Back To You

Intruders – A Nice Girl Like You

Randy Muller – Welcome To My Life

Gerald Albright feat Billy Griffin – You Don’t Even Know

Glow feat Dave Love – Best Of Me

Keni Burke – Night Riders

Coffee – Casanova

Linda Clifford – Runaway Love

Nick Straker Band – A Little Bit Of Jazz (DJ Disco Cat re-edit)

Little Richard – I Don’t Want To Discuss It

Taja Seville – Love Is Contagious

Joyce Sims – Come Into My Life

Keith Sweat – I Want Her

PrivatProjekt – I Go Back

Freddie Jackson – How Does it Feel

Isley Brothers – Between The Sheets

Alexander O’Neal – What’s Missing


Joe Sample – Seven Years Of Good Luck

The Gigs

Friday 13th March

“Studio Fridays” (Every Friday)

The Oakleigh, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS93NE

“A Glittering Blend of House Disco & Soul, featuring

Fresh New Cuts & Classics from the archives”

Guest DJ each week :



27/3: Reece Brett & Dan Cullen

Free Admission ; 9pm – 1am

Saturday 14th March

“A Night Of Motown – Stevie Wonder Tribute”

Acanteen, New London Road,Chelmsford,CM2 0ND

Godfrey Gale as Stevie Wonder plus DJ

7pm – Midnight ; Tickets £10

Friday 20th March

“Soul Kitchen – 6th Anniversary”

The Grey Lady Music Lounge, The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TN

Resident DJs: Tracey Shaw & John Browne

Guest DJs: Jason Starr & Steve Guanori

“Rare 60s & 70s Soul”

7pm – 1am ; More details at :

Friday 20th March

(Every 3rd Friday of the month)

“Soulful Seduction – Soul & House Party”

The Bread & Cheese, London Road,Benfleet, Essex, SS7 1AA

“Soul Funk House & Old Skool Club Anthems”

DJs: Bully & Matt Jackson

Guest DJ: Mark Pendleton

8.30pm – 12.45 am ; Free Entry ; Strictly Over 25s

Friday 20th March

“Friday Soul Session”

Pandoras Wine Bar, High Street, Hornchurch,RM12 4UN

DJs Peter P & Trish

Over 30s ; Free Entry

8pm – 1am

Saturday 21st March

(Every 3rd Saturday of the month)

“Super Soul Saturday”

The Cricketers, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0JT

DJ: Paul Eve & Mick Jackson

“The Very Best In Jazz Funk & Soul”

8pm – 12.30am – Free Entry

Thursday 26th March

(Every last Thursday of the month)

“70s & 80s Soul Night”

The Chequers, High Street, Billericay, CM12 9BQ

DJ Howie

“Soul Weekender Soul & Disco Tunes From The 70s & 80s”

8pm – 11pm ; Free Entry

Saturday 28th March

“Soul Fiesta Charity Soul Night”

(St Lukes Hospice, 30th Anniversary)

Langdon Hills Golf & Country Club, Lower Dunton Road,

Bulphan, RM14 3TY

DJs: Jigs, Aitch B, Anthony Matthews, Glen Sherry,

John Douglas, John Peters, Ian Holmes, Brian Kelly,

Jonny Layton, Simon Van Os, Colin Jazzy Barnaby,

Chris White, Lee Aldwinkle, Kevin Hawkins

8pm – 2am ;

Saturday 28th March

“The 12th Annual Frog March”

(All-Dayer in memory of the legendary DJ Froggy)

The Rising Sun, High Street, Hornchurch, RM12 4UW

“Two Rooms Of Music – Over 20 DJs confirmed”

Including : Bigger, Tony Fernandez, Kev Edwards,

Frostie, Gary Walden, Matt Bigg

Free Entry All Day – 2pm – 2am

Sunday 29th March

(Last Sunday of Each Month)

“Over Roast Of Joy”

Frankies Wine Bar, Station Lane, Hornchurch, RM2 6JL

“Soul, Weekender Anthems & Soulful House”

DJ : Paul Kidley & Sam Green

Special Guest : TBC

Free Entry ; 5.30pm – 11pm

Friday 3rd April

(Every 1st Friday Of the Month)

“The Big Zero Friday Night Out”

The Spread Eagle, High Street, Rayleigh, SS6 7EJ

DJs: Merve The Swerve & Brian Kelly plus guest Zero DJs

“Old Skool Soul, Dance, House, R’n’B,Hip Hop, Disco & more…”

8.30pm – 1.30am ; Free Entry

Saturday 4th April

(1st Saturday of each month)

“Chelmsford City Soul”

Barista, Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JA

DJs: John Peters & John Douglas

“Soul, Funk, Jazz, RnB, 2 Step”

Free Entry ; 9pm – 2am ; Over 30s Only

Friday 10th April

“The Long Good Friday”

Royal Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1JE

“Two rooms of music provided by Stomp DJs”

6pm – 2am ; Tickets £10

Saturday 11th April

“Basildon Over 30s Night”

Holiday Inn, Festival Leisure Park, Basildon, SS14 3DG

DJs : Room 1 – Greg Edwards & John Osborne

“Jazz Funk & Soulful Anthems”

Room 2 – Phil Indulgence

“Club Classics / Urban / House”

9pm – 2am ; Advance Tickets £10

Tickets £12 on the door before 10pm ; £15 after …

Saturday 18th April

“Soul Lounge”

Players Lounge, Radford Way, Billericay, CM12 0DX

DJs: Jeff Young, Euan Bass, Jon Jules, Matthew Bigg

“Soul & House Music”

8pm – 1am ; Limited Tickets £5 ; Over 21s Only

Saturday 25th April

“Southend Soul”

Park Inn Raddison Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2AL

“Live Set by Light Of The World”

DJs: Dennis O’Brien, John Osborne, Tony Monson

Tosca, Collins & Mason

Tickets £22 in advance (£25 on the door)

Sunday 25th May

“Over Roast Of Joy – Bank Holiday Special”

Frankies Wine Bar, Station Lane, Hornchurch, RM12 6JL

DJs: Stretch Taylor, James Anthony, Bully,

Paul Kidley, Sam Green

“All Dayer !” Free Entry – 1pm till 1am

Smart dress, no trainers

Weekenders :

Friday 29th – Sunday 31st May 2020

“Soundcrash Funk & Soul Weekender”

Dreamland Margate

Featuring Roy Ayers & Sister Sledge Live

DJ sets from Craig Charles & Gilles Peterson*F

Friday 31st July – Sunday 2nd August

“Margate Soul Festival 2020”

Details to follow …

Weekly Events:

Fridays :

“Studio Fridays”

The Oakleigh (formerly Bellini’s), London Road, Leigh on Sea

“Soul, House, Disco”

DJ : Guests on rotation

Free Entry ; 9pm – 1am

Monthly Events:
First Friday: Zero Soul Night Out – Spread Eagle, Rayleigh

Third Friday: Soulful Seduction, Bread & Cheese, Benfleet

Third Saturday: The Cricketers, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford

Last Sunday: Overroast Of Joy, Frankies, Hornchurch

Last Thursday : 70s & 80s Soul Night, The Chequers, Billericay

Do you know of any soulful, jazzy, funky gigs taking place in the 2020 ? Let me know the details whether you are a DJ , promoter or a punter and I can spread the word to fellow “Old Gits” in this space !

 E-mail: [email protected] or send a text message to (01268)833978.

 The Old Gits Soul Show is on Gateway 97.8 in Basildon & East Thurrock and also around the world via from 7pm–9pm every Monday, also repeated on Saturday evening from 5pm–7pm, plus you can hear it again anytime you like via the “Listen Again” button on the Gateway website … search “Cool Soul” !

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