30 Jun 2010 / Jim Murray
Cherry Bar 10th SOUL Birthday
On Thursday 1 July the Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane Melbourne will celebrate the historic 10th birthday of its legendary Soul In The Basement night with original DJs Pierre ‘Soul Groove ‘66’ Baroni and Vince ‘The ‘Soul Time’ Peach, making it the world’s longest running weekly soul night!
Vince and Pierre only play original 45rpm vinyl singles that they personally own and from 9pm to 5am on this special 10th birthday celebration will alternate DJing on an hourly basis.
How come a little bar in Melbourne Australia hosts the world’s longest running soul night? Let’s scratch the surface with these Questions and Answers with PBS radio icons Pierre and Vince:
How did this Soul night begin?
PIERRE: the way I remember it; there was a soul night on Thursdays in the first days of Cherry. It wasn’t going too well, crowd-wise, and one night Vince and I went there and Billy (Walsh, founding Partner) said he was gonna can it, as it wasn’t working. Vince and I offered to take the night over and eventually we did. Slowly, it built up and within a few months was pulling the big crowd it still does today.
VINCE: The soul night was started by Chris from Collectors Corner and I used to do a guest spot most weeks. Chris had other commitments so me and Pierre carried it on, Bill from the outset said he would give us at least 12 months,
but it was always popular after the first couple of months.
Why has it endured for so long at Cherry?
PIERRE: I think Vince and I have a pretty healthy attitude to playing to crowds. We kinda have a ‘give them one they know and then one they don’t know’ attitude. Eventually, the one they don’t know becomes another one they do know… and so on. I’m a bit more populist out of the two of us and I don’t need to sleep. So eventually I gravitated to the later ‘party’ spot. Along the way we seem to have acquired a large Uni student crowd, that I like to call “the one o’clock shift”.
VINCE: Mainly because it was for years the only place you could hear soul music. And it’s a groovy bar.
3. What’s been your most memorable experience/night?
PIERRE: They kinda all blur into one for me… maybe the night all the Rolling Stones’ crew came down. I was spinning away, when this young beautiful girl came up to me and handed me a tiny piece of paper. I thought it was another song request and didn’t look at it straight away. Then a guy ran up and excitedly said, “do you know who that is?” I said I didn’t and the guy told me it was Theodora Richards, Keef’s daughter… anyhow, I decided to look at the piece of paper she had handed me… and it was a cigarette paper. On it she had drawn a picture of me playing my 45s…all on this tiny Ventti cigarette paper, it was Dali-esque.
VINCE: My most memorable night was Thursday 16 November 2006,
when we had a 100+ Northern Soulies in from around Australia.
It was the dance lesson the locals needed.
4. How is it different today to 10 years ago?
PIERRE: It’s kinda pretty much the same to me, except the crowd seems to get there a little later every year.
VINCE: A different crowd to when we started, though still some drop in early.
Before going home to the wife and kids; today’s crowd not so savvy
and not so keen on stuff they don’t know, but still a few get into it.
5. What famous people have you seen enjoying your music?
PIERRE: It seems to be a favourite haunt for overseas bands to have their ‘end of tour’ party… we get ALL kinds. We’ve had a few… Pearl Jam, Oasis, The Dap-Kings, Stones, Bowie, Betty Harris, Eagles of Death Metal, Arctic Monkeys… Ryan Adams was a beauty, bugged me all night about every record I played and then invited me to his show the next night, an out-of-it genius.
VINCE: Cathy Freeman, the cast of ‘A Secret Life of Us’, Melbourne International Film Festival identities such as Geoffrey Rush,….
loads. Always someone in I am supposed to know.
Any other comment to add?
PIERRE: I love the fuckin’ place!
Thursday 1 July celebrate a decade of Cherry SOUL In The Basement.
9pm to 5am. Saskwatch play live at 10pm. Tix $15, only on the Cherry door.
Cherry Bar AC/DC Lane Melbourne