Back in its original spiritual Eden for a bespoke ‘one off’ to celebrate 25 years old good old-fashion ‘how it used be’ Southport Heritage Weekender pulled out all the stops. Having something to celebrate this year with celebratory parties for SuncéBeat no. 5 and all-dayer Camelot, this was the first time in a long time the organisers have had an autumn party, this was one not to be missed. I didn’t think the 50th could be outdone that is until I saw the line-up and my jaw dropped.

I was having feelings of deja vu again as Friday night’s line-up was the one for me and believe me it had me darting all over the place from one room to the next trying to discern my ears. My reviews I will come to later, but my standout performances I will never ever forget are Jean Carne, Sounds Of Blackness and FatBack Band. I also loved the love in the room for Kindred Family Soul, wow what a performance.

Louie Vega’s Dance Ritual was hotly tipped as the place to be and it was hot; and in hot pursuit was Karizma as he tore up The Beat Bar. This will go down in my memory as one of the best experiences I’ve had and I’m sure it will be the same for many – I feel honoured and privileged to part of that history. But the mother of all afterparties to end all afterparties and an incredible finale has to go to the Body & SOUL crew aka François K, Danny Krivit and Joe Claussell – it really was that special.

Reviewed by Sandra Swaybe-Barrett

Book now for Southport Weekender 52

Photography by Sandra Swaybe-Barrett and Stephen Norwood

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