Taking place over three days in the humble surroundings of an old-fashioned British holiday camp, the Southport Weekender is one of the longest running events of its kind, and has been the annual epicentre of soulful club music for over two decades. Though famously inspired by the Northern Soul movement, both the festival and its accompanying series of mix CDs are renowned for staying loyal to their musical roots while embracing developments in the wider scene, keeping the vibe alive without retreading the same old sounds. This ninth edition is no different, matching the classically-informed U.S. grooves of DJ Spinna with the eccentric approach of British hero Mr Scruff.
As you’d expect, Scruff’s contribution is a trainspotter’s delight, digging up taut funk gems from Chet Ivy and Luther Davis Grouped alongside contemporary deep house jams by Theo Parrish, Moodyman and Rick Wilhite. Spinna’s mix is a tougher, more electronic affair, layering vocal cuts like Cubar and Nathan X’s “Crying For Love” with the darker techno moods of Foremost Poets, Hardhouse and 2AM/FM. Mature, lovingly crafted, and refreshingly unconcerned by the dizzying turnover of current dance music trends, both mixes showcase true music lovers doing what they do best — just like the Southport Weekender itself.