A day in the life of a soul boy

A day in the life of a soulboy – this is an interview with Pete ‘Schoey’ Schofield. A well respected local dj and collector of soul vinyl. Edited by Stephen Harvey

It was not all glamour in the 1970s, as local DJ and Radio host Pete ‘Schoey’ Schofield recalls. It was hard work being a collector back in the days of The Golden Torch. It all started at 5am and my first job of the day, a paper round, followed by a walk to Tunstall High Street to start job number 2 at Smiths family butchers. I worked for Jeff Smith, the local butcher and 5 hours of cleaning the fridges and prep rooms making them spotlessly clean to earn that few extra quid to be added to my paper round money before walking to job number three at Sadlers picture framers in Hanley. I did this after school in the week too, as well as a Saturday, and all of this hard work was for one reason only, to buy soul records.

Every Saturday I would walk to Burslem, the Mother town of the Potteries to see what Keith Minshull had put on display in Bew’s record shop window. I would be joined on this weekly quest by Pat Shaw, another mad collector at the time, to discuss what we knew and what we had discovered reading Blues and Soul magazines.

There was no Internet back in the seventies, it was all word of mouth, reading magazines and talking to the faces, people that you knew in the know so to speak. I can remember us standing and staring in the window at Bew’s, eyes wide and actually slathering over 45s. We were just mystified at the wonderful and beautiful US imports that Keith had put in to tantalise us and draw us in, floating like the Bisto kids in the gravy adverts.

We would quickly run past the prams and bikes on the ground floor and hurtle full throttle up the stairs to the records. Either Keith or Barbara would play us every new vinyl that they had in stock that day, they sounded out of this world on that classic Garrard SP25 MK1V turntable.

Barbara never used to say a lot, but her smiles said a lot to us daft, over enthusiastic young lads. We bought Motown and lots of imports, which were my absolute love at the time.

We chatted about the sounds we were after, and quite often didn’t even know the titles of, but Keith would always know what we were after. They were the pounding sounds that we had heard at the youth clubs. We were very lucky to hear some amazing Dj’s including Steve Driscoll and Mr Golden Torch himself, the mighty Keith Minshull, Top Ranks Pete Steel, Chris Williams, Soul Sam and Colin Curtis to name but a few. These were the big collectors locally, and remember this was BEFORE the Torch had even opened its doors.

We would meet in Burslem or Hanley in the many cafes to swap and sell the latest finds.seeing and swapping records we had bought in the Soul packs we’d got our eager hands on from The Soul bowl and other sources.

John Anderson was the big supplier to us young kids with the Soul Bowl LISTS and the other main source of new music and learning what was on offer which was tapes.

Tape swapping, recorded tapes with the latest big tunes from the Wheel days and local clubs.

We were too young to get into famed Golden Torch on Hose street, so we all met up by the Fire doors behind it to listen and dance outside.
So that’s the day in the life of a mad collector and lover of the SOUL scene, just absolute enthusiasm for this wonderful, soulful music and a way of life for a soulboy and 45 King.

Listen below to Soul with a smile on podomatic



Charity All Dayer


Marvelous Night Of Soul

soul heaven

Soul Night in Stoke

All dayer finished

Bad Edit Presents



Advertised as a ‘jam with a difference’ Marmalade at the New Vic in Basford proved to be exactly ‘as it says on the tin’ or jar in this case. The concept is musicians from all sorts of backgrounds producing a sound that is both original and 100% Stoke.

On my visit their was an upright piano, didgeridoo, a plethora of assorted drums and percussion instruments, violinist, acoustic guitars, saxophone, mouth organ, vocalists (including singing, spoken word and rapping) and a big screen pumping out various images to both induce and inspire the musical creations.

It most certainly was like nothing I have ever been to before and I was soon welcomed in and urged to pick up an instrument and ‘have a go’ Being a bit of a novice and of a nervous disposition musically I decided on shakers (because they looked the easiest) and they were the closest.

The group was very welcoming and best of all FREE to take part.

The group runs every Monday from 7:30 until 10 pm at the rear of the New Vic Theatre

Contact stephen.harvey70@ntlworld.com for more details

Poems and Pints at The Leopard

The Leopard Inn Hotel in Burslem, Stoke on Trent is the superb venue for the monthly ‘Poems and Pints’ night, that is hosted by the well-known musician Richard Faulkner in partnership with the City Voices Writers from Hanley.

The night is being advertised inside the venue as taking part on ‘the last Tuesday of the month’ and has so far been quite well attended by the 20 or so regular members of the City Voices forum.

The group is probably better known for its festival of words and music, which again has been held at the Leopard Hotel for many years, and has been so popular it has even brought them to the attention of The Sentinel ‘our hero’ awards for their hard work raising funds for many local charities.

This is the first time the group has ventured out into the ‘pub scene’ in Stoke on Trent. With many similar ‘poetry nights’ springing up all over and around Staffordshire and The Moorlands, they will certainly have their work cut out to both entertain the general public and to have the many local poets flocking to share their own work to both their fellow writers and with an eager and attentive crowd.

For me the night was quite ‘sterile’ when it is compared to the many ‘poetry slams’ and hip hop nights that I have attended over the years, but that said; this is Stoke on Trent so maybe my expectations are far too high just yet

My only ‘real gripe’ was that the vast bulk of work read on the night was by members of City Voices reading comedy verse, various ‘meaningful prose’ and some recollections of the 1950’s that I have heard many, many times before (being a former member of City Voices for many years)

My concern is this: If this night is to survive and to flourish with so many similar ‘open mic nights’ that also cater for poets and comedians, it will surely need a constant and varied influx of ‘new blood’ and ‘new ideas’ to keep it interesting and not quickly become ‘just another city voices meeting, in a pub’

Stephen Harvey

Open Mic


Gig Guide Friday 20th – Friday 27th April 2012


Above The Underground make their long awaited return to Crewe’s music scene with a headline slot at The Box this evening from 7:30pm. The band have defended pop punk alongside the likes of scene bigwigs, Set Your Goals, A Loss For Words and Elliot Minor. New Romantics also return in support with debuts for both White Eskimo and Aeris. Tickets are £5.

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Be Back Soon!

As you might have noticed we’re currently away from the website… but we’ll be back very very soon! Continue to get in touch via Facebook and the usual outlets!!

In the meantime why not check out this video from Local Heroes All The Young. The track Horizon is out on March 26th.

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