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An article by Diane Cooke in today’s Lancashire Telegraph previews the SoulTrain’s headline appearance at Darwen Live 2014

“HOME-Grown nine-piece northern soul band The Soul Train — featuring ex-Simply Red drummer Chris Joyce — will be the main stage finale act at this year’s Darwen Live music festival on Bank Holiday Monday.

Vocalist Paul Stuart Davies, 31, from Darwen, says it’s an exciting time, particularly with the inclusion of Chris Joyce, from Hebden Bridge, one of the original line-up of Simply Red. He played on the band’s monster worldwide number one hit Holding Back the Years and other band hits.

The last six years have seen The Soul Train cement their reputation as the UK’s top Northern Soul band, following regular sell-out shows at The Grand in Clitheroe, Burnley Mechanics and other notable North West venues. With an army of followers and admirers, including legendary Wigan Casino DJs Richard Searling and Keith Fletcher, their recent shows at Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Ascot Racecourse and the ‘Northern Soul All-Nighter’ at The Victoria Baths “Un-Rest Festival” in Manchester have seen the band gain recognition further afield.

The group’s guitarist and co-founder Steven Lindley says: “It has been a long time coming but now we can’t wait to bring our show to the good people of Darwen. It will be a great night. When we first started the band five years ago we played Motown, Stax and Classic Soul. However, it has been our attention to Northern Soul which has seen the band’s profile rise dramatically in a very short space of time.”

Most of the band are local from Darwen, Blackburn, Burnley and Belmont.

The lineup is: Paul Stuart Davies (vocals), Steven Lindley (guitar), Gary Ward (bass), Chris Joyce (drums), Steven Derbyshire (baritone saxophone), Andrew Proctor (alto saxophone and flute), Tec Etchells (keyboards), Lee Howson (trumpet) and Rod Wilson (trumpet).

Steven, who owns a recording studio in Darwen, and Gary Ward were the original founders of the Darwen Live Music Festival before the popular event was taken over by the council.

Paul, a vocal coach who runs the Elite School of Music in Darwen, was spotted by a band member five years ago singing soul classics in a pub. Since then he’s extended his repertoire to include northern soul.

“When I joined I was singing soul classics like Sam and Dave, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, but we’ve tapped into the northern soul scene because there’s such a huge demand and audience for it. We still do the old Motown and classic ’60s soul too.”

“I’m not a dancer though,” he laughs. “Which is fine because people come to listen not watch us. They’re hard-core soulies who are too much into their own dancing.”

Darwen Live Festival is on Sunday and Monday and is free.”

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