Chris Brown first got into Afro American music whilst living in Southport during the mid-sixties. His interest in Soul, R&B and Jazz regularly took him to clubs like the now legendary ’Twisted Wheel’ in Manchester. When Chris moved back down to Surrey in 1967 there weren’t many clubs playing the type of music that Chris had got into and so he began DJ’ing to fill the void for himself and a few likeminded friends. After 2 or 3 years working in small clubs and running a mobile disco, for an electronics company, Chris went to work in a club in Spain for a season, to gain more experience.
On his return in 1973, Chris was offered a residency at ‘Pantiles’ in Bagshot, Surrey where he established himself as a DJ specialising in American Soul music. He built on his notoriety at other residencies like ‘Frenchies’ in Camberley, ‘Jacksons’ in Staines and ‘The Belvedere’ in Ascot. He was soon doing guest spots all over the country.
In 1976 he was invited to DJ at the biggest Soul all-dayers in the South of England which at that time were held at the ‘Top Rank Suite’ in Reading. The success of these events was further enhanced in 1977 when Chris suggested the addition of DJ Chris Hill (then resident at the ‘Lacy Lady’ in Seven Kings, Essex). In 1978 Greg Edwards (presenter of ‘Soul Spectrum’ on Capital Radio at the time) and Robbie Vincent (who was BBC Radio London’s main man) were added to the line-up. The overwhelming attendance that ensued necessitated the move to a larger venue in Purley.
The amazing success of the all-dayers at ‘Tiffanys’ in Purley and the similar events staged around the country gave Robbie Vincent the idea to take the concept to the next logical phase and in 1979 the Soul Weekender was born at Caister near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
Around this time Chris Brown was a regular guest on BBC Radio London’s ‘Robbie Vincent’s Saturday Soul Show’, standing in for Robbie on occasions to co-host the show with Graham ‘Fatman’ Canter (then resident at ‘Gullivers’ in Mayfair, London). Chris has since presented and been interviewed on numerous shows on radio stations. He has also appeared on various TV programs documenting the music.
In 1980 he wrote and published a book called ‘The Family Album’ which chronicled the UK Soul scene to date. He has also written and reviewed music for various music publications including ‘Blues and Soul’. Chris has also compiled, mixed and produced recordings for numerous labels and in 1990 achieved chart success with a reworking of the Staple Singers’ ‘Trippin’ on Your Love’ by A Way of Life.
Chris has played in many exotic locations from Ibiza to London Zoo, alongside many internationally known acts and a variety of DJ luminaries that include; Pete Tong, Colin Curtis, Gilles Peterson, Paul Oakenfold, Trevor Nelson, Bob Jones, Norman Jay, Bobbi and Steve, Richard Searling, Tim Westwood, Carl Cox, Snowboy, Peter Young, Nicky Holloway and Frostie!
It is our honour to have Chris join us at Lagoona Soul