Top DJ Ian Gibbons returns to his roots

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Ian Gibbons
Ian Gibbons

A radio DJ who’s worked with music legends like Bob Marley and the Four Tops is returning to his roots with a guest slot at a Deeside Northern soul night.

Ian Gibbons, who goes under the DJ name, The Barron, is guesting at The Soulnights at Connah’s Quay Navy Club on Friday and says it will be the first time he’s played vinyl records in over 40 years.

Ian Gibbons
Ian Gibbons

Deeside Community Radio DJ Ian, 61, who spends most of his time in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s operating theatres where he works as an anaesthetic practitioner assisting anaesthetists, says North Wales is fast becoming a Northern Soul hub.

He said: “I’m really excited about getting my hands on vinyl again and playing Northern Soul which is undergoing a real revival in light of the film, Northern Soul which has proved a big hit this year with UK movie goers.

“It’s all about the dancing for me it’s incredible. No one goes to these nights and just stands there. It’s all about the beat and that’s gets people up dancing.

“The Soulnights at Connah’s Quay Navy Club is attracting crowds of 150 plus, it really is proving very popular.”

Ian, who has a weekly Saturday evening Radio Deeside show between 6 and 9pm, has been a DJ for as long as he can remember and has worked with some of music’s biggest names.

He said: “I started life in Wolverhampton and used to work at the 67 Club. Bob Marley performed there in 1973 on the Whalers’ Catch a Fire tour to promote the album of the same name.

“I was the resident DJ and meeting Bob Marley was amazing and even if he wasn’t that famous then he was still very charismatic. He asked me what I was doing, a young long-haired white man, working in a club that was full of afro Caribbean men. It was something I hadn’t really thought much about to be honest.

“I also worked with the likes of The Four Tops at the 67 Club and am still in contact with The Duke, Abdul Fakir, today. Sadly the rest of the guys are no longer with us. They were great days.”

Ian says he moved north to Deeside some 15 years or so ago along with his wife and two, now adult, sons.

He said: “I love the area and my work at the Countess of Chester Hospital. I also compere the Chester Santa Dash every year and look after the music for the annual Deeside Firework Display on behalf of the Fire Service.

“And I‘m delighted Radio Deeside is growing in popularity. I play a fair bit of soul in the first hour of my Saturday show before playing pure Northern Soul for the remainder of the show which is repeated on Monday.

“It’s all about getting people in the mood for going out and having a good time. And that’s what Northern Soul is all about – having a good time. It’s amazing how North Wales has become a real centre for Northern Soul.

“If you used to enjoy the genre in the 1970’s I’d suggest you get down to the Navy Club in Connah’s Quay this Friday. And if you’re too young to remember the 1970’s come down anyway and see what all the fuss is about!”