In the early months of 2011, five friends got together with the intention of reviving their past lives as gigging musicians. Ade (drums), Si (bass) and Matt (vocals) had been part of a popular ska-punk band in the early nineties called Knucklehead and were missing the buzz of playing to live audiences. The quintet, which also included guitarist, Steve and keyboard player, Mike decided that they wanted to play music for dancers but also something different to other bands on the local music scene. At one of their early meetings the idea of playing up-tempo soul music evolved. At that stage a Northern Soul Band was formed with the provisional name of the AJP Soul Review.

The AJP Soul Review began rehearsing and at the same time advertised vacancies for horn players. In March 2011, sax player, Roger, a veteran of the Newcastle soul scene of the late sixties, was recruited. Shortly after, two more sax players joined the band, strangely enough both called Alex – albeit one male, Alex R and one female, Alex H.  Alex H had been the alto saxophonist with the aforementioned Knucklehead with Ade, Si and Matt, performing under the name of ‘Alex Hornblower’.

There was still one element missing from the now eight-piece band; a female vocalist to belt out all those Northern Soul favourites such as ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘What’. Enter Amanda – a former karaoke singer who had performed a rendition of Hazel O’Connor’s “Will You” with Roger in a Youtube video a year earlier.

By May 2011 the band, now nine strong, began the task of building up a repertoire of Northern Soul songs and accumulating sufficient stage equipment for live performances. However, it would be a full year before the band started gigging under the name of “The All-Nighters”.

In the meantime in late 2011, the band recorded two tracks; covers of the Capitols’ ‘Cool Jerk’ and Gloria Jones’ version of ‘Tainted Love’. Videos of the recording were subsequently uploaded to Youtube – (see below).

By the spring of 2012 the All-Nighters had enough tunes under their belt to be able to perform for two hours. They had also invested in a good quality PA system. Their first gig was at the Riverside Inn, Bradford on Avon on 28th April 2012. The band played to a full house and got a great reception. In spite of the band’s misgivings about playing in local pubs to clientele used to rock, punk and blues bands, bookings steadily came in for the rest of the year. The All-Nighters even began to build up a local following consisting of Northern Soulies who’d been starved of their favourite music in local venues for decades.

2013 was the year the All-Nighters first ventured outside of the west country – first to South Wales in February and then up to Lancashire in April for a ‘Preston’s Got Soul’ event featuring the All-Nighters and the legendary Northern Soul DJ Russ Winstanley. 2013 also saw the first of the band’s line-up changes. Keyboard player Mike left the band in the summer and was temporarily replaced by saxophonist Roger who doubled on saxes and keyboard. The band decided to carry on as an eight-piece and the temporary sax/keys combination became a permanent feature of the band.

Throughout 2014 the All-Nighters continued to perform on a regular basis at venues large and small both in the south west with some further afield. In May 2014 the band did some recording at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio in Box, Wiltshire.

2015 was another year with a combination of local and national gigs commencing with a trip to Pontefract, Yorkshire in the January, continuing through the year with lengthy trips to Cardiff, The Isle of Sheppey in Kent, Swansea, Blackwood and Addlestone in Surrey.

In the autumn, family and personal circumstances resulted in three of the original band members announcing their intention to leave the band. Sax player, Alex H left the band in November and was replaced by tenor saxophonist Debbie. Vocalist, Amanda left in January 2016 and Matt left in May of that year. The two vocalists were seamlessly replaced by Polly and Fordy respectively.

The All-Nighters continued to perform throughout 2016 with memorable gigs at Exmouth Scooter Rally in July, The Retro Festival, Newbury in August and the All-Nighters’ Christmas party at the Cheese and Grain, Frome in December.

Following a fabulous gig at the Globe, Cardiff on 14th January 2017, male vocalist Fordy announced his intention to leave the band. This was followed by a joint decision by other band members in February (unconnected to Fordy’s departure) to wind up the All-Nighters with effect from July 2017.

Gigography

2012

28/04 Riverside Inn, BOA
20/05 Enjoy Festival, Bath
25/05 Sir Audley Arms, Chipp.
30/06 Wedding, Bath
07/07 Riverside Inn, BOA
03/08 Sir Audley Arms, Chipp.
24/08 Rising Sun, North Bradley
08/09 Sir Audley Arms, Chipp.
29/09 West End Inn, Melksham
20/10 40th Party, Frome
26/10 Three Horseshoes, BOA
24/11 Dirty Casino, Bristol
01/12 Mount Pleasant, BOA
08/12 Rising Sun, North Bradley

2013

02/02 Enjoy Y Scooter Club, Wales
16/02 Jenny Wren, Calne
09/03 Paxcroft Mead, Trowbridge
15/03 Bell Inn, Bath
30/03 Party, West End, Chipp.
13/04 The Owl, Bromham
20/04 Preston’s Got Soul
27/04 West End Inn, Melksham
18/05 Dirty Casino, Bristol
19/05 Street Party, Cotham, Bristol
25/05 Rose’s Party, BOA
06/07 Scooter Rally, Tenby
13/07 Scooter Rally, Pewsey
24/08 Wedding, Bath
31/08 Hinton Festival, Trowbridge
21/09 Consti Club, Chipp.
28/09 Jenny Wren, Calne
11/10 Three Horseshoes, BOA
26/10 Longs Arms, Yarnbrook
09/11 The George, BOA
30/11 Private Party, Devizes
14/12 Twelve Bells, Trowbridge
21/12 Dirty Casino, Bristol

2014

25/01 Tilehurst Scooter Club
15/02 Paxcroft Mead, Trowbridge
22/02 Three Horseshoes, BOA
07/03 Cheese and Grain, Frome
29/03 Prestbury Sports Bar, Warm.
05/04 The George, BOA
26/04 Three Horseshoes, BOA
09/05 Dirty Casino, Bristol
16/05 Charlies Bar, Westbury
28/06 Trowbridge Cricket Club
26/07 Scooter Rally, Weston S.Mare
02/08 Three Horseshoes, BOA
09/08 Enjoy Y Scooter Club, Wales
10/08 Retro Festival, Maidenhead
13/09 Consti Club, Chipp.
20/09 The Facebar, Reading
18/10 Three Horseshoes, BOA
24/10 Charlies Bar, Westbury
21/11 Dirty Casino, Bristol
06/12 The Plunknett, Yeovil
12/12 The Black Horse, Trowbridge

2015

17/01 The Gantry, Pontefact
24/01 Prestbury Sports Bar, Warm.
13/02 Three Horseshoes, BOA
28/02 The Owl, Bromham
13/03 Charlies Bar, Westbury
20/03 Molloys Bar , Bath
25/04 Three Horseshoes, BOA
22/05 The Globe, Cardiff
30/05 Scooter Rally, Sheppey
20/06 Three Horseshoes, BOA
11/07 Pontardawe, Swansea
08/08 Enjoy Y Scooter Club, Wales
21/08 Hinton Festival, Trowbridge
12/09 N.S. Night, Addlestone
10/10 Three Horseshoes, BOA
23/10 The Wheatsheaves, Frome
07/11 The Owl, Bromham
14/11 Prestbury Sports Bar, Warm.
05/12 Consti Club, Chipp.
11/12 Charlies Bar, Westbury

2016

09/01 Private Party, Devizes
23/01 The Globe, Cardiff
05/02 Three Horseshoes, BOA
12/02 The Wheatsheaves, Frome
12/03 Prestbury Sports Bar, Warm.
23/04 The Moonrakers, Pewsey
30/04 Railway Inn, Westbury
06/05 Melksham Assembly Hall
15/06 Three Horseshoes, BOA
23/07 Cornerhouse, Frome
29/07 Exmouth Scooter Rally
06/08 New Crown, Merthyr Tydfil
07/08 Soul On The Locks, Exeter
13/08 Retro Festival, Newbury
10/09 Paulton Rovers Football Club
17/09 Railway Inn, Westbury
15/10 Prestbury Sports Bar, Warm.
21/10 The Wheatsheaves, Frome
26/11 Scooter Club,Waltham Abbey
16/12 Three Horseshoes, BOA
23/12 Cheese and Grain, Frome