Mike Shawe (aka Hot Buttered Soul) was inspired in his early music tastes by his Dad who loved all things Jazz, Soul and Disco, and then through helping his older brother run his mobile Disco in the mid-70s.
From the 80s, Mike spent all his time in record shops buying what was being played in the clubs as well as those tunes being reviewed by James Hamilton in his specialist black music column in Record Mirror magazine. So when some friends set up Bristol’s first ever Pirate Radio station, BAD, it was a chance to play the music he loved and be part of a movement that would shake up the city. He specialised in Soul, Boogie and Rare Groove and his record collection began.
Mike relocated to Marbella in the early 80s playing at a club called ‘Lazers’ opposite Puerto Banus. He returned to Bristol in 1985 to DJ alongside Paul ‘Bozak’ Morrissey at Sanborns, followed by a residency at Players in Bath. During the early 90’s Mike held a long residency at Lakota in Bristol for 1 Love (arguably the biggest house night in the South West) with a day job managing the Bristol franchise of Time Is Right records, a black music retail and mail order specialist based in London. When this store closed he opened his own independent record shop bangbang with now wife Rachel, which only closed in 2005.
Over the past decade Mike has re-focused on his black music roots, playing the hugely respected Oslo Soul Weekender & Touchdown, Soulshakers in Bamburg, Shindig Festival, Love Saves The Day, Port Elliot, and the Liverpool Disco festival amongst others. Mike continues to DJ and promote his own successful Hot Buttered Soul events at Bristol’s Best underground venues, such as The Love Inn, The Crofters Rights and his longstanding residency at The Plough Inn, a small reggae pub with a huge sound system. Mike is currently working on a project with Paulo from Divine Situation with a view to a vinyl release in 2022.
Each week we will be taking a dip into the crates and minds of some of the digging scenes most prolific collectors.
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DIGGR: First record purchase and where you bought it?
Mike Shawe: “Kay’s Records in Yate was my local record shop where I purchased my first 12” single ‘Ring My Bell’ by Anita Ward. I was 13. This was the beginning of my addiction to vinyl.”
D: What were your earliest musical influences?
MS: “At home I was schooled in Soul, Jazz and Big band by my Dad. I fondly remember the album sleeve art of the Isaac Hayes LP ‘Live At The Sahara Tahoe’, on my Dads turntable. I helped my brother with his mobile disco “Solar Explosion”; he was a Soul and Funk aficionado and played Philly Soul, Funk and Disco.
We used to rock up in his Ford Transit with flames painted above the wheel arches and his logo on the side wearing matching satin jackets. Happy days!”
D: One record that sums up your happiest memories and where does it take you back to?
MS: “Bimbo Jet – ‘El Bimbo’.
A not so well known French Euro Disco holiday hit that takes me back to happy times of holidaying in Spain with my Mum.”
D: What’s the one thing people don’t know about you?
MS: “I am a 2nd Degree black belt In Lau Gar King Fu… but I never use my moves in anger. I’m a lover, not a fighter!
And yes, I do have “Kung Fu Fighting” in my record collection, that Carl Douglas LP includes a nice Modern Soul track.”
D: What is it about vinyl that makes you dig it?
MS: “There are many things I enjoy about collecting and playing vinyl. I love having something tangible, the way it feels in my hands, the label and the sleeve design, the run-out etchings, and coloured pressings make them all so individual (and collectable). It never ceases to amaze me how sound comes from its grooves – its physics but it feels like a miracle.
Vinyl is the purest format to play with; it pushes me as a technical DJ and keeps me on my toes. I enjoy the whole “pulling records” before a gig ritual and the restrictive nature of having to choose from only what you have selected for your record bag when it comes to the party. “