Lost Summer Love star Silver still has Northern Soul
MOD and Northern Soul fans are in for a treat at the Alban Arena tomorrow (Friday) night with the Mod All Star Band playing the St Albans venue with Chris Farlowe, Steve Ellis and Lorraine Silver on the bill.
NORTHERN Soul diva Lorraine Silver’s story highlights how good fortune and timing can make or break a singer’s career.
In 1965, aged just 13, she was signed by record label PYE after recording a version of Bryan Hyland’s Sealed With A Kiss in a ‘do-it-yourself’ booth in a branch of Woolworths on Oxford Street, central London.
A few months later chart success beckoned when her debut single, the stomping Lost Summer Love, was due to be aired on TV programme Ready Steady Go!
However, her appearance on the hit show was pulled at the last minute and her spot was given to The Overlanders – who shared the same agent – and their cover of The Beatles song Michelle became a huge hit after appearing on prime-time TV.
The pounding Lost Summer Love failed to dent the charts, and neither did follow-up single The Happy Faces, and Lorraine found herself back at school without a recording contract.
Years later, without her knowledge, Lorraine’s upbeat cover of Shelley Fabres’ ballad Lost Summer Love became a huge dancefloor favourite at legendary Northern Soul venue The Wigan Casino.
It’s still a massive record today on the Northern Soul and scooter scene and original copies sell for hundreds of pounds on eBay.
Lorraine did make a second stab at stardom in the 70s.
Under her married name at that time, Lorraine West, she appeared in numerous cabaret clubs throughout the country.
After successfully passing auditions, she was lucky enough to gain a place on New Faces, a hugely popular television talent show of the era and a forerunner of today’s X-Factor.
Lorraine may never have discovered the record she had made in her youth was being enjoyed by a sub-culture movement had it not been for her second husband, agent Barry Collings, reading in the Blues & Soul magazine a top 10 selection of favourite Northern Soul tracks by DJ Nick Gregg, which included Lost Summer Love.
Since then she’s appeared at various events on the Northern Soul and scooter scene.
Having made a guest appearance at the Chelmsford Scooter Club’s weekender in Camber Sands, Sussex, last summer, Lorraine will join The Mod All Star Band in St Albans on Friday night.
The musicians ‘keeping the faith’ are New Amen Corner, a six-piece band led by sax player Frogman Curtis, Steve Ellis, the lead singer from The Love Affair who had a number one hit with Everlasting Love, and Chris Farlowe, a chart-topper with Out of Time.
Tickets cost £22.50 and £20.