Proper rare soul buffs know all about Edinburgh-based boutique label, ATHENS OF THE NORTH  ( an old nickname for the Scottish capital, by the way). Over the years head boy Euan Fryer (aka DJ Fryer) has issued a slew of quality rare soul and the label’s latest release is both – i.e.  a real quality disc and ultra-rare!

Record in question is ‘Give it Up’/’Lets Talk It Over’ from “TL” – the recording alter ego of Tom Lipkins. And talk about rare! Well, we’re told that the original 1986 release is the only record issued by  a label called  Suncoast  and, according to my soul sleuths, none have ever turned up for sale at Discogs! When copies first arrived in the UK, TL was covered up as “Hamilton Connection” by our so-called “keeping the faith/spreading the word” mates!

On the original Suncoast 7”, ’Let’s Talk It Over’   was the A side. It’s a deep and emotional ballad running out at almost 7 minutes and Mr Lipkins really lets rip! Here though ‘Give It Up’  is being billed as  the A side by AOTN and easy to hear why. It’s a  classic  modern soul groove – bright and pacey , it fairly zips along and TL sure offers a great old school, no holds barred  vocal attack. The guitar break after about 3 minutes lets him get his breath back.

Find out more about the release and other great AOTN discs @ https://aotns.bandcamp.com/ and thanks again to our friend Mark Turner @  https://soulstrutter.blogspot.com/ for turning this one up!