Boney Votel


'One of my biggest influences early on, after trying to make Hip Hop on my own, was meeting Boney.  He was two years older than me and the first person I met who had a record collection. 


I’m happy to admit that Boney will always have more records than me because he’s an animal. A nightmare. Boney buys records every day.  Boney can’t leave the house without coming back with a record.' 


- Andy Votel: October 2010

Boney Votel
Boney Votel

Mark Rathbone posts on VG+ as Boney Votel, on Forumusic as Visions Of Tomato, Egg & Lettuce and works by day as a mental health professional, hence his Waxidermy forum name of mentalhealth.


He has a lot of records and is a first point of contact in the UK for a large US vinyl retailer who knows that his relentless digging regularly supplies great UK and European records at a price they can afford.


Of more importance to his wide circle of UK friends is his natural propensity for living it large and sharing his enthusiasm for music across every conceivable spectrum.


He travels widely both to find great records and to share them as a DJ and has done so obssessively since the age of fifteen.


To clear a common misconception, Andy Votel and Boney Votel are not blood-related but their close friendship was forged via their shared passion for making music.

Votel stands for Violators Of The English Language, a Hip Hop crew started by Boney whilst he was still at school. V.O.T.E.L may well be the only (and therefore the finest) Hip Hop crew ever to emerge from Northwich / Stockport UK.


Boney has yet to see it, but lying around somewhere out there is a recording of an early 90s BBC2 show about the way the English language evolves featuring a seventeen year-old Boney being interviewed by Alan Yentob.


It definitely aired, as Boney was congratulated on his performance by his colleagues at Sainsbury's where he earned vital record buying wages as a Saturday assistant while he was still at college.


His first ever lp at the age of 9 was a Blood, Sweat and Tears one which his brass band loving grandfather paid him 50p to turn off. It didn't put Boney off.


As a skateboarding teenager in primary school he found an affinity for the Electro music he began hearing on the radio and graduated quickly into breakdancing and the world of street counter culture.

Boney Votel
Boney Votel

At the age of thirteen his record collecting began in earnest with the purchase of a cheap stack record player and two 45s from Woolies; Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite and a Housemartins one.


The Stu Allen radio show called Bus' Diss on Picadilly 102FM ....


...accelerated Boney's immersion into Hip Hop culture kicking off as it did every week with Grandmaster Flash- Whoop containing the refrain Bus' Diss!


Grandmaster Flash - Bus' Diss



Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Public Enemy lps became his listening staples and lead later on to searches for the sample sources at Omega Records second-hand branch in Northwich Cheshire.


Along came Cold Chillin' records and the passion took a firmer hold with the likes of Biz, BDK and Shante.


Thinking back I can see that I've always been a bit of a label obssessive.


From Def Jam, Cold Chillin' and Wild Pitch on to Cadet and Chess then Strata East and Impulse and now Blue Beat, ARGO and Topic!


If only they were in some sort of order!!



Forumusic is saving Boney's stories of creating bedroom tapes, enthusiasm for UK Hip Hop, the formation of V.O.T.E.L, his meeting with Andrew Shallcross (soon to be Andy Votel) and early funk DJ-ing experiences in Manchester for a later date.


Today it's exactly a dozen years on from Boney's Southport Dance Music Weekender excursion and the man who graduated from rapping at youth clubs in Stockport to spinning twisted funk jams, Krautrock, and Bollywood at B-Music nights is reminiscing about his old Wants lists as we drive into Preston town centre to visit Boney's lock-up.

Boney Votel


Boney's Lock-Up


A steel door slides open to reveal a Storage Wars style lock-up that any vinyl collector would dream about.


Gingerly tip-toeing through the tiny amount of available floor space Boney darts here and there fishing out potential records to share with forumusic to add to the stellar ones he's already pulled from the record racks at home.


At breathless intervals I'm presented with a variety of platters. A full run of UK Electro lps resides in one box and a little later Boney turns around and fans out a large run of choice Chappell library lps like a deck of cards.


There are amazing soul and funk 45s and when a small pile of lps collapses the minor avalanche reveals some rare 50s and 60s British jazz lps.


Boney frequently indicates records which were important to him in his youth before we head back into daylight and backto Boney's neat semi-dtached home in Preston for an afternoon listening session.


Marcia Griffiths After Laughter

Marcia Griffiths - After Laughter


I think most collectors these days will probably have heard of Wendy Rene - After Laughter (Comes Tears) on Stax.


I became aware of that song via the Wu-Tang Clan back in the day but it was latterly reintroduced to me as part of the soundtrack on the TV show This Is England where it was used very poignantly.


I bought this primarily for the A-side Hugh Godfrey - Go Tell Him.


I say 'bought' this record I actually traded it for The Trees - Epitaph on CBS with Sie Fly (Sie Norfolk) at the last years Byker Groove record meet.


The Hugh Godfrey is a rocksteady bomb but flipping it over you've got Marcia Griffiths doing After Laughter and just to hear something you dearly love done over a rocksteady / ska beat is just so exciting and kind of struck a chord with me.

I think the reason I like it so much is because the vocals on the original are so aching and painfully delivered and this version just kind of gives the song a completely different edge and really made me buzz.'s a minter! So thank you Sie Fly.


Plus! It's Studio 1. Red and White.


You can't f***in knock it!





Marcia Griffiths - After Laughter


Hugh Godfrey - Go Tell Him





Hugh Godfrey Go Tell Him


Griot Galaxy - XY Moch


This is a privately pressed free jazz lp from Detroit released on the Black & White label in 1982.


The track here is XY Moch; the main theme that gets a short reprise as the last track on the flip side. Whilst many folk baulk at the term free jazz this lp is actually a very accessible listen with a nice nod to funky fusion and elements of the avant-garde.


I especially dig the almost slap-disco bass that features on this track.


Entry level free jazz for for those with sensitive ear drums maybe?




Griot Galaxy - XY Moch


Yusef Lateef - Chang, Chang, Chang


I pulled this one out because I was looking at one of my old mid-90s Wants Lists and I've only just realised I can now cross it off!


For me it's one of Lateef's best records. It's on the label with the trumpeter on which is the original Verve label.

I made forays into listening to a lot more jazz round about 2005 or thereabouts and first heard this track on Talkin' Verve which despite being a very poorly pressed compilation had a lot of good stuff on it.


When I got the lp I was also impressed with the track Before Dawn which is a Lateef track I already knew from John Cameron's Off Centre lp on Deram.


Chang, Chang, Chang is definitely something that I would play if I was DJ-ing a set out for jazz people and wanted to get them dancing.


Yusef Lateef - Chang, Chang, Chang

Yusef Lateef
Mark The Res Wants List

Wants Book

Demon Boyz - Vibes


I spoke to you earlier about my affiliation to Hip Hop and I used to obssessively collect a lot of UK Hip Hop like Hijack, Krispy 3, MC Mello and lots of stuff released on the Music Of Life label.


This is a 12" from 1998 from the Demon Boyz debut lp which stands alone for me as one of the top 3 UK Hip Hop records of all time. Vibes has got that kind of heavy backbeat going on which certainly worked in clubs at the time and it's got kind of ragga influences going on.


It's a deviation from the kind of stuff i buy now but when I look back I would say that the Demon Boyz certainly have a very important place in my collection.


The Demon Boyz lp - Recognition & The London Possee lp - Gangter Chronicles are the dog's doodahs as far as that era goes.


Demon Boyz - Vibes

Demon Boyz
The Impressions

The Impressions - This Is My Country


Considering one of the best records I bought early on was Curtis Mayfield's - Curtis that lead me directly, obviously, to the Impressions.


This is the lp This Is My Country, the UK issue on Buddah records and it's just beautiful soul music.


Expertly written songs delivered by the falsetto voice of Curtis Mayfield and I don't think you can mess with it as an album.


One of the best things about playing records in the funk genre was that you could 'impress' with soul! I always threw Impressions records and the like in and they never failed to hit and they still do.


We're A Winner! Play that and it's hands in the air time.


In terms of gut-wrenching, heartachingly beautiful music I don't think there's anything to touch it.


You've got Donny Hathaway right in there, Curtis Mayfield obviously, and it's got that Black Power / Civil Rights movement thing going on too.


You just have to listen to the live version of Stone Junkie - 'I think I fell in a hole' the coolest shit I'd ever heard.






Impressions - This Is My Country



Impressions - Fool

Rozetta Johnson

Rozetta Johnson - Mine Was Real


This is a 45 produced by Sam Dees on Clinton records which I think was distributed by ACTO


This strikes a chord with me because it takes me back to the days of DJ-ing funk nights on Oldham Street in Manchester at Night and Day, Dry Bar and Straight Eights. .


Adam Lever introduced me to this one and I just think it's a great, great soul record; Mister Rookie did this a lot! It's got that sort of hands-in-the-air groove to it and impassioned vocals.


As soon as I heard it I went down to Beating Rhythm and bought two of copies of it one of which I've since sold. It shouldn't be too hard to find. It's a staple in my box.



Rozetta Johnson - Mine Was Real

Gus Poole - Hallelujah Alright Amen


This is on the tiny Novasonic record label from Los Angeles and whilst I'm no expert in saying anything profound of knowledgeable about this, I can say 'This organ kicks ass!'


Privately pressed obviously. It talks on the back cover about Gus Poole playing in and around Los Angeles with people like Al Hirt etc.


I did pay a pretty penny for this because of the two tracks that really deliver on here.


I got this when I was listening to and buying a lot of organ grinding jazz, things like Rusty Bryant - Fire Eater, Jimmy Smith and the like.


The main track for me is Hallelujah, Alright, Amen simply because it's got that groovy church organ thing going on but an additional bonus is an enormous drum break from back when I was into drum breaks.

Gus Poole Soul Revolution

Not that you could sample it, it's just a really groovy organ grinder.


Sod breaks! That's for backpackers, great records contain breaks and they remain great records with or without the sweated thirty second break segment.


I played this at one of the Byker events thinking it was unknown and it was to all but TOWNY!


It's fairly rare, especially in the UK I think. You're not going to find this anytime soon down your local Oxfam shop but here it is.







Gus Poole - Hallelujah, Alright, Amen


The New Matata - Talkin' Talkin'


This is on a President subsidiary label called Keynote Records.


Often booted in the early days was the track Talkin' Talkin' which to me is the best track on the record.


I'm not going to try and tell you that I know loads about this record but it does have Dudu Pakwana on it on saxophone who did a lot of UK jazz work on the Ogun label; another label I fetishized about for a period, and various free-jazz ensembles.


This record is I suppose typically defined as Afro funk. I I bought this off Preston Car Boot sale for £3 and to this day I still rate it. It exemplifies rare-groove and funk... there's all sorts going in here.



The New Matata - Talkin' Talkin'

The New Matata
Jesus Is The Bridge

Jesus Is The Bridge


In recent years I've had a particular interest in waht is commonly termed Xtian 'Acid' Folk.


Having been a big fan of the Trees and the Incredible String Band type of sound, I was introduced to this sub-genre (for want of a better phrase) via time spent on the Waxidermy forum.


A lot of stuff can gets labelled as Xtian folk with maybe psych attached to it but solid listens like this lp are few and far between. You're doing well if you fish anything remotely from this bracket from a charity shop or even a fair these days.


In many respects it is what it is; a whole bunch of Christians; but they sound like they haven't been to church in a while, have spent the collection tray funds on a couple of guitars and have gone bad, real bad! Which is what I really like about it! This is a private press lp out of Missouri and it's also got, believe it or not, shades of Velvet Underground / garage-esque instrumentation going on and some of the spoken

word stuff on here is just ridiculous. That combination of things makes this lp for me, perhaps one of the best lps I bought last year and it's one I frequently return to.



Jesus Is The Bridge - Call Yourself A Christian


Jesus Is The Bridge - Things Get A Little Easier



Joe Bataan - Gypsy Woman


On the gold Fania label, for me this is just latin soul perfection.


You used to go to Northern Soul nights and it was very staid and you'd hear the same sort of thing all the time; safe and good but 'played out' dancers. This sound; it's kind of a bit wibbly-wobbly but the introduction of stuff like this fits very well into moving Northern nights on a little bit these days.

Chuito and The Latin Uniques

Chuito and The Latin Uniques

I've got another record like this that I've been hammering recently by Chuito and the Latin Uniques called Spanish Maiden and these two songs kind of fall in the same bracket to me.


They're both Latino Soul but they've got that certain edge to them that appeals to a Northern Soul crowd who've expanded their minds a bit and have got away from the four to the floor sort of stuff.


I got a bit fed up of going to Northern Soul nights and

listening to the same sorts of tunes all the time. These kind of tunes are taking the scene a bit wider.


They demonstrate the kind of club sounds i'm really digging at the moment and they're similar to some of the stuff Tom B posted about in his forumusic interview.


Joe Bataan - Gypsy Woman


Chuito and the Latin Uniques - Spanish Maiden

Mr Reject - Disco


Reg Webb is a blind musician who's work is fairly well-known in Easy Listening circles.


This is a fairly difficult record to get hold of and is quite sought after. It's a private press UK concept album and there are not that many known copies.


As you can see it's got a pretty radical cover, the concept being that Mr Reject stands out from his peers and the crowd; dressed all in paisley and he's a bit of a hippie.


He refects the strait-jacketed lifestyle of his home and hooks up with a hippie girl named called Sue and heads to a commune!


This has also got a kind of Xtian slant to it and it's no understatement to say that audiophie bods would not rate the sound quality.

Mr Reject
Mr Reject

You can see the hand pasted labels have started to peel and come off. which makes it a tad difficult to find the right tracks! (Record label can be seen on the May 2012 Home Page)


Looking at the titles of the songs and you get an understanding of what it's all about; Hitch Hike To Freedom, Disco, Mr Reject etc.


There is some wigged-out organ madness on here, some dodgy singing and some dodgy bossa moves, all in all making this lp a bloody dream!





Mr Reject - Disco




The Ashton Sound '74 - Thomas The Rhymer


This private press album was recorded by various bands from the Ashton High School, Preston UK about a mile and a half from here. Tracks are from various bands within the school so you've got the Ashton Pops Orchestra, the Ashton Brass and so forth.


I've presently got two copies of this and on the other one it states that it was pressed at the Deroy pressing plant at Cairnforth in Lancashire. If I could find them you do get printed notes with it about all the kids who were involved in making this record.


I've had tthree or four copies of this in the past and the selling point is that there's a version of A Whiter Shade Of Pale on it.


It's a terrible version but there are collectors out there who just collect versions of that song and have been happy to pay up to 100GBP for it.

Ashton Sound

The sleeve image is a screenprint that's obviously hand pasted on. It's rough and ready but that's part of it's charm. I do warn you that as you may expect, the sound quality is not the best!


The main thing that lifts this above a lot of the other private presses of the era and the UK generally is the fact that it's got a nice folk standard on it called Thomas The Rhymer which I think I'm correct in saying was used by many folk artists like Pentangle and Fairport Convention. The added bonus is the fuzz!!! If this were an Ebay listing it would read 'Acid Folk with Femme Vox and added Fuzz!


Thomas The Rhymer is sung by a female from the school. Sadly I can't state her name here unless I can find the missing insert.


I'm bringing this local to the world here!



The Ashton-on-Ribble High School Music Society (Mister Trad. - Thomas The Rhymer

The Windy City Four - Don't Let The Devil Ride


A record that would I suppose come under the umbrella of gospel / soul but with a dash of funk. I think the cover speaks for itself. Just check it!!


The imagery, the writing, 'Soundarama presents'... it's got all the thrills of a privately pressed record to me.


From my fairly limited knowledge, this is from the south side of Chicago and is as rare as rocking-horse shit or so so I've been told.


It certainly didn't come cheap in terms of trades and I sourced it from a Waxidermist. I think there is a version of this record without this cover but looking at this I think you'd have to agree you'd rather have it like this.The cover alone is a good selling point and this girl could definitely drive my car any time she wanted to.

Dont Let The Devil Ride
The Windy City Four

Via listening to various gospel records on Checker and Cadet I kind of got more into listening to a lot of funky soul and gospel type music and I think that's one of the areas I want to explore further.


So I was hipped to this by a Waxidermist but I think I actually won it from a link to a BIN (Buy It Now) or on one of the auctions over there..


I'm going to play the title track from this.


This record exemplifies a kind of record I could never find in the Uk and wouldn't have found if it wasn't for hanging out at Waxi.








The Windy City Four - Don't Let The Devil Ride


Billy Parker's Fourth World Freedom Of Speech - Get With It


To me, this is one of the most desirable records on the Strata East label.


It's just an incredible record and one of the ones I sourced very early on when I was listening to a lot of black radical, spiritual and free jazz. I went a bit mad on the Strata East imprint trying to buy everything I could. It's such a brilliant label to me, the music as well as the aesthetic. Clifford Jordan's Glass Bead Games lp is another lp I rate very highly, so much so I almost missed my taxi back to JFK airportas I ran to the shop where I'd seen it.


This track was booted I think on one of the London Jazz Classics lps and became a bit of a stalwart of the old London jazz scene. A major pull of this is that Dee Dee Bridgewater on it and it's funky as well as being spiritual.


Billy Parker's Fourth World - Get With It

Boney Votel
Boney Votel

Bappi Lahiri - Mauasm Hai Ganne Ka


This track is from the Gunmaster G-9 OST and it's one I picked up in India when I was over there watching my daughter competing in the gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games.


It's got dialogue in it but more than enough music as well. Very often you can buy different issues of Bollywood records some of which don't have music on them at all..


This is one of many I bought on that trip and this track has a great groove. I've played it out a few times when I've been DJ-ing and it always seems to hit the spot with some people. I've been lucky to nab a fair few Bolly titles over the last few years and I'd say it's defo one of my favourite play out genres.


Bappi Lahiri - Mausam Hai Ganne

Soundclip to follow

Ljubimo - St Ives


A very privately-pressed 'nun funk' record!.


The band is called Nun-Plus with guitar and vocals by Sister Wanda Mary Jordan. The thing that sets this apart from other private-press releases is that it's absolutely off the rails really.


It's got a version of St Ives which is crazy and super dope! Walk about the Craters of the Moon is also a great tune.. Tthis is another lp I was hipped to from hanging out on the Waxidermy forum and I bought it off a set sale over there.


Another lp I have in this narrow genre is called The Minister and his Nuns that is, to use modern parlance, ILL-SICK. I don't think it's that expensive, the non- nun on the cover is pretty fit and coupled with the crazy sisters well!... Whoopi G never did anything like this did she?


Ljubimo - St Ives

Boney Votel

Inell Young

Inell Young - The Next Ball Game


Written by Eddie Bo and it's on the Big 9 record label which has a lot of very collectable 45s on it.


A lot of people say this is poorly produced and poorly mastered and doesn't convey on a loud sound system. I'm not arsed, as it's such a bomb you have to deal with that. On reflection it isn't that bad anyway.


This is 1001 so it's the first release from Big-9 records and it's hard as nails. I've got the other Inell Young record on the yellow label (Libra)which is one of the most soulful records I've vere heard in my life. George Mahood from Big Daddy magazine told me there's another one by her too and I don't have that yet so I'm going to have to search for that shizzle.


Despite the sound quality, it's still an enormous Eddie Bo banger from N.O that is a play out box staple.


Inell Young - The Next Ball Game

Gloria Shannon - Tears Are Gifts From Heaven


This is my 'ender.' It was either Pete Beaver or Nick Cope who hipped me to this and I can't remember which one it was right now.


It's an interesting one because it's an issue of a song that was never issued at the time it was recorded.

It's proper hands in the air stuff like Margie Joseph's - I Can't Move No Mountain or Gloria Scott's - Too Much Love Makin' or Bettye Swann's - My Heart Is Closed.


It was originally recorded in Dallas, Texas in 1970 but was put out in 2008 so it took 48 years to see the light day. This is just another enormous record and a great one to end any soul night, or any night for that matter.




Gloria Shannon - Tears Are Gifts From Heaven

Gloria Shannon
Boney Votel

Boney Votel

Boney Votel

Boney Votel
Boney Votel

Boney Votel

A huge thanks from Forumusic to Boney, his wife Cleata and his daughter Serena for their warm hospitality and for an afternoon of great conversation, great music and a lot of laughing.


Ian Townsend / Boney Votel interview / April 2012








Next up in our Collector series:


More great sounds across a range of genres when Forumusic spends a lazy Sunday afternoon in Morecambe, Lancashire with Sie Norfolk talking about the music he made, the music he listens to and his vinyl-hunting trips across Europe.

Sie Norfolk
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