Pattaya Personalities - Earl & Eva
By Kevin Cain
Many of our readers, especially those who enjoy Northern Soul Music, will have certainly heard of the “Souled Out” events that are now part of Pattaya’s ever evolving music scene. To celebrate an amazing 5 years of these events our Pattaya Personality feature this month, focuses on the two originators and driving forces behind these most successful nights namely Eva Johnson and Earl Brown.
Eva has been over here for twelve years; her parents are Polish, although she was born in the UK, and has enjoyed lengthy spells of residing in Australia and New Zealand. Today she lives in Pattaya but travels to visit family and friends throughout the year. She has been happily married for 45 years which is a testament to her commitment and passion for things that she loves. Her husband Keith can regularly be seen as one of the DJs at the Souled Out events and is also a real fan of the genre,
Earl came to Thailand 13 years ago and after traveling around Asia, finally settled in Pattaya. Originally hailing from Yorkshire it is no surprise that he loves cricket. He played for several years for The Pattaya Cricket Club and can often be seen in Jameson’s Irish Pub with a pint watching the latest England game.
A regular on the networking scene Earl has also been involved in several charity events including the TFI initiative. Motorsport is another love of his being part of the management or the very successful TR Motorsport Racing Team. Career wise Earl is the Marketing & Communications Manager for CEA Project Logistics in Laem Chabang, now into his 4th year with the company and with a young family to keep him occupied it’s quite apparent he is a very busy man indeed!
So how did these two meet up and start these very popular events? I eagerly waited for their arrival as being heavily into the music myself I had many questions to ask them and the first was obviously why Northern Soul in Thailand ?
EVA AND EARL
Eva leaned across the interview table and animatedly started to relay their story. Her love of Northern Soul blossomed right from the early days in Southern England when she instantly fell in love with this new genre of radical music. Earl from Northern England had been influenced by his parents, who were Casino regulars. He was even named after one of his father’s favourite artists Earl Wright, who with his orchestra had the classic track “Thumb a Ride”. So it was only natural that the young “Ginger Prince” would develop a love for all things Soul..
Due to the social media scene they were both involved in, Eva and Earl formed a friendship that was based on their mutual love of the music, Eva posted on FB that she had just been to a Bobby Womack gig at the Jazz Cafe and communication started flowing. After many chats an idea was formulated, namely to host a Northern Soul Night in Pattaya. The Play Club Walking Street was booked as the very first venue and flyers distributed around town. The inaugural “Northern Soul” event was on and Pattaya would never look back. The first night was a huge success with 130 fans and their hangers on all partying like they were back at Wigan Casino. The name “Souled out” would come later as Earl explained “ In the beginning the music format was strictly Northern, it has somewhat changed a little to encompass a wider soul demand from the ever expanding number of punters. Nowadays don’t be surprised to hear Motown, Philly and some Modern Soul early on in the evening before the real stuff begins”.
Due to our dynamic duo’s great organisational skills, local businesses sponsored the evening with money being raised for charity as a byproduct of all the fun and frolics. The Mercy Centre Pattaya was the first beneficiary of the soul fraternity’s first outing and many more would follow as the event was destined for bigger and better things. Other charities such as; The Melissa Cosgrove Foundation, Hand to Hand and Take Care Kids have all benefited from people attending these evenings and dancing to the music they love - with a liberal sprinkling of talc on the floor - of course !
The Soul scene in general has always been a special club, it is a genre of music that had to be sought after even in its heyday. There were always special clubs to go to random radio shows to try and find on the dial, and record stores that were classed as specialist. It has never been easy as a soul fan to listen to your favourite artists. You always had to work hard to indulge your passion and Northern Soul is a stage on from this which is where the respect and love of nights like “Souled Out” emanates from. It is indeed a testimony to the success of Eva & Earl’s devotion to their favourite music that the event has grown from strength to strength, and it is by no coincidence that more soul music can now be heard across the city. Scooters Bar often hosts Soul nights as does the Lion Pub, and bands such as Innersoul and Helmut and Friends are appearing on a regular basis.
The next “Souled Out” (the 5th anniversary year event) should have been held in November last year but was rearranged due to the official 30 day morning periord and will now take place on the 28th January 2017 at the now regular venue the Access Inn on 3rd Road. Pay at the door @ 400 baht, with free flow San Mig Light, Red & White Wine and Soft Drinks till 10pm. This event’s charity The Navy Wives Association Sattahip School For Special Needs Children is an especially worthy cause as it only exists through the generous donations of well-wishers;
CLAUDIO ON THE LEFT RIP
Both Eva and Earl were keen to give thanks to all the Sponsors, Venue owners, general helpers and many DJs (including the Pattaya Trader’s own contributor Ivan) who have helped to make these events such a great success. They would also like to give a special mention to Claudio who was one of the early DJs his untimely passing in 2014 was a great loss to all. Gone but never forgotten.
If you want a blinding night out, plus the feel good factor of supporting a good cause, then I thoroughly recommend getting down to the Access Inn on Saturday the 28th.