THERE will definitely be more than a hint of nostalgia in the air when Soul II Soul take to the stage at Manchester’s Albert Hall next Saturday.

For the urban music collective who helped re-shape the UK dance scene will be celebrating their 30th anniversary.

For Jazzie B, the mastermind behind the success of Soul II Soul, and who saw a sound system originally playing house parties in London become an award-winning, multi million selling outfit, the anniversary dates are clearly something special.

“This tour is almost a reflection of how we were doing all the warehouse parties when we first started,” he said. “We just want to put something together for like-minded people to enjoy in a cosy environment. More importantly for us, it’s a chance to do something that will enable us to see the whites of people’s eyes.”

With hits including Keep on Movin’ and Back to Life and their famous Funky Dred logo, Soul II Soul quickly became a major influence on the black music scene. A major draw at festivals and with their world tours playing major venues, the anniversary shows are a chance for the group to return to their roots.

Jazzie B said: “We want to share the experience with all those people who have come up through the whole Soul II Soul thing and for one night just re-live the experience of those early days rather than the massive things that we have been doing with all the festivals and the big shows. This is a bit more intimate.

“We’re not trying to reinvent what was happening in the Eighties but it will be nice to reflect on that with some like-minded people.”

Jazzie B credits Soul II Soul’s longevity to the band’s unique make-up and attitude. With Jazzie B at the head and with an ever-changing line-up of musicians and singers, he believes the band’s collective approach was a unique factor.

“Soul II Soul has always been a living, breathing entity,” he said. “It was something that changed your life and not just musically.

“We have always had a punk attitude and so many people could relate to that. We inspired people to get off their butts and do something with their lives.

“I suppose we were anti-establishment but we also had the ability to roll with anyone.

“But when I was growing up there was very much a class system and you were expected to do certain things. We just came along to flip that on its head.”

For the anniversary shows Jazzie B will be joined by vocalist Caron Wheeler plus various musicians and DJs.

“It’s great that the opportunity has arisen for us to have our own series of anniversary parties. I can approach them the way I’d put a club night together with me DJ-ing,” he said.

“For me it’s cool I’ve got Caron with me bit it’s also nice to have all these younger guys around me who excel in what they do.

“Working with them has almost been like a reinvention for me.”

Soul II Soul, Albert Hall, Manchester, Saturday, October 27. Details from