Being Single and 50 on the Soul Scene

It’s interesting being back out on the dating scene after an 18 year relationship and I find that there are many people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who find themselves single for whatever reason so how do you find that new partner?

Two years ago when I started dating again my younger sister said to me ‘oh its all changed now people meet on dating apps, go for coffee and split the bill’, to be honest I was a bit worried as I’d always liked talking to people, having fun and if there was a spark and they asked me, going out for dinner and bottle of wine whilst we chatted and got to know each other better. I would also expect them to pay, even though I would offer to split the bill I would be surprised if they accepted and would be unlikely to go on a second date. Therefore how does online dating work for our age group?

OK so I tried Tinder, it was the only one I knew of in my defence but there are loads now Bumble, Zoosk, Elite, Match, eHarmony, etc. I did chat to some nice guys and lots of complete tossers too, I’m afraid but I suppose at least you can filter out a little bit before you arrange to meet. The thing I didn’t like was that it was all based on how you look which I don’t think is the best way to know if there is any chemistry. Attraction is based on lots of factors and for me I need to be able to talk to someone, to feel I can trust them and for them to make me laugh. I did meet up with one chap though and we went out for a few weeks then I decided that dating apps were not for me, although I do have a friend who met her now husband through one so I suggest you try it and see if it works for you. What have you got to lose, eh?

What next for real life daters?

I wanted to go out more, get fitter, have fun and make new friends whether that was friends to hit the dancefloor with or someone as a potential partner so I started to go to soul nights on a regular basis. I had found my nirvana as the soul family have in my opinion always been the best of people, kind, caring, considerate, there is never any trouble or arguments so the atmosphere has always been positive and the most fun. I know that I have something in common with whoever I meet instantly (our love of good music), I can chat over the course of the evening and test out the chemistry on the dancefloor before agreeing to give out my number, if they ask, of course. I also feel safe as I know lots of other people who would keep a vague eye and be there if anyone got a bit handsy. I have met so many new people and kindly been asked out on dates by some very respectable gentlemen who have always treated me very well. That is not to say that every relationship works out for whatever reason but that is the nature of the game, isn’t it? You’ve got to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince!

I wish all my single friends the best of luck in finding their Soul Mate.

Join me and my beautiful soul friends at Soul Sophisticates Valentines night on Saturday February 15th at The Trading House, near Bank, 8pm until 4am. Dinner packages, birthday, VIP and group bookings all available on Eventbrite at or contact or call Martyn at James Shoecare on 0208 550 1440

The Second Summer of Love

I was thinking about my life from a social perspective and music has certainly always been the biggest part of it. Now don’t get me wrong I love going out to dinner, the cinema, seeing friends and family but seeing a live band at The Blues Kitchen, the Jazz Café or 100 Wardour Street or listening to a great set from Mike Vitti, Stretch Taylor, Fitzroy or Norman Jay is one of the most exciting nights out in my humble opinion. So where do it all start?

My clubbing heyday, maybe yours too depending on your current age included Rage on Thursday nights, Ministry of Sound and the Wag Club in my twenties. Then in my early thirties China Whites, the GE Club, Atlantic Bar and Bar Rumba. But where do it all start…..Sterns!

A Sussex girl originally there was this mansion house, near Worthing that was the weirdest and best club outside of London. There were superclubs in Manchester such as the eponymous Hacienda and Cream in Liverpool that we’d travel to every so often. But Sterns was a law unto itself!

In the middle of an estate the car park was a field, unless you were a DJ or promoter and could get into the small car parking area at the side, but the field was great fun anyway as after the club shut someone always had a sound system in the back of their car that carried the party on until the police arrived at least. Or we’d all head off to a farm or nearby field in a long procession of Ford Capri’s. In fact one night we were all relocating when the police road blocked the main road out and this particular night It was my turn to drive my supped up silver Fiesta 1.6s so in order to avoid being stopped I actually drove the wrong way down a dual carriageway and got away with it. It’s funny what you’ll risk when you’re 19!

Sterns Superclub, it looked very different with all the lights and music!!

Sterns had a massive downstairs basement room which was where the true ravers hung out, sweat dripping off the walls known as Sterns Rain, crazy outfits, ear shatteringly loud music, then upstairs there was a techno room and a garage room but I hung out in the VIP room a much more chilled out soulful house type vibe. The DJ was a friend of mine, Aubrey, my lift and access all areas buddy and I used to dance the night away on the built-in benches next to the DJ stand, my own personal stage it felt like.

Sterns was a major part of the so called Second Summer of Love (1998-99), it had hit a zeitgeist, the youth culture rallying against Thatcher’s Britain and Harry Enfield’s Loadsa Money in search of freedom through music and a communal love of dancing. There was the odd fight but I don’t really remember that being a thing, I fondly remember all the characters I met there, the elation I felt when the next big tune came on and of course, it kickstarted my love of dancing. It’s funny how now at fifty years old I am running my first club night, Soul Sophisticates.

It’s taken me a long time but I think the timing is right now as there is a small gap in the market for a glamorous evening out in an amazing venue for the more discerning, mature, successful but still young at heart crowd. The next Soul Sophisticates is at TheTrading House, Gresham Street, City of London on Saturday February 15th 2020. If you’d like to join the fun, check out Eventbrite and get your Earlybird tickets

Davina Lines

Feeding the Soul

My first blog, Love Letter to a Cheating Husband, received some very kind feedback thank you for that but please don’t feel sorry for me as it has led on to some of the best experiences of my life. Many of which centre around my love of soul music and dancing and without a good soul night to go to I may not be as healthy, happy and fulfilled as I am currently. 

I include mental health is this too. Just after I found out about my husbands affair I went to the doctors as I had some pain around my breast and although I knew pain was rarely associated with breast cancer I had five friends who had been through it or were going through it at the time and felt it best to check. He picked up that I was in a bit of a state generally so when he referred me to the cancer clinic he asked what else was going on so I told him a close friend had passed away a few days before on the Friday from a brain tumour but I couldn’t fly to New York for the funeral as I didn’t want to leave the kids as their dad had moved out that Sunday after sitting them down to tell them it was because he had an affair with another woman and mummy and him needed some time apart. The doctor referred me for counselling saying no one no matter how strong they think they are can cope with that much bad news all in the same week.

The counselling took 6 months to come around and the borough of Hackney is not as bad as some others apparently and although I didn’t think I needed it but that time I did it anyway as what harm could it do, eh?

In the meantime I had been fixing myself though and this is where music came into play, btw my favourite track of the moment is Deja Vu by Will Downing featuring Avery Sunshine. I don’t know if anyone else who has been through heartbreak has felt the same but when I was trying to deal with the initial shock and trauma on not only myself but our two girls, our families and our friends I felt the need to keep busy. Plus I couldn’t sleep until 3 or 4am. The house was tidier than it had ever been, I was working hard as I had to earn extra money so not only was I pushing hard with my events business to win new clients but I also earnt some extra money by doing focus groups for cash in the evenings and sold some items we didn’t need anymore found during my spring cleaning on eBay. I needed to earn an extra £1000 per month to maintain our current lifestyles and I really didn’t want the kids to suffer any more than necessary so cutting back their clubs, holidays and getting rid of the car were possibilities I wanted to do my utmost to prevent. However I also needed some light relief, a little bit of fun too. So what does a single, late forties woman do on a Saturday night?

I found my answer. I’d always loved to dance and I used to go to SITA every year in Portugal for a long weekend of dancing hard so I thought that’s it I’ll start going out to Soul nights, jazz clubs, concerts, places where I will fit in. Pizza Express Live, Soul Network, Mike Vitti’s Funky Nation at Ronnie Scott’s, later Mi-Soul Sunday’s at Fest Camden and Wayne Enyaw’s Soul Fine. I cannot tell you how much it helped. I made new friends, found new favourite tracks, started listening to Mi-Soul and Solar on DAB radio at home. I was dancing so much it spurred me on to change my diet, swim, join Pilates and start going to the gym. I wanted to ensure I was around for my kids and for myself as a fitter healthier version of the old me.

I fixed myself.

When I did finally go to therapy, she asked me about my relationship with my ex, my dad, did I ever feel depressed or suicidal or blame myself for things going wrong. Hell no! Why should I?

What I realised was that it was not my job to make him happy. There was nothing wrong in our marriage, we still went out every weekend together, we didn’t argue, I told him I loved him most days and so did the kids, we didn’t have any major financial worries, he had a great life on the surface so if he wasn’t happy it was because he was drinking too much, not staying fit, wasn’t involving himself enough with family activities or pursuing the things that made him happy or dealing with the things that didn’t in a positive manner. It had absolutely sod all to do with anything I did or didn’t do. 

Now don’t get me wrong I think therapy can really help and I would recommend it, the place to start would be Relate or your local doctor but for me it just reinforced that I didn’t to need to beat myself up for something somebody else did. That was out of my control. My responsibility is to myself and my two children and it is better for them see a strong woman who is striving to be successful in business and life so that’s what I did. My girls tell me they are proud of me and want to be entrepreneurial themselves, setting up slime businesses to resell to school friends, doing a yard sale to earn extra pocket money and more.

I am now adding to my day job of business events with a social event aimed at soul heads who want an upmarket venue, combined with dancing and a mix of soul, rare groove, soulful house, RnB, reggae and I might sneak in a little bit of garage for old times sake, reminds me of Sterns down near Worthing from my youth. Join me on Saturday November 2nd if you will at Soul Sophisticates at The Trading House, Gresham Street just behind the Guild Hall in the beautiful City of London. 10pm until 4am, tickets here.

Oh and no cancer btw but boy are those mammograms uncomfortable!

Davina Lines

We are all in!

We are pleased to announce our very first soul night under the Soul Sophisticates brand. Its been such a fun journey already finding the best venue, sorting out the DJ line up, creating the website, Facebook page and Eventbrite page for tickets and now we are working with Mi-Soul Radio and Mark Deadly Smedley on a 30 second radio ad that will launch this weekend. We’ll chronicle our progress along the way….


Thank you for checking out our Soul Sophisticates page and we want to create a community of likeminded soul fans who want to attend a high brow, dress up glamorously night of dancing, good tunes and fabulous people. Join us for the launch on Saturday November 2nd.