Northern Soul
Northern Soul
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The northern soul phenomenon was the the most exciting underground British club movement of the 1970s that was popularised by the scooter-mad Mods. At its high point, thousands of disenchanted white working class youths across the north of England danced away their weekends to obscure, mid-60s Motown-inspired sounds until the sun rose on the Monday morning, when they would leave the dancefloor to clock straight into work.


It was a dynamic fusion of cultures, fashions, dance-moves, vinyl obsession – all fuelled by the love of rare black American soul music with an express-train beat born on the dancefloor, and not to be found on any radio station playlist or a Now That’s What I Call Northern Soul compilation.  In fact, it made many American black soul-singers and musicians famous in the UK when they were – sadly – largely ignored in their own homeland. 


It was also the subject of one of those wonderful, Friday night BBC4 music documentaries, Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend, that some nice person kindly uploaded in full on YouTube for everyone to watch and enjoy by clicking here. The 60-min film charts the history of the all-nighters that began at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester (“there was nicotine and sweat dripping off the ceiling like stalactites” remembers one punter fondly) – and also appearing in the doc and inspired by such tales is film director Elaine Constantine, whose feature film Northern Soul was released last year and dubbed “the British Saturday Night Fever.”


Yes, Northern Soul was indeed a way of life for many working-class people in the, well, er, north. 


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