Northern Soul

Throughout the seventies a truly underground scene developed across areas of the Midlands and more strongly in the North. As music tastes developed in the South, hordes of people in the North had no intention of giving up their love of the black American soul music that had been the soundtrack for the Mod scene. Wildly enthusiastic about rare soul grooves Northern Soul devotees lived for the weekend when they would travel across the country to all nighters and dance non-stop to a strict soundtrack of uptempo soul stompers. The records and sounds they cherished were all but forgotten by the labels and artists in America from where they sourced the sounds. The rarer the better. Legendary clubs appeared including the Twisted Wheel, the Highland Rooms at Blackpool Mecca, The Torch and (arguably) the most famous venue The Wigan Casino. Initially the look on the soul scene had a strong mod influence but gradually things began to change. A new style developed to suit the environment of dark, sweaty clubs with adidas t shirts, sports vests, billowing oxford bags and leather shoes. Fans also carried sports holdalls which contained spare sets of clothes as they made their way from club, to all nighter, to all nighter squeezing as much soul as they could into the entire weekend. Northern Soul may be the strangest and most fanatically followed of all Britains subcultures. With zero interest in anything ‘current’ its appeal was almost impossible to explain to the uninitiated, its devotees going to incredible lengths to feed their addiction, hitchhiking, car sharing and organising coaches to make it to these underground, outposts where they could dance ALL night away to obscure, long forgotten soul 7″ records