Northern Soul Revival
Lord Horatio’s nephew Alexander writes: “Northern Soul is a strange phenomenon. Based originally on a bunch of flops from across the Atlantic – obscure soul records that never made the charts – it was flipped by a dogged group of DJ “detectives” into a success story.
They tracked the buried treasure down and and turned it into a unique dance movement that drew fans from all over Britain to clubs, principally in the North of England. They literally danced the night, even the weekend, away.
Devotees would often fall asleep on their sports bags, covered with NS badges, wake up and carry on spinning and leaping to the sound of tracks like Frank Wilson’s Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), pictured above, Dobie Gray’s Out On The Floor, Yvonne Baker You didnt say a word and Chuck Wood’s Seven days are too long
Although the fabled Wigan Casino shut its doors for the last time in 1981 many people kept the faith. Northern Soul engendered a unique camaraderie among its followers. Fans made friends for life. Although the non-stop dancing was often fuelled by amphetamines it was a scene not known for the kind of trouble that often bedevils modern nightclubs.
It’s this sense of belonging, equality and dancing for the sheer love of it that has brought about a modern revival. I know I am not alone when I say hairs on the back of my neck rise when I hear the opening bars of The Precisions: if this is love. You are drawn to the dancefloor like a magnet.
New groups of young devotees are springing up around the country and heading for Northern Soul nights in places as far apart as Blackpool and London. There are also events in Perth, Australia and dotted across Europe see Click here.
The revival has inspired a new film too by Elaine Constantine. Catch these clips:
In honour of the revival I hosted a bit of a party.
There was no booze only power drinks. You tried kicks, back drops, front drops and spins more than once! My biggest fear was Lord Horatio gatecrashing the event after a few drinks. Whenever possible he loves doing the “grandad goes to Hollywood” dance – just two steps behind the beat with his tie round his head. Whimsy whirled like a demon though. A great evening had by all.
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