Northern Soul Revival

There’s a very strong smell of the 70’s in the air and a big part of the 1970’s for me, coming from Manchester, was Northern Soul.

Although I wasn’t old enough to go to the all nighters, or the famous Wigan Casino, I was always fascinated watching the older kids at the youth club disco’s, dancing to classic Northern Soul tracks. When I started my first job in 1980, I hung around with a lad called Mark, who was a couple of years older than, and a massive Northern Soul fan & he regaled me with stories of The Twisted Wheel in Manchester, telling me how they had glass jars all around the room, where you placed your chewing gum, while dancing and then took your chance that the one you took out again after, was yours! legendary stuff. If you’re not familiar with Northern Soul dance moves, just watch some on Youtube & you’ll understand why chewing gum was removed first!

With influences of Northern Soul coming through music again, the brilliant John Newman is a huge fan and The North’s very own Lisa Stansfield, pays homage to Northern Soul, with her new record, Carry on, as well as a film due for release this year, I think this underground trend could grow into something again?

The film, produced by Elaine Constantine, and starring Lisa Stansfield, in a small role, sounds really interesting and authentic. Elaine grew up in Bury and had brothers who were really into the scene, so it was a big influence while growing up. Now married to a DJ, Elaine knows her Northern Soul inside out, so this is no pastiche of the era. As part of the casting process for the film, she ran dance schools to train the actors and extras in the moves. One of the clubs in Bolton, still hold regular all nighters, the next one is this Friday 28/2/14.

Clothes for the film, were sourced and provided by classic British brands, such as Nutter tailors of Savile Row, Paul Smith & Brutus, so the film stands to be a visual as well as audible treat.



  1. Anonymous 11 March, 2014 / 6:25 pm

    wow Karen,

    I love Northern soul. It was very much in when I met my partner Tony. We had our first date at Leeds Mecca. We danced all evening and one of our favourite songs was by James and Bobby Purify called Do Unto Me. .

  2. Karen Barlow 11 March, 2014 / 11:00 pm

    That's a great story and I love the track, I had a listen on youtube. I cant wait to see the film. if I find out when it's released I'll let you know

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