The black kids in the ’70s, generally speaking, were always forward looking when it came to their musical tastes, so old Soul 45s weren’t going to cut it.
The black kids in the ’70s, generally speaking, were always forward looking when it came to their musical tastes, so old Soul 45s weren’t going to cut it.Tags: Value Of A College Education EssayEasy Research Paper Topics For EnglishProblem Solving In RelationshipsSmartwork Online HomeworkAssignment WebsitesEssays Written By Thomas Jefferson
Just a few months ago, BBC 2’s ‘Culture Show’ focused on the Northern Soul movement in a poignant half hour feature, where journalist and broadcaster Paul Mason, a former Casino regular, re-visited his roots, re-connecting with the scene today after more than 30 years detachment.
You can view the programme, ‘Northern Soul: Keeping The Faith’ in full here: The Northern Soul scene would also have, by default, provided something of a safe a haven for gay males, especially still-closeted gay males, who couldn’t express themselves in the mainstream clubs for fear of being found out and the ridicule that would ensue.
One book that left a strong impression on me was ‘Nightshift’ (1996) by Pete Mc Kenna, which goes right to the underbelly of the Northern scene and its seedier aspects, giving a real eye-witness insight into those times, a taste of how it actually was, pulling no punches in its description of the drug use and its casualties.
‘Northern Soul – An Illustrated History’ exposes, warts and all, the drug culture attached to the movement, which didn’t stop at taking pills – some began to inject speed for a swifter rush, whilst other enthusiasts ended up heroin addicts or, worse still, dead from overdose.
The reason Ian Dewhirst went to the US, as touched upon above, was to search out records to bring back home to play.
He had begun to make a name for himself via appearances at Cleethorpes Pier and Samantha’s in Sheffield, not to mention the Casino, and increasingly found that if he showed interest in a record, the dealer was likely to phone other DJs, letting them know it was something Dewhirst was after, in order to up the price by getting a bidding war going.
The black crowd were also largely anti-chemical in those days, the majority strictly herbal when it came to their highs.
Although some old soulies play down the scene’s reliance on speed, in the form of an array of pills referred to by the street names of black bombers, dexy’s and prellies amongst others, the fact of the matter was that it was a crucial element, just as ecstasy would later be during the Rave era.
From all accounts it’s the real deal, capturing the essence of Northern Soul in a way that the 2010 film ‘Soulboy’ failed to do.
If, as is hoped, ‘Northern Soul’ connects with a younger cinema-going audience, we’re likely to see a renaissance of this underground phenomenon that has refused to lay down and die.