A selection of Northern Soul cuts from DJ Craig Jamieson and mixed with spoken word extracts from ‘This is England’ documentary. Made at the Wigan Casino, ‘This Is England’ was first screened in 1977 and gives a fascinating contextualization of Northern Soul’s appeal. At a time when the granting of late entertainment licenses for events such as Northern Soul nights was rare – these only became more widely available in the 1990’s as a consequence of the government’s inability to ban illegal raves and when it was decided the best control strategy was through licensing rather than the failure of criminalization. Therefore, during the mid 70’s nightclub choices really were pretty grim and would often only be a Mecca chain disco which pumped out chart dross. This was no doubt a reason why so many traveled incomprehensible distances to go to the Casino. Coaches would regularly arrive from as far away as Dundee.
It also attests to just how precarious the world of the Northern Soul alnighters were. Both the Police and local authorities constantly searched for pre-texts to shut them down. This usually turned on both the real and imagined accusations of drug dealing on the premises. This was after all the fate of the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and The Torch in Stoke, both allnighter forerunners of the Casino. Quite literally nobody knew if the Casino would be open the following week, a fact which only added to the Casino’s sense of soul camaraderie.
But lest we forget possibly the most important component of Northern Soul’s appeal – the fantastic music. So, on with the sounds.
- 1. Gonna Give It a Try Carol Fran
- 2. When I’m Gone Brenda Holloway
- 3. What’s It Gonna Be Susan Barrett
- 4. The Right Track Billy Butler
- 5. (Help Me) Get Myself Back Together Again The Spellbinders
- 6. Send Him Back Pointers Sisters
- 7. Screaming and Shouting The Fabulettes
- 8. I’ll Come Running Back Delegates of Soul
- 9. Just To Be With You Winifield Parker
- 10. Tainted Love Gloria Jones