|A soul revival is taking off in the
It all started in 1960s Hitsville,
USA - the birthplace of Motown. The soul explosion took off around
the world, but then everything went quiet and it seemed as though
it had dropped off the radar. Inside Out meets the fans who are keeping
the music alive.
Cast your minds back to the 1970s, when music lovers
everywhere worshipped at the altar of the famous Wigan Casino and when
the northern soul scene was born.
Inside Out's Ashley Blake meets the northern soul kings,
for whom it's not just music - it's a way of life.
Parnell at a local soul night|
Meet Merv Parnell, a hairdresser from Ledbury. He's been
a fan of the northern soul scene since he was 11-years-old, when he heard
his first ever soul tune.
And at 16 he began hitching rides from Gloucester to
visit the famous Wigan Casino and meet up with hundreds of other soul
lovers from across the country.
Now, as he approaches the big 5-0, he's enjoying the
latest soul revival.
"I go to work every morning and put a tune on -
it's the first thing I do! It sets a course for the rest of the day.
"Every Friday, every Saturday, I go to a soul night
somewhere, it doesn't matter where.
"It goes beyond the music - it plays a major role
in your life."
According to Merv, it's all about the dancing, something
which he loves as much as the music itself.
|"You hear a tune you love and in
the first few beats you're 18 again."|
In fact, he loves it so much he's entered a competition
at a local soul club, but narrowly misses out on first prize. Still, it's
not the winning, but the music that really counts.
"It doesn't matter whether you're by yourself or
in a room with a thousand people, when you're listening to the tunes you
love it's heaven."
A fan for life
From the fanatics to the collectors, northern soul is
Dave Evison owns 15,000 records at his home near Stoke-on-Trent.
They're worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, but to
Dave, they're priceless.
spends hours in his record library|
He's been a northern soul DJ since the 1960s, and has
played at famous clubs like the legendary Wigan Casino, where he enjoyed
his greatest claim to fame.
"The honour was bestowed upon me to play the last
ever record at Wigan Casino.
"It was called 'I'm On My Way' by Dean Parrish.
I said I'd never play it again and I didn't.
"That is probably my most famous moment ever on
the northern soul scene."
It's a real accolade - the Wigan Casino has gone down
in history as one of the most famous soul clubs of all time.
It's a soul thing
Having begun life as a Victorian theatre, the club once
boasted a membership of over 10,000 people before it was closed in December
1981, and later burnt to the ground in a freak accident.
But its legacy remains, and Dave is adamant that the
northern soul scene is still going strong.
|"Some people collect stamps, for
me it's always been records. I'm a vinyl junkie."|
"The format has never changed in 35 years - fashion
changes, but the northern soul scene is just as exciting every week."
"I love 7 inch singles with all their crackles and
hisses, it's a collector's dream. It's been my entire life really."
Getting into the scene
And for the sceptics among you, Dave's sure that northern
soul has something to offer everyone, even the new wave of music lovers
who are starting to realise the allure of the golden oldies.
"If you're prepared to come on to the scene and
say 'hey, I'm not here to take the mick, I'm here to enjoy the music'
you'll be welcomed with open arms."
Worthington loves the northern soul lifestyle|
One such newcomer is Lee Worthington, a self-confessed
mod who got into northern soul six years ago and has since embraced it
as part of his lifestyle.
"If younger people knew about it and started going
it'd take off, otherwise it'll die off with the older crowd.
"I love it, it's the only music for me."
And with ambassadors like the ones we've just met, it
seems as though the scene will live on in the hearts and 'soles' of music-lovers