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Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend

Film about the northern soul phenomenon, one of the most exciting underground British club movements of the 70s, a dynamic culture of fashions, dance moves and vinyl obsession.

The northern soul phenomenon was the most exciting underground British club movement of the 70s. At its high point, thousands of disenchanted white working class youths across the north of England danced to obscure, mid-60s Motown-inspired sounds until the sun rose. A dynamic culture of fashions, dance moves, vinyl obsession and much more grew up around this - all fuelled by the love of rare black American soul music with an express-train beat.

Through vivid first-hand accounts and rare archive footage, this film charts northern soul's dramatic rise, fall and rebirth. It reveals the scene's roots in the mod culture of the 60s and how key clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel and Sheffield's Mojo helped create the prototype that would blossom in the next decade.

By the early 70s a new generation of youngsters in the north were transforming the old ballrooms and dancehalls of their parents' generation into citadels of the northern soul experience, creating a genuine alternative to mainstream British pop culture. This was decades before the internet, when people had to travel great distances to enjoy the music they felt so passionate about.

Set against a rich cultural and social backdrop, the film shows how the euphoria and release that northern soul gave these clubbers provided an escape from the bleak reality of their daily lives during the turbulent 70s. After thriving in almost total isolation from the rest of the UK, northern soul was commercialised and broke nationwide in the second half of the 70s. But just as this happened, the once-healthy rivalry between the clubs in the north fell apart amidst bitter in-fighting over the direction the scene should go.

Today, northern soul is more popular than ever, but it was back in the 70s that one of the most fascinating and unique British club cultures rose to glory. Contributors include key northern soul DJs like Richard Searling, Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Kev Roberts alongside Lisa Stansfield, Norman Jay, Pete Waterman, Marc Almond, Peter Stringfellow and others.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 28 Jul 2018 01:15


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Luther Ingram & His Orchestra

    Exus Trek

  • Dinnington Colliery Band

    Abide With Me

  • 00:05

    Booker T. & The MG’s

    Green Onions

  • Martha Reeves and The Vandellas

    (Love is like a) Heat Wave

  • The Marvelettes

    I'll Keep Holding On

  • Major Lance

    It's the Beat

  • Pink Floyd

    Interstellar Overdrive

  • Scott McKenzie

    San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)

  • The Contours

    Just a Little Misunderstanding

  • James Brown

    Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)

  • The Jades

    I'm Where It's At

  • Leon Haywood

    Baby Reconsider

  • Bob Brady

    More, More, More of Your Love

  • Jackie Wilson

    The Who Who Song

  • Ray Pollard

    The Drifter

  • The Flirtations

    Nothing But a Heartache

  • Jimmy “Soul” Clarke

    (Come on and Be My) Sweet Darling

  • Nolan Chance

    Just Like the Weather

  • The Sherrys

    Put Your Arms Around Me

  • Lee David

    Temptation is Calling My Name

  • Morris Chestnut

    Too Darn Soulful

  • The Precisions

    If This is Love

  • The Dust Brothers

    Sliced Tomatoes

  • Al Green

    Simply Beautiful

  • Ramsey Lewis

    Wade in the Water

  • The Valentinos

    Sweeter than the Day Before

  • Gloria Jones

    Tainted Love

  • The Vel-Vets

    I Got to Find Me Somebody

  • Frank Wilson

    Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)

  • 00:37

    Frank Wilson

    Do I Love You

  • 00:40

    The M.V.P.’s

    Turning My Heartbeat Up

  • The Exciters

    Blowin'Up My Mind

  • The Whatnauts

    Blues Fly Away

  • Cerrone

    Give Me Love

  • Tony Blackburn

    I'll Do Anything

  • Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

    The Love I Lost

  • The Greg Foat Group

    Blues for Lila

  • A Guy Called Gerald

    Voodoo Ray

  • Lou Pride

    I'm Coming Home in the Morning

  • Darrell Banks

    Open the Door to Your Heart

  • The Tams

    Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy

  • 00:55

    Pharrell Williams


  • 00:55

    Pharrell Williams

    Happy (From "Despicable Me 2")


Role Contributor
Writer James Maycock


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