10 THE LIST
The records are over 30 years old. Some were never released in the first place. So why is NORTHERN SOUL enjoying its biggest revival yet?
Wurds: Katrina Dixon
t’s lain iu the eayeruuus haseuieut ul' the Spidch Weh puh
iu lidiuhtu‘gh‘s llayluarket. l‘ruiu uutside. all is quiet. but
descend the stairs intu Kenny Hurrell‘s (iruuye (‘in Suul ('luh and It)” peuple are suaking up suunds. qust ul' which were lirst recurded uyer 30 years agu. sutne ul‘ which neyer eyen made it uut ul' the recurding studiu. neyer mind iutu the charts.
()ut uu the dancelluur. hips luusen. leet fly and grace puurs l'runi the must unlikely luuking ul‘ dancers. each lust in their uw n wurld. 'l‘here are nu drinks uu the daneel‘luur. uu walking thruugh dancers lu the har and certainly uu askiug auyune lu dance. This is the wurld ut uurlheru suul. and in Scutlaud increasing numbers «if laus and Venues testil‘y tu the biggest re\iya| yet. ‘
Nurtheru suul is basically rare suul. a suund that grew uut ul' the mud taste l‘ur SIM and Mutuwn in the early (»()s. nurtheru suul guru l)a\'e (iudiu cuiued the term because it was suul Ians in the nurth ul~ liuglaud. nutahly at Manchester’s 'l'wisted Wheel. whu cuntinued tu unearth. play and dance tu raresqu suunds l'uund iu hlack .-\Iuericau ghettus.
In the 70s. nurthern suul captured a generatiun. It turned linglish \enues such as the 'lurch. VaN'ax Blackpqu Mecca and the must l'aruuus «if all. \Vigan ('asinu. iutu halluwed uanies. l-'urgutten suunds hecanie suught alter l’inds. which euutiuue tu escalate tu hankruptiug prices. And it turned guing uut fur the night intu a I‘eligiun. the ritual acts ul which were the packing ul' patch cuy ered bags. the spreading ul' talc un the l'luur. acruhatic liluurwurk and. frequently. the cunsuniiug ul’ \ast quantities ul'drugs tu get thruugh the w eekeud.
.\t the same time in Scutlaud. suul hurgeuned. mainly un the east cuast. with niajur nights in :\herdeeu. Huudee. Stirling and must l'aniuusly lidiuhurgh. at ('luuds. .\\‘l't)ss the l'K. an army ul' uhsessiyes were huund tugether by a |u\e ul a music that relilected the pains and juys ul' eyeryday lil'e'. hearts gl'alilied h) the seating einutiuns and driyiug heat ul' the music: suuls driyeu tu trayel hundreds ul Iniles tu dance all night. creating a qug weekend that lasted hetweeu WM and WM w hen the (‘asinu clused.
Sir/i ('auieruu. 38. Iruin lidinhurgh. was thirteen when she
went tu her lirsl a|l~uighter at (‘luuds. l'uurteen when she gut tu Wigan fur the lirst time. By the age ul‘ lil'teen she was guing duwu eyery week uu lup ul' being a regular at Alwrdeeu. Dundee and any where else she cuuld manage. ‘At high sclluul. we‘d saye all uur dinner niuuey and get trayel tukeus l'runi hu\es ul’ suap puwder su that ahutll seyeu ul' us w'uuld gu duwn tu Wigau l'ur ahuut [3 Li uu the train.‘ she says. “It was an uhsessiuu. au addictiun. I walked uut ul' uue juh and | gut sacked l’runi anuther because I cuuldn‘l get the weekend ul'l'. It was escapism. getting away ll'tllll reality.‘ When the (‘asinu clused ‘that was it‘ I’m her l‘ur ten years. li\cepl it wasn't. Returning tu the scene last year. she’s suddenly haek tu guing uul eyery weekend she can. 'I think it‘s sulnething in yuu.‘ she says. ‘Yuu feel it. It either grabs yuu ur it duesu‘t.~ |.iaua lispusitu. 43. li‘unl Dundee. weut tu her lirst all nighter at the legendary Blackpqu Mecca at the age (if lil’teeu in W75 and like many uthers was instantly huuked and became a regular at the east cuast squ nights. |.ike Su/i. she luuk a break hunt the scene in the 80s. hut alsu euuldn’l keep away. "l‘he music‘s great.‘ she says. ‘Iiyen il' yuu‘ye heard 00‘; ul the reeurds. il’ there‘s sumethiug yuu haven‘t heard. it just makes yuut' night. 'l‘hat's what keeps it guing.‘ And it is a liyiug scene. nut inerer stagnant nustalgia. l’uckets ul' suul suryiyed the ('asiuu‘s elusure. 'l'he inunthly Shutts all—uighter reyitalised the Seuttish scene in the late 80s. then l\'lusse|hurgh in the early ‘llls. huth drawing in new fans like Ali Dull rmm Dundee. whu came tu it via the mud scene. Nuw 33 and a uurthern suul Ill and cullectur. he hails the current reyiyal. "l'he music‘s certainly a lut better than it used tu he. hecause ul‘ peuple like Kenny llurrell lpruinuter ul’ Iidiuhurgh's Spider‘s Weh and the uwner ul‘ the Inust