What is Northern Soul Music?

Northern soul music was basically born in the late 60s and the early 70s in Northern England.

It was the time when British people really wanted to get away from the popular music trends and wanted something old fashioned, fast tempo, and upbeat music to enjoy their weekends.

The obscure soul records made their way into many popular night clubs where Saturday nights were special because of northern soul music. The music wasn’t just played in Northern England, but it got popular in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, and even in New Orleans over time.

The northern soul music may have died by the eighties, but the genre of music still left a mark into British clubs and ballrooms because the music came with dance moves and slogans. The dance culture and slogans came along with the northern soul music which was further developed over the years. The popular slogans were written on badges which were worn by the audience. One of the popular slogans was “Keep the Faith” with a black-gloved hand. This also denoted of which club or ballroom they belonged. It became a kind of recognition for people. Recently in 2015, decades later, a Manchester club has been sued because they tried to use those badge logos on T-shirts, wallets, and bags. Due to social media influence and all that, northern soul music got active in northern England in 2010 but didn’t have much success because pop music has become people’s new jam.

As for the dance, the Brits prefer smooth dance moves on the sound of Motown music over the funk and disco kind of music. Amazingly put footwork and perfectly inched spinning dance moves delivered the people wonderful northern soul music and a proper way to enjoy their Saturday night parties. There was nothing boring at the clubs. Black, white, old, and young, everybody danced their night away. Fashion choices were sharp as well. At first, people wore button tailored Ben Sherman suits but as the nights got wilder and people realized that they wouldn’t want their expensive suits to be ruined, they opted for loose-fitting trousers, jeans, and t-shirts. This was comfortable clothing for dance. Methamphetamine pills were used among such social gatherings.

The popular obscure 45 singles were up-tempo and occasionally mid-tempo records. They all seem from the same romantic quality and frantic constant beat but glossy and glamorous. This was more of nostalgia to old days kind of music. In the 70s, it became a trend outside northern England to sell the northern soul music records to clubs and even live performances. Wigan Casino and Manchester’s Twisted Wheel had live performances of northern soul music by popular singers. It is still popular in those areas especially because of Brighton Beach held in Manchester and Leeds.

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