Soul Essentials, November 2015

As a background to the Northern Soul music and dance movement protrayed in the film Northern Soul shown in our programme on 4 November 2015, here is a guide to the movement assembled by Paul Vates of the Chiltern Film Soceity committee:

According to Wikipedia (so it must be true…) Northern Soul is a music and dance movement that emerged independently in Northern England, the English Midlands, Scotland and Wales in the late 1960s from the British mod scene. It mainly consists of a particular style of black American soul music based on the heavy beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s Tamla Motown sound.

But it wasn’t just the music - fashion was crucial. We’re not suggesting in any way that anyone should come dressed thematically for the evening, but should anyone wish: for the boys it was baggy trousers, Baggys, procured from Carnaby Cavern in London or, nearer to home, Slaters. Fitted shirts, Simon, or for when you got really hot and sweaty, a vest, all adorned with soul badges. Shoes were very important, so important in fact, many would bring them to the Casino in their holdalls and styles ranged from Hilton Park, Keele and Royals.

The girls were equally as obsessed - with circle skirts that would spin when you did, fitted shorts or strappy vests. Shoes were Polyvelts, old fashioned Clarke’s sandals or brogues, all worn with short white socks or tan tights. Hair was worn either in a ponytail or bunches tied with baby ribbon (affectionately known as ‘streamers’).

As with both sexes, fragrance was paramount - Brut for boys, Aqua Manda for the ladies.

Now you know….