This film covers most of the story of Northern Soul. There are omission’s and it doesn’t come right up to present times. However it is highly recommended as it gives one of the most comprehensive overviews yet to appear in a filmed documentary. Of course there are many inaccuracies and views expressed that support beliefs that some of the commentators want it to be so; as it supports their own status; here are a few examples:
It was without any doubt that the entire emerging appreciative Soul scene – the original one in the 1960’s and its secondary – reflection – beginning in the seventies was heavily influenced by the Twisted Wheel is coverd but with scant information regarding it’s legendary DJ Roger Eagle: no real mention!
MIRWOOD: imported 45 from auction lists by Dave Lomas @ The Blue Note Club Manchester.
The introductory sound track on the film begins with Richard Temple‘s: THAT BEATIN’ RHYTHM which was a hit at the Blue Note Club in Manchester – a club that has been missed out from the lineage of early Soul influences. Long before it caught on at the Twisted Wheel this imported 45 was rockin’ the clubs real wooden dance-floor! There is a Soul music record shop in Manchester named after the song – I wonder if they even know of the history of it being played first in Manchester? When it was played many people thought it was called The Skate!
Today almost everything from that originating Soul scene; which was associated with the UK MOD movement, especially in the North of England and centred in Manchester at The Twisted Wheel: is somehow now all claimed as Northern Soul. This is OKay but only so far; as it airbrushes out the fact that that originating scene was the initiator of the following scene. Within the overall Northern Soul scene with most of the ‘faces’, the DJays and other commentators of the ensuing Northern scene were not involved in its precursor. Probably because they were too young.
So the truth gets bended. It’s as if these folks invented everything. Kev Roberts book which is great, includes approximately 100 from our original days, that’s a fifth of his Top 500 Northern Soul records. Such vinyl sounds were in fact well known, appreciated and collected and played at the Manchester Soul clubs; pre-dating the Northern classification. So many others that feature in this secondary scene were very well known and many were indeed imported!
Importing USA label 45’s, appear as a crucial pivotal point on the Northern scene, yes it’s certainly true as covered in this DVD; that it was indeed in the last days of the ‘Wheel’ that a new plethora of imported 45’s entered the scene from Ian Levine’s stateside visits to deleted vinyl shops and warehouses. These newly discovered records became the sounds and the basis of the new direction of Northern soul.
But on that originating scene what these people fail to accept; is that we imported lots of singles via auction lists, which we made postal bids upon. This resulted in loads of USA original imports on the scene prior to the end days of the Wheel and the following scene. And it was Roger Eagle who informed us how to initially go about it!
Well in the end its all water under the bridge. Who was who, who did what, today we have an increasingly vibrant Soul scene. This music is not only growing in stature there are many ‘modern Soul; artists picking up on the Soul vibe and invigorating the up to minute Soul genre; see our category of Modern Soul.
Final comment – wouldn’t it be nice to see a film or a documentary about those 1960’s days that said it like it really was…something Northern, something original, showing all that roots Soul scene… no not the Who’s Quadrophenia, and not yet another Northern Soul film adding to the almost good music genre, but maybe a real roots Northern one 🙂
The story of the Mod’s the ‘Wheeler’s who went to the Twisted Wheel THE MANCHESTER WHEELERS