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All Because Of You - Northern Soul Portraits - Birmingham

All Because Of You - Northern Soul Portraits - Birmingham cover

Word about a photographic exploration of Young Northern Soulies in Birmingham and the Midlands 27 January – 24 February 2017

Here's the blurb from the Parkside Gallery website...

Birmingham City University's Contemporary Art Gallery

All Because Of You - Northern Soul Portraits - Birmingham 2017

A photographic exploration of Young Northern Soulies in Birmingham and the Midlands

27 January – 24 February 2017

'Coming to Parkside Gallery this January is the work of Birmingham-based independent photographer Bethany Kane and Sarah Raine, a researcher for the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. They have documented the underground northern soul scene in Birmingham and the West Midlands through what Raine describes as a “curated collection of photographs, audio, memorabilia and scene insider accounts.”'

more info and links via

http://blogs.bcu.ac.uk/parksidegallery/tag/all-because-of-northern-soul/

 

 




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I went along to see this today, and I was, well, slightly underwhelmed. I thought, with it being the opening day there would have been some sort of presence by the organisers, but nothing, not even any signs, you just stumble across it when you walk into the building.

The actual exhibition is fine, I'd have been more impressed with 200 photos than the 25 ish that were on display though, and there are some factual errors in the text with the photos. Oh yeah, all the records on display with the 'Northern Soul Memorabilia' appear to be bootlegs or British reissues as well. Good photos of quite a few of the Young Souls that are out and about regularly, a nice wall of photos of venues (The Benn Hall being one of them), but no shots at all at venues which I found quite strange.

Overall impression ? Worth popping in if you are already in the area, but it took me longer to walk from New Street Station than I spent in the gallery.

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Hi Dave Rimmer, 

Sorry to hear that you were not able to catch anyone on the launch date. Myself and Beth Kane (the photographer) were running around all over the place. However, please do let me know if you ever have the time to visit again as I would very much like to meet you to discuss the exhibition.

I am the curator and researcher for 'All Beause of You'. In terms of your review, indeed at least 8 of the portraits were taken at events, including the Blackpool weekender in November and The Night Owl in Digbeth. In order to get past the stereotypical expectations of Northern Soul, we were instead interested in the lives of these young poeple, asking to photograph them in places that meant something to their scene experience. We also wanted to show the variety and breadth of Soul fans in terms of style. The venue wall was to give an idea of the types of places that host events.

The records were indeed mostly represses as I was not prepared to store original vinyl in such a public place and did not wish to ask any of my DJ/record collector friends to put their collection at risk. These records were illustrative only. Whilst this exhibition is a one off, I would welcome any support from my friends who were happy to offer their records up for a short time for any future events.

The text boards represent brief but concise summaries of my doctoral research. This is ongoing and focuses on the experiences of the younger generation (32 and younger), so whilst some of the information may read as incorrect it represents the ways in which young people of the scene make sense of their engagement. However, I would be very interested to hear your comments in person, so please do let me know if you are ever back in Birmingham. 

I am not an expert in Northern Soul, but I hope to learn a lot about young poeple within the scene. This is only possible through the time and knowledge that they have offered me, and my own experiences at events. Whilst I am interested in the experiences of these younger members, I have also had some excellent conversations with Soul fans of all ages who have made me see Northern Soul in a different and interesting way. Please do contact me through Soul Source messaging with any comments or suggestions. 

 

Media and cultural research is the study study of Media texts (such as films, TV, adverts. radio, music etc) and the communities that develop around them. Along with popular music studies it is a new area of academia, but essential to valuing what was previously rejected by academics as lacking in depth. In studying music scenes, we say that they are important to both the people who are part of them and also for wider society. Music such as northern soul is central to the lives of many people, and such should be studied as seriously as any other aspect of life. - I hope that helps! 

 

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A well written response BUT, the last statement sends shivers down my spine...

Music such as northern soul is central to the lives of many people, and such should be studied as seriously as any other aspect of life. - I hope that helps! 

The thought that we should be "studied seriously" is really not what I want and I'm sure many others who go out of a weekend to escape the reality of normal lives feel the same too.

I feel the world has gone mad.

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It has been 'studied seriously' by the people who have driven the scene for the last 50 years, otherwise it wouldn't exist. Pre-internet, it was very difficult to find out anyrhing about anything unless you put in the effort.

It's a bit rich to be told by academics that it deserves to be studied seriously now that others have put in all the work and it's all out there in the public domain. But I suspect that rather than the depth of knowledge and research that has taken place on the music,  you are talking about 'studying seriously' 20-30 year old modern day hipsters, wearing daft 70s clothes...

Edited by son of stan

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lets try and keep things enjoyable and worthwhile on here yeah?

 

the member @Sarah Raine  took the time to answer your previous question so how about we drop the weary digs and try talking to her face to face if got something to say ?

 

 

 

 

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Sarah, may I suggest you take a trip to one of the London all night venues to check out the youngsters there, particularly the Rat Trap where it's very Mod R&B edged  and the youngsters dress in very smart 60's Italian type clothes, in my eye that's proper retro style.

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I wouldn't sign up for a course in Media or Cultural exchange Toad. It'd just be a waste of your parent's money.

You'd be more productive in penning aural and photographic history from the Afro American artist's worshipped by disenfranchised citizens of UK.

I feel the excluded find the Black American experience is a magnified and eloquent articulation of what is felt. Thus the feelings of empathy.

The artists need people like yourself to give the 'subcultculture' context and platform in the UK necessary to get Arts Counsil funding. Blah blah blah.

 

Edited by corney seany

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