THE MAGIC TOUCH a review by winston
A couple of weeks ago I was given a video called The Magic Touch. THE MAGIC TOUCH a review by winston
A couple of weeks ago I was given a video called The Magic Touch.
It is basically three hours of dance footage, shot at various venues across the country and its been painstakingly put together by a lad called Andy Holroyd, who lives in the Nottingham area. For the last year or so, Andy has been filming the dancers at every venue he has visited, he must have had hours and hours of tape, and hes edited what he considers the best of it together, to produce Touch.
The video starts off with some stills from the 1999 dance competition held at Alfreton and then moves onto the real thing. Ive watched various videos over the years, from This England to Swons but for me none of them have ever quite captured what the scene is about, DANCING. Quite simply, I like to watch people dance and Ive always been of the opinion, that most punters are the same. My favourite sequences in This England were of the dancers, but the programme had other messages to put across, plus it was only half an hour long. Swons (the unabridged version) was well over twelve hours long, but contained very little footage of the dancers, although allegedly some ninety hours were shot. For me it was too preoccupied with the Blackpool Mecca and its influence on the soul scene, and whilst it cannot be denied that it had a major impact, I found the film to be a little too self indulgent, but thats another story.
The Magic Touch never proclaims to be anything other than a tribute to the dancers, who are currently gracing the scene. Sometimes the filming is a little shaky (but overall pretty good) but Andy never claims to be anything other than an amateur. Being first and foremost a dancer himself, his appreciation of other dancers shines through. Andy and his trusty camera visited venues up and down the country, amongst them were: Keele, Skegness weekender, Blackpool weekender, Brighouse Ritz and Alfreton and he got good footage from all of them. Many of the well-known dancers, currently on the scene are included, Andy Riley, Carl, with his brilliant acrobatic displays, (a winner of many dance competitions) Sandie Gilvear (runner up at this years Cleethorpes) all from the Nottingham area. Tall Paul from Manchester, (who could spin for a living) Caz from Bolton (who won the Togetherness weekender dance comp) Panch and Karen, just to name but a few.
In truth I dont think that Andy ever set out to make a tribute video to the best dancers on the scene, it just so happens that some of them were at the venues where he was filming. Overall the film is just paying homage, to those that I consider the mainstay of the Northern Scene, dancers in general. Without these willing souls, where would the scene be? Watching people sweating buckets, whilst retaining a smile on their face, or seeing them singing along with their favourite record, with all the passion of the original artist, is and always will be inspirational to me. Personally Ive never experienced the out and out joy thats created by the Northern scene anywhere else, and here it is on video, for me to relive in my dotage. :-) And just how I want to remember it, distinctive, energetic, passionate, and intense, enjoyed by a crowd of friendly people, a cut above the norm.
This isnt meant to sound pompous, those are into rock and roll may share the same feelings towards their music, as in the future, so might those that are currently into house and garage. But I havent been into either, so I can only comment on my perception of the Northern Scene. The last couple of hours of the video were shot at Winsford in February, at the venues 6th anniversary. It seems to me to be quite apt, Winsford was on the downward spiral, attendance wise, (musically it was superb) and had just been taken over by Sam Moore. Sam had set about promoting Winsford very heavily, sometimes flyering three different venues in a single night. Subsequently the turn out at the anniversary was excellent and Andy was there to catch it.
The footage produced, in my opinion, captures the atmosphere, and the fervour of the Northern Soul scene, in its entirety. I was there on the night and vividly remember most of it, but watching Andys video pricks the memory and helps me to remember that it wasnt a dream, it really was that good of a night.
So for those who prefer shorter reviews, :-) three hours of some of the dancers currently adorning the scene, with Northern Soul music pounding over the top, in buying it you will have instant visual access to your past.
You know you really “Cant get over these memories”, and all this for a measly fiver, cant be bad. :o)