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Daz Watson

Wigan Casino - The Movie

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino. Love it or hate it if you were into Northern Soul in the 70's / 80's then the Casino was the only place to be. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that from 1973 to 1981 it was the spiritual home of northern soul. 95% of people on here who were around at that time say that the Casino times were one of the happiest time of their lives - regardless of their respective ages and where exactly they were at in their northern soul journey at that point. Personally I only caught the tail end - 79-81 - and on some visits the place was virtually empty but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience and one I've never forgotten. Nothing has compared since. That  feeling - the feeling of walking through those doors has not yet been captured in any film or documentary to date. Maybe it's an impossible feat. 

 

But there is so much material - my own personal experience which must be echoed by thousands of others - age 14 in 79, hearing the music for the first time at youth clubs, seeing the "annointed" dancing. Buying the records and learning the moves. Learning the drops and floor-work. Buying more records. Taking your own box of records to the youth club. When the DJ did the 5 minute Northern spot you were up there with the 5 or 6 others doing your routine for the first time. The circle formed around you. That's when you knew you were part of something special. Then from there going to your first full Northern venue - for us it was Notts Palais all dayers. From that point your world was only centered on one thing - Wigan Casino. You had to get there. My parents were pretty strict and were not going to let their 14 year old travel to the other side of the country to a club, up all night dancing. In the end I lied that I was staying overnight at a mates. Bread and jam in the bag with the clothes and I was away. I had twenty quid saved up from a paper round and odd jobs. I think it cost ten pounds to get there from Mansfield - service bus and train. That left £10 to buy records. And the whole adventure of actually getting there. It took hours. The horror of arriving at Wigan and being chased by the Punks and Grebo's all the way from the train station to Station Road. You ran for your life - literally. But that feeling when you rounded the bend and saw a few hundred Soulies outside - your heart lifted and the Rockers soon backed off at that point. One hour or so later you were walking through those doors and  you were in. Dancing at Wigan. The pinnacle reached at last. 

 

Then the drugs. None for me on the first couple of visits but subsequently blueys, chalkies - and the whole feeling was elevated 100 times. But then the come down and feeling like shit on the long journey home. But by Tuesday you were planning how to procure gear again for the next visit. And so it went on. Many cars stolen ( not by me ) to get there, chemists raided etc,. That feeling of your world consumed by the whole thing - the music, dancing, gear and the Casino. It was your life back then. For many still is.

 

Thats the story from the fans side which for a film could be juxtaposed with the story of the guys who ran the place as a business - Harry, Mike and Russ. How it started as a leap into the unknown and then became this monster which ran away with them. The story of how a run down dance hall on its last legs suddenly became this huge money making phenomenon. And how they milked the whole thing as a cash cow. The character of Simon Soussan and his story could be in there. The rampant commercialisation. The passion and oneupmanship of the DJs and collectors. Record buying trips  to the USA. Then the whole sad fiasco at the end with the 'last' niter farce. All done cynically to make money. But all true and all very rich drama. They say truth is stranger than fiction and the story of Wigan Casino is proof if any were needed. 

 

Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There can never be a definitive film about Northern Soul, as its definition varies for many different people.

I would also disagree about Wigan being the centre of everything....thats one opinion and many others would argue and say the whole scene was alive at that time and name venues that illustrated that.

The same with soundtracks ....everyone has there own etc.

 

But not everyone has the soul, love and passion to sacrifice a large part of their life to express, in film, their version of events, which again, cannot be argued with, as its their version and built on a their experience.

 

I urge everyone who thinks they can do it, to go and try to do something as epic and then you will really, really see, what soul means.

 

I did a play, Elaine did a film. The question to ask yourself is what are you going to do?

 

Talk is cheap as we all know,  but making an embodied experience and memory into a a tangible expression to share with others is an incredible achievement and takes a big heart and soul.

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino. Love it or hate it if you were into Northern Soul in the 70's / 80's then the Casino was the only place to be. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that from 1973 to 1981 it was the spiritual home of northern soul. 95% of people on here who were around at that time say that the Casino times were one of the happiest time of their lives - regardless of their respective ages and where exactly they were at in their northern soul journey at that point. Personally I only caught the tail end - 79-81 - and on some visits the place was virtually empty but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience and one I've never forgotten. Nothing has compared since. That  feeling - the feeling of walking through those doors has not yet been captured in any film or documentary to date. Maybe it's an impossible feat. 

 

But there is so much material - my own personal experience which must be echoed by thousands of others - age 14 in 79, hearing the music for the first time at youth clubs, seeing the "annointed" dancing. Buying the records and learning the moves. Learning the drops and floor-work. Buying more records. Taking your own box of records to the youth club. When the DJ did the 5 minute Northern spot you were up there with the 5 or 6 others doing your routine for the first time. The circle formed around you. That's when you knew you were part of something special. Then from there going to your first full Northern venue - for us it was Notts Palais all dayers. From that point your world was only centered on one thing - Wigan Casino. You had to get there. My parents were pretty strict and were not going to let their 14 year old travel to the other side of the country to a club, up all night dancing. In the end I lied that I was staying overnight at a mates. Bread and jam in the bag with the clothes and I was away. I had twenty quid saved up from a paper round and odd jobs. I think it cost ten pounds to get there from Mansfield - service bus and train. That left £10 to buy records. And the whole adventure of actually getting there. It took hours. The horror of arriving at Wigan and being chased by the Punks and Grebo's all the way from the train station to Station Road. You ran for your life - literally. But that feeling when you rounded the bend and saw a few hundred Soulies outside - your heart lifted and the Rockers soon backed off at that point. One hour or so later you were walking through those doors and  you were in. Dancing at Wigan. The pinnacle reached at last. 

 

Then the drugs. None for me on the first couple of visits but subsequently blueys, chalkies - and the whole feeling was elevated 100 times. But then the come down and feeling like shit on the long journey home. But by Tuesday you were planning how to procure gear again for the next visit. And so it went on. Many cars stolen ( not by me ) to get there, chemists raided etc,. That feeling of your world consumed by the whole thing - the music, dancing, gear and the Casino. It was your life back then. For many still is.

 

Thats the story from the fans side which for a film could be juxtaposed with the story of the guys who ran the place as a business - Harry, Mike and Russ. How it started as a leap into the unknown and then became this monster which ran away with them. The story of how a run down dance hall on its last legs suddenly became this huge money making phenomenon. And how they milked the whole thing as a cash cow. The character of Simon Soussan and his story could be in there. The rampant commercialisation. The passion and oneupmanship of the DJs and collectors. Record buying trips  to the USA. Then the whole sad fiasco at the end with the 'last' niter farce. All done cynically to make money. But all true and all very rich drama. They say truth is stranger than fiction and the story of Wigan Casino is proof if any were needed. 

 

Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

Daz

Plenty of fair points & a lot of those things ring true for me but as Paul says no such thing as a "Definitive Film" as everyone's journey is different,things in the film didn't happened to me but I took it as part of the film not a documentary.In the your film you've outlined you wanted I could do the same so from my point of view yours wouldn't be "Definative Film" for me.

How would you weave all these relevant threads together that were missed & still make a film that isn't hours long & costs a fortune,how would you deal with disturbers who don't want to show your film.

I don't know but I would think the actual filming was probably the easy bit,all the other external things I would have thought is the hard job??

Cheers

Martyn

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Martyn,

 

I havent a clue and admittedly wouldn't know where to start. My point was simply there is enough rich material for a film which chronicles the story of the Casino. In my simple mind it would make a good story. 

 

And once more to be clear - I have already acknowledged Elaines achievement. Excellent piece of work which took time, dedication and cash. Total respect. However it didn't work for me ( and a lot of others feel the same but won't say so on here ). 

 

Paul - of course the scene was alive before Wigan, many great venues. My point is that Wigan became the focal point  for the northern soul scene during its existence. It had many ups and downs but it's importance in the scenes history is clear. I never understand why some on here seem to want to deny that. 

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Martyn,

 

I havent a clue and admittedly wouldn't know where to start. My point was simply there is enough rich material for a film which chronicles the story of the Casino. In my simple mind it would make a good story. 

 

And once more to be clear - I have already acknowledged Elaines achievement. Excellent piece of work which took time, dedication and cash. Total respect. However it didn't work for me ( and a lot of others feel the same but won't say so on here ). 

 

Paul - of course the scene was alive before Wigan, many great venues. My point is that Wigan became the focal point  for the northern soul scene during its existence. It had many ups and downs but it's importance in the scenes history is clear. I never understand why some on here seem to want to deny that. 

Daz

Without a doubt there's room for another film/films exploring other aspects of the scene,I look forward to them  :thumbsup: 

Cheers

Martyn

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino. Love it or hate it if you were into Northern Soul in the 70's / 80's then the Casino was the only place to be. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that from 1973 to 1981 it was the spiritual home of northern soul. 95% of people on here who were around at that time say that the Casino times were one of the happiest time of their lives - regardless of their respective ages and where exactly they were at in their northern soul journey at that point. Personally I only caught the tail end - 79-81 - and on some visits the place was virtually empty but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience and one I've never forgotten. Nothing has compared since. That  feeling - the feeling of walking through those doors has not yet been captured in any film or documentary to date. Maybe it's an impossible feat. 

 

But there is so much material - my own personal experience which must be echoed by thousands of others - age 14 in 79, hearing the music for the first time at youth clubs, seeing the "annointed" dancing. Buying the records and learning the moves. Learning the drops and floor-work. Buying more records. Taking your own box of records to the youth club. When the DJ did the 5 minute Northern spot you were up there with the 5 or 6 others doing your routine for the first time. The circle formed around you. That's when you knew you were part of something special. Then from there going to your first full Northern venue - for us it was Notts Palais all dayers. From that point your world was only centered on one thing - Wigan Casino. You had to get there. My parents were pretty strict and were not going to let their 14 year old travel to the other side of the country to a club, up all night dancing. In the end I lied that I was staying overnight at a mates. Bread and jam in the bag with the clothes and I was away. I had twenty quid saved up from a paper round and odd jobs. I think it cost ten pounds to get there from Mansfield - service bus and train. That left £10 to buy records. And the whole adventure of actually getting there. It took hours. The horror of arriving at Wigan and being chased by the Punks and Grebo's all the way from the train station to Station Road. You ran for your life - literally. But that feeling when you rounded the bend and saw a few hundred Soulies outside - your heart lifted and the Rockers soon backed off at that point. One hour or so later you were walking through those doors and  you were in. Dancing at Wigan. The pinnacle reached at last. 

 

Then the drugs. None for me on the first couple of visits but subsequently blueys, chalkies - and the whole feeling was elevated 100 times. But then the come down and feeling like shit on the long journey home. But by Tuesday you were planning how to procure gear again for the next visit. And so it went on. Many cars stolen ( not by me ) to get there, chemists raided etc,. That feeling of your world consumed by the whole thing - the music, dancing, gear and the Casino. It was your life back then. For many still is.

 

Thats the story from the fans side which for a film could be juxtaposed with the story of the guys who ran the place as a business - Harry, Mike and Russ. How it started as a leap into the unknown and then became this monster which ran away with them. The story of how a run down dance hall on its last legs suddenly became this huge money making phenomenon. And how they milked the whole thing as a cash cow. The character of Simon Soussan and his story could be in there. The rampant commercialisation. The passion and oneupmanship of the DJs and collectors. Record buying trips  to the USA. Then the whole sad fiasco at the end with the 'last' niter farce. All done cynically to make money. But all true and all very rich drama. They say truth is stranger than fiction and the story of Wigan Casino is proof if any were needed. 

 

Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

 

 

 

How times have changed from never wanting the media to having a incite into the northern soul scene as this england to wanting a 3rd film? where does it end....... 

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

 

Who claimed that it was in any way a "definitive story of Northern Soul"? I can't recall Elaine Constantine or anyone else involved with the project making such a bold statement. It's a feature film and not a documentary.

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the trouble is , not what you see as the final cut but how much of what you want to see ending up on the cutting room floor . any film will only get distribution if the distributor , in Eleaine's case Universal . want what you have to offer , you can bet a pound to a pinch of salt that they dictated the musical content if not plot direction . why so much motown in a northern soul film ... musical rights

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Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

 

à chacun son goût, as the frogs say.

 

or

 

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe" - Carl Sagan.

 

Your last phrase sums it up Daz. Elaine had a vision, as did Paul, and they saw it through. The amount of hard work, persistence, focus and downright bloody-mindedness to pull off projects like these cannot be overstated.

 

I had a small taste when I got the Wigan Casino plaque put up. You would not believe that it took a year of my life and at every turn I met with negativity, carping, duplicity, ego maniacs and downright apathy. I am no way trying to equate my experience with Elaine and Paul but I can understand the obstacles that must have been put in their way over the years it took to bring the respective projects to fruition.

 

If you really believe that you have a different story to tell, and that people want to hear it . . . . . . . . . . . great journeys begin with a single step  :wink: 

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Martyn,

 

I havent a clue and admittedly wouldn't know where to start. My point was simply there is enough rich material for a film which chronicles the story of the Casino. In my simple mind it would make a good story. 

 

And once more to be clear - I have already acknowledged Elaines achievement. Excellent piece of work which took time, dedication and cash. Total respect. However it didn't work for me ( and a lot of others feel the same but won't say so on here ). 

 

Paul - of course the scene was alive before Wigan, many great venues. My point is that Wigan became the focal point  for the northern soul scene during its existence. It had many ups and downs but it's importance in the scenes history is clear. I never understand why some on here seem to

want to deny that.

It appears to me that there are some elements who disregard Wigan and that era, could be because they didn't go and for them Northern is all about after Station Road closed?

Edited by scal

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the trouble is , not what you see as the final cut but how much of what you want to see ending up on the cutting room floor . any film will only get distribution if the distributor , in Eleaine's case Universal . want what you have to offer , you can bet a pound to a pinch of salt that they dictated the musical content if not plot direction . why so much motown in a northern soul film ... musical rights

 

Nope. Nothing to do with any of that Dave. The film was independently produced with the music rights cleared long before it was sold to Universal. There's 5 Motown tracks in the soundtrack out of 29 tracks in total, which is around 15%. and one of those was Ric Tic, so I don't think that many Motown tracks were used really. Universal didn't dictate anything to my knowledge.

 

Ian D  :D

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à chacun son goût, as the frogs say.

 

or

 

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe" - Carl Sagan.

 

Your last phrase sums it up Daz. Elaine had a vision, as did Paul, and they saw it through. The amount of hard work, persistence, focus and downright bloody-mindedness to pull off projects like these cannot be overstated.

 

I had a small taste when I got the Wigan Casino plaque put up. You would not believe that it took a year of my life and at every turn I met with negativity, carping, duplicity, ego maniacs and downright apathy. I am no way trying to equate my experience with Elaine and Paul but I can understand the obstacles that must have been put in their way over the years it took to bring the respective projects to fruition.

 

If you really believe that you have a different story to tell, and that people want to hear it . . . . . . . . . . . great journeys begin with a single step  :wink:

The  expression that springs to mind is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

 

Thinking up an idea can be the easy bit.

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Bloody hell some people never satisfied :thumbsup: a film about Wigan :ohmy: behave :rofl:

 

 

Loved the old girl went from 73 till 78 don't need or want a film about it , there,s enough stuff out there for people to get the picture .

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Personally I  have been into the soul scene for well over 30 years and have no interest in a film about Wigan.There has been a play,documentary and a film enough is enough I am afraid IMHO.

 

As Hitler apparently once said " F*ck Wigan and those f*cking Wigan Clowns" :lol:

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Personally I  have been into the soul scene for well over 30 years and have no interest in a film about Wigan.There has been a play,documentary and a film enough is enough I am afraid IMHO.

 

As Hitler apparently once said " F*ck Wigan and those f*cking Wigan Clowns" :lol:

 

Yeah, I understand. If you didn't go you just don't get it. One less viewer for Daz's film :(

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the trouble is , not what you see as the final cut but how much of what you want to see ending up on the cutting room floor . any film will only get distribution if the distributor , in Eleaine's case Universal . want what you have to offer , you can bet a pound to a pinch of salt that they dictated the musical content if not plot direction . why so much motown in a northern soul film ... musical rights

 

Nope, not correct, the film was made before Universal appeared. For a while there was no distributor. Actually the musical consultant was a previously unknown chap from the Midlands  :P named "Butch". You may have heard of him….

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino. Love it or hate it if you were into Northern Soul in the 70's / 80's then the Casino was the only place to be. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that from 1973 to 1981 it was the spiritual home of northern soul. 95% of people on here who were around at that time say that the Casino times were one of the happiest time of their lives - regardless of their respective ages and where exactly they were at in their northern soul journey at that point. Personally I only caught the tail end - 79-81 - and on some visits the place was virtually empty but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience and one I've never forgotten. Nothing has compared since. That  feeling - the feeling of walking through those doors has not yet been captured in any film or documentary to date. Maybe it's an impossible feat. 

 

But there is so much material - my own personal experience which must be echoed by thousands of others - age 14 in 79, hearing the music for the first time at youth clubs, seeing the "annointed" dancing. Buying the records and learning the moves. Learning the drops and floor-work. Buying more records. Taking your own box of records to the youth club. When the DJ did the 5 minute Northern spot you were up there with the 5 or 6 others doing your routine for the first time. The circle formed around you. That's when you knew you were part of something special. Then from there going to your first full Northern venue - for us it was Notts Palais all dayers. From that point your world was only centered on one thing - Wigan Casino. You had to get there. My parents were pretty strict and were not going to let their 14 year old travel to the other side of the country to a club, up all night dancing. In the end I lied that I was staying overnight at a mates. Bread and jam in the bag with the clothes and I was away. I had twenty quid saved up from a paper round and odd jobs. I think it cost ten pounds to get there from Mansfield - service bus and train. That left £10 to buy records. And the whole adventure of actually getting there. It took hours. The horror of arriving at Wigan and being chased by the Punks and Grebo's all the way from the train station to Station Road. You ran for your life - literally. But that feeling when you rounded the bend and saw a few hundred Soulies outside - your heart lifted and the Rockers soon backed off at that point. One hour or so later you were walking through those doors and  you were in. Dancing at Wigan. The pinnacle reached at last. 

 

Then the drugs. None for me on the first couple of visits but subsequently blueys, chalkies - and the whole feeling was elevated 100 times. But then the come down and feeling like shit on the long journey home. But by Tuesday you were planning how to procure gear again for the next visit. And so it went on. Many cars stolen ( not by me ) to get there, chemists raided etc,. That feeling of your world consumed by the whole thing - the music, dancing, gear and the Casino. It was your life back then. For many still is.

 

Thats the story from the fans side which for a film could be juxtaposed with the story of the guys who ran the place as a business - Harry, Mike and Russ. How it started as a leap into the unknown and then became this monster which ran away with them. The story of how a run down dance hall on its last legs suddenly became this huge money making phenomenon. And how they milked the whole thing as a cash cow. The character of Simon Soussan and his story could be in there. The rampant commercialisation. The passion and oneupmanship of the DJs and collectors. Record buying trips  to the USA. Then the whole sad fiasco at the end with the 'last' niter farce. All done cynically to make money. But all true and all very rich drama. They say truth is stranger than fiction and the story of Wigan Casino is proof if any were needed. 

 

Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

 

What you want is a documentary Sir….err. thought there had been a few already…..a documentary on Wigan Casino with all the usual talking heads wheeled out to tell us all the usual stories….again…… :sleep3:

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Nope. Nothing to do with any of that Dave. The film was independently produced with the music rights cleared long before it was sold to Universal. There's 5 Motown tracks in the soundtrack out of 29 tracks in total, which is around 15%. and one of those was Ric Tic, so I don't think that many Motown tracks were used really. Universal didn't dictate anything to my knowledge.

 

Ian D  :D

That is correct. Although Universal will have had some say on delivery at the end of the process once the distribution deal was done, having read the script at an early stage I can tell you that the plot did not get changed. Furthermore, as Paul S will be able to verify, most of the tracks in the film were used in the dance classes long before the film was even green lit.

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why does there need to be another film/documentary? a scene that most got into (whatever decade that was) because it felt like a secret world that "normal" people knew very little about. I applaud Elaines tenacity to see her vision come to fruition and put her money where her mouth is and hope it acheives everything she set out to do. Just go out or stay in for that matter and enjoy the music  be glad you had the soul to "get it" and enjoy your own very personal memories of a love affair with soul music. :)    

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Nope, not correct, the film was made before Universal appeared. For a while there was no distributor. Actually the musical consultant was a previously unknown chap from the Midlands  :P named "Butch". You may have heard of him….

There is being consulted..... then there is being listened to!

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino. Love it or hate it if you were into Northern Soul in the 70's / 80's then the Casino was the only place to be. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that from 1973 to 1981 it was the spiritual home of northern soul. 95% of people on here who were around at that time say that the Casino times were one of the happiest time of their lives - regardless of their respective ages and where exactly they were at in their northern soul journey at that point. Personally I only caught the tail end - 79-81 - and on some visits the place was virtually empty but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience and one I've never forgotten. Nothing has compared since. That  feeling - the feeling of walking through those doors has not yet been captured in any film or documentary to date. Maybe it's an impossible feat. 

 

But there is so much material - my own personal experience which must be echoed by thousands of others - age 14 in 79, hearing the music for the first time at youth clubs, seeing the "annointed" dancing. Buying the records and learning the moves. Learning the drops and floor-work. Buying more records. Taking your own box of records to the youth club. When the DJ did the 5 minute Northern spot you were up there with the 5 or 6 others doing your routine for the first time. The circle formed around you. That's when you knew you were part of something special. Then from there going to your first full Northern venue - for us it was Notts Palais all dayers. From that point your world was only centered on one thing - Wigan Casino. You had to get there. My parents were pretty strict and were not going to let their 14 year old travel to the other side of the country to a club, up all night dancing. In the end I lied that I was staying overnight at a mates. Bread and jam in the bag with the clothes and I was away. I had twenty quid saved up from a paper round and odd jobs. I think it cost ten pounds to get there from Mansfield - service bus and train. That left £10 to buy records. And the whole adventure of actually getting there. It took hours. The horror of arriving at Wigan and being chased by the Punks and Grebo's all the way from the train station to Station Road. You ran for your life - literally. But that feeling when you rounded the bend and saw a few hundred Soulies outside - your heart lifted and the Rockers soon backed off at that point. One hour or so later you were walking through those doors and  you were in. Dancing at Wigan. The pinnacle reached at last. 

 

Then the drugs. None for me on the first couple of visits but subsequently blueys, chalkies - and the whole feeling was elevated 100 times. But then the come down and feeling like shit on the long journey home. But by Tuesday you were planning how to procure gear again for the next visit. And so it went on. Many cars stolen ( not by me ) to get there, chemists raided etc,. That feeling of your world consumed by the whole thing - the music, dancing, gear and the Casino. It was your life back then. For many still is.

 

Thats the story from the fans side which for a film could be juxtaposed with the story of the guys who ran the place as a business - Harry, Mike and Russ. How it started as a leap into the unknown and then became this monster which ran away with them. The story of how a run down dance hall on its last legs suddenly became this huge money making phenomenon. And how they milked the whole thing as a cash cow. The character of Simon Soussan and his story could be in there. The rampant commercialisation. The passion and oneupmanship of the DJs and collectors. Record buying trips  to the USA. Then the whole sad fiasco at the end with the 'last' niter farce. All done cynically to make money. But all true and all very rich drama. They say truth is stranger than fiction and the story of Wigan Casino is proof if any were needed. 

 

Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

How is a work of fiction, which the last film was, setting itself up to be the definitive last word on northern soul? 

The film you're proposing, would it be a documentary, or would it also be a drama, very interested to know. 

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It's too late for a documentary anyway the place burnt down, unless some Hollywood type wants to rebuild the Casino as it was, so they can trawl some old guys back with their Zimmer frames to try and coax out memories from their speed addled brains, lets face it, it's taken long enough for Elaine's brilliant film to hit the screens, Hollywood won't move very fast in favour of it because America probably won't understand, let's face it, they are retarded in their music taste now when you consider their devotion to people like Beiber and Britney. I went to the Casino until 76, saw the commercial stuff trying to creep in and decided it was enough for me. At times I wonder what might have happened if I'd continued going, but then I wouldn't have seen the world and probably wouldn't have lived this long and still love the music. I probably would have worn my knees out more than I have and be one of those with a Zimmer frame

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Wigan Casino Documentary — Pitch

 

 

Opens with archive footage —this England — man spinning in slow motion

 

Pete Waterman (for it is he) -voice over — “It was basically full of miners. Big, strapping lads. Some of ‘em still had their helmets on having come straight from the late shift at t’pit”

 

Stuart Maconi (to camera) “Wigan Casino, voted the best disco in the world. On the occasion of it’s fiftieth anniversary, it’s time to lift the lid on what it was really like, and I should know”.

 

“Using never before seen footage of things that nobody ever thought it would be worth looking at, we go behind the scenes and speak to some of the people who made Wigan what it was”.

 

Opening credits (Frank Wilson playing) — Guests include:

 

Pete Waterman

Lisa Stansfield

Marc Almond

Anna Ford

That bloke from YouTube

Tommy Hunt

Dave Withers

Paul Mason

Elaine Constantine

Dean Parrish

Paul O’Grady

Duffy

John Newman

Bloke from America

 

Cuts to - still picture of factory chimneys and 1984/5 miner's strike.

 

How am I doing?

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i know lets start putting on soul nights to follow...maybe charge people to come in and listen to soul music... :g: ,and if the soul night is on north of watford ,why not call them northern soul nights. :yes:  ... there must be people out there with records or l.p.s...maybe let people wear the fashion items...big pants and wide skirts... :dash2: ...if only we could have these soul nights on for more than 5 or 6 hours....pity it cant last all night, but dont think they would catch on.....imagine that ..dancing ALL NIGHT :lol: .....i dont think ELAINE has realized what she might of started with this film thingy.... :ohmy:

Edited by staceys dad

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Nope. Nothing to do with any of that Dave. The film was independently produced with the music rights cleared long before it was sold to Universal. There's 5 Motown tracks in the soundtrack out of 29 tracks in total, which is around 15%. and one of those was Ric Tic, so I don't think that many Motown tracks were used really. Universal didn't dictate anything to my knowledge.

 

Ian D  :D

can't believe they didn't play with it a little I fells like it should be at least 1/2 an hour longer and the drugs seem over done compared to the rest of the plot

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Nope, not correct, the film was made before Universal appeared. For a while there was no distributor. Actually the musical consultant was a previously unknown chap from the Midlands  :P named "Butch". You may have heard of him….

he may have been the consultant that doesn't mean any notice was taken of him ( yes I have heard of him btw ) surely a more representative set of record would have been better , some used can't have even been discovered at the time the film was set

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Maybe they should have had a more specific title like....

"The Youth Club" or

"What Are Those Kids Up To Out There?" maybe

"Bouncing Up And Down On Pissed Mattresses In Dog Shit Alley" or even .

"Get The Consultants In, We've Got A Budget To Blow!"

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who wants a film about drug fuelled 100 mph northern soul,when we could have a film about over the hill chin strokers stood in a dank cellar talking about run out info in mid tempo obscurities that are undanceble and most people dont give a flying flook about,now thats a film for me..haha

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he may have been the consultant that doesn't mean any notice was taken of him ( yes I have heard of him btw ) surely a more representative set of record would have been better , some used can't have even been discovered at the time the film was set

 

I think it was a good representation of sounds from the mid 70s….OK Suspicion was a bit of poetic licence, but apart from that nothing out of place as far as I could see….

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Well if their serious about "Wigan Casino" the movie they best get their skates on while some of the leading protagonists of the time are still alive and kicking, just think how much money in equity card fees they can save by getting them to play their own fathers!

Dave

Edited by Louise

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Nout wrong with Butlins.....some great DJ's came from there...like Peter Young on Jazz FM! He used to be a red coat back in the 60's. Everybody has to start somewhere. My best holidays as a child were at Skegness. That's all my parents could afford back then. And...the weekender I just came back from (Skegness)...fantastic! I still have my wristband on to remind me how good it was...and labour the point when I can.

 

You don't know what you are missing. Real Cornish pasties, wild life all over the camp (the ducks and birds!!), walking in the Sky Liner and bumping into Eddie Holman and having a chat about Weldon McDougall and the 60's stuff that came out of Harthon Productions (the office space I have seen even though demolished) in Philly, MFSB, Earl Young and my session in 2008 that featured some original MFSB 'cats' etc....priceless. He thanked us for allowing him to send his child to university because he gets work now because of interests in his performances over here and gets paid well enough! I pointed at him and said 'I recognise you'....he replied...'Eddie's my name'! You wouldn't get that at Pontins would you!! Actually, you would, myself, Hitsville Chalky and Spyder Turner wrote some new lyrics for a song in my car. It isn't all that bad really, is it? There's a real spirit and camaraderie I've noticed at these holiday camp soul events. At Pontin's, Spyder Turner performed 'Tell me (crying over you)'  with Snake Davis and his fabulous band and horn section. I wrote that song around 2004 and recorded it in Detroit bla bla bla. There was a 15 year old sax player on stage - she was fantastic. She said on her blog how thrilled she was to perform live on stage with The Impressions! Can you believe that, at her age?

 

Despite me being on my own at Skegness, I chatted to loads of people, even the the dancer who won the dance competition. She was lovely and just 4 years younger than me. Had I known somebody in their fifties could have won, I would have entered my self. I must admit though hearing 'Bok to Bach' by Fathers Angels was a shock for the competition. However, that is the record I learnt to dance to in 1974/5 because it had the right bpm (Selectadisc - is that a bootleg then?). I had to start somewhere really. I started to wear the carpet out in my bedroom at one stage learning the steps. I told my mum I thought we had mice. She's was (is still at 94 years old) a bit deaf and thought I said the carpet was 'nice'. Funny really. Do you remember that Butlins 'White Plains' release called 'Step in to a dream' came out circa 1973/74 I think. They changed the lyrics for the commercial? Happy days. Oh, have I finished...........lol! Amazing what two bottles of Thatchers can do.....wait until I have three.....

 

ps - at Skegness there were two parties of notable interest. The 'EasyJet' owner and his key staff were there celebrating something and I actually got introduced to him and he asked me why people kept putting talc down on the floor. I told him because it makes it smell nice. And another party of disabled and mentally ill youngsters (autistic etc..my brother is autistic). I spoke to the team leader who had just won an award off a TV programme for her commitment to the kids for no pay, purely volunteer work. Fantastic. Only at Butlins......

Edited by Carl Dixon

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I'm not sure of the purpose of a film about a scene we all belonged to?  

 

I'm not sure anybody who DIDN'T belong to that scene is all that interested, otherwise they would have been part of it?  Wouldn't they?   Was it underground due to its minority following and because not many people enjoyed the "type" of music?   Even the attempts at commercialisation and money making by the "few" didn't woo the "punters" from the main stream music scene of the time. They stuck with the music that floated their boat.  From memory, most people into Northern Soul were laughed at, with the baggy pants, white ankle socks and bags covered in badges and filled with Johnson's baby powder.  Not many of the soul guys I knew liked walking around alone at night in the dark dressed in the gear!  They were frequently referred to as "puffs" and often threatened by "greasers" and the like !  Most people wanted nothing to do with Northern Soul because it was considered probably one of the weirdest music cultures of the time.   Some of my non-soul friends used to howl out loud to tracks such as "Hey Little Way Out Girl" and "I Still Love You".  They, like the majority, just didn't "get it".   Like Marmite, people loved it or loathed it.  The ones that loathed it, got their kicks somewhere else and taunted those who did like it.  You had to be pretty thick skinned where I come from.

 

I won't be watching the film, only because I was there...and I remember it all.   If it falls into my lap, I will, but I won't go out seeking it.  Every credit to those involved though and it is of course a historical record of the music scene for the future, but in terms of audience numbers, I think the whole thing was very much over-egged in terms of interest and cinema showings. The crew did a fabulous job at promotion but......well, we shall see, I hope I'm proved wrong.  It's just the same old, same old story.....the one that we all wrote and continue to write.

 

I realise that this thread is more about where to go with it next?  

 

It's always puzzles me how everybody talks about the "good old days" of the "scene" and this desire to look back and recreate it on "celluloid".  The scene is still going, it still delivers the same things it used to deliver for those of use who love the music!   People who used to "do drugs", and still want to, do.    And those who don't, don't.  There are relationships, politics, arguments about OVO, bootlegs and CDs, music policy, DJs squabbling over territory, DJs squabbling about "set" times, Council's moving in on venues, the advent of the "tourist" and "handbaggers", theft of DJ collections, extra marital affairs, relationship breakdowns and sadly with the advancing years, death of loved ones.

 

Personally I think a film set in the "now" rather than the "then" would certainly have todays public's jaws dropping open, that a whole culture of the mysterious Northern Soul underground music scene is still as buoyant and dramatic as it ever was.    I came back to the scene after many years away and walking into the King's Hall at Stoke, was just the same as it had been walking into the Casino in the mid 1970s.  It was an overwhelming sense of euphoria and I was in my forties!  I see the dramas, I see the "shenanigans" that go on all the time; you only have to read the Forums on this site to get a sense of unrest on various topics!  There are far more meatier rumblings going on, which are never posted on here.  I think a good murder and an extra-martial affair, drug abuse, vinyl thefts set TODAY, not in the 1970s. Stereotypical suburban middle-aged people, who've worked hard, paid off their mortgages, seen their kids through school to adulthood and have returned to the scene they left behind all those years ago, to find that it's still there, alive and kicking and just as crazy as it ever was.  I think the public would be far more surprised and shocked to learn that Northern Soul really WAS and still IS a way of life, and not just a slogan and a music fad of the time.

 

The other thing that puzzles me is why we promote the music scene through the making of films, and then turn out noses up at the "handbaggers" who turn up to see what it's all about?  

 

Well that's all from me folks!  

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Nout wrong with Butlins.....some great DJ's came from there...like Peter Young on Jazz FM! He used to be a red coat back in the 60's. Everybody has to start somewhere. My best holidays as a child were at Skegness. That's all my parents could afford back then. And...the weekender I just came back from (Skegness)...fantastic! I still have my wristband on to remind me how good it was...and labour the point when I can.

 

You don't know what you are missing. Real Cornish pasties, wild life all over the camp (the ducks and birds!!), walking in the Sky Liner and bumping into Eddie Holman and having a chat about Weldon McDougall and the 60's stuff that came out of Harthon Productions (the office space I have seen even though demolished) in Philly, MFSB, Earl Young and my session in 2008 that featured some original MFSB 'cats' etc....priceless. He thanked us for allowing him to send his child to university because he gets work now because of interests in his performances over here and gets paid well enough! I pointed at him and said 'I recognise you'....he replied...'Eddie's my name'! You wouldn't get that at Pontins would you!! Actually, you would, myself, Hitsville Chalky and Spyder Turner wrote some new lyrics for a song in my car. It isn't all that bad really, is it? There's a real spirit and camaraderie I've noticed at these holiday camp soul events. At Pontin's, Spyder Turner performed 'Tell me (crying over you)'  with Snake Davis and his fabulous band and horn section. I wrote that song around 2004 and recorded it in Detroit bla bla bla. There was a 15 year old sax player on stage - she was fantastic. She said on her blog how thrilled she was to perform live on stage with The Impressions! Can you believe that, at her age?

 

Despite me being on my own at Skegness, I chatted to loads of people, even the the dancer who won the dance competition. She was lovely and just 4 years younger than me. Had I known somebody in their fifties could have won, I would have entered my self. I must admit though hearing 'Bok to Bach' by Fathers Angels was a shock for the competition. However, that is the record I learnt to dance to in 1974/5 because it had the right bpm (Selectadisc - is that a bootleg then?). I had to start somewhere really. I started to wear the carpet out in my bedroom at one stage learning the steps. I told my mum I thought we had mice. She's was (is still at 94 years old) a bit deaf and thought I said the carpet was 'nice'. Funny really. Do you remember that Butlins 'White Plains' release called 'Step in to a dream' came out circa 1973/74 I think. They changed the lyrics for the commercial? Happy days. Oh, have I finished...........lol! Amazing what two bottles of Thatchers can do.....wait until I have three.....

 

ps - at Skegness there were two parties of notable interest. The 'EasyJet' owner and his key staff were there celebrating something and I actually got introduced to him and he asked me why people kept putting talc down on the floor. I told him because it makes it smell nice. And another party of disabled and mentally ill youngsters (autistic etc..my brother is autistic). I spoke to the team leader who had just won an award off a TV programme for her commitment to the kids for no pay, purely volunteer work. Fantastic. Only at Butlins......

Horses for courses etc...

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Blimey, Baz looks the same now. I see him every now and then in Walsall.

 

Is that the guy with the glasses Jordi?  He's the only one I don't know in that pic.

Left to right

the late Martin Randle (dancing), Barbara Thomas, Steve Smith, Shaun, John Jones, Andy Wall

Not my photo, I'd have been tucked up in bed having stopped going way before then.

Interesting though that the 'uniform' isn't as people seem to think it was.

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 this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino.

 

No No and thrice No.

 

Any film that was the definitive story of northern soul, could NOT be just about Wigan.

 

The scene was there many years before Wigan and has continued til the present day.

The definitive history would span nigh on 50 years.

 

Forgive me if I'm wrong but wasn't the latest film mostly about Wigan anyway ?.

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Exactly Pete. Surely people wore the fashions of the particular year.

I can`t remember anyone wearing the type of "Full-Circle" pants that we`ve seen about recently.  Some of us wore what at the time were actually called thigh-flairs with a slightly higher waist band, not one that came up to your tits........ which were more for the ease of dancing rather than fashion. 

And the beer-towel tucked into your belt, well maybe back then but not today......please!!

Edited by Steve Lane

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I've related in "the Film" thread how I felt slightly disappointed by "Northern Soul". Whilst it was a strong pice of film making,  in its own way it was as weak as "Soulboy". Both films got certain things right but ,for me anyway, in the final analysis  both films  fell well short of being definitive works about northern soul. And this last film was set up to be just that - "the definitive story of northern soul". 

 

I think there is definitely room for a a film about the phenomenon that was the Casino. Love it or hate it if you were into Northern Soul in the 70's / 80's then the Casino was the only place to be. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that from 1973 to 1981 it was the spiritual home of northern soul. 95% of people on here who were around at that time say that the Casino times were one of the happiest time of their lives - regardless of their respective ages and where exactly they were at in their northern soul journey at that point. Personally I only caught the tail end - 79-81 - and on some visits the place was virtually empty but nevertheless it was an unbelievable experience and one I've never forgotten. Nothing has compared since. That  feeling - the feeling of walking through those doors has not yet been captured in any film or documentary to date. Maybe it's an impossible feat. 

 

But there is so much material - my own personal experience which must be echoed by thousands of others - age 14 in 79, hearing the music for the first time at youth clubs, seeing the "annointed" dancing. Buying the records and learning the moves. Learning the drops and floor-work. Buying more records. Taking your own box of records to the youth club. When the DJ did the 5 minute Northern spot you were up there with the 5 or 6 others doing your routine for the first time. The circle formed around you. That's when you knew you were part of something special. Then from there going to your first full Northern venue - for us it was Notts Palais all dayers. From that point your world was only centered on one thing - Wigan Casino. You had to get there. My parents were pretty strict and were not going to let their 14 year old travel to the other side of the country to a club, up all night dancing. In the end I lied that I was staying overnight at a mates. Bread and jam in the bag with the clothes and I was away. I had twenty quid saved up from a paper round and odd jobs. I think it cost ten pounds to get there from Mansfield - service bus and train. That left £10 to buy records. And the whole adventure of actually getting there. It took hours. The horror of arriving at Wigan and being chased by the Punks and Grebo's all the way from the train station to Station Road. You ran for your life - literally. But that feeling when you rounded the bend and saw a few hundred Soulies outside - your heart lifted and the Rockers soon backed off at that point. One hour or so later you were walking through those doors and  you were in. Dancing at Wigan. The pinnacle reached at last. 

 

Then the drugs. None for me on the first couple of visits but subsequently blueys, chalkies - and the whole feeling was elevated 100 times. But then the come down and feeling like shit on the long journey home. But by Tuesday you were planning how to procure gear again for the next visit. And so it went on. Many cars stolen ( not by me ) to get there, chemists raided etc,. That feeling of your world consumed by the whole thing - the music, dancing, gear and the Casino. It was your life back then. For many still is.

 

Thats the story from the fans side which for a film could be juxtaposed with the story of the guys who ran the place as a business - Harry, Mike and Russ. How it started as a leap into the unknown and then became this monster which ran away with them. The story of how a run down dance hall on its last legs suddenly became this huge money making phenomenon. And how they milked the whole thing as a cash cow. The character of Simon Soussan and his story could be in there. The rampant commercialisation. The passion and oneupmanship of the DJs and collectors. Record buying trips  to the USA. Then the whole sad fiasco at the end with the 'last' niter farce. All done cynically to make money. But all true and all very rich drama. They say truth is stranger than fiction and the story of Wigan Casino is proof if any were needed. 

 

Right sod you lot  I'm booking the first flight to Hollywood! 

U must have had A bloody big paper round ! Only got £25 A week in 76 as an apprentice hgv fitter ! Had 2 travel round the country with A 2p platform ticket !!

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U must have had A bloody big paper round ! Only got £25 A week in 76 as an apprentice hgv fitter ! Had 2 travel round the country with A 2p platform ticket !!

 

In 1975 I did a seven mornings and seven nights paper round for £3 a week

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