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Are The Mods Responsible For The Northern/rare Soul Scene ?

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well i thought long and hard about posting this,and let me state that ive got nothing against mods but i have,in the past read mods saying there wouldnt be a northern soul scene if it wasnt for them,i certainly believe that the mods were a huge part of the inception of all nighters dancing to obscure black soul music,the flamingo etc,but would we have the scene as we know it today if they hadnt ? so are the mods responsible for the northern/rare soul scene ??

jason

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The early Allnighter scene was a Mod phenomena. Both North and South.

The early northern clubs, mojo, Wheel etc were certainly frequented by those who would consider themselves Mods.

I also think that the mod revivalists, late 70's, were responsible for helping to swell 'Northern Scene' numbers throughout the 80's and beyond.

Sean

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Yes, 100% in my veiw. Every element of the scene can directly be traced back to the Mod scene. As my friend and scene legend Randy Cozens pointed out the Northern scene just improved on what had gone before.

Except the clothes that is......

well i thought long and hard about posting this,and let me state that ive got nothing against mods but i have,in the past read mods saying there wouldnt be a northern soul scene if it wasnt for them,i certainly believe that the mods were a huge part of the inception of all nighters dancing to obscure black soul music,the flamingo etc,but would we have the scene as we know it today if they hadnt ? so are the mods responsible for the northern/rare soul scene ??

jason

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well i thought long and hard about posting this,and let me state that ive got nothing against mods but i have,in the past read mods saying there wouldnt be a northern soul scene if it wasnt for them,i certainly believe that the mods were a huge part of the inception of all nighters dancing to obscure black soul music,the flamingo etc,but would we have the scene as we know it today if they hadnt ? so are the mods responsible for the northern/rare soul scene ??

jason

 

beginning of a book, Middle of a book, End of a book.Same book.

Kind regards Mick L.

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In my opinion there is an almost unbroken thread between the two scenes except on the clothes front. There are still a few mid 60s folk

around who still seek not only rare Soul but exclusive clothes too. Simons shop in Covent Garden was a mecca for old Modernists who craved rare USA shirts, shoes, jackets etc. Who then went onto the 6T's do's before they became too known. I've been to a couple of weekend Soul do's in Llandudno for example where the original scene and ideals still prevail. Also, when I saw the Impressions at the Barbican there were still guys with their HMV LPs, Bass Weegun's and Brooks Brothers shirts.

Edited by Funky 4 Corners

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well i thought long and hard about posting this,and let me state that ive got nothing against mods but i have,in the past read mods saying there wouldnt be a northern soul scene if it wasnt for them,i certainly believe that the mods were a huge part of the inception of all nighters dancing to obscure black soul music,the flamingo etc,but would we have the scene as we know it today if they hadnt ? so are the mods responsible for the northern/rare soul scene ??

jason

 

From what i remember of my early years of following mod/soul culture i would say a big NO. The mods of the mid to late 60s definatly had their roots  musically in mid tempo soul/r&b and pop but not northern/rare soul as we all came to know of the early 70s.

 

Got to admit they were hugely influential in its gradual development due to the ever increasing demand for new sounds to replace much of the pop dross of the early 70s. Really can't recall many of the dj's from the Wheel,Torch etc regarding themselves as Mods and therefore being responsible for the evolution of Northern soul.

 

All IMHO.

 

REGARDS roy

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Many of the original folks who went the Twisted Wheel always claim that the club was never a Soul Club but a Mod Club that played  a lot of Soul

They despise and won't acknowledge the Northern Soul Tag

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Early 80s I went to the Notts Brit on the wrong night. Shock horror it was a mod night, the music plaid was virtually all northern and it was a great night.

Has Northern Soul kept the Mod scene going I ask myself  

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It's always been a mod thing for me definitely, as the whole Northern Soul "scene" is something that I just never felt any affinity with. I have no interest in Wigan Casino, Blackpool Mecca or the clubs that inspired the term, there are obviously immense parallels - soul and R&B music, but there's obviously plenty of room for both.

 

Please don't take this as a direct or implied criticism as I know that plenty enjoy the 70's take on this, but it's not for me. As an aside, I have a sister who is 15 years older than I (she's now 67) who was a mod in the sixties, and she absolutely hates the term "Northern Soul" with a vengeance. Her passion has always been for John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Booker T and Stax records, The Impressions, The Miracles and Ike & Tina, with loads of others in between, too. 

 

This was great for me as I inherited her entire record collection from the period some 30 years ago, and I can tell you there was some fantastic stuff in there with shed loads of Sue, Oriole, London, Chess amongst around 300 singles, EP's and albums...

 

Thanks, Sis!  

Edited by Chippy Minton

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I would say that the soul allnighter scene was the mod scene or what the mod scene transmuted into.

 

It's an unbroken thread.

 

Mod revivalists (or more accurately re-enactors) circa Quadrophenia and subsequent revivals muddied the waters as a they looked backwards whereas the true ethos was always about looking forward.

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Of course it came from the Mod scene but as House and Rave developed out of our all nighter culture (and music) so did Northern Soul from the Mod culture. Similar music in it's roots, but the culture remains the same.  

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some interesting views been posted,thing is,i dont remember seeing many mods about particulary when i was very active on the rare soul scene,allnighters every week etc,surely if mods were responsible for this scene they would be everywhere wouldnt they ? or is it that were all a lot older now so the mods dont dress up as mods do but still class themselves as mods ? i know theres quite a few members on here who have scooters but having a scooter doesnt always mean your a mod ?

jason

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Of course it came from the Mod scene but as House and Rave developed out of our all nighter culture (and music) so did Northern Soul from the Mod culture. Similar music in it's roots, but the culture remains the same.  

so on the same basis you could say that northern soulers were responsible for the rave scene ? i dont get it meself or am i just being thick,lol

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so on the same basis you could say that northern soulers were responsible for the rave scene ? i dont get it meself or am i just being thick,lol

 

 

Deffo. Many on the Northern scene went on to like the Modern style of Soulful House which re-invented itself into Rave but the culture of staying up all night and using substances continued. Simply a change in music style but no change in nightclub culture.

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Deffo. Many on the Northern scene went on to like the Modern style of Soulful House which re-invented itself into Rave but the culture of staying up all night and using substances continued. Simply a change in music style but no change in nightclub culture.

 

 

When the Casino shut down and Northern "died its death" in many peoples eyes, although Stafford started there was the Hacienda. It took everything from our all nighters but introduced a different music. 

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Most certainly YES if you look around today at most soul do's the older generation were mods and still are. The MOD scene of the sixties were based on clothes, music and scooters and most of there music was soul, motown or reggae

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When the Casino shut down and Northern "died its death" in many peoples eyes, although Stafford started there was the Hacienda. It took everything from our all nighters but introduced a different music. 

 

There was at least 5 years between  Hacienda and Wigan, and not sure if in early days of it it took that many people away. There was a whole lot more history in between these events in my opinion that is as always being glossed over. There was a lot more than Stafford for one thing, and I would say it was as late as 89/90 before chunks of us moved into a House world, previous to that the music was very different.

Not sure why I care anymore, its always the same gloss job. But I do!

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Of course it came from the Mod scene but as House and Rave developed out of our all nighter culture (and music) so did Northern Soul from the Mod culture. Similar music in it's roots, but the culture remains the same.  

 

 I am not sure its correct to say it developed out of our scene, surely the early illegal raves etc were the kids finding their own way, and then there was some merge with more recognisable music.

 

Not so say Northern guys weren't there at the beginning but I think its too strong to say we started it. It had obviously massive similarites in lifestyle, just better looking women, although to be fair probably not in the 80's! More history being re-written, by me this time :D

 

I suppose the question is who had curtain haircuts before 88, cmon on there must be a few of you, own up!

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Mal C, on 25 Nov 2014 - 8:14 PM, said:Mal C, on 25 Nov 2014 - 8:14 PM, said:

I thought you meant the 'Mod'erator's on here... :wink: not quite.. them other chaps in corduroy slip-on shoes, yep.. 100%...

 

Malcolm

I was going to say that Mal. We get blamed for many things on here but.......................

 

LOL

 

:lol:

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I don't  know about the past, but in London I would guess at leads 25% of people attending Northern Soul do's currently are Mod's or Scooterists, pretty much helping to keep them going.

 

 

 

Dave

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It should be obvious that the mod scene of the 60t's spawned the Northern Soul scene. Speaking as someone who was a mod in the mid 60t's I can go to a Northern do today and hear some of the same record's I was dancing to back in the day, I'm thinking about thing's like Chuck Woods Seven day's, Billy Butler, Right Track, Gospel Classic More Love. As for dancing to pop record's I don't know where that idea came from, I thought that started at The Casino.

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Yes i would say Tubby Hayes,Ronnie Ross,Don Rendell and the soho jazz scene was responsible.Mod was a naff word after 64...in London and the cities it was flower power..in the suburbs and the north soul music still held sway.The harder look took over...peanuts,smoothies,skinhead then suedehead.Scooters were still being used.It all just evolved.Scooter boys in the mid seventies were into northern soul They wore northern soul fashion.The word mod came back with the sixties revival and Quad.The Modrapheniacs rode from Dorset to Scarborough in 77 on lights and mirrored scoots and were seen as something out of the dark ages.The chrome was dumped.The mods of today are reviving a certain period in time that Quad started.See the attachments...oh yeah the Soho jazz modernists did start it.

post-18577-0-06722300-1417025216_thumb.j

post-18577-0-27315300-1417025368_thumb.j

post-18577-0-23734000-1417025828_thumb.j

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Guest db121

From what i remember of my early years of following mod/soul culture i would say a big NO. The mods of the mid to late 60s definatly had their roots  musically in mid tempo soul/r&b and pop but not northern/rare soul as we all came to know of the early 70s.

 

Got to admit they were hugely influential in its gradual development due to the ever increasing demand for new sounds to replace much of the pop dross of the early 70s. Really can't recall many of the dj's from the Wheel,Torch etc regarding themselves as Mods and therefore being responsible for the evolution of Northern soul.

 

All IMHO.

 

REGARDS roy

 

At the last count at least 100 of the top northern soul 500 were played at The Wheel before closing.

It was the Northern  mods in mid to later 60s playing tunes like A lil Loving sometimes, Dr.Love,6X6,Out On The Floor,Theres Nothing Else To Say, Determination,Queen Of Fools,A Quitter Never Wins, The Right Track,Investigate,Were In This Thing Together,Ready Willing And Able,Love Times,Chains Of Love,I hurt On The Other Side,Ecstasy,What's Wrong With Me Baby,Baby Reconsider,Darkest Days,Do The Temptation Walk, Breakout,You Get Your Kicks,Too Late,That Beatin Rhythm,You Don't Want Me No More,Soul Time,The Who Who Song,Unsatisfied. And thats just a few of the top Of my head.

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It should be obvious that the mod scene of the 60t's spawned the Northern Soul scene. Speaking as someone who was a mod in the mid 60t's I can go to a Northern do today and hear some of the same record's I was dancing to back in the day, I'm thinking about thing's like Chuck Woods Seven day's, Billy Butler, Right Track, Gospel Classic More Love. As for dancing to pop record's I don't know where that idea came from, I thought that started at The Casino.

Although playing "pop" records reached new levels at the Casino, if you go back to the Wheel with things like Human Beinz Nobody But Me, Round Robin Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann, Frankie Valli You're Ready Now, Newbeats Run Baby Run & numerous Spencer Davis and Mitch Ryder tracks. The Torch with Bobby Paris Personally, Ray Whitley/Guy Darrell I've Been Hurt, etc it was going on long before Wigan opened as a "Soul" venue.

 

Paul

Edited by Paul r

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I'd be interested to hear Brian Phillips take on Db121's post.

 

Mid 60's ?

 

Weren't most of those 45s from late '68 to '71 and a couple after that [Torch].

 

Living in Manchester mods had fizzled out up here by '68/'69 IMO and it was more a skinhead look in '69.

 

You also can't give credit to mods as a whole when looking at Manchester.  UK soul collectors round there were turning up 45s in that vein at that time. Dave Slater, Dave Hall, Dave Stubbs, and Steve Vickers [just to prove you didn't have to be called Dave] and no doubt others I didn't know.

 

Brian was doing his import list. Not sure when he started but I may have seen it around 1970/71.

 

As for mods buying rare soul surely it was new releases ?  And judging from what was available to be picked up on UK release in those early years of NS it's evident plenty of stuff went unsold.

 

ROD

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Well it's a yes from me, and I was there, I started 1966... Beachcomber, Dungeon and Brit in Nottingham, all dayers all nighters, records in the early days from Stax, Atlantic Motown,to name a few, might not be rare now but in the day the only place to hear these sounds, mods turned into soul boys n girls, not 100% sure but also the time we started to dance on your own to the soul sounds (without a partner) up to the that point in the mid sixties only place I knew this was happening was in these type of soul clubs, I didn't go to Wigan but my younger brothers did after hearing me play the records at home....

Edited by Barry Cooper

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But Barry I had all that Atlantic, Stax and some Motown/early NS stuff by  '68 having heard some on a juke box locally when I was 14 in '67.

 

It was only in 68 [was it?] when I heard "Right Track" and "Nothing can stop me"  on Soul City release that I realised there was an entirely different sound.

 

The Otis, Wilson, Joe, Carla etc were in the bin by '69.

 

I guess mods bought the former stuff but it certainly isn't the NS sound.

 

More youth club 45s.

 

ROD

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Your right Rod it was not the NS sound in the mid 6t's but I feel it was a natural progression from the soul music of the sixties to the early NS sounds in the 7t's...plus the fact there was already all nighters and all dayers around, and quite a few 'mods' turned into soul boys.

Edited by Barry Cooper

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Depends what we mean by "the Northern Soul scene"?

There are four distinct era's and generations of youths as I see it,

The 60's lot, the 70's, 80's....and the current young souls, (excluding the over 40' newcomers based on age).

Common denominators are the music the club culture, dance styles and the collectors.

Differentials could be the fashion and the extent of the digging?

....Then there's the question of what constitutes being a mod?

Being a bit of a hybrid,( my own youth began on the tail end of the early 70's "scene" and ran into the the begining of the 80's era....so I was too young to be a 60's mod and too into new rather than retro fashions to be a Quad' Mod.

Don't recall many Mods of either ilk being around "the scene"in my youth.

The original Wheel boys from our way got to an age and hung their boots up, the original early 70's lads did the same.

In my experience, a lot of the early 70's boy's background was bootboy rather than mod.

The continuity seems to stem from the clubs and the guys providing the music and the evolution of the same.

To me, the core of the scene as I understand it, is the club culture and the music, rather than the variants of tribal styles of those who have populated it over the years.

So my own little perspective is that the Mods, 60's or Quad, are not responsible for what I understand to be the NS scene per se, but the 60's Mods were the pioneers of the club culture and of the appreciation of "deep soul with a dance beat", (to quote RS), which were subsequently adopted and reinterpreted by the succeeding generations.

Edited by back street blue

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Straight from Mod and how Mod evolved round my way. In 69/70 I hung out with a mod/skinhead gang and we discovered this small scene of mods and smart skins who played a similar style of soul to what we had bought as Mods but it was almost 100% different to those sides. I thought I knew soul music but I went to Kelmarsh and did not recognise one record in 8 hours. Those Northants and E Midlands nighters along with the Wheel were the start of Northern and it grew from there to the other clubs that we knew and loved. The mod fashion changed by about 1972/3 and morphed into general mainstream fashion (but a more tasteful version in all but Dave Thorley's case LOL). You couldn't buy decent two tone tonics and mod clothes in 72-76 unless you had them made

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I think the direct link between Northern Soul as a template for raves is very tenuous . The all night house scenes had roots in all night blue parties, Sound system nighters, all night discos like the paradise garage in NY and of course the all night Balearic clubs in Ibiza which led to dis setting up clubs like Shoom etc. yeah there were some northern soul heads at Hac but he'll of a lot were from other all night scenes. 

 

 

When the Casino shut down and Northern "died its death" in many peoples eyes, although Stafford started there was the Hacienda. It took everything from our all nighters but introduced a different music. 

 

Edited by Byrney

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I think the direct link between Northern Soul as a template for raves is very tenuous . The all night house scenes had roots in all night blue parties, Sound system nighters, all night discos like the paradise garage in NY and of course the all night Balearic clubs in Ibiza which led to dis setting up clubs like Shoom etc. yeah there were some northern soul heads at Hac but he'll of a lot were from other all night scenes. 

I agree with you that link with raves is tenuous but the illegal warehouse scene in london in early 80s was kickstarted by london based northern soul people based around Demob clothes shop, first warehouse party I remember was Rosebery ave islington with Craig brick djing, I was shocked it was super trendy with a northern soundtrack.

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attachicon.gifwankers.jpg   Yep Mods the epitome of style and cool :rofl:

That would be the "Bristol Mods" seen around some Scooter Rallys like the Isle Of Wight, taking their Christmas tree styled scooters out of vans.  Definately of the comedy re enactment type.

 

Paul

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It's clear that there are two (at least) Mod scenes just as there are two (at least) NS scenes.

 

The original Mods appear to have been forward thinking and experimental in terms of both fashion and music. Always looking for the next thing. Much like the progressive NS scene, still around today looking to play other than the "same old, same old".  I will grant that these originals may have contributed to the genesis of our scene.

 

Whereas the Quad mods (love that phrase BTW), are just like todays "oldies", "mainstream", call it what you will, NS scene. Looking to hear the same old sounds (with a few tailor-mades thrown in for good measure). Wearing retro clothes etc etc.

 

The thing that amuses me is that a fair proportion of those who were and are Quad Mods, have set themselves up as the NS Police and the guardians of the "proper" NS ethos, decrying the oldies brigade when in fact they were exactly the same as these people not too long ago. Admittedly on the Mod scene, but around the NS scene.

 

A shining example of this was a few (well about 15/16) years ago when one of these Quad Mod's (who DJ's and plays Club Soul, NS and Mod sounds including Secret Affair etc) threw a drink in Ian Levine's face at a Ritz allniter for committing the sacrilege of remaking some NS classic for his Strange World of Northern Soul film, whilst wearing his Mod fancy dress suit. Irony doesn't even begin to describe that situation

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Think you have to divide up the decades.

If you look at the 70s, then mods had very little to do with the shaping of Northern Soul & Wigan Casino, mod involvement was minimal at best until towards the end of the decade & the revival that Quadraphia brought.

Obviously going back to the 60s, then that's a completely different story, going back & the R&B/black music Allnighter scene that first evolved, say at The Flamingo & elsewhere.

I personally think the mod involvement is overrated & not as close as people like to associate the two, but that's probably because of my age & I grew up at Wigan, but if I was say, going to the Wheel late 60s, then I suspect the ties would be considered a lot closer.

For me, Wigan Casino era is not tied to mods very much at all, other than 60s legacy.

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I started to go to soul clubs and allniters back in 1965 and you will have to trust me the music and the vibe was very similar to what became Northern Soul. for all those who were too young then to experience those wonderful and pioneering years .I,m sorry but you can't change history.It really happened.

               God Bless Mick L

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I started to go to soul clubs and allniters back in 1965 and you will have to trust me the music and the vibe was very similar to what became Northern Soul. for all those who were too young then to experience those wonderful and pioneering years .I,m sorry but you can't change history.It really happened.

               God Bless Mick L

Just what I was trying to say earlier Mick, it was what it was...

atb Barry

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I'd be interested to hear Brian Phillips take on Db121's post.

 

Mid 60's ?

 

Weren't most of those 45s from late '68 to '71 and a couple after that [Torch].

 

Living in Manchester mods had fizzled out up here by '68/'69 IMO and it was more a skinhead look in '69.

 

You also can't give credit to mods as a whole when looking at Manchester.  UK soul collectors round there were turning up 45s in that vein at that time. Dave Slater, Dave Hall, Dave Stubbs, and Steve Vickers [just to prove you didn't have to be called Dave] and no doubt others I didn't know.

 

Brian was doing his import list. Not sure when he started but I may have seen it around 1970/71.

 

As for mods buying rare soul surely it was new releases ?  And judging from what was available to be picked up on UK release in those early years of NS it's evident plenty of stuff went unsold.

 

ROD

From around '69 modernist type clothes were not really worn at the Wheel, there was a fairly standard `uniform` of mohair suit jacket, over a Ben Sherman, jeans (501, Wrangler, Lee) and loafers or brogues that did echo it however. But hair was getting longer and fashions more varied often what ever was sold in places such as Ivor's Boutique on Brown St. M/c. (Pete Stringfellow unsuccessfully tried a fusion of flower power and Soul at the Mojo). At the last night at the Wheel a few of the mid 60s guys came along in suits and ties and looked rather out of place. There were a few import 45s in Barry Ancell's and then Jeff King started selling them from a box in the club around '70. Brian's lists were a mixture of US and UK if I recall. This will all go down in history as a non-London / southeast situation, which is largely true, but the vast majority of northern / midlands teenagers had also moved on from the Soul days of the 60s to Rock etc. What has never successfully been explained is the chemistry that bucked the massive pop music industry of the day and effectively invented its own scene.

Edited by Funky 4 Corners

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or the original question could be worded....would wigan..and the northern soul 'scene' as we call it have happened if there had not been the torch etc of the early 70s? ...and if no....would the torch etc of the early 70s have happened if there had not been a twisted wheel etc of the 60s?...and would the wheel have been as popular if there hadn't been a 'mod' scene?

 

ofcourse there wasnt mods at mid 70s wigan..ofcourse the music and fashion was slightly different BUT as far as ive read..as im far too young...there were soul fans/mods who had been to the wheel and some went onto the torch...and there were soul fans who went to the torch who went onto wigan...

 

so its a yes from me :-)

 

dean

Edited by spacehopper

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