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mike

northern soul - the current state...?

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Well it’s Northern but not as you know it. Gone global. Gone local. Still the best music around but it’s now ubuiquitous, on TV, in the elevator, down the pub, wedding discos, zillions of You Tube clips etc. USA record reserves are drying up and UK collections are starting to flood the market but there’s no shortage of DJs. Good to see a resurgence in record decks and vinyl in general but I suspect that the younger generation has still some way to go before fully embracing this crazy scene. Good to see the truly dedicated are on Soul Source regularly and out on the floor from time-to-time, even though sleep deprivation is catching up with a few. The Weekender programme has picked up from where the Allnighter scene left off so plenty of action for fans of all ages suggesting there’s plenty of years ahead.

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How many active members are on this site? More or less than 5 years ago?

 

Soul in the Sun sells out 2 times a year with no vinyl in sight, no recognisable dj's, and about £1000 a man for flights, digs, snap, and booze.

 

Packed dance floors, fancy dress, generally high spirited, etc.

 

Detroit last year had a hardcore of followers making the trip. The over 50s have money to pursue these wonderful expeditions. Las Vegas was nearly as well attended also.

 

But I Can't see many UK all nighters dance floors at 5am playing ton of dynamite being packed with anybody who actually went to the Mecca or Wigan etc.

 

Unless new blood comes in, serious stuff will die in the UK, and total nostalgia take over.

 

BUT I do think it's still more popular now globally, than ever. Just look at the gig guide.

 

I'm not a fan at all of mixing ska, r n b, tailor made etc in with Northern, but am aware I may be in a minority. 

 

Ed

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On 26/09/2018 at 08:20, Winsford Soul said:

Mike. My take on the current state of the scene is that the nighter part of it is slowly but surely dying apart from one off yearly events.  Are people getting older,  Fed up with the music, can't be arsed travelling, weekenders.  everywhere every week . Too many events . I just don't know. 

I do know that I'm not seeing lots of who I would call nighter people anymore and it's happened over the last two/ three years.  . 

Steve 

Totally agree with you fella could,nt a nailed it any better 👌

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23 hours ago, tomangoes said:

How many active members are on this site? More or less than 5 years ago?

 

Soul in the Sun sells out 2 times a year with no vinyl in sight, no recognisable dj's, and about £1000 a man for flights, digs, snap, and booze.

 

Packed dance floors, fancy dress, generally high spirited, etc.

 

Detroit last year had a hardcore of followers making the trip. The over 50s have money to pursue these wonderful expeditions. Las Vegas was nearly as well attended also.

 

But I Can't see many UK all nighters dance floors at 5am playing ton of dynamite being packed with anybody who actually went to the Mecca or Wigan etc.

 

Unless new blood comes in, serious stuff will die in the UK, and total nostalgia take over.

 

BUT I do think it's still more popular now globally, than ever. Just look at the gig guide.

 

I'm not a fan at all of mixing ska, r n b, tailor made etc in with Northern, but am aware I may be in a minority. 

 

Ed

👍👍

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On 26/09/2018 at 10:15, LEN said:

I think if people stop 'chasing their tails' (Guilty as charged btw), as in, stop hoping it will be the same as they once remembered (When you were young, and all was so exciting) one can get great enjoyment, just a different enjoyment that's all.

 

That said, I don't like the way the Scene is. 'Starbucks Northern Soul' - Every town has one (and some) But hey ho, that's the way it is, and there's nothing we can do about it.

 

As for 'big names' not pulling crowds, I agree - Maybe if they were only available at the major All-nighters, that would have made a difference, but most of the DJs (kindly has to be said) play almost anywhere, so people don't need to travel to see 'a Soul Sam'.

 

Interesting to reflect on it all every 5 years or so. I now except my best times are over, and don't feel the need to do it every weekend, but when I do, I can now make the most of it - The music still moves me thank god! :wink:

 

All the best,

 

Len :thumbsup:

👌👌

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Purely speculation...

 

£40 a ticket.

 

900 attendees

 

Twice a year

 

Cut of week long beer sales and merchandise 

 

DJS don't get paid

 

Huge bar would otherwise be empty (comparatively speaking)

 

Profit at least £80k

 

Indeed anybody running such events makes a tidy living.

 

Not complaining, just saying...

 

Ed

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1 minute ago, tomangoes said:

Purely speculation...

 

£40 a ticket.

 

900 attendees

 

Twice a year

 

Cut of week long beer sales and merchandise 

 

DJS don't get paid

 

Huge bar would otherwise be empty (comparatively speaking)

 

Profit at least £80k

 

Indeed anybody running such events makes a tidy living.

 

Not complaining, just saying...

 

Ed

Same as any type of entertainment you pay your money and if you don't think you have value for money you dont return. Cream rises to the top and non value events will soon be found out and wither on the vine.

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12 hours ago, tomangoes said:

Purely speculation...

 

£40 a ticket.

 

900 attendees

 

Twice a year

 

Cut of week long beer sales and merchandise 

 

DJS don't get paid

 

Huge bar would otherwise be empty (comparatively speaking)

 

Profit at least £80k

 

Indeed anybody running such events makes a tidy living.

 

Not complaining, just saying...

 

Ed

Not sure how they get £80k profit when 900 x £40 = £36,000.00 :wink:

 

But on a serious note - If a quality event makes the promoter some profit, good luck to em. As has been said, lots of events bl*eding everywhere, so to actually make a profit nowadays is one heck of an achievement!  

 

All the best,

 

Len :thumbsup:

 

 

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51 minutes ago, LEN said:

Not sure how they get £80k profit when 900 x £40 = £36,000.00 :wink:

 

But on a serious note - If a quality event makes the promoter some profit, good luck to em. As has been said, lots of events bl*eding everywhere, so to actually make a profit nowadays is one heck of an achievement!  

 

All the best,

 

Len :thumbsup:

 

 

I'm all for profit, but I also believe if you're making one then PAY THE DJ's

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2 hours ago, LEN said:

Not sure how they get £80k profit when 900 x £40 = £36,000.00 :wink:

 

But on a serious note - If a quality event makes the promoter some profit, good luck to em. As has been said, lots of events bl*eding everywhere, so to actually make a profit nowadays is one heck of an achievement!  

 

All the best,

 

Len :thumbsup:

 

 

The clues were twice a year, and a cut of bar profits and merchandise sales from said events....

 

 

 

Ed

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Interesting thread, there's no answer to it, it'll be different for all of us...

 

My take, the scene is vibrant, happening, we enjoy it immensely and would like to go more. Sure some folks will be bored with the old tunes after forty years, but for us they are still the best, not really into the RnB and Disco type stuff you sometimes get, I'm a big fan of Disco but without the 'biggies' Chic, Bee Gees etc I don't really rate the obscure 'Disco-ey' stuff much. Unfortunately it seems to me that once a promoter has you on the hook as it were they do seem to more and more neglect the old style 'Northern' and move towards the stuff mentioned above, which to me, was rejected back in the day as not good enough.

 

We can't expect the same thrill that we got from a being twenty, travelling around to edgy areas and partying with strangers we didn't know and the excitement that went with that, plus for those that did them, the gear, we both feel too old for anything like that and we don't indulge anymore.

 

So there's my take, will always love the oldies, the big Northern allniter sounds, not too fussed on the other stuff, will tolerate it if balanced but will stop going if it moves totally away from the old stuff, can't expect that same heady, edgy, half-criminal buzz we got in the old days, to expect that we think is asking too much.

 

With allniters, take away the gear and add the age thing, we're not really bothered that it isn't for us anymore but at the end of the day you are free to go home when you've had your fill. We think it's in a good two and eight and are happy we still go, love the dressing up and party atmosphere, we don't dress up we like folks who do it adds to the spectacle. Cup half full for us! :hatsoff2:

 

We've all got older and perhaps we ask too much of it

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I recall saying that I don't know what I would do without the soul scene as I was on the move to venues every single week, often travelling south from Edinburgh on my own using public transport, I just loved it that much...it's now been about 6 years since I last attended a venue and I really don't miss it at all. especially not the travelling, I find that - as much as I love the music - the scene has gone flat, most of the venues I used to attend have become stale and some have even ceased.  The cost of travel is another factor but even if I had the money now I would not travel 10 minutes from my house let alone 200 miles south, I love the music but I'm afraid - for me - the scene is finished, unless the Albrighton Crew get together again!!!

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4 hours ago, Chris Wormald said:

Every now and then I will be at a soul venue with my old mate Vinnie and after a few beers( well maybe more than a few) one of us will say " after all these years who would think we would still be doing this ". But we are in our own ways maybe not a 4 hour round trip maybe not a all-nighter (well not many) but I still love the like minded people the music and maybe I don't get on the dance floor as much as when I was a young'un , but when I do I still get that feeling that I got the first time I got on the floor. The scene has changed over the years but we still go and still have a good time, is that all that counts?

Good time, yep that's all that matters.  We will never get back to what we (think) we had and like you say and many others who'd have thought we would still be doing this 30/40 and 50 years later.

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7 hours ago, Chris Wormald said:

Every now and then I will be at a soul venue with my old mate Vinnie and after a few beers( well maybe more than a few) one of us will say " after all these years who would think we would still be doing this ". But we are in our own ways maybe not a 4 hour round trip maybe not a all-nighter (well not many) but I still love the like minded people the music and maybe I don't get on the dance floor as much as when I was a young'un , but when I do I still get that feeling that I got the first time I got on the floor. The scene has changed over the years but we still go and still have a good time, is that all that counts?

whats this about a few beers chris ?? you have your own barrel 

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I think as said.  above weekenders have had a big impact on nighters and soul nights.  People can get their fix all in one weekend and they can do this every month.  There is probably two weekenders per month now to choose from.  

 

Many Brits choose European Weekenders now over the UK scene, might not be the newies but rather than the same old same playlists there is a lot more imagination from more enterprising Djs and the scene over there doesn't have the baggage the UK scene has.

 

Chill out Sundays also making life difficult for the scene.  Many choose to do 6 hours or so on a Sunday, chuck a dinner in as well and home for 8/9pm.  No getting wiped out and had their fix of the music with their mates.

 

The scene has evolved and it appears to be to the detriment of the nighter scene.  There is still life in it though but for how long I'm not sure, many seem to be holding it back with their selfish attitude and reluctance to evolve or to move on with the music.  Maybe as the old farts disappear those left behind can take it up and develop their own scene just as happened in the 80s?

 

 

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On 29/09/2018 at 10:27, Spain pete said:

Just goes to show how crass this whole underground scene has become when we are talking about the corporate world of northern soul,   MUSIC RULES  and nothing else matters,  unless ? 🎶🎶

Hi Pete. I don’t think the Northern Soul scene has gone corporate and it never will. The whole roadshow is put on by dedicated amateurs, promoters who generally make a loss or barely break even, DJ’s who never get paid and punters who pay a fiver to hear thousand pound rarities. As a business model, it really sucks so massive credit should be given to the lynchpins of the scene who promote weekenders ie Kev, Ady, Pat et al...

 

As I was watching Friday’s BBC 4 programme about super-clubs, I thought back to the Casino days when there was a glitter-ball that didn’t revolve and only one UV strip light working as the other was broken. I don’t think that much has changed looking around at the host of small venues, Tower Ballroom excepted of course.

 

The Northern scene is still for the chosen few and not the masses who settle for computer assisted, commercial EDM and long may it be so.

Edited by FRANKIE CROCKER
typo

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19 minutes ago, FRANKIE CROCKER said:

Hi Pete. I don’t think the Northern Soul scene has gone corporate and it never will. The whole roadshow is put on by dedicated amateurs, promoters who generally make a loss or barely break even, DJ’s who never get paid and punters who pay a fiver to hear thousand pound rarities. As a business model, it really sucks so massive credit shoukd be given to the lynchpins of the scene who promote weekenders ie Kev, Ady, Pat et al...

 

As I was watching Friday’s BBC 4 programme about super-clubs, I thought back to the Casino days when there was a glitter-ball that didn’t revolve and only one UV strip light working as the other was broken. I don’t think that much has changed looking around at the host of small venues, Tower Ballroom excepted of course.

 

The Northern scene is still for the chosen few and not the masses who settle for computer assisted, commercial EDM and long may it be so.

You nailed it mate that's the unless bit and who can blame them 

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Posted (edited)

Personally I feel there is still some energy out there in the scene but it is a little tired.

As mentioned above we are getting older along with the scene and the numbers of younger Soulies coming through has slowed down.

There are loads of great tunes out there but they do not all make it to the decks.

Collectors must be sitting on most of those.

People go to different events for different reasons.

Personally due to the number of years I have been going  I prefer rare and underplayed all-nighters, soul nights.  

 

It doesn't help when you feel knackered at the start of an all-nighter.

Work these days for many of us is very demanding so that does not help with the positive thought process.

 

As mentioned previously , there are many factors affecting the scene these days.

 

There a lot of good people out there running good regular Soul nights and all-nighters trying to keep the flame burning.

 

Just my reflection on it today.

 

p.s. working night shifts all week.

KTF Frank

 

Edited by Bossfourpart1

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15 hours ago, hullsoulie said:

As stated before there will be no definitive answer, but for me it is THE MUSIC, first and foremost.

I used to love dimly lit halls with seating around the outside and where you could see dancers more than 10m away only in silhouette - I am a friendly chap but apart from being polite and considerate normally on the floor and at the bars just nodded and smiled at people I recognised from other venues. I used to reach my own 'communion' with the music and would have had to have been dragged out if the building was on fire - I miss all that, the Clifton Hall, Wilton Ballroom, Tony's Empress type scene

I have not attended a nighter for 5 years due to the following: (please bear in mind this is only my opinion, everyone else has an equal right to agree to differ)

Pissheads coming in to see what 'Norvern' is all about

People of a certain age demographic treating it as a live Tinder event

People dancing like buffoons and taking the piss
People in fancy dress
Brightly lit venues/dancefloors
People waving video cameras around
People taking hundreds of photos of attendees, which invariably look like we've been dug up and have teeth like burnt fences (I include myself in that)
'Funky House' at Soul do's

The fact that I can still listen to THE MUSIC for at least an hour each day walking to work, running or just alone in my room keeps me sane, perhaps I am a luddite and things will never go back to that way again but the last outings I really enjoyed was the Polish club in Oldham about 5 year ago when Benny Troy (RIP) appeared live and Radcliffe all niters around the same time - they had all I describe in my second paragraph and NONE of the 'bullet points'

I regret if any of the above causes offence, twas never my intent but by hell this opportunity has been cathartic for someone who rarely posts.
If most of the aficionados ARE enjoying and i'm an outlier that's fine, the wants of the many outweigh the wants of the few 🙂

 

Wow .no your post causes me no offence but i say you must be going the wrong places fella. On Saturday we went to Burton. 10 pounds for a12 hour alldayer. Slow burner early doors but turned into a cracking night. Rare and top 500 played. Djs ranging from the young guns jordan Wilson, dave stabler and other excellent younghearts to top notch hitsville chalkie and dean carr amongst others.great people, great dancefloor ,no knobheads no fancy dress just soulies having fun ,the venues are there. 

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On 29/09/2018 at 11:10, tomangoes said:

The clues were twice a year, and a cut of bar profits and merchandise sales from said events....

Ed

Oh sorry Ed, I miss-understood.

Was gonna say - If there's £80,000.00 profit to be made at each event, no wonder there's so many on! Millionaires the lot of em :D

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

 

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Surely it's great that the scene is still surviving providing entertainment and keeping the flame if not burning then at least flickering. My dear departed dad spent some nights of his youth in London jazz clubs and playing skiffle . I used to tease him about it taking a defiant position that the music I was listening to was better. Now its my turn to be confronted by new ways of doing things. Christ I hate american rap! 

My preferred listening is retro and thus only for the chosen few. The Soul Scene is it's various guises is doing pretty well but its inevitable that it will fade and the original exponents fade. I went for a walk in the countryside yesterday and struggled over a neglected, ricketty sty. Forty years ago I would have leapt over it, spun on my head and skipped over the furze bushes. Let's be content that we got so much pleasure from nights out listening to some amazing tunes from the USA.

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10 hours ago, Leicester boy said:

Wow .no your post causes me no offence but i say you must be going the wrong places fella. On Saturday we went to Burton. 10 pounds for a12 hour alldayer. Slow burner early doors but turned into a cracking night. Rare and top 500 played. Djs ranging from the young guns jordan Wilson, dave stabler and other excellent younghearts to top notch hitsville chalkie and dean carr amongst others.great people, great dancefloor ,no knobheads no fancy dress just soulies having fun ,the venues are there. 

Thanks for responding friend, that is maybe just my problem, disillusioned with the 'general' direction of much of the scene I have withdrawn - I am sure there are great places left that I would enjoy, but the time effort & finance to attend on a 'lucky dip' is kind of off-putting - I will make a note of Burton and endeavour to give it a visit - cheers 🙂

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