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Just where is NS heading in the future?


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I’ve just got back from Iclemere Turkey a cosy little resort across the bay from Marmaris, At least a dozen bars I visited were playing NS, one was actually called Northern Soul Bar , keep the faith logos and numerous badges from venues from the past everywhere , beer mats showing  embroided NS history etc etc,the tunes played were quite diverse from standard Casino oldies and the usual middle of the road NS sounds to believe it or not some big rare sounds, they were obviously on a loop no DJ,s involved  interspersed with country n western etc, , I was asked by a future bar owner would I be interested in Dj,ing for him when he opens up next year as NS is in his future plans for the bar, I explained the best I could all the different facets of NS scene in the UK, other resorts I’ve visited over the years in Turkey have maybe one or two bars playing a little NS, but so many in a middle size resort was surprising , So my question is is the future of NS in a shrinking world in foreign lands. And obviously if it does it will depend which facet of NS it gets.

Meanwhile back n the Uk which facet of NS is coming out most popular here, I will divide into 3 so as not to complicate things and no disrespect meant from me at all here

1 the baggy pants n swirly skirts brigade armed with badges and stuck in nostalgia and a time warp they love, with loads of pubs and clubs open for them no vinyl just cd,s music on a loop Nothing wrong with this if it’s your thing keep n doing it.

 

2 the Rare Soul brigade, Meeting of people who really know or think they know their stuff they are pleased to admire one another’s  knowledge of NS and if there feeling up for it they might get up for a little shuffle in between deciding who is the greatest NS DJ in the Uk.  Nothing wrong with this if it’s what turns you on keep on doing it

3 This is the NS brigade who have stuck with it from the beginning who love the good old stuff but also have had an open mind to accepting all the good and new discoveries  that have come over the last 50 years Embraced it and still turn out excited to have a good night out and open music policy with DJ,s playing their best for them,  Nothing wrong with this you can still be pleasantly surprised by some of the vinyl played while still enjoying the usual great tunes

l know there a countless inbetweens to the above but just keeping it simple, Where do you think the future lies or is NS big enough to accept  and thrive with all of them? And what do you favour?

Keep Safe

Mick L

 

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49 minutes ago, Clee93 said:

 

BF74ACA6-4676-4341-AFD8-6EBFCFD31909.jpeg

Hi Clees

Your Flyer should be on events, it’s not a sensible answer to the topic just a cheap childish way to advertise, this a forum to listen to other people’s point of view to make the scene maybe improve, Btw I’ve got an all dayer on next week but I wouldn’t  be sticking it on all about the Soul it’s on Events where it belongs

ML

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Hi Mick, I'm unlikely to be nearly enough qualified to answer your question but (a) I like the question and (b) I like the way you say there's nothing wrong with any of the options available as you define them. So here goes ...

Option 1: Most likely something that comes and goes, depending on fashion. Pubs have to compete for every penny so a lot of them will follow whatever seems to be fashionable. The genuine veterans of the scene who are happy with this type of event can most easily switch to the other two if needs be, although they might tone down the outfits a bit and risk hearing something less familiar.

Option 2: This appeals to me more, musically at least, as long as the best dj arguments are not taken too seriously. The collector angle complicates it a bit because these precious rare pieces of vinyl are objects in their own right with values not totally connected to the music on them. That will attract people who are more interested in the investment than the sounds. But if that keeps the new discoveries coming then that's good.

Option 3: I like this too but am too young to claim any connection with the original scene, coming to it way too late anyway. But the hunger for new sounds definitely appeals and this is what will keep the scene going more than anything - willingness to enjoy the new so that the old and familiar stays fresh and doesn't get stale like it would (for me at least) in option 1. Option 2 might suffer a bit from music police depending on who the experts are. Open music policy is the key, so ultimately this gets my vote. It also means that anyone in the early stages of a collection has a decent chance of avoiding bankruptcy if they get their hands on an underplayed, forgotten or even undiscovered record. That's got to be good for the scene.

I'd like greater flexibility so that music can be enjoyed more on all legal physical formats without taking anything away from the serious collectors - I'm in this for the music first and for the chance to enjoy it over big sound systems with like minded people.

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14 minutes ago, Solidsoul said:

I think the coming of the internet ruined the proper underground Northern Soul scene.  It's never been the same since around year 2000! That's when it started to change.

But it can't be uninvented, so we are stuck with all the online commercialism and people who have just about learned it all from their online computer/phone.  

I feel the real Northern Soul scene is slipping away and we are more and more left with the description in your example No 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your bang on there Solid Soul the Genie escaped from the bottle with  the internet it opened a fast route sometimes too fast for a lot of people to skip the old ways of serving your Soul baptism to the music and huge chunks of the experience in finding tracks you love or were rare became to easy in a lot of cases spoiling the mysticism that was part of the fun, and of course when everyone was living it for real and learning on the job , you can never buy that unless you lived it the good experiences and the bad , It’s not their fault they were born to late  LoL,and technology left us behind,

 

Mick

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hooker1951 said:

Hi Clees

Your Flyer should be on events, it’s not a sensible answer to the topic just a cheap childish way to advertise, this a forum to listen to other people’s point of view to make the scene maybe improve, Btw I’ve got an all dayer on next week but I wouldn’t  be sticking it on all about the Soul it’s on Events where it belongs

ML

Hi, I think my motives for posting that flyer has been wholly misinterpreted.
The reason I posted it in your post is because it represents a positive reflection of the current state of the soul scene more than talking about dance lessons or themed pubs in resort destinations for British holiday makers or people moaning about what goes on in Bristol.
It's a brand new niter, ran by young people from all over the country, who have become friends through following the music at grassroots venues like Swinton, Rugby and the 100 club.

I think, personally at least, the whole specialist pilgrimage of traveling to venues to hear a certain type of music is part of what makes it what it is and is weaved into the fabric of the culture that surrounds this scene and its important that there are people who are carrying on those core ethics and traditions without it becoming a reenactment of what it has been. 

Edited by Clee93
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54 minutes ago, Mickey Finn said:

Hi Mick, I'm unlikely to be nearly enough qualified to answer your question but (a) I like the question and (b) I like the way you say there's nothing wrong with any of the options available as you define them. So here goes ...

Option 1: Most likely something that comes and goes, depending on fashion. Pubs have to compete for every penny so a lot of them will follow whatever seems to be fashionable. The genuine veterans of the scene who are happy with this type of event can most easily switch to the other two if needs be, although they might tone down the outfits a bit and risk hearing something less familiar.

Option 2: This appeals to me more, musically at least, as long as the best dj arguments are not taken too seriously. The collector angle complicates it a bit because these precious rare pieces of vinyl are objects in their own right with values not totally connected to the music on them. That will attract people who are more interested in the investment than the sounds. But if that keeps the new discoveries coming then that's good.

Option 3: I like this too but am too young to claim any connection with the original scene, coming to it way too late anyway. But the hunger for new sounds definitely appeals and this is what will keep the scene going more than anything - willingness to enjoy the new so that the old and familiar stays fresh and doesn't get stale like it would (for me at least) in option 1. Option 2 might suffer a bit from music police depending on who the experts are. Open music policy is the key, so ultimately this gets my vote. It also means that anyone in the early stages of a collection has a decent chance of avoiding bankruptcy if they get their hands on an underplayed, forgotten or even undiscovered record. That's got to be good for the scene.

I'd like greater flexibility so that music can be enjoyed more on all legal physical formats without taking anything away from the serious collectors - I'm in this for the music first and for the chance to enjoy it over big sound systems with like minded people.

Hi Mickey

Im with you out of the 3 the third option is my favourite It still should make an exciting night out with a twist if one or two discoveries are thrown n the mix of a quality set, always playing for the dance floor and crowd and not to impress other Dj,s A soul session wether a dayer , nighter or soul night should always strive to be entertaining 

Mick

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12 minutes ago, Clee93 said:

Hi, I think my motives for posting that flyer has been wholly misinterpreted.
The reason I posted it in your post is because it represents a positive reflection of the current state of the soul scene more than talking about dance lessons or themed pubs in resort destinations for British holiday makers or people moaning about what goes on in Bristol.
It's a brand new niter, ran by young people from all over the country, who have become friends through following the music at grassroots venues like Swinton, Rugby and the 100 club.

I think, personally at least, the whole specialist pilgrimage of traveling to venues to hear a certain type of music is part of what makes it what it is and is weaved into the fabric of the culture that surrounds this scene and its important that there are people who are carrying on those core ethics and traditions without it becoming a reenactment of what it has been. 

Hi Clees

I understand what your saying, but the Soulies on here don’t need that explaining  to them they’ve already done it been there and lived that life before no offence before  most of you were born , I wish you luck with your venture but trust me  there are a hell of a lot people on here who don’t shout from the rooftops but have a vast amount of knowledge about NS , The music, the promotions of the past and are not easily won over,

Mick

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2 hours ago, Solidsoul said:

I think the coming of the internet ruined the proper underground Northern Soul scene.  It's never been the same since around year 2000! That's when it started to change.

But it can't be uninvented, so we are stuck with all the online commercialism and people who have just about learned it all from their online computer/phone.  

I feel the real Northern Soul scene is slipping away and we are more and more left with the description in your example No 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2000 to 2010 was still a great decade for collecting with plenty of bargains to be had and also lots of great nights and niters.

 

2010 marks the start of the decline for me and what we are seeing play out now takes things to a whole new low.

 

but there is still some great music to enjoy and I’m sure some great nights still to be had just got to avoid all the dross.

 

some mix of 2 and 3 from original post would suit me.

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21 minutes ago, Quinvy said:

As far as I’m concerned it’s a dead horse that’s being flogged to death. Again and again and again!

The facts:

Apart from a few unreleased tunes, there are no new records.

In desperation to find something new, other genres of music are being played as up front.

The majority of us are in our sixties or over. It’s a dance scene, and we can’t dance anymore.

The divvies have taken over since the movie Northern Soul came out.

When I see videos of events it makes me cringe. It looks like a care home.

I went to a soul do a few weeks ago to meet some friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. Decent room, ear splitting sound system, couldn’t talk to my friends. Not many in, and many of those that were in haven’t been on a dance floor for thirty years. I couldn’t wait to get out. 
 

The music is very special. But the scene is simply a social club for old people.

 

Hi Quinvy

its worse than that it’s old people on Speed LoL, but you’ve got to keep on keeping on its later than you think, and when the music stops your heart stops soon after so keep listening

ML

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1 hour ago, Petesi said:

Hmm,

Well for what it`s worth. I and many others are in our mid to late sixties, still dancing( and quite well in some cases) , yes there are divvies as you call em and they were also plentiful in the mid 70`s so no change there! I agree with the videos of some events but other events on show look pretty decent so it all depends on what you watch imo on that one. As for the mix of music yes at some events they want to please or draw a crowd of as many as possible, so go "off piste" with  an eclectic mix which in many cases is as far removed from northern soul as gets and is truly awful..I avoid these  events period. On your final point I agree, the music is very special and to me always will be, so I can put up with a few divvies, the occasional look at me pratts , the pott bellied I love NS but I really never knew it until tonight and all the other minor irritations, cos it sure beats playing crib and listening to Val Doonican down at the Derby and Joan. So as long as I can I will be out on the floor lost in my own little World with Frankie Beverley, The Parliments, Alice Clark, etc. and leave the moaning and griping to those that must. Lol.

 

What keeps you going, if you know every record?

To me, the magic was always hearing something new.

Back in the day, the ONLY way to hear the music was to go out.

What’s your motivation?

Everything has a lifespan.

I’ve found some new hobbies and moved on.

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4 hours ago, Mickey Finn said:

Who can possibly know every record? Maybe there are people who know the vast majority of known records, but there are still deejays out there spinning tunes that only they seem to have and these are the spinners I make the effort to hear out and about when I can. Despite the internet and all the short cuts available to finding and acquiring records, there are still proper deejays who are somehow able to dig deeper and find new or possibly rediscover forgotten sounds that pass the quality test, play them out, and make their sets always unique and enjoyable.

That's my motivation.

 

 

No one knows everything , but if you are out and about enough you get to know just about everything that is being played.  Imagination has gone and every facet of the scene (upfront, crossover etc) is an oldies scene.  Like you say there are niche venues where some do try to keep it refreshing.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Chalky said:

No one knows everything , but if you are out and about enough you get to know just about everything that is being played.  Imagination has gone and every facet of the scene (upfront, crossover etc) is an oldies scene.  Like you say there are niche venues where some do try to keep it refreshing.

I share your frustration with the repetition and sameness of a lot of sets, especially when, by definition, there has never been as much music to choose from as today. The choice gets bigger as the playlists get smaller, or so it seems. Those niche venues and the punters, deejays and radio presenters still looking for that next great tune are what will keep the scene going.

Edited by Mickey Finn
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16 hours ago, Dobber said:

😂😂😂😂 flippin brilliant! Now that is saying it as it is!

😇

15 hours ago, Hooker1951 said:

Hi Quinvy

its worse than that it’s old people on Speed LoL, but you’ve got to keep on keeping on its later than you think, and when the music stops your heart stops soon after so keep listening

ML

🤣🤣🤣 It really is old people on speed.

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life is too short.....   do other things. 

  me, i play drums in 3 bands,   i get out on my bike, as much as poss (touring the continent included), i go to gigs, most genres,  i support local live music,  walk my dogs,  meet old mates for a beer, plus,  i go to the odd soul night.     these days tho, i prefer what you like to refer it as 'handbagger' nights.   the commercial/club stuff is to my liking,  as is the classic northern soul and the underplayed stuff.   if you like a venue,  go, if you dont, then stay home , or do other things.  (see my first line)

    as for the future ,  10  years ago,  i personally thought it was nearing the end,  but it clearly isn't . which means ,  most of us will be enjoying it for a while.    thankfully !  

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14 hours ago, Quinvy said:

What keeps you going, if you know every record?

To me, the magic was always hearing something new.

Back in the day, the ONLY way to hear the music was to go out.

What’s your motivation?

Everything has a lifespan.

I’ve found some new hobbies and moved on.

Wow,  I certainly don`t Know every record and as some have pointed out you always hear one or two that are new to me but not always new to the scene as well as plenty of long forgotten and seldom played stuff that was quality back in the day so no problem with motivation. I go out about once or twice a month and choose mainly quality oldies events and for sure the DJ`s always manage to entertain me with their selections.

Basically it appears the scene as lost its appeal to you which happens ( I have taken several breaks away from NS since 1972) but always come back for one last go, and enjoyed it, and still do.

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Look at our Age with the knowledge accumulated the taste that everyone achieved it doesn’t really matter about new folk enjoying there selves in any respect good luck to everybody who cherishes Soul music too late to change my mind and opinions are just

a waste of time in my world 

my soul journey has been long but fruitful👍

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I’m surprised to learn there’s a cluster of bars playing Northern Soul in Turkey - perhaps this is what the future looks like. The cat’s been out of the bag a while now with NS events in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Sweden to name but a few European countries - clearly the spread of NS continues and given that it is ultra-catchy dance music, it will always have its supporters. Given the finite supply of original vinyl, CD’s and new issues, it’s hardly surprising the music is being streamed via the internet or played on DIY CD’s etc. The future looks rather watered down with the further proliferation of small venues in bars, pubs, clubs etc with the occasional larger event catering for more committed enthusiasts.

To some extent, this validates the high quality of the sounds we hold dear and have enjoyed for decades. With the decline of the contemporary music business, NS can be taken advantage of to fill the void. Look out for pop-up eateries and bars playing piped NS music coming to a place near you…

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MY THEORY ON THIS IS TOO MANY KARENS OUT THERE, MOST OF US WONT BE HERE MUCH LONGER (UNFORTUNATELY) WHO IS LEFT TO CARRY THIS WONDERFUL STRANGE WORLD OF NORTHERN SOUL FORWARD ?? MY ONLY GRIPE IS DANCE LESSONS WHY,WHO,WHERE,WHEN WAS THIS DERIVED FROM ENJOY IT WHILST WE CAN 

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It’s not all doom-and-gloom…just when I  think it can’t get any worse, up pops Ace with their Shrine box set, or Butch coming to Ukrainian, or the numerous other event/ release highlights

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4 hours ago, Paraboliccurve said:

But they need to get up and start their own events, with strict door policies banning anyone over 30ish - that's certainly what I'd do in their shoes.

Spot on.

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8 minutes ago, Devlam said:

Spot on.

 

4 hours ago, Paraboliccurve said:

I'm with Quinvy - northern soul attended by people of my generation (early to mid 1980s Stafford/100 Club etc) and even before is no longer any kind of 'scene' I want to be involved in, and it makes me cringe.

I was always more into collecting, anyway, but I did do a lot of nighters back then: when I first went to the 100 Club aged 17 there were blokes there with moustaches who already looked (and were) 15 years older than me.

That was OK - they were roughly older brother age. You could (and I did) look up to them. There is no way I would have continued going if it had been mostly people in their sixties, though.

Similarly, I doubt I'd have wanted to wear a parka and bowling shoes in 1980 if my granddad had been wearing them.

So to me - and fair play to those who are still interested, I don't get it but it's none of my business - it's dead and buried as a going-out scene, and has been since about 2005.

That said, the music is obviously amazing and lots of younger people love it, and - importantly - to most of them everything's a newie.

My kids are a bit more educated in this than most, like most of the kids of people on here I'm sure, and they'll still wander into my office where I've got Spotify on for background listening and say 'What's that???' and I'll stop what I'm doing and listen and it'll be Lou Pride or Mel Britt or something else I've heard a million times before and only have on because it's been added to a '5,000 best northern soul tracks' playlist by someone.

They can keep it going and even grow it, and while it will be different - they won't have cover-ups - there is a vast mine of music there for them to 'discover' in a new way.

But they need to get up and start their own events, with strict door policies banning anyone over 30ish - that's certainly what I'd do in their shoes.

 

 

No Offence Lads  but you two might be better of living in North Korea LoL, Tarring everyone with the same brush always brings problems, Needless to say thousands of Good Soul people on here who still have plenty life and Soul left in their Old Shoes

Mick

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7 minutes ago, Hooker1951 said:

 

No Offence Lads  but you two might be better of living in North Korea LoL, Tarring everyone with the same brush always brings problems, Needless to say thousands of Good Soul people on here who still have plenty life and Soul left in their Old Shoes

Mick

No offence taken - I couldn't care less what you think. 

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20 minutes ago, Paraboliccurve said:

No offence taken - I couldn't care less what you think. 

That`s the spirit !  Now we are Teenager`s back in the early 70`s . Perhaps we should change the KTF slogan to WTF ? 

LOL.

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2 hours ago, Paraboliccurve said:

No offence taken - I couldn't care less what you think. 

Book a flight to North Korea keyboard killer because I certainly don’t give a flying  Fk what you think but with your attitude it might cause me.to take offence, keyboard killer, Relax I can tell your not strong mentally being frightened of Old people is not a good sign

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On 29/05/2024 at 20:05, Quinvy said:

As far as I’m concerned it’s a dead horse that’s being flogged to death. Again and again and again!

The facts:

Apart from a few unreleased tunes, there are no new records.

In desperation to find something new, other genres of music are being played as up front.

The majority of us are in our sixties or over. It’s a dance scene, and we can’t dance anymore.

The divvies have taken over since the movie Northern Soul came out.

When I see videos of events it makes me cringe. It looks like a care home.

I went to a soul do a few weeks ago to meet some friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. Decent room, ear splitting sound system, couldn’t talk to my friends. Not many in, and many of those that were in haven’t been on a dance floor for thirty years. I couldn’t wait to get out. 
 

The music is very special. But the scene is simply a social club for old people.

 

And that about sums it up, absolutely spot on!

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Well that’s certainly a mixed bag of responses, Option 1 on the topic is probably the last place most people on here want to be the future of NS, it’s been captured by the casuals, part timers who are quite happy listening to the same old dross which reminds them of a time where they felt safe but the fact is a lot of them never moved on from that scene and when some left and returned they were just happy for it to be the same, but if they are happy with that, what can you say except it’s not for me .Some of these nights sad to say have become places where the music has become secondary and become sad to say pick up places.

Option 3 Posse are the nearest thing for me anyway to proper Soulies they’ve been around for over 50 years plus moved through the years embracing  new discoveries and still cherishing the Good Oldies, they’ve left the scene due to life’s commitments and problems but come back fresh like they were never away, always travelled and looked for what they love, for me anyway they are the bread n butter of NS and they certainly know what they like Music wise and will tell you if asked.

Option 2  Rare Soul gang, your always going to need some of these to find if there is anything left worth finding , they tend to play for one another rather than the dance floor if your happy with that go for it but don’t double down on the chemicals you might never get started.

what has surprised me with the responses is how many have already give up the ghost and seem to think because they have everybody else should, I do understand most of their grievances and have felt them too, but do you give up or look for what suits you.

Cheers 

Mick

 

 

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9 hours ago, Hooker1951 said:

Option 2  Rare Soul gang, your always going to need some of these to find if there is anything left worth finding , they tend to play for one another rather than the dance floor if your happy with that go for it but don’t double down on the chemicals you might never get started.

Cheers 

Mick

 

 

:lol:

Having been at such an event not so long ago I think more chemicals might have helped.

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