Comprehensively, succinctly, and perfectly put. This thread could be run alongside the "Death of..." and"oh Dear" threads currently running. They're all connected. But, we have to disconnect the "northern" scene from the general soul scene I think. Northern soul was a short lived youth subculture. It died out in 75, was buried in 76, and then replaced with something entirely different but the same. Sort of! And don't get me started on record collecting or the OVO thing!
When I was first on that scene in the early 70's, the average age of the punters was about 17/18. My age. When I returned in the mid nineties, the average age was late thirties. My age. When I last went to an event three years ago, the average age was, guess what? My age, sixty odd. Can you see the pattern here? Very little "new blood" has joined the "Northern" scene in the last forty odd years. How it ever got this far is nothing short of miraculous, and is down to the determination and enthusiasm of a dwindling number of die-hards.
Attendees today, in the main, are as mentioned above. Lads and lasses in their late fifties to mid sixties, trying to recreate what they had in their youth. That's why oldies nights are probably the best attended events, and why large scale Niters are seeing attendances drop off. The last time I was at Stoke, the number of people still inside at closing time was in double figures, and none were even trying to dance. Bedtime is more important when you're that age, and the general consumption of illicit stimulants is rarely done by old people like ourselves. Maybe this is why the better attended events are those purely oldies ones, usually local and on a Friday evening, much derided as "handbag nights" by the more enlightened, upfront, cutting edge crowd.
Its now 2018, not 1973, and the youth of today have so much more to be excited about than obscure black American music from the 60's. We, on the other hand, have nothing else left, do we? Its what gave us our excitement back then, and has never left us. Never will. But, slowly but surely, the scene will dwindle more and more as we all die off. The more modern, upfront events will continue to attract younger people, albeit in numbers lower than today, but Northern? No, its dead. We just haven't realised it yet. Those of us of a certain age will recall how we used to take the piss out of the ageing Teds back in the 70's. How they still dressed in their drapes and crepes, and attended events to dance to Bo Diddley, Elvis, and Chuck Berry. Maybe thats where the Northern scene is today? What seventeen year old in his/her right mind wants to spend their leisure time surrounded by old people? Its not f***ing natural!
Ok, this has been something of a disjointed rambling rant, so apologies to all who disagree or who are offended. Its early, I had a bad sleep, and haven't eaten breakfast yet! I'd better go and listen to Moses Smith, and imagine I'm sixteen, not an ancient soulie who, like so many others, still doesn't realise his best days are behind him!
Absolutely spot on methinks........