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Russell Gilbert

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About Russell Gilbert

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  1. Show us your great photos (2017)

    Three sunsets taken on three different days from the balcony of our apartment when we were on holiday in Molyvos on the Greek island of Lesvos...
  2. Show us your great photos (2017)

    It's a male kestrel (Falco tinnunculus).

    Email coming your way, George. As for images, the best thing I can suggest is to have a look through our little website (url in my signature, below). The "previous soul nights" page has quite a few pics. If any are useful to you, let me know and I'll send you the full-sized file.

    Of course I'd be happy for you to use anything I've said. Direct attribution would be nice, as would the correct spelling of my first name. A copy of the article, once printed, would also be appreciated. Relative to your second point - about the ages of those attending - yes, it is true that the majority are older. That's because, in the main, they're people who never quit the scene. Some might have dropped out for a while as they brought up the kids, etc, but ultimately it's a scene made up of dedicated people for whom Northern Soul really is a way of life. However, there is young blood out there. In the UK (and bear in mind I'm a Brit expat in Amsterdam), I suspect it depends on the venues you go to. Members here from the UK will know where - I don't. As an example, check this out. If you watch it on YouTube you'll see a link to the full film. While I can't really comment on the numbers of young people attending events in the UK, I can say with some confidence that it's pretty high over here, and across Europe. In some respects most of the younger attendees here (in the Netherlands, I mean) won't be Northern Soul devotees as such (ie, lifestylers), but they love the music for sure! As said, members here in the UK will be able to give you a full picture of today's scene and how strong the influx of young blood is versus old timers.

    Something you might also want to take into considering when thinking about the rumours of Northern Soul's decline is the fact that in recent years there's been a proliferation of TV adverts in which Northern Soul fans and soundtracks appear. Witness the Shredded Wheat ad from a couple of years back. Another one - for farm eggs - appeared on tellys across the nation some time after that. Leading fashion brands have also got in on the NOrthern Soul act with one well-known brand name "re-imaging Northern Soul" in a TV advert just recently. Barclaycard have one which, if it's not already showing, will be soon. At the same time, Northern Soul and classic tunes associated with it have featured extensively in TV programmes. Witness an episode of Inspector George Gently that was set (rather badly) in a Northern Soul environment. A number of documentaries have been broadcast in recent years, one of which - "Living for the weekend" - was actually rather good (for a change). In 2014, there was even a movie about Northern Soul (imaginatively titled "Northern Soul"). There was another movie prior - "Soul Boy". While all this interest is in some ways flattering, it also highlights the fact that the scene has been strong enough to come back into vogue in the media's eye. The media think it's a nostalgic return for the scene when the real truth is that it never went away - it just went back underground after the Wigan Casino closed. This media interest in the nostalgic aspect represents but a mere tip of the iceberg for the scene itself. And like an iceberg, the greater part of the scene is very much below ground level and will remain so. Hope this helps...

    The decline of important subcultures like Northern Soul? Tut, tut! The closure of the Wigan Casino all those years ago might have seen a small decline in the number of people on the scene, but it was by no means terminal. Far from it. The NS scene continued and went from strength to strength to the degree that it's a global phenomenon and has been for some years. Do bear in mind that the Casino was but one club. It was not the be all and end all of Northern Soul in spite of what the mainstream media (and some attendees) believes. As my profile image shows, I co-promote a little club called Northern Soul Amsterdam, which is indeed in Amsterdam. We are not alone in this fair city in running Northern Soul events. Amsterdam has had a scene for 10 years now, and it's still growing. A quick scan of the Soul Source events listings will show that there are in fact more events in the UK specifically than there ever has been. Some people, and talk about being spoilt for choice, believe there are nowadays too many events. You can find the events section here: https://www.soul-source.co.uk/calendar/ Having mentioned Amsterdam, you should be aware that mainland Europe is a hotbed of Northern Soul activity. I run a Facebook group called the European Soul Club Network, which exist to promote these events to interested punters who these days, instead of just merely travelling "up north" to somewhere like Wigan, travel across borders with simplistic ease in an age of cheap air travel. Indeed, dig a bit deeper online and you'll find events all over the world, and a quick look in your local physical record shop - or via your favourite online or digital source - will reveal that more Northern Soul music is available to the public than at anytime previously. The decline of Northern Soul? No way. I suggest you consider dropping Northern Soul from this article as presenting it in terms of a declining subculture would be completely erroneous. Alternatively, approach Northern Soul specifically in terms of how, regardless of the decline of other subcultures, this one continues to thrive and went from regional phenomena to become a global movement. Good luck with the piece.
  7. Show us your great photos (2017)

    Scheveningen at sunset - the Netherlands.
  8. Feedback Test - please assist!

    Agreed! Leaving feedback appears to be much more straightforward now, which is definitely a good thing.
  9. Whitby Weekender Rifle Club Crossover Help

    First one to come to mind is this...
  10. Show us your great photos (2017)

    Just back home yesterday afternoon after three glorious weeks in Molyvos. It really is a wonderful place, and somewhere more people should visit. The refugee crisis that hit the castle-topped village on the northern tip of Lesvos is over. Tourism, however, is still down. Last year saw a 60-80% decline in tourism across the season. This year could be worse, but let's hope not. Glad to be back home? No way! The pic was taken with a GoPro. Bought it specifically for holiday and enjoyed using it very much. Got loads of underwater video clips to string together now. Watch this space...
  11. Show us your great photos (2017)

    Underwater selfie taken a few days ago while snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of Molyvos on the Greek island of Lesvos...
  12. Show us your great photos (2017)

    More photos from the beautiful Greek island of Lesvos.
  13. Show us your great photos (2017)

    A new sport I've invented here on the island of Lesvos - beer snorkelling!
  14. Show us your great photos (2017)

    Greetings from Molyvos, on the Greek island of Lesbos, where the sun is shining and the food is beyond exception!
  15. Show us your great photos (2017)

    Squirrel! And it looks as windy there as it is here!