I’ve often stumbled across references to “Northern Soul”. I knew that it was a musical genre popular in the North West of England and that it heavily influenced the early house music scene in Manchester. I didn’t actually know what it was.
Thanks to a £5 compilation CD from Sainsburys, ‘Northern Soul Memories’, I now know what Northern Soul is: not a genre, more a massive playlist of the most funky and danceable old Motown style soul. Not made in Wigan, but played in Wigan.
It’s very good, and nothing at all like the trashy “soul” that dominated the charts during the 1980s. “Double Cookin’ ” by Checkerboard Squares reminds me of Lemon Jelly, and ‘Quittin’ time’ by Kansas City Playboys starts off sounding remarkably like a drum and bass tune.