Film back at spiritual home

Northern Soul

Northern Soul

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Northern Soul returns to its spiritual home with the showing of the hit movie based on the dance craze at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Northern Soul is based in 1974 and is the uplifting tale of two friends whose horizons are opened up by the discovery of black American soul music.

The film – which has been the surprise British hit of the year – will be screened at the Opera House on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday night there is an after screening party, where Northern Soul fans can show off their moves in the Spanish Hall.

Although linked to the Wigan Casino club in the early 70s, Northern Soul fans regard Blackpool as a crucial part of the scene.

Throughout the 70s and 80s fans of obscure American soul music flocked to Northern Soul all-nighters at Blackpool’s Mecca ballroom, previously known by fans as the Highland Rooms.

Soul boys and girls danced until dawn to future Northern classics including Tony Clarke’s “Landslide”, Morris Chesnut’s “Too Darn Soulful”, Frankie Beverly & the Butlers’ “If That’s What You Wanted” and R Dean Taylor’s “There’s A Ghost In My House”.

Revellers travelled from all over the North and Midlands to attend the events.

The movie recreates the Northern Soul days with pinpoint accuracy.

Directed by Elaine Constantine, the film tells the story of two working class teenagers who discover Northern Soul.

Starring two previously unknown actors, Elliot James Langridge and Josh Whitehouse, it includes cameos from Ricky Tomlinson, Lisa Stansfield, Christian McKay, Steve Coogan and John Thompson. The film was planned to screen at a few selected venues.

However – thanks to social media and word-of-mouth – the film has proved a runaway success, showing at 125 screens across the UK.

The success has also taken Constantine by surprise.

She said: “We never knew whether we were going to get a big cinematic release or not. Me and the producer were thinking we’d probably get a few screens, but when we announced the release day a lot of fans were indignant about it not being screened in their home town. A Facebook page was set up by fans urging others to petition the cinemas.”

The Winter Gardens showings of Northern Soul are at 7pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are £8. A later Saturday showing, complete with after screening party, starts at 9pm, with tickets costing £12.