It was only right for film Northern Soul to be screened on its opening night in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens venue.
The movie follows the story of the transforming effect black American music– played extensively in the Resort’s clubs – has on a group of Northern working-class teens, the adventure the it takes them on, and joy it brings them.
As the story unfolfded on screen in the Opera House, it reflected the memories of the audience and was later re-lived by many on the dancefloor of the Spanish Hall which hosted a Northern Soul party on Saturday night.
Blackpool was a hot bed for the movement as it erupted on to the music scene in the 60s and 70s and cremains so, welcoming thousands to nights around the resort every year, as well as hundreds flocking to see the movie over the weekend.
As well as the elation the music unfailingly delivers, the film raised regular knowing laughs from cinema-goers of a certain age who recalled halcyon days at all-nighters all over the north and the hunt for another elusive forgotten soul gem.
It follows John, a token weird teen struggling to find his place in a “hole” of a Northern factory town in 1974.
That is, until he discovers Matt, his music and his dancing.
Inspired by the buzz of Northern Soul music they hatch the foolproof plan of moving to America.
While saving they search for the rare tunes that really get their peers grooving as well as the buzz that helps them to keep moving all night long, and pick up new friends and a love interest along the way.
But, of course not all is plain saling.
While Friday’s audience weren’t quite dancing in the aisles at the end, this film will see many dusting off their Oxford bags and packing a tin of talc and a fresh pair of plimsoles ready for the next Northern Soul night at Blackpool Tower.
It’s true what they say; if you were there, you’ll know. If you weren’t, you’ll wish you had been.
Northern Soul is showing at The Dukes in Lancaster tonight and at four cinemas in Manchester this week.