In the days before Wigan
in Keeping the faith
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This chapter examines the locales and clubs that formed the foundation of the northern soul scene, including the Catacombs in Wolverhampton, the Torch in Stoke-on-Trent, and Blackpool Mecca. There is a detailed analysis of the social context of the emergence and success of such clubs and the authors locate them within the framework of strong local political and cultural identities. The ‘rare soul’ scene of the late 1960s formed part of a midlands and northern soundscape that was still predominantly industrial and thrived in localities in which particular class and gendered identities were relatively fixed. The chapter also situates the rare soul scene as part of tradition of dancing that had deep roots in the working-class cultures of the midlands and the industrial north-west. The transition from rare soul to northern soul is mapped through a critical reading of specialist music magazines, diaries and oral testimony.

Keeping the faith

A history of northern soul


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