Northern Soul was released last October with mixed but generally positive reviews. Unfortunately like so many small British films its release was tiny, or “limited” as distributors like to say. Receiving just a three day release across 120 screens before moving to DVD and VOD. During its short release it played to near capacity resulting it making the box-office top ten despite the limited screens. I have just caught up with it on DVD.
1970’s Lancashire: In his final year of school John Clark (Elliot James Langridge) is a bit of an outsider and loner until he meets Matt (Josh Whitehouse). A young man with aspirations of becoming a DJ on the Northern Soul scene. They plan to visit America to build the best collection soul records. After visiting the famous Wigan Casino the pair get more immersed in Northern Soul scene.
The young cast are excellent, as is the attention to detail, the film looks like drab 70’s England. The soundtrack is fantastic with a good mixture of recognisable tunes and forgotten classics of the era. The plot is a little thin, but the movie is all about the mood and sound of the scene.
The day after watching the movie I went to get my hair cut. Both the customer next to me in the chair and the guy cutting his hair had aspirations to be DJ’s and were discussing where they had played and who they had seen play. They then moved on to the merits of technology, the one declaring how he doesn’t own any CD’s or vinyl and mixes straight off a memory stick. Their conversation made me think of the film I had seen the night before and nostalgic for a time I don’t know.
The film works as both a coming of age drama and or an insight into the era but is really all about the music. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking or revolutionary, just sit back and enjoy the vibe.