‘Northern Soul’ by Elaine Constantine
The ICA, London, SW1Y 5AH – October 2014
The anticipation had reached fever pitch here in the UK for the release of ‘Northern Soul’ by Elaine Constantine. Delays after funding troubles and soundtrack licence issues only added to the great sense of achievement when the cinema doors finally opened. I had heard glowing reports from scene stalwarts who had managed to see the film before its release so I was already won over. A social media campaign ensured that the film was shown in well over one hundred cinemas on the opening weekend. I managed to get along to the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall to see it for myself on the big screen.
It’s a tale of two friends growing up in a small town in the north of England during the early seventies who discover the world of Northern Soul. The main character John played by Elliot James Langridge meets Matt (Josh Whitehouse) by chance at the local youth club and the adventure begins. The two lads dream of travelling to the US to find Northern Soul 45’s and becoming hotshot DJ’s, encouraged by discovering Wigan Casino DJ Ray Henderson (James Lance) cover up record by the Salvadores.
During their journey the two boys come across all sorts of characters in a roller coaster ride of emotions and amphetamine fuelled tragedies, triumphs and tribulations. Plenty of humorous moments including John’s fascination with the excellent Soul sister Angela (Antonia Thomas) which transcends you back to those awkward adolescent teenage years with a smile. In fact that is the beauty of this film it reawakens all those memories and the excitement you felt when you first discovered the scene and other people who shared your passion.
What Elaine also manages to capture with great effect is not only the landscape, clothes, cars, haircuts and language of the era but the excitement and energy in the dance floor scenes which are incredibly hard to film. All those practice and casting sessions clearly paid off as well as promoting talent from within the scene and consulting key people from the era to give ‘Northern Soul’ a rare authenticity.
Naturally the excellent soundtrack is the driving force and had plenty of people shuffling around in their seats whom under normal circumstances would be up dancing and clapping at the appropriate moments but were very encapsulated by the film.
The ICA was full of folks around my age group who really enjoyed the movie however I hope this film will reawaken the long lost tribes and inspire the youth of today to make it their own.
You can purchase the soundtrack as well as the film on DVD but do try and get along and experience the film on the big screen if you can. Check out a list of Cinemas showing the film HERE!
Powered by Max Banner Ads