Northern Soul is definitely on the rise again and with documentaries, films and regular nights opening up and down the UK it is not hard to see why. We found out more about Mart and Josie who have started to sell personalised embroidered towels, click HERE to see their Facebook page.
Mart and Josie are what they call “old soulies” who first went to Wigan Casino back in the late 70.s. Josie is now 50 yrs old resided in Wigan at the time and was introduced to the music via her sister and at the age of 12 and started to attend the early sessions at Casino. She went to her first all nighter at the age of 13 yrs having begged her mother to let her go. Martin is now 49 yrs old and was introduced to the music via a friend and Casino was his first experience when he was 15 yrs old in 1979. He lived in Nottingham and travelled to Casino. The experience of Wigan Casino and the feeling walking through the double doors was enough to make them both hooked. The music, clothes, dancing, atmosphere and friends from all over the U.K left them begging for more week after week.
With the closure of the Casino Josie went off the scene when she was 25 yrs as did Martin when he was 20 yrs old. Both struggled with having no regular venue that provided the same as Wigan. Martin returned to the scene some two and half years ago as did Josie some 12 months ago.
The scene at this time is slightly different in that there are lots of different venues and people tend to stick to their local venue as opposed to travelling. However, having said that there are still people who are willing to travel miles for the right venue. Josie now resides in Nottingham and both Josie and Martin travel to venues alongside one regular venue in Nottingham. They both prefer to travel back “Up North” as this is where it started for them.
For them,there are a number of positive venues in the midlands and Scotland but Wigan still remains their favourite location with Stateside, WN5 and Highfield being amongst their favourite venues. This is particularly prominent for Josie as she gets to travel back to her home town and see all her friends that she went to Wigan with. There are a number of young soulies about these days who have a passion for the scene which reminds both Martin and Josie of their youth.
Both find that the scene is slightly different and some venues provide what is called a “handbag culture” and this can be very frustrating but, Martin and Josie tend to visit venues that they know will deliver the Northern Scene of good music, atmosphere, dancing and culture they knew when they were younger and, of course have made many new friends along this new journey.
Mart and Josie travel each weekend to a Northern gig whether it be Stateside, Highfield, WN5, Black Hearts, Black Echoes, Nuneaton Co-op, Moss Bank, Grumpys, Cobridge or Rugby and have travelled to Scotland and Spain. Josie was advised by a very dear friend Ian and Angie Wills on her return to the scene that “you will find venues that your prefer and just stick to them” which I found was very sound advice. But, as they both agree, “each to their own” and “not everyone likes the same”. Martin and Josie are both in agreement and “thank god people kept the scene going” when they left it and appreciate this so much.
Mart and Josie are dancers and can tend to sweat a little, a lot really. Martin takes a towel from their bathroom that he tends to lose regularly to Josie’s dismay. Martin came up with an idea a few weeks ago of having a designated towel to take to nighters and due to him having worked in the Knitting factory for some years decided to purchase a machine that would provide him with a towel that resembles his passion and therefore, email@example.com was started. Martin is the one who produces the towels and bath mats for people with Josie being admin etc as she is still working. Remember you can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northersoul.handtowels.
We also asked them if they could recommend some of their top Northern tracks for our readers to listen to and here is what they had to say.
Recommending Northern Soul tunes to people can and is very tricky as, everyone has different taste and even though Martin and Josie very much the passion of Northern Soul can vary in the beats they prefer. They agree that all Northern Soul tunes are from the heart, have an in depth meaning and can brighten their days.
Martin’s top 5 at the moment are:
Aint gonna run ….Royal Esquires
Baby Jane………..Otis Clay
You got it, I want it……Andre Williams
I don’t know about you……The Constellations
Take it or leave it…….Satisfactions.
Josie’s top 5 at the moment are:
Fluffy Falana…………… My little cottage by the sea.
Cecil Washington…….I don’t like to lose.
Soul Brothers Six……..I,ll be loving you.
First Choice…………….This is the house where love died.
Fantastic Johnny C……Don’t Depend on me.
But my all time favourite Northern Soul tune that Ste Whittle played for me every week at the Casino is The Drifter by Ray Pollard.