‘Northern Soul’ is the story of a youth culture in the 1970s which changed a generation.It tells the tale of a nightclub based movement which developed in Northern England . The film is an authentic and uplifting account of two young boys whose horizons are opened up by the discovery of black American soul music. No longer satisfied with the prospect of a small town life and a factory production lin , they dream of going to America to discover super rare records which will help them become the best DJs on the Northern Soul scene. The difficult journey forces the two best friends to confront rivalry, violence and drug abuse as their friendship and loyalties are tested to the limit.
User Reviews: John Clark lives in the working class North West of the 1970s. Just as he is feeling disillusioned with school and falling out with his parents he is caught up in the new music vibe of Soul imported vinyl from America, soon him and his friend Matt are starting their own music night, swinging hip moves on the dance floor and embracing the new Northern Soul scene but drugs seem to play a major part of it all too, will that take over from the music?
Having seen the trailer for this movie, I was quite excited. I grew up in the 1970s and remember everything about the era and was hoping this might be similar to Good Vibrations which covered the rise and fall of a record label of the same era.
What I got was a realistic depiction of working class Northern England, with new music giving young people an outlet away from their dull lives which was great but then quickly became a story about drugs dominating the scene and their lives. Though I was a kid at the time my older friends who were on that scene never embraced the drug aspect of it which seemed to me far less dominant than as portrayed in the movie. The production design and depiction of the old school dance halls of the North are spot on and the acting all round by an energetic cast very worthy indeed with special mention going to newcomer Josh Whitehouse whom I am sure has a successful career ahead of him. Antonia Thomas is also very believable giving another effortless performance.
Where the film disappointed was in the drugs subplot which almost anchored the whole film. It began to fell more a film about drugs, drug taking and the extreme characters within that world rather than a film about the period, the halls, the Soul and the music. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing but certainly from the PR for the film I was not expecting the 1970s version of Human Traffic. The film also felt as if it needed more humour – but these gripes aside, this is still an extremely well made and well acted piece which I am sure will gain a cult following over time.
If 1970s Northern Soul was your thing, then you really do need to check it out.