Northern Soul

Film Review by Stephen Carty | 13 Oct 2014
  • Northern Soul
Film title: Northern Soul
Director: Elaine Constantine
Starring: Steve Coogan, John Thomson, Ricky Tomlinson, Lisa Stansfield
Release date: 17 Oct
Certificate: 15

Back in the 60s and 70s, a generation of music fans fell in love with an underground dance movement known as northern soul. Flourishing in the north of England, it was embraced by disenfranchised youths who sought out venues – such as Wigan Casino – where they could spend all night dancing to obscure tracks that had been imported from America.

In Northern Soul, we’re invited into this world via John (newcomer Elliot James Langridge), a reclusive Lancashire schoolboy who, when we first meet him, hasn’t quite found his place in life. This changes, however, when he befriends Matt (fellow newcomer Joshua Whitehouse), a would-be DJ passionate about the soul music scene.

The story that follows contains a fair amount of sweaty, amphetamine-fuelled dancing, which director Elaine Constantine complements with a selection of toe-tapping soundtrack choices. You get a sense that she is more interested in the music scene than the characters themselves, but the authenticity on display is impressive throughout. A Northern Saturday Night Fever? Oh, go on then. [Stephen Carty]