Northern Soul All-Nighters At The Wigan Casino
In 1978, during the era of the super clubs with venues like Studio 54 in New York, Billboard Magazine awarded the title of Disco of the Year to a dancehall in Northern England that opened at 12.30 and didn’t serve alcohol. The Wigan Casino spearheaded a musical movement that took place in the late 60 s and 70s that celebrated a genre of soul music that was being made in the US but not rarely listened to there.
While mainstream America turned their attention to rock in the 70s – including a liking of British acts including Led Zeppelin – a large number of British youths were spending their weekend traveling on buses across the UK and attending Northern Soul club-nights. There they would dance energetically to tunes released by labels like Okeh Records, Ric Tic, Cameo-Parkway and Roulette – and in this era before YouTube, cable and even multi-channel TV, dance styles were originated based a little on watching traveling American soul bands and mainly on the imagination of how these kids thought people were dancing to these tunes back where they originated.If you get past the awkward way the film makers tried to juxtapose the industrial decline of the region with the energy on the dancefloor (skip the first 5 mins), this documentary video gives a rare insight into the movement and we recommend any body interested in youth and popular culture to spend time watching it. The “all-nighters” at the Wigan Casino would be traditionally ended with three three songs that became known as the 3 before 8: “Time Will Pass You By” by Tobi Legend, “Long After Tonight Is Over” by Jimmy Radcliffe, and “I’m On My Way” by Dean Parrish. Some say that without the celebration and archiving by this movement, much of the music by Tamla Mowtown and other small US soul labels would have been forgotten by now.