The North Country
For all the attention to mod style, it’s easy to forget about the equally important revolution that went on a little later and a little farther north. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Northern Soul.
Throughout the 70s, the Northern Soul movement saw the thornier northern mods taking to dancehalls with the same Ben Sherman gear and center-vent suits as their London brethren, but an energy all their own. PSFK just put up a long post on Northern Soul, and by our lights, it’s about time the whole movement got another look.
Of course, it was all a bit pre-punk, so the kids on these dancefloors were a bit more ragged than the London scenesters, or the New Yorkers filling up Studio 54 on the same Saturday nights, but they were farther ahead of the curve than they seemed. Northern Soul’s been a guiding force in British style for some time now—it’s one of the main ingredients in Fred Perry’s chav concoction, for instance—even though few would have guessed it at the time.
Of course, North England has since shown up in more nautical settings, but you don’t have to look to far to see a bit of soul in it.
- — Russell Brandom