The Look: Dance is everything and this determines the style – giant ‘baggies’ (trousers) flair not from the knee but all the way down; ending with extra wide but short cuffs (the better to show off one’s bright white socks and fancy footwork). A similar effect is achieved for women with mid-calf circle shirts. Club Badges show which ‘all-nighters’ you have survived.
The Time: Bubbling up in late ‘60s but goes massive in the mid ‘70s – various revivals up to the present day.
The Place: Northern England
Influenced: Limited influence in terms of dress style but put ‘dance culture’ at the heart of British street and club style.
What the ‘Northern Soul’ (as journalist Dave Godin had labelled them in 1970) enthusiasts craved was impossible-to-stand-still dance music and the old American singles were the fuel they needed. Northern Soul music clubs like The Torch in Tunstall in Staffordshire, The Mecca Ballroom in Blackpool, Va Va’s in Bolton, The Twisted Wheel in Manchester and, most famously, The Casino in Wigan saw the rise of the all-important DJ – a phenomenon which in years to come would impact on Rave and other DJ based music scenes. Many of these clubs put on ‘all-nighters’ which attracted dance crazy kids from all over the country.