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Fuck off, yer scouse cunt, that’s not Northern
by Iggo

Why am I walking around with this in my head;-


“Fuck off,yer scouse cunt, that’s not Northern!”


All the time it’s in me ‘ead. It’s there, no matter where I am, I just blurt it out, passing conversation to me taxi driver,….even as a chat up line!


Disillusioned and disillusionment have rapidly set in. Over the last few years, I've lost me politics, me union and me job...All that defined me...Yet I still had me music. Even though, I had only discovered House and dance music when everyone else were on their way back to finding Beefheart and the Incredible String Band, I was following the beat...the progression from the ghetto of soul music to dance was logical. So when a mate asked me to go to LA last year for a Northern Soul week,  I thought why not. It will be interesting. To me Northern Soul still had not been given its dues.

But the alarm bells were ringing in Heathrow. Three hours of waiting and still no one had spoken or even welcomed us. And there were these funny accents...different to what I had expected...Plenty of  “ello me duck”…No, no, these were different…Mid Yorkshire...down to Nottingham, Derby and Leicester …all that area.


We got on the plane. Our seats were next to two skins and their partners from Leicester , immaculately garbed in check bennies, stay –press and cherry reds.. My mate was next to them…and they were all lovely people. But it was the fellah across the aisle who kept capturing my eye. He kept staring at what the skins were reading. We both thought they were standard airport mags. But the skins kept pulling the mags out furtively and gingerly…The fellah across the aisle…his eyes and face just staring with anticipation…semi orgasmic in a way…


The skins offered me mate a read…the other fellah by now, was slavering at the mouth. They passed one to me mate…almost caressing them…They were the Northern Bible…Blues and Soul editions form 1971. The fellah across the aisle lent over sheepishly and whispered to the skins…they passed one to him…Next minute the whole of his aisle was being shown the “Bible”…..Hallelujah Brothers and Sisters! My journey from the surreal, unreal…and then to disillusionment had begun.


The week was like being with some revivalist sect…like one of those 1970s Militant Summer schools I’d been on to in Scunthorpe. Every night there would be record fairs in the hotel. People pouring over the purity of labels. And still no-one had spoken to us except the skins. Twice I got up early for breakfast. Dining room empty…Fellah walks over…”Mind if I join you duck “…….He was a mate of the fellah who had organised the trip…not a mate …more of a disciple…It was like being in the garden of Gethsemane…listening to the gospel of Nuurthen…I couldn't  get a fuckin word in edgeways…


Every night someone spinning the tunes…same complaints….”that's not fuckin Northern”...Me and me mate would pop downstairs in the hotel when they’d opened their doors to the community, for some rap and hip hop. South Central LA meets Northern Soul and no, the two very definitely do not mix...and never will either.


And there was the messiah…he’d grabbed the mike…”have I got a surprise for you tonight...” and he would then announce to the crowd and introduce someone…The crowd would shout back in approval…as he wheeled on a fellah who turned out to be son of the caretaker who was in charge of the studio when some obscure tune had been tracked…And still no one had spoken to us except the skins…


It did make us think though…If you continually live back in 1960s, like this crew did...does that mean they still haven’t seen Nottingham Forest win the European Cup? They still haven’t seen the Derby County of Hector and O’Hare, Cloughie and Taylor ?? Have they still go t all that to look forward to???


And then me mate getting into some tune in the bar and being regaled by some dick saying…”Fuck off yer scouse cunt,that’s not Northern…”That is what it is all about really. Its all about being fixed into the past …an ever so pure past…just waiting for the messiah and the promised land…In fact just like a political grouping, programme collectors, Northern is just the same a quasi religious, millenarinist sect…


I’ve hardly listened to any northern soul since...except some of my own…But are the Velvellettes, Brenda Holloway…proper and pure Northern…Well fuck em…As Rosa Parks said “We've gotta keep the movement movin” and next time I hear some knobhead talking shite about that’s not Northern…I will politely tell him to fuck off and go and listen to some southern, eastern and western…










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