Northern Soul Review

Image for Northern Soul

Lancashire, 1979. Youngster Elliot James Langridge escapes his humdrum surrounds by disappearing into the booming Northern Soul scene based in and around Wigan.


The plot is unremarkable, but Elaine Constantine’s debut scores with its soundtrack, its characters, its performances and its affectionate portrayal of a small-town ’70s Lancashire where Wigan looks like the big time. Steve Coogan and Ricky Tomlinson only get cameos, with the weight on newcomers Langridge and Josh Whitehouse, as they negotiate new careers as soul DJs and amphetamine abusers. The fact a Frankie Valli song is prominently featured emphasises how much better this evokes the exhilaration of a new musical scene than Clint Eastwood’s plodding Jersey Boys.

While the storyline is a little underpowered, it's so packed with vinyl gems (Edwin Starr, The Salvadores, Frankie Valli) that Northern Soul fans will be doing backdrops in the aisles.