The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Interviews with Tony Palmer, Elaine Constantine, and Liam Quinn

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Tim Wall [+-]
Birmingham City University
Tim Wall is Professor of Radio and Popular Music Studies at Birmingham City University.


Tony Palmer is a British film director and author, creating over 100 films including The Wigan Casino, released as part of the Granada This is England series in 1977. The Wigan Casino film is now a favoured resource for fan production of images and videos collages in print and online, while providing new participants with glimpses into an ‘authenticated’ scene past, ripe for emulation. In this interview, Tony Palmer revisits the inspirations behind the film, the processes through which it was created, how this related to subsequent work and the ways in which its influence continues within today’s scene. The most recent film to feature the Northern Soul scene is Elaine Constantine’s Northern Soul (2014), winner of the NME Best film of 2014. A participant within the scene herself, Elaine viewed this film as an opportunity to finally make the film she wanted to make. As part of this interview, Elaine discusses the role that the film played in attracting new members of the current Northern Soul scene, her own experience as both a member of the scene and as a documenter, and how her interest in Northern Soul has and continues to influence her work. Liam Quinn, choreographer and dance trainer for the 2010 film Soul Boy adds insight into the role of dance in film representations of the scene. Himself a member of the scene’s younger generation, Liam adds another dimension to this interview dossier in terms of generational experience and the production of a Northern Soul performance. These interviews were undertaken and edited by Tim Wall.

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Wall, Tim. Interviews with Tony Palmer, Elaine Constantine, and Liam Quinn. The Northern Soul Scene. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 227-246 Feb 2019. ISBN 9781781795583. Date accessed: 01 Apr 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.31287. Feb 2019

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