EVENT: Northern Soul night at Rascals HQ

What are doing on January 27th? You’re coming to our Northern Soul night at Rascals HQ, that’s what you’re doing! It’s going to be an appreciation and celebration of Northern Soul, with some mighty fine music by guest DJ and aficionado Paul Duffy.

Northern Soul is a lifestyle choice as much as it is a genre of music. In fact, even calling it a ‘genre’ is not entirely accurate. Northern England was where it manifested itself in the late 1960s and it was very closely aligned with the mod scene.

According to some, the English mods splintered around this time, with some migrating towards the burgeoning psychedelic rock scene and others going further down the road of soul music and Jamaican R ‘n’ B. Northern Soul grew from this latter group.

However, it was an obsession with rare and wonderful soul and rhythm & blues records which really fueled Northern Soul. Some of the lesser known or forgotten acts on labels like Stax and Motown enjoyed major fandom from DJs and clubgoers around Wigan, Wolverhampton and Manchester.  

It was and is a scene which completely embraces the joy and freedom of two beautiful things: seriously good music and all-night dancing. Northern Soul DJs would desperately try to outdo each other in order to procure the rarest singles and the real badge of honour was being the first to play them in clubs.

There was a competitive edge to the dancing too. Initial devotees to the scene wore mod style attire such as Ben Sherman shirts, Fred Perry polo shirts, skinny jeans and so on, but you can’t dance very well in that sort of gear. As the movement grew, the fashion changed to reflect the need to be able to dance. Baggy Oxford trousers and sports vests became de rigueur. Dancing as a form of self-expression is scarcely better exemplified than at a Northern Soul night. Check out this vintage video.

We had our own movement here too, and still have of course. Here’s a short video of Joe Moran giving a radio interview about the Dublin Northern Soul scene back in the day.

On the night we’re also having a pop-up record shop hosted by Blackwax Vinyl. This guy has a really cool shop in the Windsor Arcade on Meath Street, Dublin 8. You’d better crack open the piggy bank so you can get yourself some nice vinyl.

See you here on Sunday, January 27th and bring your baggy trousers. It’s free in so you’ll have no excuse not to enjoy our tasty pizza and award-winning craft beer!