Northern soul movie in production

by Modculture 16 June, 2008


A film about the Wigan Casino is about to start filming…in Stoke. In fairness, the (as yet unnamed) movie is about a teenager from Stoke, with the city’s Kings Hall will be used to re-create the Wigan Casino.

The film is set in 1974 and stars Martin Compston (who played Liam in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen) as Joe McCain, a bored and restless 17-year-old who has never left the confines of Stoke-on-Trent. He meets Jane, who introduces him to Northern Soul and ‘a whole world of exciting music and dance he never knew existed’.

No original soundtrack though – it’s set to be new versions of northern classics from the likes of Mark Ronson, Paul Weller, and The Dap-Kings. Filming starts in August,  with the movie due to premier in Edinburgh, followed by an appearance at Cannes.

  • Mike Dobell

    Great to hear a film about Northern is being made.Sorry to say, but it will have to have the right music or it will probably bomb.

  • baldi

    Hello to all concerned.
    my name is mark,I lived & breathed wigan for 98% of 1979-1981.(oldies).
    As far as i am aware most of the original music does not have any legal copy rights out standing.
    My point being that surely rather than having modern/popular artists(no disrespect)performing the music,you used the original soundtracks,giving the movie a far more rich and without doubt defining quality .
    My other concern being the (KINGS HALL ) being the replication of wigan casino.
    a wonderful idea to keep this very cherished and still underground to the wider audience music alive.
    I have attended a couple of nighters here casino 30th anniversary being the most memorable,and yes it is a very nice venue.
    BUT not quite what we diehards remember(wigan casino)as.
    I don’t know when the production will complete.
    But if you still have time (PLEASE) do something about the balcony , it’s to flat.
    Some chicken wire /paper machea water colour paint, minimal damage if any(please excuse any spelling errors),Simple application/low cost affordability/maximum effect.
    Please don’t think of me as being disrespectful or ungrateful,As i admire anyone who takes the time & effort to keep this undeniably heart rendering music alive .
    long live this unconparrable

  • marty

    obviously they are re-recording the music to make some money out of it, but whiteboy guitar bands ? do me a favour. it completely misses the point doesn’t it? how will they achieve that? re-create wigan casino in kings hall and then play the wrong music. why dont they just make a film about slade? i wouldn’t have travelled 200 miles from scotland every week to listen to white english boys copying soul music. this is no better than the footsee etc. but i guess it’s an original movie project in it’s own right and not actually about the northern scene as we knew it.

  • tony p

    Great idea a northern soul movie all about Wigan!!
    Then why the heck spoil it by using unauthentic artists and music. “do us a favour” remember the This England t.v. programme all those years ago What a fiasco that turned out to be. But there again The so called northern soul officiano’s have this unbelievable knack of getting it all totally wrong, Why bother at all? if you cannot deliver a realistic feel of the Casino,To carry on making a laughing stock of us all who still greatly admire and love this wonderful scene is scandulous. People who know nothing about this era will only believe it was only just another disco. “When will they ever learn” AS sung by the late great Walter jackson! springs to mind. KTF

  • Steve Anderson

    How dissapointing to make a Northern Soul Movie about Wigan Casino & then remove or not have Northern Soul tracks? Great Idea I Dont Think!

  • Bob Monkhouse

    I’ve only recently found out about the two films in production about the Northern scene, the trailer I have seen of ‘Soulboy'(which would be more appropriate if it was called ‘Soulies’-Soulboys are funkers of the ’80s-it would also pay tribute to all the girls with their full circle skirts and Grannie shoes) but I’m splitting hairs.The Northern scene deserves this recognition, what I’m a little concerned about is the likes of Weller etc doing the soundtrack.Why?They aren’t either Northern Soul fans or Artistes and have no bearing whatsoever on our scene, Paul Weller is no ‘Soulie’. If this soundtrack goes ahead without real Northern Soul then its going to greatly upset the lads and lasses who worshipped at Wigan Casino, I know it will upset my wife and I because we were part of it, Bob Monkhouse, Huddersfield.

  • Karen Jones from France

    I lived and died the Northern Soul scene (Hello to Crispie Walker, the stokies and the NS fans from Cannock Staffs) and was there for the heartbreaking final nighter at Wigan. We girls spent hours making full circle skirts (you couldnt buy them), I even made them for friends. I have a box of treasured momentos (badges and the like) and I had a peice printed in the in house magazine. I was so excited to hear a film was to be made, but that is now a little tinged to hear that original music is not to be used. I am 50 this year and have never lost my love of Northern Soul, but nothing bringsback more memories than some hearing some of those old soul tracks – some a bit grainy and crackly, but so original. Northern Soul was a music movement that bought people from all over the country to Wigan to listen and dance to their favourite tracks and dj’s, I spent my 21st (1981) birthday doing nighters and dayers starting with Friday at Wigan and ending at the Locarno Birmingham on the Sunday. The friendships made were great and long lasting, the ambiance beyond description, the music so powerful it leaves a beat on your soul, it was the best of times. I hope the new movie can capture that for those of us who remeber those halcyon days and nights.
    Keep on Keepin on……….. Long after tonight is all over – Northern Soul will still be alive a kicking.