Soulboys (sometimes spelled soul boys) were a working class English youth subculture of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and fans of American soul and funk music. The subculture emerged inNorth-West England as northern soul event attendees began to take more interest in the modern funk and jazz funk sounds of artists such as Lonnie Liston Smith and Roy Ayers, instead of the obscure 1960s soul records that characterized the northern soul scene.
There was simultaneous development of the subculture at nightclubs in South East England, such as The Goldmine in Canvey Island and The Royalty in Southgate. DJs involved with the soulboy scene included Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards and Froggy. Caister Soul Weekenders became one of the main features of the scene, and still exist today. The casual subculture that emerged in the 1980s was heavily influenced by the soulboys, including the sideways fringed wedge hairstyle.
Although the soulboy scene was huge by the early 1980s, it was centred around American funk acts and was largely working class; therefore it received far less media coverage than more middle class youth cultures of the same period, notably the new romantics.
TUESDAY 1 MARCH 2011
Screening followed by a Q & A session with one of the films producers Natasha Carlish (Dreamfinder Films)
Get ready to feed your soul
Stoke-on-Trent is one of the leading lights in this new movie celebrating the Northern Soul movement and sub-culture which swept the country during the Seventies.
SoulBoy stars the best of a whole new “Brit Pack” of talent, including Martin Compston (Disappearance of Alice Creed), Nichola Burley (Streetdance 3D), Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction), Alfie Allen (Flashbacks of a Fool) and Craig Parkinson (Control and Four Lions), as well as Irish legend Pat Shortt, Scottish sensations Jo Hartley and Brian McCardie and Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals.
Stoke-on-Trent, meanwhile, is the main backdrop for the feel-good, coming-of-age drama set against the Northern Soul underground music scene.
A host of venues across the city were used in the shooting of the movie, with pride of place going to King’s Hall in Stoke, which not only plays the part of the legendary Wigan Casino (shut in 1981), but also holds its own Northern Soul all-nighters to this day.
Directed by Shimmy Marcus (the son of twice Oscar-nominated director, Louis) the film is set in 1974 and follows Stoke City fan Joe McCain, a bored and restless 19-year-old who has never left the confines of “The Potteries”. He meets Jane who introduces him to Northern Soul and a world of exciting music and dance which he never knew existed.
Stoke-on-Trent (or Soul-on-Trent as it was dubbed in the 1960s and 70s) was at the very heart of Britain’s Northern Soul sub-culture. Leading the way then was The Golden Torch, a club in the back streets of Tunstall, one of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent, which drew fans from all over the Midlands and the North West. Such was the influence of The Torch that its logo, of a silhouetted hand holding a smoking torch aloft, became a national symbol of the whole movement.