new untouchables

21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture

I dont mean to sound arrogant,,,,but what has the northern soul scene got to do with this sight ?    that scene totally goes against the modernist way of life.  with there second rate soul music that they got from skips at u.s.a.f bases in the late 60S< they jump around,all hot and bothered ,like a little kid at there cousins wedding skidding around on there knees,so why do some folks like to tag this in with the mod scene ?does my head in .....and not to mention the clothing

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Im with u mate, i know guys who left the mod scene in its infancy and had wigan casino memberships before it died! And those dudes would be cut to the bone with being assosiated with Mod! Northern soul was the next big thing from the mod movement back in the day,but it seems that some people like to associate the two! I think its a commercialism thing when putting on gigs,all about the money(please two for the price of one)! To simplify you cant be a Cowboy and an indian or a firefighter and a policeman!! The same as the scooterboy scene is reaching back to the mod scene now,for some its simpler to mix the two;where the only thing they had in common was scooters!! Im strong enough in my mod world to be just a mod!! But hey it takes allsorts,but we are making it a mixed bag for the next generation,but then again they are up to date with commercialism!! BUT to put plain and simple its not MOD!

modernist is rather a state of mind self obsession, constant moving,being the best you can be, for  richer or poorer .we dont need to accept some naff old soul scene, for Mod is the true soul scene !...yeh and some people who want to just go to a mod, night have to endure that 2 for the price of 1 effort,which is shit,,so as you say cowboy or indian ,? get them off the fence well said john

I dont know why mate but the 2 are so intertwined nowadays that they might never be able to seperate! I'll send u a picture of Robert Knights LP cover from 65', amongst others he sang love on a mountain top and on the sleeve he's wearing a 3 button suit,ticket pocket etc and yet the song was robbed and became a Nothern soul anthem?? I dont have the answer to this discussion coz i dont understand it myself! But i'll tell the two founder members of our scooter club(original wigan casino members) that they are officially mods at the next meeting. I know for a fact they'd rather throw a brick at a mod scooter than ride 1......LOL

Hi there, I just posted the below opinions on the 'lack of interaction' space, but perhaps it should be on this thread. Thanks, John, for your reply. I haven't yet seen any string vests at a mod do (I don't think so, anyway!), but I did take some time out!!! Most northern fans I knew in Spain dressed up smart for a mod night and kept it more casual for a soul/funk night that played 70s and 80s soul as well.

Personally, I love folk music in addition to mod-related music and sometimes wear a hand-knitted Arran sweater. I wouldn't wear it perhaps to a mod night (definitely not a good look in Spanish heat!) but it helps me with the Bert Jansch guitar tunes that I like to play on cold British evenings!

Re Northern Soul, I can understand why some people consider the NS movement/scene to be very distinct to mod, but history shows that the origins of northern soul as a British phenomenon are with the mod scene of Manchester and other places in the North and Midlands. My understanding (and I'm not an expert) is that the Twisted Wheel in Manchester was a place for Mods c. 1963-8 and that Roger Eagle was able to get DJs and records from USA (via Liverpool) that were unknown in London at the same time. The classic mod period lasted longer in Manchester and most towns and cities outside London, so I would imagine that a night at the Twisted Wheel in 1967 would have had as much rare soul/r'n'b being played and danced to by Mods as The Scene or Flamingo in London c. 1965. So, although the classic mid-70s clips of northern soul dancers at Wigan and Blackpool don't look particularly 'mod' in a style sense, I think the spirit of northern soul is very mod and its origins were with northern mods. Of course, I will accept that my view is not that of an expert, but I do like a lot of northern tunes, many of which are as early as '63 or '64 (particularly if they are latin-inspired). So, I'm all for a section of northern soul tunes at a mod night.

thanks for the reply,but the term" northern soul" i feel was a later inspiration,,but was it not just called soul in the 60,s, ?            i was let to believe   that  the ns was record label rejects by soul artist that in the late 60,s  early 70,s trying to make contract s with the majors, such as motown,stax ect  ,and was sent to us military bases in the north of england for there juke boxes ,and then collected from the rubbish by the northern djs? far as  the image i can not see any cross over ,or parallel connection with the modernist as we know it  ....perhaps this is the origin ,as you say of the ns scene,but lost the modernist way of life?

Good question, I'm not sure when the term 'northern soul' was invented, but I think it was around 1970. I think there were various means by which the records got to the UK and soon the DJs went over to the States to look for more. I think the quality of the soul described as 'northern' varies from 'how on earth was that not a massive hit?' to 'ok, perhaps I understand why few people listened to that one', but I guess that could be said of many styles of music, certainly in the two-three minute song context...also, a small amount of what gets classed as 'northern soul' would not originally have been considered 'soul' as such, but it had a strong beat and became popular on the scene. As for crossover and parallels, as well as the origins, I do see links in the sense that there is a similar obsessional enthusiasm and love of black American music. Perhaps northern soul appeals to some mods for whom dancing is the most important or enjoyable thing. 

Its a relativaly new mix: Mod/Northern,only recently have 'Soulies' suited them self up with a Gingham shirt and no tie! So it has been modded in that respect! Though this has been really prevelant in recent years, the old school look of Button down,Levis and doc martens was probably the most common look beforehand. I think back in the early eighties that was why the new 'Scooterboy' culture slid into the scene so easily! And god they were crying out for something to relate to having walked away from mod. There was a mass exodus from the mod scene with all the Sheep following there peers, but it a different story now with a huge amount returning to the mod scene,thank god for them that old saying' once a mod always a mod' else they would look like real plonkers!

yes john and james i think your views are very valid ,and fair,,,but i was also thinking that northern soul,is only that ,when exported to UK from the states,so really in the states they would not know what NS is ,only soul,so ,if you like soul ,you must like this NAF 2nd rate soul,to me there are some great tunes,but i would say 85% of it was u.s.a throw backs,when you look at all the bands trying to brake through in the music industry you are only looking at a 10% success rate,all the rest are thrown back ,harsh i now but thats a fact,unless there is a country wanting the crap somewhere in the world lol     later i will be discussing    NS clothing,,,

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

Hello GS Simon,

The terminology can be confusing, I agree, especially as 'southern soul' does refer to soul that was geographically made in the southern states and, by coincidence, most 'northern soul' tends to come from areas outside the south of USA (Detroit, Chicago, Washington, New York, LA). However, I would be reluctant to assume that all of the soul that was considered high quality or successful in the US in the mid-60s was available on import or distributed by a British label at the same time. So, lots of music made on Chess and its subsidiaries wasn't heard until later in the UK, and that's why I think a lot of mods stick with northern soul, cos there were other factors that meant mods in the UK couldn't get to hear the sounds when they came out. I suppose because the northern scene is pretty exhaustive in its searching, the collectors have unearthed records that vary in quality. I agree that in some cases, records get played because they are rare, not so much because they are as great as The Temptations or Marvin Gaye. But I guess after 40 + years, these songs are now classics of their kind and much loved

I have to agree 100%. I would also like to add that the same goes for Vespa P Range.

LW, i took a recent hankering for a PX. Having not ridden one since 1982,it was a big let down and have now moved it on! Give me a GS,SS or SX any day....true classics and well deserving of the Phrase!!





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