Prom 2: Northern Soul

Turnin’ My Heartbeat Up -The MPVs
Out on the floor – Dobie Gray
I need you – Shane Martin
Night Owl – Bobby Paris
Gone With The Wind Is My Love – Rita & the Tiaras
I Surrender – Eddie Holman
Landslide – Tony Clarke
Hold Back The Night – The Trammps
The Drifter – Ray Pollard
Sliced Tomatoes – The Just Brothers
You don’t know where your interest lies – Dana Valery
I Never Loved her anyway – Jimmy Beaumont
No One Could Love You More – Gladys Knight
You’re Gonna Love My Baby – Barbara McNair
You’re Gonna Make Me Love You – Sandi Sheldon
Exus Trek – Luther Ingram
If that’s What You Wanted – Frankie Beverly & The Butlers
Temptation Is Calling My Name – Lee David
What – Judy Street
I Got To Find Me Somebody – The Velvets
Better Use Your Head – Little Anthony & The Imps
You didn’t say a word – Yvonne Baker
It Really Hurts Me Girl – The Carstairs
Time – Edwin Star
The Night – Frankie Valli
There’s a Ghost in my House – R. Dean Taylor
I’m on my way – Dean Parrish
Long after tonight is all over – Jimmy Radcliffe
Time Will Pass You By – Tobi Legend
Tainted Love – Gloria Jones
Do I Love you? – Frank Wilson

Vula Malinga, Brendan Reilly, Nick Shirm, Darrell Smith, Natalie Palmer, and Frida Mariama Touray (Vocalists)

BBC Concert Orchestra
Edwin Outwater

Reviewed by: Chris Caspell

Reviewed: 15 July, 2023
Venue: Royal Albert Hall

The Northern Soul Prom, curated by writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie, was a soulful extravaganza that brought together an extraordinary lineup of performers, each delivering a heartfelt and soul-stirring tribute to the beats that once shook English towns in the North and Midlands during the 1960s and 1970s.

This celebration not only showcased the incredible talents of performers like Brendan Reilly, Nick Shirm, Frida Mariama Touray, Vula Malinga, Darrell Smith, and Natalie Palmer, but it also paid homage to the rich history and cultural significance of Northern Soul. Originating in the industrial regions of Northern England, the Northern Soul subculture emerged as a passionate and vibrant movement centered around American soul music.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, enthusiastic fans of the genre sought out rare soul tracks, often B-sides or overlooked releases from iconic soul labels like Motown, Stax, and Atlantic. Their fervent dedication led to the creation of all-night dance events in dimly-lit venues, where factory workers, miners, students, and music lovers alike would come together for soulful release and euphoric dance.

The music and dance styles associated with Northern Soul were infectious and acrobatic, characterized by spins, flips, and elaborate footwork. DJs, known for their deep knowledge of rare vinyl records, played a pivotal role in introducing new tracks and creating a sense of community around the music.

The Northern Soul Prom brought this captivating history to life, with each performer infusing their soulful renditions with the spirit of the era. Brendan Reilly’s powerful rendition of “Turnin’ My Heartbeat Up” and the infectious classic “Out on the Floor” set the stage ablaze, while Nick Shirm’s emotive performances of “I Need You” and “Night Owl” left a lasting impression on the audience.

Frida Mariama Touray mesmerized with her soulful charm, transporting the crowd back in time with “Gone With The Wind Is My Love.” Vula Malinga showcased her vocal prowess with the heartfelt “I Surrender,” and Darrell Smith’s soul-stirring delivery of “The Drifter” captivated the entire hall.

The BBC Concert Orchestra added a symphonic touch to the soulful beats of the night with their energetic performance of “Sliced Tomatoes” and “Exus Trek,” while Natalie Palmer’s soulful voice left the audience enthralled with “You Don’t Know Where Your Heart Is.”

As the night progressed, the soulful magic continued with performances like “No One Could Love You More” by Frida Mariama Touray, and “It Really Hurts Me Girl” by Brendan Reilly, further captivating the audience.

In conclusion, the Northern Soul Prom not only brought together exceptional performers and symphonic arrangements by Joe Duddell and Fiona Brice, but it also celebrated the rich history of Northern Soul and its enduring impact on British club culture. This soulful celebration was a testament to the power of music to unite generations and uplift spirits, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who attended. The legacy of Northern Soul lives on through these soul-stirring performances, reminding us of the timeless allure of soul music and its ability to resonate with audiences across time.

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