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Bath Soul Club- No. 12

Home > Bath > Dancing | Music | Music Venues | Nightlife
by Tom Fieldhouse (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son. I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Northern Soul- Draws people from every direction
The first of several talented DJ's opens the evening with some Classic Northern Soul numbers, with a few more eclectic surprises thrown in.

Bath Soul Club held their 11th night on Saturday, and it was fantastic! Several guest DJ's played a great mix of tracks, ranging from classic Northern Soul to funky, more recent creations. Held at Widcombe Social Club, this event welcomed over one hundred Soul- lovers, hosting this dance night in a large wooden-floored hall. With a well-stocked bar and plenty of seating, the night was both energetic and sociable. I felt very welcomed by the crowd there, despite this being my first visit, and going along on my own. With events being held roughly every two months, I already can't wait for the next one, as events are held every two months and the 12th event will be on 21st April.

The evening mid-Swing (or Soul!) I love the fact that there was a real mix of ages and generations dancing, all united by a shared love of great music and dancing.

I discovered this night because I wanted to try Northern Soul dancing. I've been a fan of the moves and the music for years, but never had an opportunity to try it out. One glance at Bath Soul Club's Facebook page convinced me that this was the place for me. When I arrived, I found a happy and relaxed group of people and had a great time. There were scooter clubs, groups of friends, couples and solo dancers; many of them decked out in Soul and Mod style and looking really smart. The atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming, and I can't wait to go back.

Dancers socialising
Soul fans looking sharp in their gear. A lot of folks were well dressed for the evening, but there were plenty of folks in more casual wear (as was I). I did not feel at all out of place or under-dressed, which I think is a mark of how open and happy this event is.

Northern Soul was born in the Seventies in the North of England, and evolved into an energetic and distinctive 'scene' that is enjoyed today. Night organisers Iain Cliffe and Tim James explained to me that Northern Soul is just part of a whole spectrum of music enjoyed by soul fans and that their events try to appeal to everybody. Although I am a fan of the 'Classic' Northern Soul tracks, I also really enjoyed nipping downstairs to another room, where DJ's were playing a feelgood mix of Ska, Mod and Reggae tunes. This was a great place to cool those dancing heels and have a bit of a breather. With two different rooms and an outside balcony area, it really is a great setup. For ticket and event information, just follow the link below this image.

Enjoying some Jimmy Cliff downstairs, in the other room with bar and balcony.

Are you intrigued? Check out the ever-developing Facebook page here.

DJ mid set
Checking out the DJ setup. This DJ duo were spinning hit after hit, and really got the crowd going with their set.

What makes this event really special for me is how 'live' and energetic it is. People dance to live DJ sets and clap when there is a real belter of a tune playing. On the dance floor ,there is a shared love of both the music and the dancing of Northern Soul, and it feels very special to watch and be a part of. People came from far and wide to enjoy the event, and I was very impressed to hear that a group had come down from Glasgow (over 382 miles away), just to be there. I feel very privileged to live so very close to this club. With tickets costing just 6.50 for almost 5 hours of fun and entertainment, I feel even more lucky. I have never felt part of a 'scene' before, but this has made me want to. There is clearly a very supportive and friendly network of Northern Soul fans here, and the many, many leaflets and flyers being passed around confirms this.

Events and evenings galore

The main event
A truly friendly and positive group of people.

So, are you intrigued? After just one visit, I'm hooked. I really want to learn how to dance Northern Soul properly (rather than my carefully rehearsed one move and occasional spin combo.) I felt a little nervous going to a music event on my own, but I am so very glad that I did. I cannot recommend this event highly enough, or the two chaps who run the night. I've been converted to a Soul way of thinking, and as they say, I want to 'Keep the Faith.' Go and have a look. Have a listen. Have a dance. There's a handy and quick guide to some Northern Soul moves if you follow the link below. Go for it!

A fast and Furious quick Northern Soul lesson from The Guardian newspaper.

Soul Men
Event organisers Iain Cliffe and Tim James, who welcomed me like an old friend, and are obviously dedicated to running a great event, every time.

An elegant and skilled dancer, who was a joy to watch.

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Why? Brilliant Northern Soul dancing and music evening
When: Every two months. Next event 21st April
Phone: Message via Facebook page
Where: Widcombe Social Club, Bath
Cost: 6.50 per ticket
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