Northern Soul – The ‘Three Before Eight’

Part 3 – The daddy of all Northern Soul clubs was Wigan Casino, though, as this fine article by Chris Hunt says, it may not have been the coolest or the most innovative. If you wanted to dance, however, it was the place to go.

And when you’d wrung yourself out on an all-nighter, the day was breaking, and it was finally time to go home, the crowd would always be treated to a signature ending from the DJ.. songs that became known as the ‘three before eight’: Jimmy Radcliffe’s Long After Tonight Is All Over, Tobi Legend’s Time Will Pass You By and Dean Parrish’s I’m On My Way.

They’re fine songs. They’re not brilliant songs – vocal lines wobble a bit, those horn charts might not be the sharpest ever written – but because of the indelible association of time and place, once again, they become some of the greatest songs ever made.

Try and put yourself in that place: the Casino, mid 70s. It’s early morning, you’re tired but happy. You’re getting your act together after a long night of dancing with your fellow devotees. You might have found someone special to spend the last few moments with. And then you hear..

Jimmy..

Tobi..

and Dean.

Now, that’s a little piece of magic right there, isn’t it?

Read the final part of this Northern Soul exposition.


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