Pattaya Soul Club keeps the faith at ‘Souled Out’

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Northern Soul dance event raises 41,000 baht for Hand to Hand Foundation

The dancefloor of Pattaya’s Access Inn rocked to the sounds of rare sixties and seventies music once again as the Pattaya Soul Club hosted its first ‘Souled Out’ for 2015 last month.  The packed March 14 event not only brought together around 100 lovers of the niche ’Northern Soul’ scene to dance to their favourite underground classics, it also provided a boost for a local charity, with the occasion raising a total of 41,000 baht for the Hand to Hand Foundation which cares for orphaned children in Pattaya .

“Once again, Souled Out proved to be a fantastic night that gave the chance for Pattaya’s Northern Soul fans to meet each other, enjoy a drink and dance to the music they love,” said Earl Brown, co-organiser of the event and co-founder of the Pattaya Soul Club.  “This was our first Souled Out for the year and we were delighted to be able to use the proceeds from the door to assist an important local charity, the Hand to Hand Foundation, which does so much sterling work for Thai children who are in need,” he added.

Pattaya Soul Club co-founder Earl Brown (right) poses with Care from Papaya Mush TV.Pattaya Soul Club co-founder Earl Brown (right) poses with Care from Papaya Mush TV.

For those who aren’t aware of the genre, Northern Soul grew out of a love of records that were released by soul artists in the United States in the 1960s and 70s but which flopped at the time.  However, the music had struck a chord with working class youths in the North of England, leading to the ‘Northern’ component in its name.  Northern Soul came to be associated with an emotional, energetic and fast-paced style of music that inspired a cult following of devotees who would travel the UK to attend ‘all-nighters’ with fellow fans.

Soul sounds from the 60’s and 70’s hit the mark with the local ladies.Soul sounds from the 60’s and 70’s hit the mark with the local ladies.

Northern Soul quickly spread the length and breadth of the country, becoming its largest underground dance movement.  Records that had previously been picked up for a few cents in bargain warehouses in the USA became highly sought after, developing an incredible new level of value.  This was demonstrated when a copy of the Northern Soul classic ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ by American singer Frank Wilson fetched the equivalent of over 1.24 million baht at auction, setting a Guinness World Record for the highest amount ever paid for a vinyl disc.

A Soul Club regular struts his stuff at the Access Inn.A Soul Club regular struts his stuff at the Access Inn.

The Northern Soul scene is characterised by acrobatic levels of dancing, with dedicated adherents perfecting backdrops, flips, spins and splits, all aided by liberal amounts of talcum powder sprinkled on the floor to ensure optimum slipping and sliding.  Underpinning the whole movement is a degree of passion not seen in other music scenes, a level of dedication that is reflected in Northern Soul’s adoption of the phrase: ‘Keep the Faith,’ which suggests it is a way of life and not a transient fad.

The commitment that Northern Soul generates could be seen at Souled Out, with one of its patrons having travelled from Dubai especially to attend.  Steve Bannister, organiser of Soul of Dubai, which runs Northern Soul nights in the United Arab Emirates, explained that he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Eva Johnson (centre right), a co-founder of the Pattaya Soul Club, and flanked by Min (far left) and Janey (far right) of the Riviera Group, presents a cheque for 41,000 baht to Kh. Pai, the President of the Hand to Hand Foundation (centre left) along with children under the care of the organisation.Eva Johnson (centre right), a co-founder of the Pattaya Soul Club, and flanked by Min (far left) and Janey (far right) of the Riviera Group, presents a cheque for 41,000 baht to Kh. Pai, the President of the Hand to Hand Foundation (centre left) along with children under the care of the organisation.

“This is my second Pattaya Soul Club event as I also came to their third anniversary bash in November, which was another incredible evening” said Steve, speaking on the night.  “Once more the organisers, Earl and Eva, have done a tremendous job of bringing people together to enjoy the music they love and to raise money for charity, which is a great initiative.  If you meet with fellow Northern Soul fans wherever you are in the world, you instantly have new friends – I will definitely be returning for the club’s future events,” he added.

So another successful Pattaya Soul Club event was concluded, with everyone enjoying a night of music, dancing and Northern Soul camaraderie.  If any explanation is needed for the continued enthusiasm for the scene and its refusal to die, it can perhaps best be summed up in the title of a song by Northern Soul artist Timi Yuro – one which every fan has taken to heart… ‘It’ll Never Be Over For Me.’

Keep the Faith.

The Pattaya Soul Club would like to thank their gracious sponsors who without their support these events couldn’t be held.  Many thanks to The Riviera Group, CEA Project Logistics, CSP Construction, Scooters Bar and the Access Inn.

More information about the Pattaya Soul Club can be found at their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PattayaSoulClub.