We caught up with Northern Soul legend Glenn Walker Foster to get the low-down on his memories, favourite tracks and his thoughts on the so-called divide in the Northern Soul Scene
What’s your fondest memory from the time when Northern Soul was at it’s peak? Where were you? any particular track that was playing and who was you with?
This question is perhaps a little difficult to answer as Northern Soul could be classed as at it’s peak currently as more people seem to be listening and attending events than ever before , In the heyday of Northern Soul in the 1970’s I attended many venues such as The Highland Room at Blackpool Mecca , The Ritz all-dayers in Manchester , The Casino at Wigan , Whitchurch all dayers and many more smaller scale venues , I was mainly associated with people from Blackpool as that was my hometown , But I also spent a lot of time with people from Wolverhampton in the early 1970’s , No track in particular stands out as I have always DJ’d Northern Soul and therefore many tracks stand out.
What do you miss the most?
I don’t miss anything really as although a DJ of all genres I have always been active as a Northern Soul DJ and occasionally promoter of Northern Soul venues , I suppose if I miss anything , I believe perhaps the camaraderie was stronger in the 1970’s than it is today.
What’s your favourite track or the track you seem to play the most?
There are several tracks I seem to play the most “This Beautiful Day” by LEVI JACKSON, “Eddie’s My Name” by EDDIE HOLMAN , “Run For Cover” by THE DELLS , “Tears” by LEE ROYE and “No Sad Songs” by JOE SIMON , Levi Jackson because it is a wonderful gospel record that is revered on the Northern scene , Eddie Holman because it is a great feel-good tune , The Dells because it is for me almost the perfect 4×4 dance record , Lee Roye because it is such a heart breaker but with a pounding rhythm and beat behind it and Joe Simon because lyrically for me personally it says it all.
What was your most visited club? How often did you go – do you still go to events? Where?
My most visited club was Blackpool Mecca Highland Room in the 70’s for obvious reasons , I lived in Blackpool and never missed a night there till it closed . And yes I do still attend events as still very actively involved as a DJ and promoter , It would probably be easier to list the events I don’t attend than those that I do as I DJ every weekend somewhere , My current residencies are at Gateshead Masonic Hall and The Worcester University All Nighter and guest spots the length and breadth of the UK.
I noticed what seems to be a divide in certain online Northern Soul groups – fans that are all about the rarest or rare and fans that like the commercial aspects – Where do you stand and what’s your view on that divide?
This is a very interesting question , true and poignant…. My stand on this is clear , I am a DJ of all genres of music and my job is to expose as much music to as many people as possible and therefore in any format and the success of my radio shows possibly reflects that , In my personal opinion there should be no divide whatsoever there is no place for politics in Northern Soul nor any other genre of music , I am afraid “The Northern Soul Police” are just not part of my itinerary and never will be.
Photo © Richard Jon