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Guest Playlist: John Newman

 On first listening to John Newman‘s rousing debut solo single, ‘Love Me Again‘, Northern Soul may not be the most immediate of comparisons to spring to mind. It’s certainly there though, as the lauded Rudimental collaborator explains below. A brief glance over the track’s accompanying video – which you can view below – reveals a smokey northern night club, decked out in cushioned velvet and lined with a crowd of Ben Sherman-wearing, blazer-adorned young things dancing the night away to the track’s tumultuous choruses and big band maelstroms.

As such, we couldn’t resist the prodigal young vocalist’s offer of a special Northern Soul guest playlist. Read – and listen – on for a rundown of Newman’s favourite Northern Soul moments and for an exclusive insight into why the scene is so important to him.

“I wanted to put together a Northern Soul playlist to help bring people closer to the scene and the parts of my sound that are heavily influenced by the music and the Northern Soul ethos. My most recent video ‘Love Me Again’ is based around a Romeo & Juliet story line set in a Northern Soul club. It’s a performance video and will hopefully help introduce the scene to people who maybe haven’t heard of it before. When casting for the shoot we wanted to get people that live for that music and express it by joining a following every weekend and all coming together to enjoy what they do; to sing, dance, clap and just lose themselves dancing the night away to great tunes.

It wasn’t that I just found the scene interesting and wanted to shoot it, it is a big part of my life. My whole family and I attend nights and many friends of mine do too. I really am infatuated by the whole thing, the strong sense of a community that accepts anyone, the dancing, the freedom, the confidence when in that environment and most of all I am heavily inspired by the music. Those uplifting classic records such as ‘The Snake‘, ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)‘, ‘I Got a Feeling‘, and so many more that have been blasted out on dance floors all over the country. Whether it be in the Blackpool Tower Ball Room, Wigan Pier or the club at the end of your street, Northern Soul really was a craze that took over the country and still plays a massive part in people’s lives.”

1. Edwin Starr – ‘Time’
2. Garnet Mimms – ‘Prove It to Me’
3. The Velvets – ‘I Got to Find Somebody’
4. Al Wilson – ‘The Snake’
5. Little Richard – ‘Get Down With It’
6. Dusty Springfield – ‘Live It Up’
7. Wilson Picket – ‘Baby Call On Me’
8. Frank Wilson – ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’
9. Yvonne Baker – ‘You Didn’t Say A Word’
10. The Isley Brothers – ‘Why When Love Is Gone’

- Alex Cull

‘Love Me Again’ is available now on Universal/Island. You can purchase it here.

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