“In the Pitch Black Dark”: Searching for a “Proper Allnighter” in the Current Northern Soul Scene

  • Sarah RaineEmail author
Part of the Pop Music, Culture and Identity book series (PMCI)


In their negotiation of the discourses and scene boundaries of northern soul, the younger members of the British scene seek hidden and dark places in a desire to carve out their own interpretation of insider participation. These dark, suburban places privilege individual experience over public performance, experimentation over the polished. In doing so, the northern soul nocturnes of the “proper allnighter” challenge the dominant discourses of the scene’s older and influential generation. Positioned by young people in opposition to an internal mainstream, the “proper nighter” offers a space for the performance of authentic participation which is cloaked by darkness, informed by imagined scene pasts and set to a soundscape of the rare and the underplayed.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, The Birmingham School of MediaBirmingham City UniversityBirminghamUK

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