South of the 10: Floorstomping to Northern Soul at the Fais Do Do
This week West Coast Sound presents to you a series called "Authentic Alternatives: Heart and Soul South of the 10." Each day this week, we'll offer an offbeat venue that thrives with underground energy and treads the path not taken.
In Northern England, soul music wasn't just a way to get down, it was a way of life. Northern Soul cross-pollinated the American soul explosion of the late Sixties and the mod aesthetic from London, culminating in all-night parties where scooter riders and ska-heads could all cut a rug.
At the legendary Fais Do Do, alongside the abandoned jazz clubs in historic West Adams, Soulside Productions brings the Northern Soul to South of the 10. Every second Saturday of the month, guest DJ's spin rare funk, ska, and Northern soul. On the last Friday of the month, Soulside throws the Trojan Lounge (as in the seminal Reggae label Trojan Records) as a kick-back session filled with early rocksteady and vintage ska.
Soulside DJ's and dancers spare no details. All music is presented on 45's, a sign on the door forbids the use of flour as a dancing aide. The door man, looking a little like Screamin' Jay Hawkins, explained that serious dancers back in the day would sprinkle flour or baby powder on the floor to get some James Brown slides. "But it's a bitch to clean up," the doorman said.
But you don't need no flour for this serious get down, just some slick shoes, a stiff drink, and a whole lot of soul.
Tomorrow, we look at some budding country stars on the West Side.