surinenglish

THE MUSIC MAKER

Soul searching

You nearly didn't get to read this (it's rude to give people retrospectively false hopes - ed.) since I've just been on one of those 'suggested link' odysseys on YouTube which begins with looking for help with how to paint a skirting board and ends up with you falling asleep watching a video about the mating rituals of seahorses, without ever quite knowing how you got from one to the other.

In this case it was neither skirting boards nor seahorses that beguiled me, but rather a tasty selection of Northern Soul dance routines. I'd forgotten all about them - they're absolutely marvellous; so much so that I suggest you have a look yourselves forthwith.

In 1965, only 250 copies were pressed of Frank Wilson's soul gem Do I Love You (Indeed I Do). It later became a Northern Soul classic and dance floor filler from Wigan to, er, well, mostly Wigan really. Because of its rarity, it also became highly sought after by collectors and a couple of weeks ago an English bloke called Lee Jeffries bought a copy for one hundred thousand pounds making it the most expensive seven-inch single in history. It is, undoubtedly, a magnificent song.

Normally, when people spend vast sums of money on their caprices, I find myself tutting and muttering something self-righteous under my breath about starving children. In this case though - and I can't figure out exactly why - I rather admire Mr Jeffries. Maybe it's imagining the beaming grin on his face when he first took it tentatively from its sleeve presumably wearing snooker referee gloves and then putting it gingerly on the turntable and performing one of those single hand claps so beloved of Northern Soulers as the brass section joins the piano and strings just before the vocal. And then he's off, is our Lee, whirling round the living room like a dervish, kicking, twirling and swooping to his heart's content without a care in the world for two minutes and thirty eight seconds. Maybe that's why I admire him.

On the other hand, he could just be a record collector who put the record in a glass cabinet, never to be enjoyed by anyone. In that case he's wasted his money and I don't admire him at all.

Anyway, have a little look at some YouTube videos of Northern Soul dancing in general and at that song in particular.

I'll meet you by the seahorses at midnight.