Northern Soul

If you love the North, then Northern Soul is for you. Written in the North of England by Northern writers, Northern Soul is a celebration of culture and enterprise, from theatre, music, authors and art to heritage, small businesses, food and leading figures, as well as everything in-between.

Talking to people who work, rest and play in the North of England and scour the region for interesting stories, histories, ambitions and events. Want to read a carefully crafted article about an oddball museum or go behind the scenes of a leading institution? You can find that on Northern Soul.

Northern Soul chats to Richard Littler about Scarfolk, online humour and the absurdity of modern values

Online humour can be a fickle sort of business. One day you’ve found a new Twitter account you’re convinced is the funniest thing ever, the next it seems to have worn thin very quickly. One of the most consistently rewarding sites of recent years, though, has been the Scarfolk blog. The fictional Scarfolk is described […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 22:43:43 +0000

Book review: Ascent by Jed Mercurio

Now and again you come across a novel so closely published to your own specifications that you strongly suspect the publishers have secretly focus-grouped you to within an inch of your life, and then wiped all memory of it from your mind. For me, Jed Mercurio’s 2007 fascinating debut novel, Ascent, did just that.  This […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:54:31 +0000

Review: Indique, West Didsbury, Manchester

Name your ten best Indian restaurants in Manchester. This and That for value for money and good cooking, obvs, and…actually they’re pretty much all the same. Even Akbar’s, which gets great reviews, is only average and contents itself to wow clients with a plush interior. Manchester restaurateurs say that punters are more interested in the […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:38:32 +0000

Review: The Unthanks, RNCM, Manchester

One of the many fine and fascinating things about The Unthanks is how they manage to fearlessly represent the very epitome of the folk tradition yet at the same time are so extraordinarily adventurous. Their last album Mount The Air was one of the most remarkable records of recent years, not least for its melding of Miles-esque […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:37:23 +0000

Review: The Story Giant, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

You can’t escape from stories these days. The thing that brands and businesses once called marketing is now called ‘telling our story’, and there isn’t a burger bar, coffee shop or beard oil outlet that doesn’t come with a neatly packaged narrative attached. Such is the power of a well told tale. Or even a […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:34:31 +0000

Review: Twelfth Night, Royal Exchange, Manchester

As someone from Stratford-upon-Avon, I’m no stranger to Shakespeare. Walking through the quaint town centre, you can’t shake a feathered quill without bumping into a street performer bellowing lines from King Lear. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Shakespeare fan. Among my prized-possessions as a teen was a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets, I rented Baz Luhrmann’s […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:27:11 +0000

The book that changed my life: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

I read the book that changed my life, the one I can’t stop telling people about, last year. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman has completely changed the way I see the world. Kahneman is a psychologist who researches the way people make decisions. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics. He won it […]

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Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:14:22 +0000

Michael Rother talks krautrock, NEU! and David Bowie

These days, no-one would bat an eyelid if a hotly-tipped new band declared that they were heavily influenced by krautrock. It would be more of a surprise if they didn’t. There was a tipping point, somewhere around the turn of the millennium, when krautrock went from being a hazily-remembered musical movement from 70s Germany to […]

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Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:03:28 +0000