The term for a certain type of music called Northern Soul is hard for me to grasp. In an effort to understand it better, I watched this BBC documentary. After viewing this special, I came away with the following definition of Northern Soul: Motown Sound, but not on the Motown Label , plus obscure Soul Music on obscure labels.
Just like Carolina Beach Music songs, which often cross paths with Northern Soul songs, this allows for a wide variety of music. Carolina Beach Music however, has to have a certain rhythm for the Shag Dancers. I could not distinguish any certain beat in Northern Soul. And while the male partner in Shag dancing has the most ornate footwork, the Northern Soul dancer (male or female) many times doesn't even require a partner.
Living For The Weekend draws a direct line from The Mods of London to Northern Soul to Disco to House Music and ends up with Pharrel Williams and his song "Happy" fitting into the mold of Northern Soul. Do I know exactly what Northern Soul is after watching this documentary....no I don't and I don't think I ever will, but I do have a slight understanding of the phenomena that I didn't have before.