IT’S time to put on your brogues and dust down those Oxford bags as a new show brings the live sound of Northern Soul to St Helens Theatre Royal.

Northern Live features an 11 piece band with four lead vocalists performing over 30 songs from an era when venues like the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and the Wigan Casino drew thousands of young soul fans to dance the night away.

“A lot of my friends and family are at the age now when they can’t spend all night dancing so they were keen for a show where they could sit down and enjoy a live band,” said musical director Darren Watson. “We intersperse the songs with video of Northern fans telling stories of going to places like Wigan Casino.”

Despite being born in the 80s after the scene’s heyday, percussionist Darren has found the lure of northern soul’s obsession with black American soul music hard to resist.

“I’m a Motown fanatic but I remember the caretaker at my school was a massive northern soul fan and he’d bring me songs,” said Darren. “I just remember the emotion and the sound of those drums."

Songs including Dobie Gray’s Out On The Floor, R Dean Taylor’s There’s A Ghost In My House and Al Wilson’s The Snake have all become classics and Darren’s show gives fans a unique chance to hear these songs played live.

“I know people love the records but for me there’s nothing like a live band,” said Darren. “It’s hard to even find out who played on a lot of those records because they are so rare but we make sure to mix the classics with a few more obscure songs.”

Without wanting to give too much away the show closes with Wigan Casino’s trademark trio of songs known as the ‘three before eight’.

“We’ve had an amazing response from people who’ve said how many memories it’s brought back - that’s what it’s all about for us,” added Darren.

Northern Live is at St Helens Theatre Royal on Saturday, November 27 at 7.30pm.

Tickets available from or call the box office on 01744 756000.