Northern Soul – A Photographic Journey.

‘Northern Soul – A Photographic Journey’ Is the new long term project of Wigan photographer and long time Soul fan, Brian Cannon.

Brian intends to photographically document the Northern scene today in a fly on the wall, black and white style. To celebrate the launch of this ambitious project we have posted here 20 shots all taken very recently.

The shots are interspersed with an interview Brian gave to DJ Glenn Walker-Foster on his Northern Soul Sessions radio show on last Monday.

To keep up to date with developments and see newly added images please ‘like’ the Facebook page dedicated to the project, link below –


Glenn Walker-Foster (GWF) – I am joined Live in the Studio by Brian Cannon who is the man behind ‘Northern Soul – A Photographic Journey’ , a wonderful and unique project reflecting in pictures how the scene thrives today and the exciting arrival of new young teenage blood on the scene , I would like to thank Brian for joining me on The Northern Soul Sessions….. So Brian, how did you get into Northern Soul?

Brian Cannon (BC) – Well I come from Wigan and in the late 70’s when I was 12 or 13 I started going to youth clubs and under 18’s discos, and  as well as the music that happened to be in the charts there would always be a half hour Northern spot played and I just thought to myself what is this amazing music? It all went from there really. I was 15 in 1981 when the Casino closed so just missed out on that, but went to my first allnighter the following year. When I was 18 in 1984 I bought my first scooter so could travel further afield to events and obviously all scooter rallies would have Northern do’s.

GWF – So what generated your interest this second time around?

BC – Well I never really stopped my interest, I sort of drifted out of it for a bit, but I met a while back Glenn Atkins from The Twisted Knee Soul Club in Wigan and as a result started going to do’s again, bumped into a few old faces and, you know, it’s just too good not to be in to. A couple of weeks ago I sent Glenn an email asking him if there was anything interesting coming up and he suggested I go to The Wigan Young Souls event and take my camera – and what a great idea that was! It was just a revelation and this project has just snowballed from there since.

GWF – So what are your plans for the project, a book, exhibition?

BC – To be honest Glenn I’m not that far down the line yet, I am just concentrating on taking the photographs at the minute – I have no publisher or anything and this is a totally noncommissioned, self funded project. I have no doubt in the future when the volume is complete I will get it published, but like I said, for the time being I am focussed on documenting the scene as best I can.

GWF – I have noticed that all the shots are black and white with a very stark contrasty lighting style.

BC – Well I wanted to create atmospheric shots that were representative of the nights on which they were taken, when you look at my photographs you can almost hear the music – as opposed to a wedding style snapshot, there is an atmosphere to the stuff I do and I think that comes across. I have been amazed that how in the short time I have been doing this project the phenomenal response I have had to the work.

GWF – You told us before you live in Wigan, is this is a project based specifically in the North West?

BC – No, intend to go to as many events and soul clubs as I can the length and breadth of the country an abroad to get as comprehensive a coverage of the scene as possible. In fact since I started this project word has got out, people have seen what I have been doing and I have been invited to do’s from Belfast to Barcelona, it’s just wonderful, I am made up – it’s gone off the scale, I’ve been invited all over the place, I can’t keep up with it at the minute!

GWF – Well I think the pictures are wonderful and I wish you all the luck in the world with it mate. So how would you sum up what you are trying to achieve?

BC – I see it like this, It’s all about honestly photographing the most honest scene on the planet. I am not some cheesey wedding photographer getting in people’s faces – I am a fly on the wall, just look at my shots, the people in the shot don’t even know I am there. I want to create the definitive volume documenting the scene as it is today, featuring events big and small, geographically diverse and with evocative imagery.

To see more shots from the project and to be regularly updated please ‘like’ the project’s dedicated Facebook page, link below.

If you like this series of shots please share via the social media links at the bottom of the page. More shots below.

If you or your friends organise or promote a Northern Soul event and would like to be included in this project please contact –

Keep up to date with the project and see regular photo uploads – ‘Like’ the projects page below.

5 thoughts on “Northern Soul – A Photographic Journey.

  1. Great shots, you can feel the atmosphere in the room when you look at Brian’s pictures, been following this journey for a while now.
    Brings back so many memories from years ago…
    Still like the music to this day, but due to ill health can’t dance any more.
    Keep up the great work Brian, and good luck with it…

  2. (ExPat Wiganer looking at these in Amsterdam) Top shots – great use of shadows – timeless. Just sent the link onto an ex Cherry Gardens boy and serious Northern Soul in Vietnam at the SaigonScooterCentre. Keep the faith!

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