Much has been written about the Northern Soul scene up to the demise of The Wigan Casino, but very little has actually been written about what followed. For many, the scene died when Wigan Casino closed its doors for the final time. These same people would perversely discover that the scene was far from dead and that a hard-core crowd had continued to keep the flame burning and in the process, had taken the scene back underground with an aggressive upfront music policy.
There are of course many misconceptions about the scene post Wigan, both from those who had left the scene and from those who were never there in the first place. These misconceptions were particularly rife in the decades following the closure of the Casino. The most common were that these were the ‘lost years’ (only lost to those who weren’t there), lean times and dark days, both musically and venue wise, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s possibly true to say that for much of the 20 or 25 years following Wigan Casino, there were no mass-attended central all-nighters like for, instance, the Casino or, over on the East Coast, Cleethorpes, but the all-nighter scene during this period, nonetheless, had a plethora of venues championing the cause.
The demise of the Casino was a slow painful one for many - many were disillusioned with what was happening musically and with the low attendances towards the end. Richard Searling was the saving grace for many but in truth DJs such as Gary Rushbrooke were also offering a taste of things to come.