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Young Soul Rebels

Father's Day Book, Popular Music & Culture
Publication Date
06 April 2017
Paperback (also available as an ebook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd
Colour throughout

Young Soul Rebels

A Personal History of Northern Soul
by Stuart Cosgrove - Find out more about the author



eBook also available from the iBookstore

'The personal history that takes in Perth, Leeds and Wigan Pier – Young Soul Rebels Broadcaster ... Stuart Cosgrove reminds us that in pop’s narrative the consumer of music matters just as much as its creator’ – The Herald; The must read music books of 2016

‘It’s witty, humorous and, on more than a few occasions, hard hitting in equal measures and a damn good read too’ – Scootering Magazine

‘A thoughtful and impassioned memoire, complete with sociopolitical analysis’ – The Herald

‘an enjoyable account of the northern soul scene…It’s not just first-hand memories here, we also get a detailed history from the scene’s root to the present day…fascinating’ **** – Mojo

‘it simply scintillates’ ***** – Record Collector

‘Sheer poetry…it truly is a personal history, but it weaves its way through our own history as well. Buy the book, you won’t regret it' – Dave Rimmer,

'Young Soul Rebels uses northern soul as a powerful window into some of the most enduring social issues affecting Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. …The decline of the mining industry is one of the book’s most illuminating sections… As a whole, though, Cosgrove’s book offers colourful and necessary new shades to the often over-mythologised history of northern soul – a genre which remains perhaps Britain’s most intriguing and heartwarming youth culture movement’ – Music Factory Number One

Young Soul Rebels is a compelling and intimate story of northern soul, Britain’s most fascinating musical underground scene, and takes the reader on a journey into the iconic clubs that made it famous – The Twisted Wheel, The Torch, Wigan Casino, Blackpool Mecca and Cleethorpes Pier – the bootleggers that made it infamous, the splits that threatened to divide the scene, the great unknown records that built its global reputation and the crate-digging collectors that travelled to America to unearth unknown sounds. The book sweeps across fifty years of British life and places the northern soul scene in a social context – the rise of amphetamine culture, the policing of youth culture, the north–south divide, the decline of coastal Britain, the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry, the rise of Thatcherism, the miners’ strike, the rave scene and music in the era of the world wide web.

Books have been written about northern soul before but never with the same erudition and passion. Young Soul Rebels nails a scene that is as popular today as it was in its heyday in the 1970s.

Stuart Cosgrove, originally from Perth, was a fanzine writer on the northern soul scene before joining the black music paper Echoes, as a staff writer. He became media editor with the NME and a feature writer for a range of newspapers and magazines. A graduate of Hull University, he completed a PhD in modern American theatre history. In 2005 he was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards and in 2012 he won numerous awards including a BAFTA and Royal Television Society award for Channel 4’s coverage of the London Paralympics 2012.

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