Northern Soul stars roll back the clock

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Legendary stars of 60s and 70s soul are to perform at the North West’s biggest International Soul Festival from June 17-19.

The three-day Festival will see an array of exclusive American Northern and Modern Soul legends take to the stage at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Among the artists performing on the main stage are soul icons Bettye Lavette, Gerri Granger, Harold ‘Bobby’ Hutton and Dee Dee Sharp, plus there will be an exclusive Q&A session with Motown’s first star spotter Mickey Stevenson.

Richard Searling is the man behind the Blackpool International Soul Festival having organised Northern Soul events for more than 25 years.

As a well-known face on the scene Richard has organised countless all-nighters across the UK but this year he wanted to create an even bigger challenge for himself.

He said: “I’ve wanted to put together a Festival like this for a long time, it’s been on my bucket list you could say, and there isn’t a better venue to do it in.

“We’ve got some big name artists on the bill and some will be performing tracks that haven’t been done live since the day they were recorded which is just incredible.

“Blackpool and Northern Soul go hand in hand and it’s great to see the town continuing to embrace it in such a big way.”

Festival-goers will be treated to live concert style performances on the main stage from.

Bettye Lavette will be performing some of her rarer Northern and modern soul hits as well as sharing some tales from her glittering career, including her performance for President Obama at his inauguration in 2009.

Gerri Granger – an intriguing addition to the bill whose 1971 track I Go to Pieces (Everytime) is one of the most popular Northern Soul anthems of all time.

Harold ‘Bobby’ Hutton – a household name in Northern and Modern Soul circles primarily for his 1974 LP A Piece of the Action which includes Blackpool Mecca anthem Lend a Hand. Dee Dee Sharp released a string of hits through the 1960s and 70s, including the anthem, What Kind of Lady.

Visit blackpoolsoulfestival.co.uk/