Northern Soul 1993-1996 Elaine Constantine


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Elaine Constantine explains, ‘It was Saturday night, the year was 1993, and I had recently moved to London to try to push my photography career along when I went down to the 100 club where they play rare American 60’s and 70’s soul music.

I had been on that scene up until a few years before and was curious to see where it had gone in the meantime, so I took my camera along with me. Going down those stairs into that dark basement, seeing those shadowy figures moving energetically in sync with each other made me hesitant.

The scene had gone further underground, the crowd older, little new blood, the records more obscure and the attitude on the dancefloor was as fierce as ever. Could I really take pictures in this place? As I suspected, the blast from my first flash altered the atmosphere. I braved it to shoot a few more from different angles but things felt worse with each blinding shot.

The relief I felt when I heard the familiar opening bars of ‘This Won’t Change’ by Lester Tipton. A fast, raw, jerky, but tender sound. I pushed the camera bag under a chair and got lost in the shadows until morning.

I very soon became a regular again, travelling to different venues around the country but I’d often wait till morning when the lights came on before taking any pictures. Mostly though I went to dance and enjoy the music with friends, leaving my camera at home.’

‘Pictures were taken in varied venues including the Manchester’s Ritz, London’s 100 club and in a lad called Steve’s kitchen, plus other places too numerous to remember.’


36 pages
printed in England
staple bound
14cm x 20cm

Additional information

Weight 80 g
Dimensions 16.0 × 0.3 × 23.0 cm