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Friday, 14 June 2019


Sydney Soul Weekender Header


The Northern Soul subculture is still kicking on in Australia with the Sydney Soul Weekender throwing club nights where it is all about the music that defined this iconic movement.

We caught up with Paul Freeman from Sydney Soul Weekender to hear how Northern Soul made its way from the UK  all the way to Sydney, Australia.


sydney soul weekender

Northern Soul – it’s a big part of my life.

I came to Sydney in 1991, aged 22. I’d been a Mod in my teens (the second revival in the mid-80s) and had attended a few soul gigs, just mostly local youth clubs which aspiring DJs used to learn their craft.

Fast forward to 1996, I heard about a soul night at the Agincourt Hotel and dragged everyone along. Little did I know but that night was put on by Sydney soul DJ Agent 00 Soul, who I have since become good friends with through the scene.

Fast forward again to 2003, bored at work with internet access, I yahooed (yep) “Northern Soul Australia” and was shocked to find a healthy Northern Soul scene here. I went to an all-dayer at Bar Broadway, and after arriving alone, was introduced to all the Sydney Soulies. The music was fantastic. The people were friendly. I was hooked again.

You see this is what Northern Soul is all about. We just love the music. Turn up alone, show you’re interested and the scene will look after you. I have great friends in most states in Australia because of Northern Soul.

After that I attended monthly nights at World Bar and Bar Cleveland, and weekenders at venues across Sydney. I was then introduced to the Australian National Northern Soul Weekender. My first was Brisbane in 2004. The “Nash” is the big weekender held in a different city each year. It started in Adelaide in 1999, and goes round the country on a five year cycle. Sydney last hosted the Nash in 2015 and will do so again in 2020. In the last few years there’s been UK Northern Soul DJs coming here to play at the Nash, such is its reputation.

I now attend the regular monthly Northern Soul night, currently held at the Bat and Ball Hotel in Surry Hills. The Northern Soul nights in Sydney have moved around a bit over the years, it’s tough because the pre-requisite is a wooden dance floor, which are sometimes hard to find.

I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Northern Soul in my life. I co-organised the Sydney Soul Weekender for 3 years and the 2015 Sydney Nash. Its hard work but worth it as we get to hear some brilliant rare soul records which get the appreciation they deserve. I also run an all vinyl 70’s Northern Soul and disco night called Motion, at the Hollywood Hotel.

People on the scene are mad for it. I mean imagine explaining to someone that there’s guys flying themselves from Perth or wherever, travelling vast distances, at their own expense to play a 45 minute set and not get paid for it. That’s what the scene is about. Sharing the love of rare soul vinyl and having a good knees-up.


sydney soul weekender

I urge anyone to attend the Northern Soul nights in any city in Australia, to feel the excitement, get the buzz and be hooked on it, as I continue to be.

The Sydney Soul Weekender 2019 is on from the 23-25 August. This event is one of the biggest soul weekenders on the Australian Northern Soul scene – and its one not to be missed.

You won’t believe your ears as Australia’s best Northern Soul and Modern Soul DJ’s will lay open their fantastic record boxes to bring you some great classic rare and not so rare Northern Soul dance floor stompers as well as some great Modern Soul bangers.

Of course, these treats will be played for you on original vinyl records.

You’re guaranteed 2 massive nights of soul music, a record sales afternoon and a huge all-dayer in 4 fantastic accessible locations across the Emerald City, all with wooden dance floors and fantastic sound systems!


Friday 23 August

Little Nicks - Bar and Kitchen
(Albion Place Hotel)
531 George Street, Sydney

7.00pm – 1.00am

(Weekender Passholders only)


Saturday 24 August

(Record sales arvo)

Hive Bar
93 Erskineville Road, Erskineville

1.00pm – 5.00pm 


Saturday 24 August

Marrickville Bowling Club
91 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville

7.00pm – 2.00am


Sunday 25 August


Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel
2 Bourke St, Woolloomooloo

1.00pm – 10.00pm 



Tickets available here

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