If your a fan of northern soul or disco music then Wigan Casino is your Mecca. Between 1973 and 1981 the ballroom was ‘the best disco in the world’, a fact cemented by an award from american magazine ‘Billboard’ ahead of New York’s Studio 54. Wigan Casino was the name of the last incarnation of a Wigan ballroom called the Empress. Local DJ Russ Winstanley and Wigan Casino manager Mike Walker approached the lease owner to run all-nighters there. At 2 am in the early hours of Sunday, 23 September 1973, Wigan Casino opened its doors for its first ever Northern Soul all-nighter, with Winstanley as the DJ. Soul performers that performed there include Jackie Wilson, Edwin Starr and Junior Walker… Young people from all over the UK regularly made the trek to Wigan Casino to hear the latest northern soul artists and to dance. Queues to get in were sometimes five or six people deep, and stretched back for 2 hours.
This England, a TV documentary about the venue and this fascinating sub culture, was filmed in 1977, check it out above.
‘I Dream Of Wires’ is an upcoming documentary about the resurgence of modular synthesizers. In June 2012, the I Dream of Wires team visited the Norfolk UK studio of pioneering industrial and synthpop musicians Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, founding members of seminal outfits Throbbing Gristle, Industrial Records, and Chris & Cosey, to name but a few. We interviewed Chris Carter about his long history with DIY electronics, modular synthesizers, and the role they’ve played in his storied musical career.