Monday, 25 May 2009

Malcolm Lowry & Northern Soul

Volcanos Storm Warning Arctic

Ronnie Forte That Was Whiskey Talking Forte

When I began this project on Malcolm Lowry, I joked with a friend that I would love to find a connection between Malc and my love of soul music. Over this last weekend, I found that link in the fact that one of the cinemas Lowry frequented in the 1920's called the The Century Theatre in Liverpool later transformed into the one of the original homes of what became known as Northern Soul as the Mardi Gras Club in the 60's.

I have posted 2 tracks which have vague references to Lowry to give a taste of the Northern Soul scene.

The Century Theatre was a regular haunt of Lowry's in 1928 according to an interview given by Jay Leyda, a Canadian friend of Lowry's, to Miguel Mota and Paul Tiessen for their book The Cinema Of Malcolm Lowry. Mota and Tiessen only identified the cinema as the "home of the unusual films". However, I was able to identify the cinema frequented by Lowry after reading Picture Palaces Of Liverpool by Harold Ackroyd. Lowry would have enjoyed the irony that the theatre was a former Weslyean Chapel before becoming a cinema in 1908.

Apparently, the cinema specialised in showing rare continental films during this period including Murnau's The Last Laugh and Faust, Ludwig Berger's The Waltz Dream and Fritz Lang's Dr Mabuse.

Unfortunately, the theatre was demolished in the 1970's and the site re-developed into a car park.

The photograph below shows the Mardi Gras Club circa late 1950's

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