Reunion party planned for fans of former Northampton nightclub

This building in Bridge Street was one of the first in the country to reverberate to the sounds of Northern Soul
This building in Bridge Street was one of the first in the country to reverberate to the sounds of Northern Soul

Former revellers at a Northampton nightclub that helped introduce a new wave of music to Britain are invited to a reunion party.

Shades opened in Bridge Street in 1969 and was Northampton's first purpose-built disco and live music venue, as opposed to the ballrooms scattered throughout the town.

Sixties TV and radio star Simon Dee at the launch night of Shades nightclub in 1969

Sixties TV and radio star Simon Dee at the launch night of Shades nightclub in 1969

One of the top clubs in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, it helped introduce Northern Soul music to the country.

However it closed abruptly in 1975 without a closing night, leaving disco fans to find their dance floor pleasures elsewhere.

Northen Soul fan Paddy Grady is organising a 50th anniversary reunion next month and remembers the building, which was latterly the Cue Club snooker hall, fondly.

He said: "Shades soon built up a reputation for playing a mix of Motown and Soul music.

"It was music was not played at the ballroom venues or for that matter very rarely on British radio, so a big following of people, not only from this county but from many parts of the UK, started attending the venue.

"They often saw people queuing all the way up the top of Bridge Street and into the Drapery to get in."

As the venue gained in reputation, it started to attract legendary soul acts to perform live on stage including the likes of Al Green, Junior Walker & The All Stars, Jimmy Ruffin and Mary Wells.

The spirit of those days is to be recreated at Aspers Casino on Saturday, April 27.

Origninal Shades DJs Paul Motley, Captain Soul, Frankie Rae and Mr Grady will be be playing Motown and Soul hits from the 60's and 70's.

The event runs from 8pm until 1am. Tickets priced £7 can be purchased by calling 07599227569.